NBC’s Gareth Bale billboard replaced with ‘Don’t Call It Soccer’ art (but not why you think)

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

In the midst of any major transfer saga, journalists and amateur sleuths maintain constant, vigilant watch on the known universe in search of any sign of the player in question switching clubs. A picture in an airport, a new shirt prematurely put on sale or even a change in wind direction. Anything to find out a transfer has happened eight to nine seconds before it is officially announced and repeated by 800,000 news outlets.

So given the potentially record breaking size and tedious duration of the Gareth Bale to Real Madrid talks, the fact that not one, but two instances of his image disappearing in high profile places around the same time have been taken as virtual confirmation of his move to Spain being a done deal in certain quarters. And though Bale could become a Real Madrid player at any second now, Spurs' Twitter background and NBC's Times Square billboard have nothing to do will have nothing to do with it.

As part of NBC's impressive promotion of their new Premier League broadcast deal, they recently put up a large billboard featuring Bale in Times Square. Now, Bale is gone and a work from British artist D*Face that reads, "Don't call it soccer. It's football...just not as you know it," has replaced him.

Clearly this can only mean Gareth Bale is right now getting Real Madrid's crest tattooed on his sphincter. Except...it doesn't. As mentioned by the Sports Business Journal from July 22 and confirmed by NBC's public relations firm, the Bale image was always scheduled to be replaced by fresh art around this time.

"But what about Tottenham's Twitter background?!?!" asks Shakira (probably).

It went from featuring Bale and Clint Dempsey, who was just sold to Seattle, to Mousa Dembele and Aaron Lennon. Now this — without a doubt — means that Bale is getting kicked in the armpit by Pepe on Real Madrid's training ground at this very minute. Well, not quite. And apparently this assumption got Spurs' social media manager so annoyed that he decided to push out a couple of uncharacteristically testy tweets.

The lesson here? Relax. And that Gareth Bale will still probably go to Madrid regardless of billboards or freaking Twitter backgrounds.

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