The United States beat Mexico in soccer in Mexico. Nice feat (or should I say “feet”). We question whether voo-doo was employed by Mexican fans. We ask this because back in 2009, as a World Cup tune-up voo-doo was used as a promotion for Mexican fans.
Check out this Silliman on Sports article:
Voodoo in the world cup?
The U.S. vs. Mexico soccer match February 11th in Columbus, Ohio is a world cup qualifying match and supposedly a friendly confrontation between neighboring countries. But we hear different. A newspaper in Mexico City is encouraging Mexican soccer fans to buy little voodoo dolls to hex our American players. They even had the Mexican branch of Radio Shack on board to serve as a spot to pick up the dolls.
To this, we have to shout “Whoa!” and “Wait a moment!”
Isn’t it enough Mexico came in and took over our sitcom market with its Ugly Betty show? Isn’t it enough Mexico took over our fast food market with their taco stands and Tex-Mex stuff? Isn’t it enough Mexicans came here and took our jobs? Granted, its jobs we like them taking but now they’re also taking our voodoo and just when New Orleans is trying to rebuild?
I’m not sure New Orleans, our voodoo capital, will forgive Mexico if they persist in this theft. Relations between New Orleans and Mexico are not so strong, anyway. Not after Mexico sent Hurricane Katrina their direction. You doubt New Orleans feels that way? Hey, let me ask you: from what Gulf did Katrina hit New Orleans? Here’s a clue, it wasn’t the Gulf of China.
Voodoo is a New Orleans tradition. Of course, it’s not the national product like it is in Haiti, but right behind French Food, jazz and wacky cross-dressing, voodoo is the thing they do do in the Big Easy. Already, Mexico gives New Orleans a run for its money in the crime and exporting-people-we-don’t-understand departments, it’s not right to also steal their black magic.
Here’s the promotion. The Record, a sports daily in Mexico trotted out the idea to promote interest in February 11th game by ordering 10,000 little voodoo dolls with likenesses of American soccer players’ uniforms complete with numbers. They invited fans to clip coupons which are redeemable at Radio Shack stores where they could pick up the dolls… and needles… and scissors. The needles and scissors are, of course, for mangling and maiming the dolls. How quaint! Why Radio Shack would initially go along baffles us. Did they consider people in the United States might be offended? Was it only about “Here’s your voodoo doll. Don’t you also need a radio or a television to watch the game?”
Radio Shack responds that the plan wasn’t just to hex the American team, a team Mexico hasn’t beaten for a decade, but also to use against teams from Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador and Trinidad. So then, obviously, detractors responded by saying “Okay then, if you plan to cause pain to the players of all these other countries, unilaterally, it’s perfectly justified.” No, we’re kidding. We threatened to boycott Radio Shack. We threatened to trash their TRS-80s or whatever computers they are now hawking (don’t snicker, I once tried to put a $ 10,000 program on a TRS-80). We threatened to turn Radio Shack into Radio Cardboard-Box-in-the-Alley. Radio Shack finally came to their senses (realizing they also had stores in the States) and stepped back from the promotion.
This did not deter the Record from lining up other Mexican companies to go on with the campaign. The Record claims the promotion is just a “novel and fun way” to draw attention to the game. Other stores taking Radio Shack’s place include “Manuel’s Casa de Maim” and “Taco Tortura.” We knew these guys would come aboard. Good luck visiting New Orleans, Manuel. They will have their eye on you. Their evil eye!