Dutch field hockey gains worldwide attention for reasons beyond field hockey (PHOTO GALLERY)
"Hear my soul speak: The very instant that I saw you, did my heart fly to your service." -- William Shakespeare, "The Tempest"
If Danny Boyle is going to use a line from Shakespeare's final play to open the London Olympics, then it's only appropriate to use another to describe the enchanting team that is gaining the adulation of a small, but devoted, following of Olympic fans.
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We speak of the women's field hockey team from The Netherlands, the best looking team in the Games. The orange-clad squad won its first match 3-0 against Belgium on Sunday, a big step to advancing to the knockout round from Group A and defending its Olympic title. Victories come and go, however. The enduring power of this field hockey team is that it transcends on-field results. As many on Twitter have noticed, there is reason to go Dutch beyond the team's success:
(That guy would know. His Twitter name indicates he's been knighted.)
Sir Oobs and the rest of us Netherlands fans are a small, dedicated group. I've been in the club since watching the team in Athens in 2004. Others jumped on the bandwagon during the gold-medal run in Beijing. Still, the Dutch team has yet to break through to mainstream attention in the United States and we're not altogether unhappy about it. You never want to see your favorite indie band go big, you know? Next thing you know it'll be doing commercials for Heineken and wearing wooden shoes on the cover of Vogue. We don't want that.
Call them whatever you'd like: Dutch, or The Netherlands or -- and we're still not sure when this become incorrect or frowned upon -- Holland. They play again on Tuesday against Japan. We'll be watching.
Click link to view more photos of the greatest field hockey team in all the land.
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