The stories in Hard Gras are a nice background to the man and his career. My favorite is by Wilfried de Jong, a Dutch comedian, who also has produced the best sport programm on Dutch television over the last decade. He, born in Rotterdam, was always confronted with the same line when he was abroad and people found out where he was from. Amsterdam, Ajax, Cruijff. Finally in Cordoba, Spain, he meets a man who knows the difference between Amsterdam and Rotterdam. They can't talk to each other, as De Jong doesn't speak Spanish, nor does the old men speak anything else. But based on the new holy trilogy 'Rotterdam. Feyenoord. Banganegem.', they get drunk together.
One of the other stories refers to the time when he was coach of Feyenoord. For another television programm he has to coach a side of six years' old against Louis van Gaal, then at Ajax. Whereas Van Gaal tries to teach the youngsters some tactics, Van Hanegem really knows how to deal with kids at that age: "You shouldn't be standing, go and run and you won't get cold". I can remember watching the show and being impressed with the best player that played for the team I'm supposed to hate. His sense of humour, his simplicity and the way he can still kick a ball, it was enough to convince me to like him. This whole book dedicated to the man is not just good, he deserves it.