USA vs. Mexico Countdown: Not Voodoo again?

MexicanVoodooDoll (AP) 

The fun never ends in the USA-Mexico rivalry.

You remember the story a few weeks ago about a Mexican sports newspaper and Radio Shack store in Mexico City giving away voodoo dolls that were supposed to help the Mexican national team finally beat the U.S. team on American soil? Well, Radio Shack (a U.S.-based company) pulled the plug on the promotion, putting an end to it. Right?

Wrong. The same newspaper, The Record, has teamed up with Blockbuster on a new voodoo doll promotion. Readers of the newspaper can trade in coupons for the cheap dolls that you see above, and the dolls come with instructions to stick pins in the dolls where Mexican fans want to hurt American players. You really can't make this stuff up.

Now here are my questions:

1. Blockbuster is still in business?

2. When did the U.S. national team start wearing knock-off New York Rangers jerseys?

3. Is this starting to get embarrassing for Mexico's players?

What do you think of this latest story? Waiting for the first American newspaper to come up with a similar promotion here in the U.S.? Ready to go protest a Blockbuster (if you can find one)? Does the above doll look more like Alexi Lalas the more you look at it?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Mexican Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to USA vs. Mexico Countdown: Not Voodoo again?

  1. Jim says:

    You have to hand it to Blockbuster, nobody has a better track record of alienating the American consumer.

  2. Steve says:

    You sure that isn’t Tim Leiwike holding an ALexi Lalas voodoo doll?

  3. Chase says:

    Yet another reason I do all my rental business with Netflix…

  4. Army of Dad says:

    Judging by the conduct of Mexican players I doubt that anything embarrasses them.

  5. Mark says:

    I think it’s kind of fun. Though it does make me want to re-consider my vote in the banner competition as the “more than voodoo” banner is looking extremely relevant at the moment.

  6. Bob says:

    I’m glad I have not gone to a BB since college almost 8 years ago. As for Radio Hack, you just lost my business. not that I ever go there that often.

  7. camjam says:

    I’m sure that these promos are “all in fun”… but when was it ever okay to wish injury upon other people? I was already sticking to hollywood video and redbox, but this confirms it.

  8. renobtnaig says:

    hahahaha, this goes hand in hand with that voodoo banner. i hope that one wins so we can laugh in their faces when mexico loses yet again.

  9. Sean says:

    Haha – nice call on the Lalas bit, Ives. Well played.

  10. Dave in San Jose says:

    Ha! Lalas was the first person I thought of before I read your text. Perfect!

  11. quakes fan says:

    Poor Mexico…This is what it’s come down to for them…

  12. Al says:

    After seeing the voodoo dolls, Sacha Klesjan made a counter move by shaving his head.

  13. Jimmy Bobo says:

    They could never get a promotion like this off the ground in the USA. Wishing harm to a pro athlete is sooo politically incorrect that the American punditry would be all over it. Of course, in Mexico you can get away with anything if you disguise it as patriotism or nationalism (which is what beating the USA is all about).

  14. A. Ruiz says:

    It’s pretty simple math though.

    The amount of people who vehemently cheer the Mexican NT dwarf the number of USNT fans in the contiguous United States.
    You know, the sort of people who can name the lineups and what teams in Europe yanks abroad play in.

  15. brentmcd says:

    What the hell is up with these so-called “American” companies? I guess nothing is sacred in their pursuit of the almighty dollar — or peso in this case. Pathetic

  16. Canada Sucks says:

    My thoughts: Canada Sucks and so does Mexico

  17. anon says:

    HILARIOUS!!! Pathetic, but hilarious :)

  18. Goalscorer24 says:

    Do these voodoo dolls come from the sweatshops that work underage kids?

  19. michael says:


    *clap* *clap* *clap clap clap*

  20. Charlie N. says:

    Isnt Radio-shack an MLS sponsor? Maybe they were acting as a double agent, trying to hype the US sentiment in this game. I will now go back and put my foil hat on to keep out the rays. I suggest you do the same…

  21. martha c says:

    It would be embarrassing…

    if it wasnt already embarrassing that they have had to resort to playing almost half a squad of naturalized Argentinans/Brazilians and a Uruguayan who was born in MEX.

    boycott blockbuster.

