Toe Poke Daily: Zlatan Ibrahimovic unveils The Simpsons as LA Galaxy 'reinforcements'
The Toe Poke Daily is here every day to bring you all the weirdest stories, quirkiest viral content and top trolling that the internet has to offer, all in one place.
It's the franchise crossover the entire world has been waiting for: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has finally joined forces with The Simpsons.
Apropos of nothing in particular, the Swedish striker shared a cartoon on social media of himself rendered in the Groening universe, alongside his new Galaxy teammates -- "reinforcements" Homer and Bart.
The goatee; the top-knot; the vague smirk... Illustrator Rino Russo (who seems to specialise in Simpsons-themed renderings) has really captured Ibra's essence.
Given that Galaxy are currently a whopping 17 points behind league leaders (and cross-city rivals) LAFC in the Western Conference table, it perhaps makes sense that they start bringing in the big-name reinforcements.
Of course, Ibra is not the first global football icon to rock up outside 742 Evergreen Terrace...
James Maddison slaps down Jeremy Clarkson
Despite pitching in with an assist for Wilfred Ndidi's equaliser, Maddison's performance at Stamford Bridge attracted scorn from no less than Jeremy Clarkson. The former "Top Gear" host, who is a Chelsea fan, took a pretty route one dig at the England under-21 international
James Maddison. Too long at the barber's. Not enough time practicing football.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) August 18, 2019
However, Clarkson was soon slapped down by the Foxes man, who found the mark with a delightfully prickly comeback.
Always nice to see old motormouth Clarkson get slapped down a peg or two. Lovely stuff.
Sheffield United have little time for Crystal Palace WiFi complaints
Ordinarily, the sight of two Premier League clubs enjoying a bit of lively back-and-forth over social media can be embarrassing enough to make your toes curl and set your teeth on edge.
Thankfully, newly-promoted Sheffield United have proven that their Twitter chops are elite tier during Sunday's game against Crystal Palace.
Announce working Wi-Fi— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 18, 2019
It began with Palace complaining about the state of the Wi-Fi at Bramall Lane and ended with the Blades consummately applying the punchline after watching their team muster a 1-0 win.
Glad to see you got the Wifi working....😉 https://t.co/n1nyuvjLVK— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) August 18, 2019
No faux-friendly banter, no twee GIFs -- just a good old-fashioned devastating one-liner, expertly delivered.
Just give the title to Sheffield United now and have done with it.
Union Berlin make big impact on Bundesliga debut
Union Berlin played their first ever match in the Bundesliga on Sunday, in the process also becoming the first club from the former East Berlin to play in Germany's top flight.
There were incredibly touching scenes in the terraces even before the kick-off at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei, where supporters held aloft 455 cardboard posters of loved ones who passed away before getting to see their beloved team play in the top flight.
With the club anthem playing over the loudspeakers, Union Berlin fans on all stands of the stadium lifted up 455 banners displaying the faces of supporters who had not lived to see the day of Union's first ever Bundesliga match. Fans had travelled to Berlin from all over the country to enable their loved ones to attend the match they had longed for all their life. The pictures were accompanied by the caption "Endlich Dabei" ("Finally There").
When announcing the attendance in the second half, stadium announcer Christian Arbeit added them to the attendance, making it a total of 22,467 fans following Union's first ever top-flight match.
An emotional evening for Union Berlin supporters, as past and present unite 🔴⚪ pic.twitter.com/WjukPci5qR— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) August 18, 2019
When the game final began, it did so with 15 minutes of deliberate silence as Union fans protested their opponents, RB Leipzig -- a club the Union ultras deem to be an artificially "marketing construct" that has "absolutely nothing to do with our idea of football."
Leipzig's crest did not appear in Union's official matchday program, where it was replaced by that of BSG Turbine Markranstadt, the team Austrian soft drink giant Red Bull bought the license from back in 2008.
However, things didn't quite go as planned. Just 57 seconds after the silent protest came to an end amid a mass cheer from the Union fans, Leipzig went and scored their first goal in what turned out to be a rather comprehensive 4-0 drubbing.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, people on the main stand, the only stand with seats, got up and joined the rest in cheering on Union Berlin, already down 4-0 at the time. They did not leave the stadium until 20 minutes after the final whistle and celebrated their team as it completed its lap of honour.
Union 0 RBL 4 pic.twitter.com/66kMbpe434— uersfeld (@uersfeld) August 18, 2019
"We'll go through spells where we won't win any points," captain Christopher Trimmel told reporters after the match. "We must remain calm. The fans will support us through the bad times too. That's what they told us already."
Union will now travel to Augsburg next Saturday as they seek to put their maiden Bundesliga points on the board.
Here's wishing them luck.
ESPN FC's Germany correspondent Stephan Uersfeld contributed to this report