On this point, all nations of the world can agree: Nobody wants a lovely day at the World Cup ruined by hundreds of Dutchmen in their underwear.
But that spectacle loomed over the June 16 match between the Netherlands and the Ivory Coast, thanks to an aggressive crackdown on unapproved lederhosen by the Budweiser-FIFA Beer Marketing Cartel (BFBMC).
The trouble began when dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of Dutch fans - numbers are foggy, due to the presence of beer - tried to enter the stadium wearing what can only be described as "neon orange pants sporting a lion's tail and the logo of a beer company that was not Budweiser."
The BFBMC, in an iron-fisted quest to prevent any guerilla marketing effort by a minor Dutch beer company, told the incoming fans that they couldn't enter the stadium in Stuttgart wearing the ridiculous get-ups - not because they were ridiculous, but because they featured a non-Bud logo. The fans promptly stripped off the pants and enjoyed the game in their underwear.
The full psychological effect of all this on the Ivory Coast, which lost the match 2-1, may not be determined for years to come.
The Dutch fans can be excused for wearing the outfits since their mascot is a lion, their color is orange, and they were drunk. Inexcusable, though, is the behavior of the BFBMC, which could afford to be more gracious in its pants policy. If you want to see a Dutchman's underwear, all you have to do is ask.