I was watching Sportscenter the other night and after they reported that the Chicago Bulls had lost to the Atlanta Hawks on a late rally by the Hawks, the team showed locker-room interviews with Dwayne Wade and Jimmy Butler of the Bulls. Both were calm and composed; there was no ranting. Nonetheless, what they said – and the directness with which they said it – indicates to me that the Bulls have a VERY serious “chemistry issue”. Let me paraphrase their comments and aggregate them here:
- Wade and Butler questioned the desire of some of their teammates and their commitment to winning.
- One of them – I do not recall which one – questioned teammates’ heart.
- They wondered why teammates had taken some unsuccessful shots late in the game with the game on the line.
This is not quite the same thing as LeBron or Kobe indicating that their team has problems that need resolution. In this case, the two best players on the team – unarguably – both made specific references to teammates and the commitment of those teammates to winning basketball games. If the coaching staff in Chicago can patch this back together, maybe we should send those guys to the Middle East to negotiate a peace deal in that region of the world. I think the Chicago Bulls are coming unglued…
Here is a scheduling alert for your Super Bowl party. For those of you who are determined to watch Lady Gaga and her halftime act/antics, you should be sure to be back from your potty-break when it comes time for the first advertisement of the 3rd quarter. For the first time in history, the ad will be live – not taped. Snickers has purchased the ad slot and here is something we know about this first-time event:
- Per adweek.com, the ad will feature actor, Adam Driver. Let me be clear, I do not know Adam Driver from Adam Walker or from Johnny Walker or from Johnny Football or from Squirt the Wonder Clam. Nevertheless, adweek.com thinks this is important information.
There is something else here that I do not understand. According to adweek.com, this 30-second ad will be preceded of a 36-hour livestream. Snickers is going to be streaming live content at SnickersLive.com from noon on the Thursday before the Super Bowl until midnight on Friday. Then, SnickersLive.com will do more streaming on game day before, during and after the game itself. So, perhaps the idea here is to do something that sounds so strange that it might tempt me to tune in to see what is going on. Well, if that were the case, then this next “clarification” from someone at Snickers doused my curiosity; the ad will be part of a:
“… fully integrated 360 campaign to reinforce the brand’s connection to hunger satisfaction before, during and after Super Bowl LI.”
I know the definition of every word in that phrase and yet the meaning and importance of the message delivered by that phrase completely escapes me. Oh, but it gets even better. Here is what the Snickers brand director told adweek.com:
“Every year we challenge ourselves to find new ways to satisfy our fans hunger for entertainment by delivering something new and breakthrough, and there is no better way than being the first to have a Super Bowl live ad.”
As is always the case with press notifications of this type, there has to be a parallel comment from the network that will be airing the ad and so we get to hear now from a FOX group vice-president:
“We’re excited to welcome Snickers back to the Super Bowl on Fox. As this first-ever live Super Bowl spot demonstrates, innovation in advertising comes as much from outstanding creative ideas as it does from technology.”
One more foreshadowing for the Super Bowl ads comes from adweek.com. Hyundai will not air a live ad, but will do the next best thing. Hyundai said that it will be taping its commercial during the game itself and that ad will air in the first ad slot after the final whistle of the game.
And you thought that the only excitement would be on the field in Houston. How silly…
Switching gears… We know that fans sometimes throw things onto the field of play. In Detroit, they throw octopuses on the ice during Stanley Cup Playoff games; in Europe, they throw flares onto soccer pitches; in Philly, they throw snowballs at Santa Claus. We also know that when a player leaves one team to go to a rival team, he is often greeted “less than warmly” when he returns to the venue where he used to play.
Leave it to the Aussies to add some creativity to such a situation. CBSSports.com reported that in a soccer game between Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers – a game known as the Sydney Derby – fans threw snakes at the Wanderers’ goalkeeper, Vedran Janjetovic. Why not? It was a big rivalry game and Janjetovic had had the audacity of leaving the Sydney FC team to play for the Western Sydney Wanderers. Clearly, that is an intolerable situation.
Just to be sure that Janjetovic got their message, the fans also chanted to him:
“You’re a snake! You’re a snake!”
The report did say, however, that they are “pretty sure” that these were toy snakes and not live ones. Nevertheless…
Finally, here is an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“U.S. ski star Lindsey Vonn — whose medical history already included two broken legs, three major knee injuries, a broken finger and a lacerated thumb — underwent surgery after breaking her right arm during a training spill in Colorado.
“Needless to say, she’s got a surefire gig in hand if Milton Bradley ever rolls out an updated version of ‘Operation.’”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………