On 2 November 1997, football featured on The Simpsons for the first--but not last--time.
That day's episode, titled "The Cartridge Family," centered on the problems created by Homer's purchase of a handgun. But it opened with the Simpson family attending a match between Mexico and Portugal, lured by the possibility of getting autographs from stars such as "Ariaga, Ariaga II, Bariaga, Aruglia, and Pizzoza!" There's also an appearance by Pelé, who receives a sack of cash for promoting Crestfield Wax Paper.
The Springfield crowd soon gets bored with the match (in contrast to the foreign announcer, based onAndrés Cantor, who loudly describes the action as the "center holds it! Holds it! HOLDS IT!") and erupts into violence. It starts when Lenny punches Principal Skinner, but turns into a full-blown riot when Groundskeeper Willie and his Scottish friends jump into the fray. After it spreads out of the stadium, Mayor Quimby declares mob rule, which results in Homer getting a gun.
Football returned to The Simpsons 10 years later with a guest appearance by Ronaldo.