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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Posnanski: John Clark Made The Right Choice

I have a soft spot for commercials endlessly repeated during the playoffs.  Go fig.

Phil Jackson Audi commercial: This is actually THE BEST commercial in the playoffs, and might be the best sports-commercial performance since the heyday of Peyton Manning… Jackson is in a restaurant, walking by a chef who is yelling at one of his employees.

Chef [to Jackson]: “These people, huh?”
Jackson: “You know, I’ve found that anger is the enemy of instruction.”
Chef [who does not recognize Jackson]: “You don’t know the egos I have to deal with.”
Jackson [after pause]: “You’re probably right.”

Those three words — “You’re probably right” — are so perfectly delivered… seriously, I want to give the guy an Emmy, an Oscar AND a Tony. Sheer perfection. I want to believe that Jackson did that on the first take. I can watch that commercial 500 times in a row, and I will laugh (or at least smile) every single time he says that line.

Tony La Russa overmanaging commercial: Oh, wait, that’s not a commercial — that’s real life.

I must admit: I’ve actually grown to enjoy the La Russa overmanaging act. It’s a classic now — like seeing Don Rickles in Vegas or something. The playoffs would be poorer without it. Of course, that does not take away the joy of watching his ridiculous intentional walk to Carlos Ruiz explode into a million pieces…

I should add that earlier in the game, La Russa had Garcia intentionally walk Hunter Pence so he could face Ryan Howard. I’ll repeat that: He intentionally walked Hunter Pence so that he could face Ryan Howard in a big situation. That one worked, and it probably said more about Howard than it did about La Russa.  As my friend Keith Law tweeted: When teams are intentionally walking players to face the guy you are about to pay $25 million per year — lefty-lefty matchup or not — well, that’s probably not a great contract.

“I should have married John Clark” AT&T commercial: OK, this is the worst commercial on television. The worst. Nothing is even close… I have never seen two less likable people in one commercial. The man looks like the sort of guy who would break your lawn mower and keep promising to pay you for the repairs. The woman makes Nurse Ratched look like Florence Nightingale… It’s pretty clear that there’s only one winner in this whole commercial. And that winner is: John Clark.

The District Attorney Posted: October 06, 2011 at 03:53 AM | 68 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball geeks, television

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   1. bobm Posted: October 06, 2011 at 11:15 AM (#3953199)
I guess the woman in the AT&T ad never heard that Jack Clark went bankrupt because of all the fancy cars he bought. Maybe she could've kept him on the straight and narrow.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 06, 2011 at 01:30 PM (#3953279)
OK, this is the worst commercial on television. The worst. Nothing is even close… I have never seen two less likable people in one commercial.


How bout those awful girlfriends in the McDonalds ads and their boyfriends who say to themselves "hey, I'm smart, so I'm going to be a big pansy and tell her whatever she wants to hear."
   3. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 06, 2011 at 01:38 PM (#3953287)
"He's a jerk?!?"
   4. Champions Table Posted: October 06, 2011 at 01:39 PM (#3953288)
Not necessarily on topic, but: When did McDonald's ads stop featuring honkies?
   5. zack Posted: October 06, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#3953320)
5-years ago.

All the worst ads, non-cialis division, are bad relationship jokes. That AT&T ad and the klondike bar ad with the guy listening to his wife for 5 seconds are among the worst of those, the latter of which is just insulting to everyone.
   6. Dale Sams Posted: October 06, 2011 at 02:11 PM (#3953326)
I have never seen two less likable people in one commercial


Well, they're obviously hurting, what with owning that huge greenhouse and all.

edit: Then again, maybe they just work there.
   7. BDC Posted: October 06, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3953332)
That's the one where she's spraying her plants, probably with Roundup ... kind of "Helen Mirren regrets marriage to aging hobbit"?
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: October 06, 2011 at 02:28 PM (#3953337)
Not necessarily on topic, but: When did McDonald's ads stop featuring honkies?


