New York City FC is delighted to announce the adoption of a local pigeon named Theodore.
The Club has implemented a training program for the bird and he will now have matchday duties. He will participate in pregame rituals such as the coin toss and starting XI photo, as well establish new ones like flying laps around the stadium similar to Benfica, Crystal Palace, and Lazio's resident birds. There will be opportunities to take photos with the pigeon on a normal gameday, giving fans the chance to meet NYCFC’s newest member.
One lucky fan per match will even get the opportunity to send a message to the players delivered by Theo before kickoff.
According to local pigeon keeper Andrew Quirk, Theo was born on a broken window air conditioner in an abandoned building in the Brooklyn. He was the youngest and smallest of the squabs in his flock and was quickly neglected by his parents.
Forced to scavenge on his own, he grew up quickly, fending for himself and finding his way in the world. Unfortunately, a scuffle with a local rat left him badly bloodied and clinging to life.
That’s when NYCFC stepped in.
The front office heard about the attack after a trip to the Empire State Building with midfielder Tommy McNamara and made it their mission to rehabilitate the maimed pigeon.
Now fully healed, the Club has made it clear of their intentions to improve life for the native New Yorker and others like him.
NYCFC president Jon Patricof, inspired by last year’s incident with the LA Galaxy at Yankee Stadium, led the charge to aid the afflicted pigeon. “We felt like this was a great opportunity for NYCFC to get involved in the local community and wildlife,” Patricof told NYCFC.com. “Theo will become a wonderful ambassador for the Club and fans should be excited for what this means for our future.”
The word “pigeon” is derived from the Latin word “pipio”, which means “young bird”. The word then passed into Old French as “pijon” and thus the English name “pigeon” was derived, which is now used the world over as a common name for the rock dove.
In 2004 British and American ornithologists officially renamed the bird the “rock pigeon”.
Brazil legend Ronaldinho and former boxer Mike Tyson have publicly expressed interest in becoming season ticket holders in support of this announcement.
As part of this announcement, NYCFC will be looking to hire a Chief Pigeon Handler. Details on how to become the Club's first CPH can be found here.
Visit the Wild Bird Fund website to learn more about caring for injured birds and how to help the NYC wildlife community.
The Wild Bird Fund is a state and federally licensed 501(c)(3) that rehabilitates over 3000 sick, injured or orphaned wildlife and releases them back to the wilds of New York City.