Live sporting events are great, not just for the suspense and drama, but for those random moments that provide the basis of jokes that we’ll be making for the rest of our lives. Or for the next few hours. Despite its 0-0 final score, today’s UEFA Champions League first leg between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderón gave us one of those moments.
Atléti forward Mario Mandžukić spent much of his evening on the ground, curled up in a fetal position, because this is what happens when you get repeatedly bludgeoned by the opposition. This particular bludgeoning occurred at the hands (or elbow, really) of Madrid defender Sergio Ramos. Shocking, I know, but that’s also how we ended up staring at Mandzukic’s lower back.
But what exactly were we looking at?
Thanks to the powers of the internet, we quickly solved the mystery. Here’s what we learned about Mandžukić’s tattoo minutes after the tweet went out:
1. @levomer0 was the first to respond:
2. The Sports Rabbi (Joshua Halickman, @thesportsrabbi) jumped in providing the Hebrew:
My Hebrew is limited. Google Translate’s is probably limited, too. But I popped it in anyway. Here’s the Google Translate translation: “What does not kill me – strengthens signal.”
Strengthens signal? What in the hell is that? Anyway, close enough. Progress was happening.
3. @UEFAcomBoaz then pointed us to one of his earlier tweets:
We were in good shape, it seemed.
4. Until another tweet came in from @WeAreMaccabi:
Uh oh. A bad translation? And written backwards? Ah, yes, “mirror writing.” Oh no, Mario.
5. And then we remembered an earlier tweet from the Sports Rabbi:
And the follow up by @levomer0:
Wait. Does Mandžukić have a tattoo on his lower back that’s spelled incorrectly/backwards. It’s possible. At least that’s what our Twitter Investigative Unit has revealed.
What a lovely example of social media and technology bringing people together to ultimately make fun of someone who just got elbowed in the face.