    How about a promotion of the US against the Argentina C team on Feb 11 complete with T shirts and banners

  22. Dan Roudebush says:

    Uncle Sam members to the rescue.

    Bring pieces of a 12 foot doll to the game and as the Mexican players run onto the field stick it with a huge pin (also disassembled to get in).

    Whole apparatus could be paper mache.

    Then on the other hand if it’s snowing you could throw snow balls at the thing.

  23. Frank says:

    Martha C,
    So what nationality are Adu (Ghanan), Altidore (Haitian), Torres (Mexican-American), Orozco (Mexican-American), Claudio Reyna (Uruguayan), Kleijstan (?), Gooch (?). US fan are hypocrites about this. How would the US team look like without immigrants? It is the same thing.

  24. Oranje Mike says:

    @ Frant…Adu is the only one of those players not born in the United States and home grown talent. Actually, I believe Adu is the only player on the US squad not born in the US.

  25. Scott A says:

    Frank, wow your argument is riddled with holes. Are you seriously suggesting that children of immigrants are immigrants? We’re not hypocritical, you’re just incredibly mistaken. Altidore and Reyna were born and raised in New Jersey, Torres, born and raised in Texas, Sacha and Orozco born and raised in Cali, Gooch born and raised in DC. Adu moved here at a young age. The ‘Mexican’ players cited are people whose professional career took them to Mexico in their 20s and subsequently got dual citizenship. Big difference

    And anyway, this campaign is pathetic and hilarious
    If anybody comes up with some kind of online petition for Blockbuster I’d be up for signing on to it. I can make one but I’m currently a bit busy and it would be later

  26. Tim F. says:

    Sorry Frank but a bunch of those guys you just listed are, wait for it, born in america. We are a country of immigrants and having immigrants on our team doesn’t matter. I’m sure nobody would give Mexico crap about having so many non-mexican players if Mexico themselves would actually stop giving themselves crap about it first.

  27. Mikeype says:

    This is really SAD on Mexico’s side. They have to resort to voodoo dolls for what? A mental edge? Lol. This just proves that even Mexico considers USA the dominant force in the region now!

  28. Mikeype says:

    Frank, just to clarify the facts. Kljestan (Anaheim, CA), Onyewu (D.C.), Jose Francisco Torres (Longview, TX), Altidore (Livingston, NJ), Claudio Reyna (NJ), Orozco (Orange, CA) were all born in the United States. So its NOT the same as the Mexican national team.

  29. kevin says:

    A big banner should be hung in the stands saying “Shutup Sven!”

  30. Soto says:

    Here’s my confusion: When did Mexican culture appropriate West African and Afro-Caribbean culture? I would have expected los mexicanos to use a more Aztec inspired mysticism to support El Tri.

    Not that its going to matter.

  31. Jacob A. says:

    Blockbuster: Lame.

    Frank: Owned.

  32. Andy says:

    I think its embarrassing that an AMERICAN corporation is making money off Mexican soccer wishing injury to American athletes……the victims are the Mexican and American soccer fan

  33. huber2 says:

    Paging Frank. Please own your comments now that you have been exposed. Paging Frank.

  34. I’m not worried about our current squad, but the 1995 team is surely cursed based on this jersey…

  35. Julio says:

    Mexican’s are pathetic (not the country or people, but the MEX team fans) I can’t stand these guys. I hope we crush them specially this guy from Argentina talking smack. Vouso or something and the Brazilian Sinha, they are talking $hit yet they can’t make their Countries team so they go play for Mex. If they are so good, why are they not play for Arg. or Bra.?!?!?! But now they come talk smack to the US, what a bunch of scrubs.

  36. Josh says:

    Hey man, you do what it takes to win! I’m just wondering how Mexico will feel when the US beats them while the entire NY Rangers team is suddenly hospitalized with inexplicable injuries.

  37. Steve Cherundolo says:

    Damn, stop jabbing those pins in my voodoo dolls hip. Your killing me here.

  38. A. Ruiz says:

    “Here’s my confusion: When did Mexican culture appropriate West African and Afro-Caribbean culture? I would have expected los mexicanos to use a more Aztec inspired mysticism to support El Tri.”

