Questions for Believers From Piet in Rotterdam

Piet from Rotterdam in the Netherlands asked me very politely to post a link to some thought-provoking questions he has compiled for believers.

Since I’ve asked some of these questions myself over the years, I am quite happy to oblige in providing the links to his compilation. I quite enjoyed reading through them although they’re targeted at believers mostly.

The English version [a work in progress]:

Questions for the Believer

The Dutch version:

95 stellingen / vragen aan een christen

Hup! Hup! Ole!

Feel it, it is here! You’ve probably been assaulted by that cheesy line many times by now. The truth is, the end of the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup is at hand, and it’s hard not to feel something, even if it’s just plain indifference.

The finalists, Netherlands and Spain each have a life-long objective to achieve; Netherlands to finally win after reaching a final, and Spain to win a final on debut. This could be a classic final, to be cherished for a long time to come, or it could turn out to be a damp squib like the others over recent years. Even though both teams progressed to the final in a relatively inconspicuous or uninspiring fashion; one hopes that they have left the best for last, seeing as how the flashy brilliance from some of the more fancied teams, has gotten them nothing.

I’ve stood firm with my prediction that the Netherlands will get into the final and even go all the way to win. Although, I did predict that Spain would progress to the semi-finals, I did not expect them to get past Germany. So much for relying on form!

So, who is going to win?

There is an octopus called Paul, in the German city of Oberhausen, who has supposedly predicted that Spain will win the final. And there’s the octopus called Pauline, in the Dutch city of Scheveningen, who has also supposedly predicted that the Netherlands will win.

The thing is, an octopus cannot predict a winner and never will. The keepers of these two sea creatures in captivity, gave them a choice between two options, so they would always have a 50% chance of predicting the winner. Given the option between choosing either Spain or Netherlands and becoming Pickled Octopus, they would have chosen the latter 50% of the time. The other option in predicting a winner, is to consult a clairvoyant or similar scam-artist, which would leave you out-of-pocket and none the wiser; the octopus make a nice alternative and are more fun anyway.

Which means that there is no sure-fire way of knowing who is going to win. All you can do is pick the team you like and hope like crazy, they win.

I’ve chosen Netherlands…

What a Messi scorecard? 4-freaking-nil to the Germans

I’ve been right up there with that German octopus whose been predicting the outcomes of the German ties in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final being held in South Africa; however I’ve gone much further by predicting the exit of many other teams, most notably France, England, Italy, Portugal and the mighty Brazilians.

Argentina’s exit at the hands of the Germans may prove to be something of a relief to coach Diego Maradona, whose head was in danger of exploding from an overload of gross arrogance. There was a time when the hand of god helped them, but this time around they were handed what could probably be their most humiliating defeat ever, by Germany.

For a time there, the South American teams gave the world a lot to think about; what with all of them doing so well to progress into the next rounds of the World Cup at the expense of the European, African, American, Oriental, and Australasian teams. Suddenly however, there is going to be a lot of dejected travellers heading back West from South Africa, towards the South Americas. Uruguay is safe for now, having made it through to the semi-finals (no mean feat), but Paraguay face Spain tonight, and I fear they are also headed back home, come tomorrow. What’s happened to the South American Teams? Time enough to reflect after the World Cup is over!

In the interim, let’s celebrate the Netherlands who are still producing the goods; and I’m hoping that the Orange will be giving someone the Blues in the final of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup…

Going Dutch – Could this be Holland’s World Cup?

Some of the more fancied teams have seen their asses being kicked. The stars of the soccer world have performed pretty much below expectations. The favorites to win, Brazil and Spain have not looked very convincing.

Neither has the Netherlands, but something tells me they could go all the way at this World Cup. The first two matches were won - not very easily, but won nonetheless. They don’t have that many superstars in their squad, so we won’t be assaulted with any preening and showmanship from the Dutch. The talent is undeniably there; and it shows signs of erupting magnificently.

Their supporters have shown that they care about far more than just soccer. Their protests against the ridiculous advertising rules imposed by the tournament organizers makes me proud of the nation in orange…. and clogs.

I’m rooting for the Dutch; it’s about time they finally go all the way.