June 21, 2018
When I wrote a World Cup preview earlier this month, many potential twists and turns – from injury recovery to individual matchups – were factored into the predictions portion of the article.
One thing that I did not take into account was whether droves of Russian women would set out to seduce players from the 32 teams competing in an effort to win free hamburgers for life – and $47,000 – from a fast-food chain.
This behavior (namely, the distractive tendencies thereof) could clearly impact match outcome.
Soccer is an unpredictable sport, so it should come as a small surprise that Burger King Russia launched that “social responsibility” campaign in the name of bolstering the future of a national team that, as of this writing, is undefeated, has conceded but one goal, and has qualified for the knockout round after just two matches.
The company’s ad roughly translates as such: "For these girls, it will be possible to get the best football genes, and will lay down the success of the Russian national team on several generations ahead. Forward! We believe in you!"
Alas, this unique soccer-developmental program quickly came to an end on Tuesday, when Burger King apologized for an endeavor that many felt was beneath the dignity of an internationally recognized food vendor.
“We are sorry about the clearly offensive promotion that the team in Russia launched online. (It) does not reflect our brand or our values and we are taking steps to ensure this type of activity does not happen again,” read a statement that the company sent to The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Burger King promises $50,000 and lifetime whopper supply for Russian women able to get pregnant from any football celebrity (to transfer good genes to Russia) pic.twitter.com/su8lyfkt6N— English Russia (@EnglishRussia1) June 19, 2018
In Russia – where impregnations of Russian women by foreign athletes at the 1980 Moscow Olympics became a talking point – reactions took a pointedly ethnicity fueled turn.
While one Communist Party parliamentarian said things are worse for children “if they’re another race” than their mother, a Kremlin spokesman retorted that “Russian women can probably manage their own affairs. They are the best women in the world.”
Also, there are limitless, valid gender-based criticisms of offering women a chance to sell their bodies and souls for limitless quarter pounds “of savory flame-grilled beef topped with juicy tomatoes, fresh lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, ketchup, crunchy pickles, and sliced white onions on a soft sesame seed bun.”
Had it been permitted to remain in place, the effort wouldn’t have had much of an impact on the competition until, at earliest, the World Cup in 2038.
So, no, it wouldn’t have born fruit in time for 2026, when the tournament may set up shop right here in Philadelphia for some matches. Still, it would've been interesting to see whether local restaurants would have worked up similar offers had it proven successful.
Free cheesesteaks for life from Geno's?
A slice of pizza a day from Lorenzo's?
Tacos on the house forever and ever at Mexican Post?
Mussels and Pommes Frites at Monk's?
The possibilities are endless.
In a somewhat-related sense – at least for the individuals who would have been involved – it seems as if they’ve missed out on an exceptionally enjoyable time akin to notoriously randy carnal behavior at the Olympic village every four years.
A “digital experience management platform” called Instart Logic issued a press release on Wednesday regarding sex and soccer fans.
Sure, their poll was conducted in the United States and United Kingdom, but its findings presumably transcend arbitrary national borders drawn on a map.
"New data reveals that World Cup fever is extending to the bedroom – more than half of Americans say they expect someone in their household to shout 'GOOOOAAL' in bed," it read. "This may be because soccer fans are actually better in bed.
"According to the new survey of more than 1,000 adults, 81 percent of Americans say that soccer fans are better fans than basketball or football fans because they are more passionate about their favorite sport (42 percent), they are more athletic (20 percent), they are more European (17 percent) and they are sexier (12 percent).”
Make of all this what you will.