Friday, June 13, 2008


Austria Sobers Up After Tying One On

Ivica's Fan-Vastic Goal: "It's Miller Time!"

After Austria's Ivica Vastic converted a stoppage-time penalty to tie a stunned Polish side 1-1, he kept his host nation's hopes alive at EURO 2008. But the 38-year-old midfielder (the oldest player at Euro 2008) also should have been allowed to keep the promised bonus prize offered by a Vienna-based brewing company, Ottakringer. Before the competition, Ottakringer had promised a lifetime supply of free beer to the first Austrian player to score a goal at Euro 2008 (Austria was shut out 1-0 in its opening round loss to Croatia).

But now comes word that the Austrian Football Association (AFA) has nixed Ottakringer's offer by saying that the national team, ranked 92nd in the world, doesn't need "such type of motivation." Yeah, right: we're talking about football players here! (Mental note: The US Army would be well-advised to consider the "free beer for life" idea as a breakthrough recruiting incentive for service in Iraq.)

According to AOL's Fanhouse website, what the AFA didn't mention is that they have a sponsorship deal with Stiegl brewery - and they might lose that sponsorship if they let a player take free beer from a competitor.

Still, as Fanhouse writer David J. Warner comments, "the least Stiegl could do is step in and offer Vastic some free beer. Vastic only did what any regular joe in a Bud Light ad would do."

Needless to say, it remains a very spirited debate.

Related Links:
A lifetime's free beer to first Austrain player
Austria denies Vastic His Free Brewskis

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