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Friday, November 14, 2008

FAROE ISLANDS: WORLD PLAYERS

The lads pictured above are members of the Faroese National Football team. They look mild mannered enough, but did you know they killed a prominent politician in Austria? They didn't exactly kill him. Ok, they didn't kill him at all. But the guy is dead, and the Faroese National Football team may be responsible.

The politician in question is Jörg Haider, the former coalition member in Austria's government and possible Nazi sympathizer. Haider created national headlines in 2000 when the ultra-conservative party he headed gained a degree of power after favorable election results.

He died on October 11th this year. Police reports say that Haider got drunk while cavorting with male escorts, then got behind the wheel of a car. About 30 minutes later he was involved in a fatal wreck.

What does this have to do with the Faroese National Football team? I'm glad you asked. October 11th was a momentous day on the Faroe Islands. On that day, the Faroese team played the Austrians to a draw. On the international stage, that's pretty much like the Faroe Islands team winning. It was a big blow to the Austrian team.

Rumor has it that the last text message Haider was from a friend telling him about Austria's inability to beat the Faroe Island's team in soccer. Is there a connection? Yes. Absolutely. It's hard not to think that, if he Faroe Islands team had been just a little worse, Austria would still have it's most famous Nazi.

The Faroe Islands are making a big impression elsewhere on the international stage. Their loan to Iceland has been the subject of of more than 20,000 thank you messages from Icelandic people. That's fine, but it's not quite enough. There are 48,000 people on the Faroe Islands. Iceland should provide a "thank you" message for every one of them.

This week's Faroe Photo is of Vága Floghavn, the only airport on the Faroe Islands. It's another from Arne List's beefy photoset on Flickr. List is a great photographer and I like the fact that he takes pictures of things others neglect. The airport is a great example of that.I like seeing pictures of the Floghavn. It helps me visualize my fantasy of actually visiting the islands one day. I can picture it better now. It will happen. One day.

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