SBD/July 1, 2014/People and Pop Culture

U.S. Soccer Fan Dressed As Teddy Roosevelt Rises To Fame As World Cup Continues

D'Amico quickly rose to fame during the U.S.-Portugal group stage game
U.S. soccer fan MIKE D'AMICO, who resembles U.S. President TEDDY ROOSEVELT, is "shooting to fame as Teddy Goalsevelt, the USA's unofficial World Cup mascot," according to Paolo Bandini of the GUARDIAN. TV cameras "picked him out" celebrating a goal in the U.S.' group stage game against Portugal, and "suddenly everything went crazy." Dressed "from head to toe" as Roosevelt, D’Amico "became a viral sensation." He went on to "appear everywhere" over the next few days, from ESPN to ABC's "GMA." TBS' CONAN O'BRIEN "referenced Teddy Goalsevelt in a joke on his evening talk show," and the Wall Street Journal "put D’Amico’s face on their front cover." D’Amico was "hardly the only fan in costume" against Portugal, as other supporters dressed up as U.S. Gen. GEORGE PATTON, Captain America and "plenty more former presidents besides Roosevelt." Bandini writes D'Amico's outfit is an "excellent costume -- one made all the better by the fact that D’Amico does look like Roosevelt, with the same ruddy cheeks and square jaw." But he "still struggles to understand what all the fuss is about." D'Amico: “I don’t find Teddy Goalsevelt that interesting. I’m glad America does” (GUARDIAN, 7/1). D'Amico said, "When ESPN cut to me, I guess the excitement I was showing was what everyone else in America was feeling.” In N.Y., Mike Lupica noted D'Amico works for Chicago-based ad agency Calvary, and "all it took was a television camera on him ... to turn him into a bit of a star." It also has "kept him in Brazil," as his agency "raised money to keep him there." McDonald’s also "kicked in a little more," so D’Amico "will sure be there" for today's game against Belgium. D'Amico: “I’m just this guy who happened to be in the right place at the right time with about 20 million people watching. But in kind of an amazing way, you could say the same thing about our team, right?” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/30).

MORE FANS JUMPING ON THE BANDWAGON: Today's U.S.-Belgium match was previewed on "CBS This Morning," and CBS' Vinita Nair noted as "more die-hard fans are born with each match, soccer lovers around the world are taking notice." MLS Commissioner DON GARBER said, "This is a special moment for this sport, and you've got to seize those moments and you really have to hop on this while you can, because you never know when this moment's going to come back." CBS' Gayle King said former U.S. men's national team D OGUCHI ONYEWU noted "everybody gets all whipped every four years, and he hopes that it sustains this time" ("CBS This Morning," 7/1).
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