Real men wear orange. Real men pray for a goal. Real men have a haircut that needs trimming once an hour, or else the perfect lines will start to fray.
The sweat of real men is as the tears of gods. They have scary tattoos, especially on the biceps. Cuddling is OK too. Herman van Veen sang: ‘If two men cuddle one another at some party or other, the other guests wonder whether there’s been a goal.’ Real footballers are full of testosterone and adrenalin. And then there are the six packs, Mario Balotelli’s abs when he takes off his shirt, when he receives the praises of his team like a Gorilla! Nowhere else do you see such extravagant emotion, such unreserved elation as on a football pitch. But you also get profound doubt, sheer desperation, coaches offering comfort and guys in tears, right out there in the open. It comes straight from the soul. Football is life jammed into 90 minutes, or 120 minutes + penalties.
Do we have real men like that at WUR? Real WUR men wear humdrum bio-based grey, have tame haircuts, nothing weird and definitely no tattoos, or maybe just a tiny one on the shoulder. The exuberance in the Aula during a PhD ‘match’ leaves a lot to be desired too. The Io Vivat can hardly compare to the Brazilian national anthem. Some men in black slowly pace down the aisle. A reverent silence reigns. Perhaps a tear or two is wiped away when the certificate is handed over. What a shock it would be if after the result was announced, the supervisor were to rip off his toga and fall to his knees with his fists clenched in the air and his (somewhat flabby) six pack bared — to reveal a life-sized WUR logo on his stomach. The whole room enthusiastically does a Mexican wave and chants the brand-new doctor’s name. Just livening things up.
Perhaps we’ll see this in the next academic season?