Tag Archives: Football

“But What If We’re Wrong”

So I thought I’d do a book review for once… Those who don’t know me might not really have a lot of feelings about that statement, but those that do, probably just fell off their chair reading this.

I just finished “But What If We’re Wrong” by Chuck Klosterman. What is so remarkable about this event of me finishing a book? Well, first off, I have read exactly 2 books since I left college 8.5 years ago. The first was a Dutch book that I got from a friend when I moved to the USA. It was a description of a road trip the author made, replicating a historic road trip from an American author some decades before. It was interesting for me to see how the Dutch author had such a hugely different view on what the US is as a country and society, than I have. Interestingly enough, the America he described seems to have submerged and voted Donald J Trump into the White House. (Those that now think I am referring to racist, America filled with bigots and deplorables, you’ve got it wrong, you have no understanding of America whatsoever).

Anyhow. Not only was reading my latest book a fairly rare happening, it was also the very first book I ever voluntary bought. In fact, I took the time to find it in a book store (yes Chuck, I beat those odds), . I actually had to visit four stores before I saw it , almost by accident, in a shop on Bradley Airport. One might contribute the finding of this book to divine intervention of some sorts, since I was supposed to fly out of Boston, not Bradley, but as any traveler knows; things change. Additionally it was the very first English book ever, as far as I remember, I read. I hope Chuck (I may call you Chuck, right… I mean, after all you are my closest literally friend I have had in a long time!), appreciates the significance of this event. By the way, you may thank Trevor Noah for me buying the book. Get the daily show to host you, and them talk about us being wrong about gravity. That’s pretty much all you need to do to get me hooked and trick me into reading a book about (American) sports and music (kinda). I’m writing this on Delta flight 0074 going to Amsterdam, and just noticed they have the movie “Citizen Kaine” available. So now I am forced to watch that movie and actually get what you were referring to.

The subtitle of the book reads “thinking about the present as if it were the past”, which is kind of appropriate since I like to think about the future as if it were the present. When thinking about that present I unfortunately do need to bring two factual errors in the book to mind. The chapter on democracy and freedom fails to acknowledge that there in fact is already something called a functional dictatorship. It is called Singapore (to name the best example), and is doing quite well according to standards we value presently. The second is about your underestimated fear for a nuclear attack (or is it a fear for statistics that make reality too real to accept?). If considering that somehow terrorists did get their hands on a nuclear device, I do agree they will try to use it. But this will not be in the USA. We’re protected sufficiently to stop that from happening. Nothing would be lamer for a terrorist group to get their hands on a nuclear device to then be caught by the TSA at JFK airport. It will much rather be somewhere in the middle east, or Africa. My bets are on Africa, since that would be the most improbably thing to happen looking at it from the present past.

I have to mention, Chuck, that one of the most difficult parts of the book is the tile being up-side-down. You’re doing it wrong. It made me physically ill several times just looking at it, requiring me to turn the book around. It makes you wonder, does it not, why we would create a simulation where people get upset by book covers printed the “wrong” way. How would that help us gain knowledge about the universe? Who knows… perhaps we will find out in some distant future.

I do realize this blog posts will make absolutely no sense to anyone who has not read the book. But there is a simple solution to that. Read it! Or not, it really does not matter to me, since I’m probably wrong about everything I understood from the book anyhow. Although I do not think Chuck aimed for me to learn anything from the book, rather he probably wants me to think about stuff. Well, Chuck, just to let you know. If I ever meet you, I will buy you a beer and we will discuss the world of today as if it were the past. Maybe by that time, hedgehogs do live in Ohio thanks to global factors you refused to discuss (but could not stop yourself from mentioning). To your defense, I’m sure they are smart and love apples, so there really was no way you could know… Have you considered the possibility that you actually DID see a hedgehog, and everyone telling you otherwise is just wrong about this well documented fact? (After all, I read in a book somewhere that you saw a hedgehog, and we all know books are never wrong!). Anyhow, since I lack the possession of a book case, I am forced to give the book to my brother and his girlfriend. I’m interested to learn what they think about it, since it has some distinctive American flavors, that I am not sure how they translate into a normal non-US minded person. I will keep you posted, or not. We really do not know what the future brings.

“But What If We’re Wrong”
Chuck Klosterman
Blue Rider Press; 2016.

 Ps: I forgot to deliver the book to my brother.

FIFA World Cup 2014

It is happening!!!

Next Tuesday Belgium plays the USA in the FIFA World Cup Round 2.

All present!

On edit: Belgium WON 2-1 and advances to the quarter finals to beat Argentina on Saturday July 5th 11AM CST.

Great game by both teams! Tim Howard is an amazing goalkeeper and makes a good chance to be Goalie of the tournament. 16 (!!!) saves, a world cup record. Or as CNN puts it here:

It was an epic battle. Team USA goalie Tim Howard on one hand. The entire Belgian team on the other.

‘neuf said.

Oklahoma vs. Texas – Football @ The State Fair Of Texas

One of those things that are not comparable between life in the USA and Europe is sports and how college/university alumni works. The best examples of this is college football. The concept of college football is kind of cool. You’ve got students who study for free, and play in the college football team, they are cheerleaders, musicians, … The students need to meet certain requirements (including grades) to keep their position. The whole thing is pretty big around here, it is not just a means for students to study for free, it is much more an alumni event more than anything else.

For big games, such as the legendary Oklahoma vs. Texas (Sooners vs Longhorns) ‘exes’ from all over the country travel to Dallas. By car, bus, private jet… The game is aired on national TV and the Dallas Fair Park Cotton Bowl arena is sold out… 92,100 seats! To compare, Belgium’s biggest arena, the Koning Boudewijn Stadium has 50,024 seats.
It is pretty insane for a foreigner to even grasp how huge college football is. Many claim that college football is actually better than the ‘real’ NFL league because less money is involved. Having a strong team, and lots of alumni to come and watch the games is a potential important income source for universities.

You’ve got to be there, to understand it. But here are some pictures to give an idea:

Cotton Bowl - Sooners vs Longhorns 10/12/2013

Cotton Bowl – Sooners vs Longhorns 10/12/2013



The Longhorns (Texas, in Orange) were supposed to loose big. But they played aggressive and the Sooners (Oklahoma, in Red) had no idea what was coming at them. The result was the red half of the arena leaving the game prematurely and the orange half having a party.

For more info on the stadiums see: Wiki Cotton Bowl and King Baudouin Stadium