Mon Sep 27 01:47pm EDT
The Chicago Fire have been on a run of poor form of late, losing three straight matches and going winless in their last six despite adding two designated players in Freddie Ljungberg and Nery Castillo. Perhaps in an effort to keep spirits up in spite of the team's frustrating form, Chicago Fire supporter's group Section 8 broke out a massive Mario Bros. themed tifo display (the European-rooted phenomenon of fan choreographed displays that has caught on in MLS) before kickoff of Saturday's loss to Xbox-sponsored Seattle.
The animated display featured Mario hitting a Koopa Troopa with a fireball and, according to Section 8 chairman Tom Dunmore was "put together in a week for very little money." Here's what Section 8 vice-chairman and organizer of the display, Joel Biden, had to say about it:
"We had been wanting to do an animated display for a while. Video games are a perfect platform for that. We have had video game themed banners and flags for years, we sing the Tetris theme, and we have done video game themed tifo before. Last year we did the Xbox Red Ring of Death when we hosted Seattle. We wanted to continue that tradition. That Seattle has Xbox360 across their jerseys and their fans think they invented soccer in the U.S. made the concept jump out fairly easy. Chicago has been doing our thing for over a decade. Old school, like Nintendo. Get a Mario in our colors, a Koopa turtle in theirs, and kill the turtle with a FIREball. It presented an opportunity for a theme with universal recognition and appeal, dynamic moving pieces, and importantly to us, a sense of humor. So much sports rivalry is tired old macho posturing, this one is funny, no need for psuedo-hooligan shenanigans."
It was certainly a creative way of prodding their rivals, yet it didn't help the Fire get a win. Perhaps if they built on the concept with warp pipes, coin blocks and invincibility stars, it could have helped bring a more favorable result. Still, if they can somehow find a way to pull off a Mario Kart display, I think the Fire should be named automatic winners of the MLS Cup.