TOP 5 – Wacky Game Promotions
We’ve all seen the Frisbee catching dog…but those talented little pooches pale in comparison to the madness that American goalkeeper Marine Cano witnessed during his playing days in the late 70s with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL. The former national team keeper and nine-year pro gives us the lowdown on what his club thought would get him and teammates such as Gordon Banks and George Best riding high for their games.
Our games were always a sellout…it was packed there (Lockhart Stadium). We were the biggest thing in town and afterwards the parties were insane. But to promote the game they had us doing all this crazy stuff.
We came in on horses. The horses all wanted to go nuts and they had all these guys giving us instructions and the horses were doing 360s trying to throw our guys off. It was insane!
We drove around the field on three fire trucks and then they busted out the hose in the middle of the field, spraying it all over…saying that we’re on fire!
We came in on the backs of motorcycles with these bikers. I mean…these guys were killers! We didn’t go around the field once waving to the fans…we drove around twice! You know the worst part about it? The guy I was riding with hadn’t taken a bath for a month and he was stinking me out! When I got off the bike I had to pour water all over my face and spit it out. I was almost dry-heaving he smelled so bad!
We came in on high-powered Go Karts. We went around the field once and then we all just went on the field. They were trying to chase us off. I did a figure-eight and the crowd went nuts. When I got off the Go-Kart I was furious! They vibrate so much that my arms were shaking. It was freaking me out because I was starting! I had to take seven or eight more shots just to get my arms right.
We had lost 2 games in a row, which seemed unthinkable, because we were unbelievable that year. So we did the lineup and then there was no coach…no Ron Newman. All of a sudden the PA announcer starts playing into it asking…
“Has anyone seen Coach Newman? Ron Newman, the game is about to begin.”
Then the double gates at the end of the stadium open and then you hear this funeral music and then this hertz starts coming out really slow onto the field. And these two guys are walking alongside of it in black suits. Then they go to the middle of the field and they open the back of the hertz and there’s a freakin’ coffin! And they pull the coffin out of the back and prop it up and they open it slowly…and there’s Ron Newman. He sits up and he has microphone in his hand and he says to the crowd…
“We ain’t dead yet!”
Marine Cano is the owner of Mr. Soccer Camps www.mrsoccercamps.com and the founding Director of Soccer at Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, Southern California. He has coached college soccer for 26 years.
This article was previously published in 90:00 Soccer Magazine…for a FREE PREVIEW check out www.90soccer.com
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