The Colorado Rapids turned their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram temporarily over to the Caribous of Colorado, the NASL team that made Denver home in 1978, for part of the afternoon on Tuesday, April 1. The April Fool’s Day joke was that the Rapids would wear the “distinctive” Caribous jerseys, which feature leather fringe, for an upcoming match.
While the team certainly recognizes the important role that the Caribous hold in the history of pro soccer in Colorado, there aren’t actually plans to use the jerseys for a game.
“It shows what a different time we’re in now, with all the high-tech equipment and gear,” said Rapids captain Drew Moor. “I don’t think I could spend more than about 30 seconds in a match in that equipment.”
The photos of the players in the old Caribous uniforms were taken by club photographer Garrett Ellwood on Tuesday morning, and featured six Rapids: Deshorn Brown, Drew Moor, Brian Mullan, Dillon Powers, Vicente Sánchez, and Marvell Wynne.
As soon as the photos were finished – which took about 15 minutes – the players returned to business.
“That’s part of being a professional,” said Moor. “To have some fun and be able to joke around, that’s what a locker room environment is all about. We enjoyed it, but had our focus back on training as soon as it was over.”
The jerseys came to the Rapids from the Guercio Family, who own Caribou Ranch near Nederland, Colo., and were the owners of the Caribous of Colorado in their one season in NASL. They were generously lent to the Rapids for Tuesday’s prank, and the uniforms will be quickly returned to their owners.
“First class from the family,” said Moor, on being able to use the jerseys. “It’s part of the history of soccer in the state of Colorado, so it’s part of where we come from. We’re further down the road now, but for them to be involved and share in the joke with us was pretty cool.”
“It’s impressive that they’ve held onto those uniforms for so long,” said Dillon Powers, also photographed on Tuesday. “We owe a big thanks to them for letting us have a good laugh. But we know the NASL was extremely important, because it’s part of the foundation for soccer in this country. We wouldn’t be where we are today without those players, coaches, staff and owners.”
“As MLS players, we owe the NASL a lot for helping that soccer tradition here in this country,” added Moor. “Major League Soccer would not be where it is today without the NASL, without teams like the Caribous of Colorado. To be able to share in some of that tradition and history, albeit lighthearted, was fun for everybody that was involved.”
After the players took a brief moment of their time to snap a few photos, they quickly refocused on the task at hand and headed out to practice.