The Auto Company As Public Entity
February 06, 2011
I realize that this two-minute Super Bowl spot is mostly Chrysler's attempt to use Detroit to brand itself and sell cars. But I think there's more to it -- a genuine attempt by the company to defend the city where it is based. As a native of the area I was actually a little moved watching this: Eminem is featured in the spot. I remember years ago, Ann Arbor native Bob Seger, who I believe did not do advertising, used his song "Like A Rock" in a truck commercial.
The Jets Go Hollywood
September 13, 2010
The Jets begin this season as a Super Bowl favorite. That in itself is unusual. But there is something even more unusual taking place, something that rarely happens in the world of sports: The team appears to be in the process of upending its identity as a secondary attraction in its own city. As a longtime Jets fan, I know this is supposed to make me thrilled. But the truth is, I feel a bit uneasy. Sportswriters commonly mischaracterize the identity of the Jets, labeling them perennial losers, disappointments, or underdogs. But this isn’t really accurate.
The Pathos Of The Soccer Fan
June 11, 2010
Daniel Gross writes the most sympathetic testimony I've seen from an American soccer fan. The usual American soccer manifesto consists of bluster about soccer as the sport of the future because lots of American children play it (the same logic would suggest apple juice is the drink of the future) or optimistic predictions about "huge" T.V.
The Kings and I
March 17, 2010
Like a lot of writers, I have a Facebook page where I post articles that I’ve published. Over the past year or two, I’ve accumulated a few hundred followers--that is, Facebook friends--and, based upon the comments they leave, they tend to see the world the same way that I do. They’re left of center, by and large, and they believe fervently in health care reform. If they have something negative to say, it’s typically that President Obama and his allies in Congress aren’t being ambitious enough.
The Who on ‘The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’
February 12, 2010
Of all the complaints hurled since Super Bowl Sunday at Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry for calling themselves The Who, doing a scary-uncle karaoke act to the music of their youth, and walking away with a hefty contribution to their overdue retirements, the one that baffles me most is the charge that they didn't belong there, that they are too old and irrelevant to deserve the most coveted slot on the most popular entertainment show in America.
I Pledge Allegiance to the What?
February 09, 2010
If you watched the Super Bowl on Sunday, you may have noticed a welcome interruption to the endless string of Bud Light and Doritos ads. Wedged between these paeans to beer and chips was a seemingly harmless commercial featuring cute elementary schoolers with their hands on the chests, pledging allegiance. But the ad soon turned a little darker: Instead of reciting the words that were drilled into all young children’s minds, they pledged their allegiance to the national debt and to China.
An Encore for New Orleans?
February 09, 2010
The Saints’ victory celebration continues today as Coach Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and his teammates get feted at the Saints Super Bowl parade in New Orleans. The Saints’ remarkable win Sunday has literally served as New Orleanians’ proud cry to the nation: We are back! But, did you know that last Saturday they also elected a new mayor? Lost in all of the euphoria is another pivotal moment for the city.
Super Bowl Commercial Blogging
February 07, 2010
Just saw an ad where these astronomers notice an asteroid that's going to destroy the earth, so they pull out some packs of Bud Light and start having a wild party. I get the idea of a bacchanalia when your demise seems imminent. But if you were going to do that, and you were going to drink a cheap beer, wouldn't you go with a regular beer at that point? It doesn't seem like the time to worry about calories. Update: Wow, now two straight ads thematically centered around men who wear only underparts.
February 01, 2010
God, I miss the good old days of the Super Bowl, when the hottest controversy was the post-game hand-wringing over how to spank CBS for subjecting America to Janet Jackson’s right boob. This year, the game-related hullabaloo centers not on the halftime spectacle but on the ads—specifically, a pro-life spot featuring the curious case of 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. As the story goes, Pam and Bob Tebow were serving as Baptist missionaries in the Philippines when Pam was pregnant with Tim, their fifth child.
Get Your Super Bowl Week Health Care Metaphors Here
February 01, 2010
Where's health care reform? "Inside the five yard line," says Robert Gibbs. On the two yard-line, says President Obama. If the administration isn't sure what this tells them about how to proceed, I suggest they read this paper by the husband of the head of their Council of Economic Advisors.