    I dunno, theres been that influence since forever…well not forever, since the sizable presence of West African slaves arrived and assimilated into Mexican culture. It happened during the mestizaje of Mexico.
    I mean, the voodoo doll isn’t used that much, if at all traditionally….but theres definitely a culture of brujeria (witchcraft) all over Mexico that’s a mix of the traditions that make up Mexican culture (which is arguably just as much of an immigrant culture as the US, its just not part of the same national creation myth).
    But honestly this is not the doing of Mexican fans, just various private interests. Just a PR stunt aka trolling, if we ignore it…it will go away.
    But I guess, the last couple days Ives’ has done nothing but troll his own blog to get hits, like the the US vs Mexico banner contest and who is the biggest “villain” post. I guess Ives’ has to pay the bills somehow.

    Anyway, remember guys there’s no such things are “American” corporations anymore…..just “Multinational” ones. Their only allegiance is the bottom line and as I pointed out before…….El Tri is a much more “bankable” product than the USMNT even inside the US.
    But that’s not really Mexico’s fault either or ICE/INS either. Zing!

  39. Bob says:

    Hmmm, yes that does look like alexi lalas, well maybe that explains why he is a crappy GM ect ect. I really didn’t think that voodoo really worked, but now we all know.

  40. Scott A says:

    Ruiz, he’s just putting up posts about a big even which people obviously want to discuss.
    And although these corporations may be multinational, they’re still based in the US. And even though the Mexico team historically has had greater support than the US team, there’s no reason that won’t change, and it’s no reason to not hold companies accountable for their actions. They all respond to pissed off people…look what Radioshack did

    On that note, here’s Blockbuster’s contact us page. They’d think twice about it if they got enough messages

  41. Soup Nazi says:

    Cancelling my Blockbuster Subscription. Not kidding. You want me to use my money to go against my team, No soup for you!

  42. inkedAG says:

    That totally looks like Lalas. And even has the same amount of brains!!

  43. Ted Tran says:

    Man you guys are lame. You cast blame on an entire nation on what an American company is doing? Stop being overly sensitive little girls and grow up already.

    Well I think its funny, come on a voodoo doll thats sad and funny.

    Also, I agree with the guy above, is Ives trolling is own blog? I guess the bad economy has also hit Ives.

  44. kemoslice says:

    1. Yes, Blockbuster are still in business, they do quite well in Mexico.

    2. + 3. It’s called a promo, and it’s usually done for fun. I know Americans don’t know what national coverage for soccer is, but you really need to take that huge twig from out your….

    Well, lets keep it friendly. You lot are really sounding silly over this promo.

  45. milkshake of despair says:

    @ inked AG, LOL.

    …..And almost as much soccer skills!

  46. Jacob A. says:

    The more time that passes, the more I find this laughable. It never bothered me, just kind of a “hey, they’ve sunk to this?” and that’s mostly gone, but it does seem like it would be rather embarassing to some fans.

  47. Luis Mex says:

    it´s for fun guys … don´t make it so huge …..

  48. Frank says:

    Wasn’t Rossi born in the US? And so was Edgar Castillo. Also Torres himself has said that he was awaiting a callup to the Mexican National Team but it never came so he took the advice of his teammates at Pachuca to accept the US callup.

  49. gofirego says:

    Just took a pair of scissors to my Blockbuster card and will renew my Netflix subscription.

  50. Tim F. says:

    I like how luis mex and kemoslice are all DONT BE SO SERIOUS. You know damn well if Blockbuster and Radioshack gave out voodoo dolls of the Mexican team in the USA, they would get in so much trouble and be called racists lol.

  51. Christian says:



    Caballero-8 caps
    Naelson-44 caps
    Vuoso-6 caps
    Franco-12 caps
    Ayala-1 cap
    Leandro- 2 caps

    Add it up and you get 73 caps, not to mention that Vuoso, Ayala, and Leandro have all been called in by Sven.

    Mastroeni alone has 62 caps. ’nuff said.

    Regarding the voodoo doll, it’s quite obvious that it’s a marketing gimmick by a Mexican newspaper and doesn’t the average Mexican fan practices black magic.

  52. Christian says:

    By the way, those were the only foreign born US players that I could think of.

    I’m sure there are more and Martha, my sincere apologies on the state of Guatemalan soccer. It’s a shame that you guys suck so much.

  53. Daniel F. says:

    As always, their ego will always be there downfall. They can take their voodoo dolls and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine.