Probably after losing substantial market share due to that white dude who was a thoroughly insufferable ####### until he had his morning coffee (and probably after, but we're spared that).
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 06, 2011 at 02:39 PM (#3953347)

All the worst ads, non-cialis division, are bad relationship jokes. That AT&T ad and the klondike bar ad with the guy listening to his wife for 5 seconds are among the worst of those, the latter of which is just insulting to everyone.


And that guy that needs an energy drink to get up in the morning, much to the ire of his ###### wife.
   10. esseff Posted: October 06, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3953354)
. . . And furthermore . . . if you're going to do a big ad buy for the baseball postseason, shouldn't you come up with a new ad each year rather than repeat the one that was seen over and over and over and over and over [homage to Posnanski] last October? I'm talking avocados. It's not as if they broke their budget for top-shelf acting in the interaction between partygoers and baseball player/umpire on their TV.
   11. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 06, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#3953363)
No ad about people getting up in the morning is as awful as the one with the GIANT PERSON MADE UP OF TINY PEOPLE, who looks like he's about to go off to his job as a Rockbiter. I got an HDTV a month ago and now feel wistful for the days when I would have just seen the GIANT PERSON MADE UP OF TINY PEOPLE as a weird-looking giant person.
   12. OsunaSakata Posted: October 06, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3953391)
Thanks to the person who posted this article for the most memorable Fox playoff baseball commercial ever.
   13. Blubaldo Jimenez (OMJ) Posted: October 06, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3953442)
No ad about people getting up in the morning is as awful as the one with the GIANT PERSON MADE UP OF TINY PEOPLE, who looks like he's about to go off to his job as a Rockbiter. I got an HDTV a month ago and now feel wistful for the days when I would have just seen the GIANT PERSON MADE UP OF TINY PEOPLE as a weird-looking giant person.


Just think of the unluckiest person on that body!
   14. Dale Sams Posted: October 06, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3953451)
I like that the viagra commercials are tinged blue...if their actors walked around with splitting headaches, it'd be perfect.
   15. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: October 06, 2011 at 04:25 PM (#3953462)
Note the nose of the GIANT PERSON MADE UP OF TINY PEOPLE. I wouldn't want to be around if it sneezed.
   16. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 06, 2011 at 04:26 PM (#3953464)
Has there been one funny Conan commercial? Then again, if I only watch Conan once a year, I can find him amusing, so it might be me.
   17. BDC Posted: October 06, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#3953470)
if you're going to do a big ad buy for the baseball postseason, shouldn't you come up with a new ad each year rather than repeat the one that was seen over and over and over and over and over

Well, her father is still the District Attorney.
   18. adenzeno Posted: October 06, 2011 at 04:33 PM (#3953473)
Conan < Funny
   19. Depressoteric Posted: October 06, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#3953478)
Just think of the unluckiest person on that body!
Depending on his fetish, he might feel like the luckiest man on the face of the earth.
   20. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 06, 2011 at 04:42 PM (#3953480)
No ad about people getting up in the morning is as awful as the one with the GIANT PERSON MADE UP OF TINY PEOPLE, who looks like he's about to go off to his job as a Rockbiter. I got an HDTV a month ago and now feel wistful for the days when I would have just seen the GIANT PERSON MADE UP OF TINY PEOPLE as a weird-looking giant person.


Football Outsiders had a funny analysis of that commercial. Best quote: "It's like getting a penny stock in exchange for kissing Cthulhu."
   21. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: October 06, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#3953490)
That flower watering wife is just as dumb as her husband, considering that she allows herself to be put in her place with regard to all the minutes by not even having the brain power to realize that signing up for unlimited messaging, to get those minutes, costs money!

Fools!
   22. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 06, 2011 at 04:59 PM (#3953501)
That flower watering wife is just as dumb as her husband, considering that she allows herself to be put in her place with regard to all the minutes by not even having the brain power to realize that signing up for unlimited messaging, to get those minutes, costs money!

