Tag Archives: commercials

Bill, I didn’t really enjoy the Super Bowl this year

Dear Bill Simmons:

Did you watch the Super Bowl? Of course you watched the Super Bowl, you’re the Sports Guy, you kind of have to watch the Super Bowl. But did you like it? I didn’t really like it. I think it’s generally acknowledged that the game was boring, an uneven slugfest. Peyton didn’t have any time. The Seahawks defense was too good. Blah, blah, blah, these are all just generic Super Bowl bites that I’m rehashing almost directly from Grantland anyway.


I stole this image from Grantland too. Sorry Bill. I’ll make it up to you once I’m one of your full-time employees.

But aside from the game, did you like the Super Bowl? Like, you’ve made a career out of following sports, writing about sports, so in many ways, this event is like the peak of everything that professional sports strives to be. Or, American professional sports anyway. Because the NFL is pure America, or it strives to be anyway. It more or less exists within the confines of the United States, and judging from the spectacle that was Sunday’s Super Bowl, it’s not a comfortable fit either.

Look at the NFL, and look at NASCAR, its racecar cousin. They’re both basically the same thing. They’re these giant sports that, for the most part, are totally inaccessible to the average American. Anybody can grab a basketball and head to the park for a little pickup, and it’s the same for baseball and soccer. But tackle football? The Daytona 500? You can’t go out and join a pit crew.

I guess you could join a pit crew. But you’d have to make it your job, like that would have to be your whole life. And so, unless you’re committed to climbing that ladder, unless you somehow find a way to coach or play football at some sort of a professional level, you’re really left with whatever the NFL or NASCAR decides to give you.

And, just like most of the writers at Grantland have been pointing out all season, they’re giving us these shows. The NFL has perfected football as an event, as sports entertainment. It’s big, it’s loud, and it’s got something for everyone.

Maybe it would have been OK if there were an actual football game to watch. But the one-sided assault that was Sunday night’s game brought into stark relief what a bunch of nonsense the Super Bowl is as a national event.

Commercials? Like, you have these increasingly rare moments when a large portion of the country turns its attention to the same thing at the same time, and the best we can do is a bunch of advertisements? I don’t care how entertaining you think you’re being trying to sell me Coca-Cola of Bud Light, it’s still a billboard, something that, if I were watching a regular TV show, something that I recorded on my DVR, I’d gladly skip over, one hundred percent of the time.

And I think about other sports, the finals in hockey, baseball, basketball, regardless of how we watch them on TV or follow them on the Internet, it’s all mostly centered around actual sports, fighting for the championship in front of actual fans. Maybe it’s just a natural consequence of the stop-and-go nature of professional football, and yeah, there were plenty of fans visiting New York from Seattle and Denver, but the whole event just felt fake, totally inauthentic. I was more interested in reading about the throngs of out-of-towners getting stuck for hours at some train station in Secaucus than I was in the actual game.

I don’t want to be a downer. But it was just really lame. The commercials were really lame. Yeah it was cool seeing Seinfeld and George act like Seinfeld and George, but was it really that funny? Was that cute puppy and horse Budweiser ad worth me tuning into Channel 5 rather than just clicking play on my computer?

I don’t know. Maybe if the Giants were playing I would have been a little more pumped.

Hey Bill, can I still have a job at Grantland? Please?



Every kiss begins with Kay

It was sometime around Mother’s Day, I was watching TV and this commercial for Kay Jewelers came on. I thought to myself, damn it, I hate these stupid commercials, some lame ass jewelry store trying to pollute our minds, convincing us that we need to drape ourselves in shiny rocks, fork it over buddy, it’s time to go jewelry shopping for your wife. And I was about to turn off the TV, but I stopped myself. This commercial, it was powerful. It changed my mind, about jewelry, about jewelry stores, about family, about everything.

The commercial started out with some dude walking over to this little girl sitting by herself on a swing set. She looked really pissed off. My immediate reaction was, hey dad, why are you going to give this girl jewelry? She’s just sitting there moping, pouting. You come over and you give her a necklace, you’re going to reinforce that behavior, all she’s going to learn is that every time she wants something shiny in life, all she has to do is sit in the corner and look angry.

kay mothers day

But then he started talking and we find out that this guy, he’s not the little girl’s dad. He says something to the effect of, “Listen, I know that this past year’s been really tough on you, but I love your mom, and I love you, so here, I wanted to give you this necklace.” And the little girl immediately brightened up, and she said, “It’s just like Mommy’s!”

And it was just like Mommy’s. They cut to the mom, she was standing like five feet away, and she smiled, she looked down at her chest, so did the camera. It was true, the necklaces matched. She was smiling. The little girl was smiling. She hugged the guy and then he started smiling too. I caught my reflection in the mirror and, look at that, I was even smiling. I couldn’t believe it, me, sitting here having an emotional response to a Kay Jewelers commercial.

But then I got sad. I realized that this commercial wasn’t speaking to me. I’m already married. I don’t have any daughters, let alone an adopted stepdaughter. Why are you doing this to me, Kay Jewelers? It’s like you’re just creating this little narrative to sell necklaces while simultaneously rubbing it in my face, reminding me that all of this genuine joy being felt by the people on TV is something that I’ll never get to experience.

I wanted a divorce. I wanted to get out there and hit the dating scene, looking for single moms raising young daughters. After a few dates, we’d hit it off, we’d have to hit it off, and she’d bring me home to meet the kid. I’d have to be just standoffish enough to make the little girl initially reject my presence, but with enough reserved charm that I could then go to the Kay Jewelers kiosk in the mall and win her over by reenacting as best I could that scene from the commercial.

Would the little girl’s dad still be in the picture? I can only hope so. Nothing would please me more than sticking it to this deadbeat nobody. Hey pal, guess what? I’m in the picture. I bought your daughter and your ex-wife matching Kay Jewelry necklaces. Yup, exactly, the ones from the Mother’s Day commercial on TV. What’s that? You don’t want your little girl calling me dad? Too bad, because I’m moving in. Yeah, I talked my way into having my name put on the deed to the house. Sorry, I know you only get to see your princess once every two weeks, that’s a pretty shitty custody agreement. And what are you going to do if I’m a little late in dropping her off, huh? You want us to file a restraining order? Do you?

But wait a second, I’m picturing my current wife, right after I divorce her, she’s going to call me up, “Rob! You asshole! I can’t believe you left me! And I’m pregnant!” Shit, I hadn’t anticipated that. In my quest to find my own single mom, I’ll have created another single mom in the process. And what if some other guy swoops in and steals my own daughter away with his own matching Kay Jewelry mom-and-daughter necklaces?

Goddamn it Kay! Why do you have to be so specific? It’s good to have a target demographic and everything, but I feel like you’re just playing games with us consumers. Give me something that I can relate to. Make a commercial about a guy that was supposed to fold all of the laundry while his wife was at work, but right as she walks in the door, he looks to the pile of clothes and says to himself, shit, the laundry, she’s going to kill me. So right as she’s putting her stuff down and hanging up her coat, the guy goes onto his computer and navigates to Kay’s web site. There’s a big, “I’m fucked” button that he clicks on, and when his wife walks in the room, he’s like, “Look honey, I bought you this beautiful ‘I’m sorry I didn’t fold the laundry’ bracelet.” It’ll be all shiny and diamondy and everything. And then she’ll give him a big kiss, right as they play that jingle, “Every kiss begins with Kay.”