April Fool’s Day was a few weeks ago and, while I don’t participate in it (something about deliberately fooling people for no particular reason makes me uncomfortable), it doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it. The holiday has a gotten more attention in recent years throughout the football world, with Bleacher Report even compiling the tops for 2015! This year Orlando FC’s April Fool’s day gimmick was amazing—although a part of me wishes they had stuck with the idea of a purple pitch. The Columbus Crew’s Usain Bolt prank, however, fell short in my opinion—it simply didn’t make sense! Still, respect to MLS for keeping the game fun.
Purple Haze? We can dream, can’t we? Image Courtesy of: http://www.orlandocitysc.com/post/2015/04/01/orlando-citrus-bowl-installs-purple-pitch-ahead-friday’s-matchup-vs-dc-united
A few days before April 1, however, there were two incidents that were worthy of April Fool’s Day Jokes…but they were all too real. The first happened in Washington D.C. on March 30, 2015. Everyone knows Americans aren’t huge football fans, but—I would assume—they should know the difference between El Salvador and the Isle of Man. Sadly, the employees at FedEx field did not and the speakers belted out the Isle of Man’s anthem Arrane Ashoonagh Vannin in place of El Salvador’s Himno Nacional. In an amusing youtube clip we can see El Salvador’s national football team looking around in bewilderment. Their shock didn’t wear off in time for the match; they were beaten soundly by a Messi-less (but still merciless) Argentina side 2-0. The error then sparked an international political incident between El Salvador and the United States….no, I’m kidding–I said I don’t do April Fool’s Day…
I Fail To See the Similarity:
Images Courtesy Of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_El_Salvador and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Man, respectively.
The second incident comes from Colombia. Journalist—and avid football fan—Alejandra Omaña promised the local men’s magazine SoHo that she would bare all if her team, Cúcuta Deportivo, gained promotion to the country’s top flight. Unfortunately for her—but possibly fortunately for male readers of SoHo—Cúcuta played Deportes Quindío on January 20, 2015 and was promoted after a 3-3 draw.
Football fans can empathize with her reasoning behind the stunt, which melds love of a team with love of a place, in the text that accompanies the pictures: “I wasn’t born into a footballing family,” she wrote. “My father enjoyed bullfights and cycling more, and my brother had musical passions—so I discovered in other Cucuteños, in the environment, in street corners and in neighborhood stores, my passion for Cúcuta Deportivo.”
What is more shocking is that this isn’t the first time such a thing has happened. The famous French-Italian actress Sophia Loren made a promise to Gazetta dello Sport in 2007—when she was 72 years young—that she would “do a striptease” if her team Napoli gained promotion from Serie B to Serie A. Football fans will know that Napoli went up, but what most may not know is that Ms. Loren backed off her promise. As she said, it was “only a joke”. I say here’s to jokes and good clean fun! Happy April!
Forza Napoli, Apparently. Image Courtesy Of: https://iheartingrid.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/sophia-loren-dangerous-curves/