Over their nine-year run in Chicago, the Matadors made a large mark on the city’s sports landscape. But sadly last week it was announced that the powers that be in the Bulls organization agree with Chet Coppock’s 2009 book: Fat Guys Shouldn’t Be Dancin’ at Halftime.
Beginning with 14 men and a dream, the Matadors had their ups and downs over the years. They’ve traveled the world representing Chicago. They’ve appeared on Regis & Kelly, The Sharon Osborn Show, and America’s Got Talent. One went on to be win “The Biggest Loser,” while two others have even gone on to write for a well-respected Chicago Sports Satire Website.
“The Matadors were brought in to provide entertainment when the team sucked,” said long time United Center Beer Man, Jimmy Longnamski about the Bull’s teams of the early aughts. “The team don’t suck no more, so I guess they weren’t needed.”
The past three years the Bulls were 27-2 when the Matadors danced, including 8-0 in 2012, a stat that many on the team believed helped their cause to stay another year. But it wasn’t meant to be.
Unfortunately, their last performance will probably not be remembered for their KISS full-face make-up or the way they shook us all night long, because their last dance took place the same night Derrick Rose injured his ACL.
“What makes me sad is no one will remember the night we walked of the court for the last time because that night was all about somebody else limping off the court,” said team captain, Vince LiFonti. “We just wanted to go out on our own terms, one more time doing what we did best … like Kerry Wood.”
The Matadors are survived on the United Center sidelines by the Luvabulls, Bullskidz, IncrediBulls, Benny the Bull, Bucket Boys, Stampede, and the Swinging Seniors, whom many thought would be the first to go, either due to a decision by Bulls’ management or natural causes.