It's been a 32-year drought for fans of the Netherlands. The last time Team Orange made it to the World Cup finals was in 1978! They came in second...we (all Dutch fans) are definitely looking for a different result.
Everyone with any Dutch blood has been glued to the television each time this team steps on the field. Many of us have also been watching all the other soccer games during this World Cup. Dutch fans are living the dream. A reported 2500 Dutch people are in South Africa, supporting their team. My mom and I call each other after each game just to relive the excitement.
During the last game, 60,000 fans were watching the game in the Museum Plein (Museum Square) in Amsterdam. That's not counting the fans in Rotterdam, the Hague and other Dutch cities. The team is on fire. The fans are on fire.
Soccer is popular all over the world. It truly is a world sport. Growing up in Holland, I have watched this game for as long as I can remember. It's exciting that it is catching on in the United States. At first I was rooting for both the United States and Holland - since I'm a citizen of both. But really I was for the Dutch mostly. (The U.S. team's time will come.)
Check out these crazy pictures of Dutch supporters following their team. The orange-vehicled convoy stretches 6 kilometers (3.6 miles). It's easy to spot the Dutch supporters - they're oozing orange!
As a Dutch person, I've been just so excited to follow the team's success. Now it's down to Holland versus Spain. Some of my friends have been calling me crazy because I was up at 4 am for the first two games Holland played in the initial group round. Hey, it's my team. I needed to see it live!
During the first game, my husband, son and I were in our pj's wearing orange hats and scarfs. The Dutch are not shy about showing their orange. (Watch any Olympics and you'll see those boldly orange fans.)
So the Semper Vita-related question for me, thinking through being a great fan, is "As a Christian, do I get this excited about following Jesus? Do I ooze Jesus? Are we so excited about Team Jesus that others can easily spot us? Does our team spirit inspire others?
World Cup Final this Sunday!
This Sunday I'll be rushing home from gathering with the church at Life at the Ridge to watch the World Cup final. I'll be wearing orange and rooting for Holland! Hup Holland Hup! I can report great news next week.