As any Orlando City fan can attest, one of the most absolutely enraging aspects of the team’s inaugural MLS season was the frequency with which the Lions collected red cards. If redcards were baseball cards, Orlando City would be the envy of the card collecting world. Naturally, none of these cards were deserved because everyone knows that PRO Referees are part of a galactic cabal of fun-exterminating monsters bent on making everyone in Orlando ignore soccer and go back to waiting in theme park lines for eons.
We’re here to provide the team with five strategies to thwart those officials’ dastardly deeds.
Strategy 1: Misdirection: President Phil Rawlins should send in the equipment managers to swap out the uniforms of the opposing team just before the players get into the locker rooms. He could pass it off as Opposite Day. When they complain that this isn’t actually Opposite Day, explain that Mayor Dyer has declared any Orlando City game day as Opposite Day in Orlando. This would absolutely work because we all know that referees have been conditioned to instantly jerk cards out at the sight of the color purple.
Strategy 2: Intimidation: Advise referees upon arrival that the Citrus Bowl has a dungeon staffed by Purple People Eaters that have been starved for the tasty morsels of people that possess whistles. A Wikipedia article can be created to this end that elaborates on the dietary requirements of Purple People Eaters and how they look upon whistle-equipped authority figures as a delicacy. Bonus: The Iron Lion Firm and Ruckus already look the part.
Strategy 3: Substitution: Form an Orlando City Referee Academy and staff it with Orlando City Bloggers. All games will be officiated by academy members. We will be happy to call the game fairly as we have a combined soccer experience of 4324 years. We also understand that like the Force, balance must be maintained in MLS which is why we will distribute 1.5 redcards a game to anyone not on Orlando City’s roster.
Strategy 4: Affection: Assign a robot disguised as a giant teddy bear to every official on the field, if the official reaches for a card in reference to a vicious slide-tackle by a cherubic Lions player, the robot bear will immediately give the official a bear hug to show how much they are loved. If they continue to reach for the card, the robot is to continue the hug, only more intensely to show just how much we love that official, even if we have to love them … to death.
Strategy 5: Conversion: Kaka and Collin can take all the PRO referees on a tour of Central Florida showcasing the wonderful place that is Orlando. They will highlight the attractions, the proximity to beaches, wonderful weather and if none of these City Beautiful features persuade our guests to see the light about the Lions, we can also show them some sinkholes. Deep. Sinkholes. With alligators.
There you have it, five totally legitimate, ethically and legally sound ideas to fix Orlando City’s red card predicament.