Olympic Advertising…

Regular readers know that at the end of every year, I do a rant on the Bad Ads that one must endure if one watches a lot of sports on TV. Not to worry, I have no intention to increase the frequency of those rants. However, the ads by Chevrolet on the Olympics need commentary because they are abjectly stupid.

    In one ad, a guy is driving three friends somewhere and the friends are zoned out zombies singing along to the music on his sound system. Let me be kind and say they are not exactly “The Three Tenors”. Then he turns down the sound to tell them about the technology of the car engine. They ignore him and turn back the music. So, how does that makes me want to buy that car – - one that turns my friends into bad singing zombies and me into a techno-geek?

    In another, some guy is at a neighborhood party with his Chevy truck parked in the driveway. A neighbor asks him what he does. The guy stands there with a vacant look on his face while his mind wanders to all the things he does after his truck has driven him to the venue. Then, he just shrugs his shoulders. The message is if you buy this truck, your IQ will drop down to the level where you are barely phototropic.

    In another, Chevy brags that they had their best year ever last year. Sadly, these ads are running in the same quarter this year where GM announced a 41% decline in revenue compared to last year. Oh well, minor detail there…

Nonetheless, I will forgive Chevrolet for all that stupidity just because they do run one ad occasionally which lets me hear Ray Charles do the first few bars of America The Beautiful. It really is hard to say anything snarky about an ad with that as the background music – - especially since the ad producer had the good sense not to allow the zoned out singing zombies to do a voice-over there.

According to reports, one of the Penn State Trustees plans to file a Federal lawsuit against the NCAA regarding the sanctions leveled against Penn State football. From the reports I have read, a central part of that pleading is that the NCAA did not allow due process in its considerations and did not even follow its own rules. This one is far too complex for me to analyze in a legal sense but when I wrote about The Freeh Report here, I said then that the report was the result of an investigation which:

    Lacked subpoena power so all it had was what it was shown

    Did not have any informants under oath

    Did not subject – or threaten – any informants with cross-examination.

If all of that adds up to a lack of due process, then maybe the trustee has a point. With regard to the NCAA not following its own rules, I must say that they reached a conclusion and handed down a decision in no time flat. Consider that the NCAA is still investigating the happenings at the University of Miami where a convicted felon claims he was given access to the team on the sidelines because he paid the players under the table. That NCAA process has gone on for at least a year now – and maybe two.

José Canseco is my “gift that keeps on giving”. The Penn State football mess is becoming “the mess that will not go away”.

One quick aside with regard to the Penn State football mess… Oftentimes, you hear that the cover-up is even worse than the crime. Usually, that comes when talking about some political scandal but the NCAA demonstrated the validity of that adage here. Consider:

    Joe Paterno vacated about 110 wins

    Jerry Sandusky vacated about a dozen wins.

Arthur Blank – owner of the Atlanta Falcons and one of the founders of Home Depot – wants a new stadium for his team in Atlanta. Naturally, he wants the good citizens of Georgia to foot the bill for that stadium and some of the politicians there are pushing back a bit. Here is a suggested negotiating ploy for those politicos:

    If the taxpayers pay to build the stadium, all of the tools and materials needed to build the stadium will be purchased at Lowe’s.

The Seahawks did indeed sign Terrell Owens to play WR in Seattle this year. Looking at the Seahawks’ roster, their WR cadre is a bit thin – - manned by the likes of Doug Baldwin, Braylon Edwards, Sidney Rice (not completely healthy) and Golden Tate. It would be shocking if T.O. could not crack that line-up. The question is how he will deal with a QB cadre in Seattle that consists of Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson, Russell Wilson and Josh Portis. Recall, that T.O. has had significant problems dealing with QBs far more accomplished than that quartet such as Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo. It should be interesting…

Last year, Ron Pitts and Jim Mora, Jr. were one of the low level announcing teams for FOX. They got the worst games of the week that FOX was contractually obligated to put on the air; and as an announcing team, they lived down to the level of the competition. Jim Mora, Jr. is now the head coach at UCLA so FOX needed a replacement. I read last week that they hired Mike Martz as Ron Pitts’ color analyst. From that, I draw two conclusions:

    1. In terms of quality, FOX has just taken “The Great Leap Sideways”.

    2. Someone high up at FOX Sports must not like Ron Pitts even a little bit.

Finally, since I started this rant with commentary on Olympic advertising, let me close with an observation by Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot regarding some Olympic commentary:

“Horrors: During these Olympics, I’ve been reading that the rest of the world is catching up to the U.S. in swimming. I can’t tell you how much sleep I’ve lost over this.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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  • Steve  On August 8, 2012 at 10:19 am

    In regard to the Penn State football mess, I wonder how much patience the PSU faithful will have for new coach Bill O’Brien when he starts intoning:

    “Hey, I inherited this mess.”

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On August 9, 2012 at 9:14 am


      I do not know ho long they will put up with that but I think they are going to get a chance to hear it – - or at least to experience a period of Penn State football where a coach would be tempted to trot out that explanation for the miserable record. The coach has a 9-year contract because he got an automatic extension of 4 years over the duration of his 5-year deal when the NCAA put 4 years of sanctions on the Penn State program. I suspect we will hear that tune played at least once in 9 years…

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