  54. JIm says:

    I agree to an extent with the people calling out Martha C. They have passports, so who cares…besides the Mexican media, of course.

    But also, none of those people you name, Christian, came to the United States to play soccer; they came because their parents got green cards when the players were little kids.

  55. Seee says:

    thats some crazy stuff

  56. lprevolution says:

    3 – 0 USA


  57. Jacob A. says:

    Again, Christian…

    Name: Age when coming to America, Age at first Cap…

    Adu: 8, 16

    Stewart: Admittedly born and raised elsewhere, but his parents were Americans, thus he was American by birth, 22 (best I can tell)

    Thorrington: Same as Stewart, but in South Africa, 21

    Dooley: Born to American father, admittedly late to the party at 31

    Llamosa: Emigrated at the age of 21 to join his family, before we had a soccer league, 28

    Feilhaber: 6, 22 (Also turned down an offer from Austria to be naturalized in order to fight to earn a spot on the US side)

    Perez: 11, 21

    Holden: 10/11, I believe still waiting on his first cap due to injury

    Kinnear: 3, 21

    Cunningham: 14, Citizen at 15, Cap at 16

    Ramos: 11, 21

    Mastroeni: 4, 24

    Now the same for the Mexicans…

    Cabalerro: Moved at 24, Naturalized at 30, Capped at 30

    Naelson: Moved at 19, Naturalized later (cant find when), Capped at 28

    Vuoso: Moved at 22 (After time in the Argentine league and the EPL), Naturalized apparently during the Sanchez coaching era, First cap at 26

    Franco: Moved at 26 (After six years in the Argentine league), Naturalized that year, can’t find exactly when his first cap was, but it was obviously after that

    Ayala: Moved at 21, First cap at 30. Never played in any other league.

    Augusto: Moved at 24 (Time in Brazillian league), First cap at age 30.

    Sorry for the length, but the point is, it’s not quite the same thing here…

  58. Bluecat82 says:

    You know, I really, really thought they’d make them to look like Cobi Jones…

  59. ThaDeuce says:

    I feel bad for Alexi, he is going to be extremely sore on Wednesday. However, Donovan, Dempsey, and Beasley will be just fine scoring hat tricks. Lets go U.S.A.!!!

    This is embarrassing for MNT, and hopefully the U.S.A. won’t resort to such tactics. I am, however, waiting for a U.S. company to try to cash in on this. However, soccer is not as popular here as it is there so we will probably just come with our SBI BANNER!!!

    GO USA

  60. Jonathan says:

    This is not so different when “fans” wished injury on Rossi and Subotic.

  61. 8bitjeff says:

    I don’t get why the Mexican team hates the new York Rangers. I didn’t even think they played ice hockey.

  62. chupacabra says:

    I’m sure some retailer has a bunch of surplus Mr. Hankey dolls that we could transform into Mexican team voodoo dolls.

  63. Joey L. says:

    Poor poor fan spirit. Really not how supporting your team should work.

  64. Christian says:

    Not sure why my last comment wasn’t published but here it goes again.

    Dooley has over 80 caps for the US and the guy didn’t even step foot on US soil until right before the 94 WC when he was discovered by USSF, he was 24 years old at the time. I won’t even mention the David Regis saga.

    I’m just pointing this out to people like Martha who are upset about Luciano Emilio turning down here native Honduras.

    It’s ridiculous to point out such things as foreign born players when it’s just a sign of globalization.

    “pot meet kettle”

  65. Ghost in the Machine says:

    I’m getting my hands on one of those dolls, inserting a D cell battery and when I visit Azteca later this summer,.. chucking the thing directly at whoever is taking corners for El Tri.

    Good luck putos!

  66. Scott A says:

    Christian, people aren’t arguing that countries shouldn’t call up nationalized players; both the U.S. and Mexico have done it. Calling players into the national team when they only recently have lived in that country is an admission of weakness in certain areas of the team. The point that you’re ignoring is that nearly all of the U.S. examples you gave are players from before this era, while the Mexico players are still very much active. It’s an interesting change in trends……and one you better bet U.S. fans are going to rip into Mexico fans about

  67. Christian says:


    Most of the players I mentioned are from the last 10-15 years.

    Leandro, Vuoso and Ayala have all been called in by Sven over the past 6 months and between them they have less than 10 caps.

