Angry about Paddy Power cutting down rainforest in Brazil? Don’t be.


If you were on Twitter yesterday, suffering through England’s dull goalless draw with Honduras and wishing you could fast-forward to the start of the U.S. match with Nigeria, you may have seen a photo that enraged you.

Ok, it’s Twitter. You probably saw more than one message/comment/photo that got your blood boiling. But this tweet, in particular, had many outraged:

It appeared as though Paddy Power, a UK-based betting company, had gone to Brazil and selectively chopped down a bunch of trees, then flown overhead to capture their special message. Then, as if that weren’t enough, Paddy Power had actually bragged about this deforestation, posting about it on social media.

The stunt was a step too far for a generation brought up hearing about the horrors rainforest deforestation could and would inflict on the world. “Idiotic,” “horrible,” and “disgraceful” were some of the more, shall we say, family-friendly responses to the tweeted image.

But, as Paddy Power revealed on Sunday morning, it was all a hoax. A very well-planned, well-delivered hoax. The company used some nifty computer graphics to create an extremely realistic view of what appeared to be the Brazilian rainforest outside Manaus. They then tweeted the photo in hopes of attracting attention to the continued degradation of the Amazon.

Let’s hope it worked. According to Greenpeace, an area the size of 122 soccer fields is chopped down every 90 minutes. Paddy Power has included this information in their followup explanation tweet and blog post, and they’re encouraging fans to visit Greenpeace to get involved.

Good on them. With four days left before the World Cup kicks off, there’s no reason fans can’t drag their attention away from injury reports and betting odds to take a few minutes to educate themselves about the country in which the tournament takes place. After all, everyone’s going to need something to talk about should England prove as dire in Brazil as they did against Honduras.

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 1-2 Real Salt Lake

SANDY UT - MARCH 14: Olmes Garcia #13 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his goal during their game against the Philadelphia Union at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake stays alive in the hunt for a playoff berth in the Western Conference with a crucial 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. After falling behind early, RSL scored twice before halftime and held onto the lead for the rest of the match, moving within three points of the final playoff spot in the West. Real Salt Lake has three matches remaining, including a massive clash against the Portland Timbers, which will pretty much decide their season. For Colorado, it’s another year without playoff soccer.

[ MORE: FC Dallas clinches playoff berth ]

Three moments that mattered

16′ — Doyle heads Colorado into the lead — The former Premier League man gave the home side an early lead, thanks to a powerful header from quite a bit out. Sean St. Ledger played in a cross, where Doyle snapped a header into the top corner past Nick Rimando.

33′ — Joao Plata bends in the free kick — Trailing 1-0, Joao Plata drew RSL level with a brilliant free kick. Plata’s shot dipped over the wall and under the crossbar, as Clint Irwin stood helpless in goal for Colorado.

43′ — Mulholland fires home a volley to put RSL ahead — Luke Mulholland scored his first goal of the season, and it was a beauty. A corner kick popped out to the midfielder at the top of the box, as he rifled a shot off the bounce and into the side netting.

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Man of the match: Luke Mulholland

Goalscorers: Doyle (16′), Plata (33′), Mulholland (43′)

Wenger lauds team spirit following Arsenal’s big win

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Arsenal put on a superb performance against Manchester United today, flying out to a three-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes of the match.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United ]

United was stunned by the fast-paced, free-flowing Arsenal attack, unable to recover from the Gunners’ early dominance.

All of this came on the heels of a disappointing loss to Olympiacos in the Champions League, after which many questioned manager Arsene Wenger and his side.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Arsenal’s win vs. Manchester United ]

Following the big 3-0 win at the Emirates, Wenger praised his team’s spirit, saying there were outstanding performances throughout the side.

You go from Petr Cech up to Theo Walcott, and we had only outstanding performances. Sometimes we have that magic side in our game.

[Against Olympiacos] maybe we lacked a little bit of urgency and discipline, and that’s why we lost the game. But let’s not forget, last Saturday we won 5-2 at Leicester. Today we beat Man United 3-0.

[The players] have shown that we have an outstanding spirit in the squad. To respond the way we did after what happened to us, you need to have an exceptional spirit.

The Gunners’ performance today immediately silenced all the critics, as Wenger’s side put out on a display that many have been waiting for all season. The combination play of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott was brilliant, as Santi Cazorla continued to impress in the center of the midfield.

Wenger’s teams have not always been known to show strong heart and resiliency, but that’s exactly what they showed today against a Manchester United side that was in great form. Now sitting second on the table, Arsenal continues to climb up the Premier League.