Spain's Curses in Football (Soccer) Broken

July 15, 2008

From June 23, 2008 to July 3, 2008 we took a trip to Illinois and then to Texas. Before we left I had gotten caught up in the "Euro 2008" tournament happening in Switzerland and Austria.

There is a tournament called the, "UEFA European Football Championship". It happens every four years. "Euro 2008" as it was called was the 13th such tournament. It ran from June 7, 2008 to June 29, 2008. Sixteen teams participated.

During the winter months I listen to La Liga matches via Radio Exterior d’España on the short-wave radio. I don't know Spanish very well. I don't normally know what teams are playing or who wins. It just makes a nice background as I do things around the house on Sunday afternoons. I was kind of cheering for Spain in the Euro 2008 tournament because I could hear their games on the radio in Spanish. We watched them via ESPN and ABC. Then when Douglas heard on ESPN that Spain hadn't won against Italy since 1920, I really started to cheer for Spain.

Fast forward to June 22, 2008. Spain was due to play Italy. To begin with, when Spain went into this tournament, they had a few mental hurdles they had to overcome. People called these "mental hurdles," "hoodoos," "curses," or "jinxes". Spain had not won against Italy since 1920. (88 years) They had not won a major tournament since 1964. (44 years) They had not gotten past the Quarter Final round in a tournament since 1984. (24 years) AND to top it all off, since June 22, 1986 Spain had lost 3 times on penalties in major tournaments. (22 years) [On June 22, 1986, Spain lost to Belgium in a World Cup quarter-final shoot-out. Then in Euro 1996 on the same date they lost against England. And it was the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals on June 22, when Spain lost to South Korea.]

This June 22, 2008 match between Spain and Italy was a quarter final game. They hadn't won against Italy in 88 years. Spain hadn't won a quarter final game in 24 years. They hadn't won on June 22 via penalty kicks in 22 years. This time, Spain won 4-2 in penalty kicks.

Cesc Fabregas was the player who won the game for Spain against Italy. He said in an interview that Spain had proved that they had the "nerve" and "skill" to win. [Via The Mirror Newspaper, "Euro 2008: Cesc Fabregas ends Spain's penalty jinx" ]

For the next game in the tournament, we were driving through Missouri on I 44. It was June 27, 2008. Spain played Russia. They were playing in the semi finals. I was trying to tune in Radio Exterior d’España on a pocket radio I have. I couldn't pick up the beginning of the game. I couldn't receive that frequency. The road was like a tame rollercoaster. I missed the first 20 minutes or so of the game. Eventually I was able to tune them in. As we would crest a hill or turn the right direction on a curve in the road, the signal would improve. I couldn't hear most of the game which was ok, since I don't know Spanish. I did hear the announcers go ballistic when Spain scored three goals. I knew from the reaction of the announcers that they were Spanish goals. I didn't seem to hear any Russian goals. I just didn't know how many goals Russia might have scored early on or during the times I couldn't hear the game. When we got to the motel room, Douglas turned on ESPN and we discovered that the score had been Spain 3 Russia 0.

We watched the final game in Texas. The Score was Spain 1 Germany 0. In the history of this tournament Spain's win was the second time that the winning team won all the matches in their group stage.

Euro 2008 was quite an exciting tournament to follow. Fans were visibly disappointed as they watched their defeated team leave the "pitch" (field). Some of the players were in tears as the game ended.

I do not know if any of these Spanish players were "believing Christians" or not. I know Spain is known as a Catholic country.......



Bible Verses

July 19, 2008

Matthew 21:17-22

Mat 21:17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

Mat 21:18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

Mat 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

Mat 21:20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

Mat 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

John 20:24-31

Joh 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

Joh 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

Joh 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

Joh 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Joh 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.


1Peter 1:1-9

1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.