    Only three were called in for the US – Mexico game.

    David Regis became a citizen weeks before the 98 WC. That was only 10 years ago.

    Don’t sugarcoat it. I don’t mind the ribbing but at least let’s be realistic about the situation.

  68. Christian says:

    Ayala, Leandro, and Zinha have all been in Mexico for at least 10 years. Franco lives in Monterrey in the offseason. Vuoso is the relative newcomer having only lived in Mexico for 5 years.

    David Regis lived in the US for how long before he was capped by the US?

    It’s extremely hypocritical of US fans to bring such things up but then again most of the US fans around here weren’t around 5 years ago, let alone 10.

  69. Jacob A. says:

    Most American players weren’t around until right before the 94 wc. You had the players, and still do, you just think they’re of the quality needed. Again, it’s a different beast. You say “pot meet kettle”, I say “Apple meet Orange”

  70. Scott A says:

    Christiannnnn you’re dancing around the one point I was trying to make. Nearly all of the names you mentioned from the U.S. are inactive and from more than 10 years ago. I know that’s not an eon, but I’m trying to say that the U.S. program doesn’t really do it anymore and the Mexican program has just started. There were some pretty silly citizenship sagas for the U.S. team in the ’90s, but this isn’t the ’90s anymore. Our squad is currently a lot more homegrown than yours. But ya know, I feel bad giving you such a hard time, your February 12th is gonna be such a crappy day 😉

  71. Scott A says:

    Oh, and as for your suggestion that some of these recent US Nats fans are fairweather or recent….I was rooting for the US with my heart in my throat when I was in kindergarten

  72. Christian says:

    LOL no worries Scott.

    Hopefully we’ll see a good game on wednesday but I have a feeling we’ll get a dull 1-1 or 2-1 match.

  73. doug says:

    mexican nat teams fans have to be some of the most ill informed fans on the planet. it is a joy listening to the BS that comes out of their mouths, and what is even funnier . . . they are dumb enough to actually believe it.

    just as an FYI, a person born in the USA is an american . . . just as american as anyone else.

  74. D-Real says:

    I might be in the minority, but I don’t mind this at all. Yeah, it’s pretty funny to me, but I don’t find it offensive enough to do something like boycott Blockbuster (I’m sure the current economic climate, downloading, and netflix will put them under soon enough).

    I kind of look at this as a long running saga. I’ve had people that I flat out know don’t like football ask me if this is real or not.

    The word is getting out. The more the word gets out, the more people watch the game, and the more heated the rivalry gets. The more people that watch, the better the chance that I can have a chance to commute to a World Cup game in my lifetime, rather than settling for stumbling into pubs or screaming at TVs at two in the morning.

    I like the big picture.

  75. Dan says:

    Funny how you guys take it seriously.

  76. Mexico #1 says:

    EL TRI 1 US 0 y sin el muñequito!!!

  77. Shaun says:

    Just submitted to Blockbuster comments:

    I understand that Blockbuster is running a promotion in Mexico to support the Mexican National football (soccer) team in its upcoming important World Cup Qualifying match against the United States. Apparently, you are providing voodoo dolls of US team players and encouraging Mexican fans to stick pins in them where the fans want to injure them. It is really hard to believe that a US based company would do something this stupid and offensive to fans of the US National Team. Can you imagine a US company running a promotion that gave people in other countries the opportunity to get Michael Phelps/drowning, Shawn Johnson/break your leg, or a Kobe Bryant/break your arm voo doo doll leading up to the Olympics? You should have known better after this same promotion backfired on Radio Shack several weeks ago. The only reason that this is not all over the national press is because soccer does not get the coverage that it should in the US. Fortunately, US soccer fans stick together and have a strong network. You owe the US National Team and its fans a huge apology. I hope that your promotion backfires and that you lose as bad the Mexican team will in this week’s important game. I, for one, will do my part — as I am swearing off Blockbuster forever and looking into Netflix for the first time, and I will be forwarding this short rant to enough people to make a difference.

  78. rednow.red4ever says:

    After all that Christian fails to mention how almost all of the Americans he mentioned are retired from International football. I’ll give you it was an immigrant team in that past, but you’re a joke if you don’t see the difference now.

    Plus he didn’t mention the fact that the Castillo was born in the U.S. and is playing for Mexico…don’t see that on the other side.