Remember when Fernando Torres won it for La Furia Roja in 2008?
Football, the world's non-American variety of it, is a strange thing for us Americans to grasp. It neither involves helmets nor outlandish end-zone dances; instead of players trying their damnedest to stay up, they're pretty prone to falling down; and, most importantly, the timing of European matches is completely bizarre.
Weekdays. Mornings. Early afternoons. What gives? And the European Championships are supposedly the second biggest futbol/soccer tournament on Earth? And 2012's edition could be a classic.
Here, we realize that the fact that most of the working world will be in a cubicle Friday morning when Poland faces Greece and Russia faces the Czech Republic to kick off the prestigious tournament. Yes, we realize that the timing isn't helping the anti-soccer American public embrace the sport when the matches generally are taking place during the get-things-done hour at work.
It's cool, we've got you covered. Even you, soccer haters.
Shoot, most of us are reaching for excuses to get out of work, anyway, so here's a plethora of sure-fire, guaranteed, scientifically proven*, without-fail means to escape from under your boss' nose and go rub elbows with soccer hooligans at your local pub and watch the beautiful game on its biggest platform for the next month.
*"Scientifically proven" actually translates to said excuses had a high success rate after consumption of multiple pints. In retrospect, they probably didn't work at all. But try 'em, anyway, and feel free to blame yours truly.
Joey Barton: England's sweetheart!
Who wouldn't kill for a night out of heavy drinking with Joey Barton?
He seemed like such a good guy. He said he captained a team called "Queens Park Rangers." It sounded so noble and all, like he's a loyal servant to the queen or something.
The next thing you know, we were outside the club and were in a ridiculous brawl, now we're in jail and I don't think I'll make it to the office. I was so surprised, because he seemed like such a sweetheart.
Wait, he's got a history of this type of behavior?
And what the hell is that smell?
Flatulence seems to be trending hard among the French ranks. If you value your stomach's health, you'd be best to veer clear of Les Bleus.
I don't know what it was. I don't know if it was the wine or the cheese, but damn, first it was Patrice Evra, then it was Samir Nasri...or Franck Ribery...or Karim Benzema, but gas seems to be an epidemic in the France camp.
For the sake of my co-workers' smelling sanity, I'm going to WFH today. Thanks a lot, France.
Et tu, Robin?
Unlike American sports, during the European transfer window, it's completely normal to openly flirt with other teams while under contract with your current employer.
Two of the European Championships' biggest names, Dutch striker Robin van Persie and France holding midfielder Yann M'Vila are in the middle of high-profile transfer rumo(u)rs and their performances over the next month could potentially affect their ultimate destination.
Hell, if you play your transfer right, you might not even need an excuse to skip work and watch the action.
I'm going to negotiate terms with this upstart, title-contending sports website Bleacher Report and because I'm so awesome, net you a massive transfer fee in the process.
Besides, you won't have to deal with me calling in sick all the time to watch sports—I hear their offices are kind of cool.
So you claim to love your company, a company that lives and dies with every day of work and you just so happen to be the most important employee in said company? You claim to love your country that has historically underachieved since its last major victory in 46 years ago but don't really feel like helping end the slump?
Kick your way out of commitment.
So wait, all I have to do to miss two out of the next three days of work—disregard that they're three of the most important days we've had in two years—is lose my cool and kick some dude in the calf like Wayne Rooney did?
Enigmatic Italian/Manchester City frontman Mario Balotelli is the excuse that keeps excusing. No, really, just plot yourself near Balotelli and you'll be left with a myriad of get-out-of-work-to-watch-Euro excuses.
Balotelli and I went clothes shopping but got trapped in the mall overnight because he took too long trying clothes on.
Sorry, can't make it to work, Balotelli and I got held up crushing some bullies.
I'd go to work today, but Balotelli and I wound up throwing darts at little kids.
Can't make it to work, Dad grounded me for trying an outlandish back heel that Mario convinced me to try.
I don't really like my work uniform, so I'm going to do as Mario does, take my uniform off angrily and draw the ire of my co-workers. Sans uniform, I probably shouldn't be at work.
The German national team, near favorites notwithstanding, have apparently been given free reign to do (ahem, literally), almost anything they want to do during the championships.
I woke up next to a beautiful woman, hung over, reeking of cigarettes and made some Tweets I may or may or not regret. You don't want me at work today. My decisions were German-endorsed.
That didn't end well.