the 1974 World Cup
My first intense soccer experience was watching the 1974 World Cup, when I fell in love with the Dutch team and then rooted for them after Yugoslavia was eliminated. Rensenbrink, the left wing, was my hero. My mother sewed two parallel lines on the back of an orange shirt, so that I could pretend to be Rob Rensenbrink. (Rensenbrink missed only two penalties in his entire career.) The other side of that process of loyalty acquisition was hating the West German team.