January 30, 2007

Super Bowl Ads You Won’t See

Print More

It is Tuesday of Super Bowl XLI week and everyone has already run out of things to say. Every possible story from every potential angle has already been sold, many of us know every interesting (or not) tidbit about every relevant player and Trey Wingo’s jaw is in danger of separating from the rest of his face due to overuse.

During the season, there are 16 games every week and most complaints are about too much coverage. For the Super Bowl, however, there is only one game, and all the coverage that had been divided among 32 teams is now focused on just two. We are exposed to 14 days of dead stories just so the NFL can build up hype and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning can design new awkward herky-jerky pre-snap head and arm movements to call his audibles.

However, there is one part of the Super Bowl that has yet to be devoured by the already overindulgent fans: the commercials. A good half of the 140 million viewers that will tune in on Sunday don’t care whether Manning can exorcise his demons or if Bears quarterback Rex Grossman can top his 0.0 passer rating from Week 17. Many will instead be watching primarily for the commercials … or perhaps to catch a glimpse of Prince’s nipple.

There are bound to be athletes, former athletes, coaches and announcers in these ads, and while we will likely be disappointed by the quality of this year’s commercials, here are a hopeful handful of sports-related commercials that I would like to see during this year’s Super Bowl.

Who better to endorse a product than Mike Tyson? Why not bring him back in an American Express commercial? It could simply contain various snapshots of his career — the ear bite, the sexual assault and rape trials, random interview controversies, cheap shots in the ring, etc. Enter Iron Mike with his famous high-pitched voice. “My life is a deranged mess of rage and misunderstanding; my card is American Express.” If nothing else, it would be great to hear that lisp say “express.”

MasterCard has had the same “priceless” advertisements for what seems like a decade. The campaign is very simple and surprisingly effective and since we can expect to see another one this year, hopefully it will look something like this familiar joke, variations of which have been circling the Internet for a while: “Mike Mussina: 19 million dollars … Jason Giambi: 20.4 million dollars … Alex Rodriguez: 25.6 million dollars … Bobby Abreu: 13.6 million dollars … Six years of 200-million dollar-failures by the Yankees — Priceless.”

Imagine the camera panning past all these players with their heads down in the dugout during New York’s final loss to Detroit in the 2006 Divisional Series coupled with random shots of Steinbrenner tirades — couldn’t get much better. I would apply for a MasterCard. Sorry Yankee fans, but if you feel betrayed, I am a Rockies fan so you can chant “19-never” any time you see me.

Remember the McDonald’s commercials where Michael Jordan and Larry Bird played H.O.R.S.E., each consistently making shots with varying degrees of difficulty? It worked well because, at that point, we believed that those two were capable of draining practically any shot on a basketball court. Why not replicate that with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer doing everything from throwing darts to splitting an atom? Truthfully, is there anything these two couldn’t do right now?

Is it too much to ask for Johnny Damon to regrow the beard and appear in a Geico commercial? I think not and I’ll have the roast duck with the mango salsa.

The real question is which former celebrity will give up on fame and make a self-parody Nationwide commercial that mocks his (or her) own downfall á la MC Hammer and Fabio. My vote is Britney Spears. I know she is not an athlete and, truth be told, it is her ex Kevin Federline that is actually slated to appear in the same commercial on Sunday. But just imagine how much better hers would be? It could start with her on stage from about 2001 in front of millions of screaming nine year-olds, producing best-selling records with Justin Timberlake right by her side. Next frame — a single shot of Britney dropping her baby with her crotch exposed and K-Fed stealing her purse. “Life comes at you fast.”

How about Jared from Subway looking extremely star-struck and awkwardly arguing “more meat/less fat” with any athlete, preferably San Diego Padres pitcher David Wells or former Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa? The Jared ads are the worst commercials on televisions, yet they keep me wanting more and wondering how long he can ride this D-list celebrity thing out.

Someone should hire Bode Miller for whatever product or technique he was using that — his Olympic bust notwithstanding — allowed him be so productive in life while consistently performing either drunk or hung-over. Seriously Bode, there are thousands of college kids who would kill for your secret.

And for the love of God, Reebok, please bring back Terry Tate, Office Linebacker. I am pretty sure you haven’t sold a shoe since you took him away from us.

Enjoy the Super Bowl, enjoy the commercials, but just remember, as Tate would say, “When it’s game time, it’s pain time!”