It really is an annoying commercial. It actually reminds me of Philip Roth's American Pastoral in microcosm. Joe Pos's remarks are almost exactly what I said to my girl about it. I like to annoy her by commenting on the commercials.
   23. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 06, 2011 at 05:16 PM (#3953525)
It actually reminds me of Philip Roth's American Pastoral in microcosm.


Wait, what? Is it because you found American Pastoral similarly annoying, or is there some subtext in that commercial about how the Jewish-American dream of affluence and assimilation went horribly awry in the 1960s?
   24. The District Attorney Posted: October 06, 2011 at 05:20 PM (#3953534)
Well, her father is still the District Attorney.
His.
   25. Darren Posted: October 06, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#3953545)
It's a bad commercial, sure. But it's not close to the worst. There must hundreds worse on every day. And I don't pick up the negative feelings toward the guy. He seems alright, just beaten down by the horrible relationship he's in.
   26. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 06, 2011 at 05:32 PM (#3953552)
That flower watering wife is just as dumb as her husband, considering that she allows herself to be put in her place with regard to all the minutes by not even having the brain power to realize that signing up for unlimited messaging, to get those minutes, costs money!


It's still not clear to me if we're supposed to see that look on her face as; "I just got put in my place" or "does he really think I don't know the unlimited messaging cost money".

That giant person made out of people creeps me the hell out.
   27. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 06, 2011 at 05:35 PM (#3953556)
Wait, what? Is it because you found American Pastoral similarly annoying, or is there some subtext in that commercial about how the Jewish-American dream of affluence and assimilation went horribly awry in the 1960s?

American Pastoral is great--I love Roth (when's he going to get the damn Nobel Prize already?). But yeah, it gave me that tinge of the successful Jewish man who marries the blonde, goy wife and moves to a suburban American paradise and it all goes horribly, horribly wrong. It's cool how much story you can tell in 30 seconds, though I'm not sure it's the story they're going for...
   28. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 06, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#3953565)
That giant person made out of people creeps me the hell out.
I hate that ad in pretty much every way. For one thing, the alarm clock at the start sounds like a lot like my alarm clock (also, to be fair, probably every alarm clock in the universe) so if I've wandered away from the TV for a moment I think my alarm is going off for some unknown reason. Also, it is the creepiest ad ever made. I know advertising people say focus groups butcher concepts, and etc. etc. (and they're probably right) but I cannot believe that made it through a focus group. It's horrifying.

The Phil Jackson ad is pretty clever. I'm with Pos on this one. And his line about what the Frontier commercials are like for selling an iPhone is laugh out loud funny.
   29. Blastin Posted: October 06, 2011 at 05:44 PM (#3953571)
SO CREEPY. We yelled at the TV when we saw it.


I do like the Jackson commercial.

I also like the two-second joke at LeBron's expense during the current Monopoly McD's commercials.
   30. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 06, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#3953603)
American Pastoral is great--I love Roth (when's he going to get the damn Nobel Prize already?). But yeah, it gave me that tinge of the successful Jewish man who marries the blonde, goy wife and moves to a suburban American paradise and it all goes horribly, horribly wrong. It's cool how much story you can tell in 30 seconds, though I'm not sure it's the story they're going for...


That's fascinating. I don't see the ethnicity in there that I think is necessary to all of Roth's work; I see more of a parable about the banality and inertia of the modern American marriage, which makes it more Raymond Carver than Roth. Or maybe it's "Rabbit Is Rich."

What bothers me about it is that they're wealthy enough to afford the greenhouse, and even though the husband - let's call him "Phil" - is still striving to save money, his harridan of a wife is still busting his chops over it. Her opposition clearly doesn't come from concern over their finances; she obviously has begun reflexively dismissing and insulting everything poor Phil ever proposes. Which makes you wonder what sort of problem this phone plan is supposed to solve.
   31. Darren Posted: October 06, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3953632)
And although I appreciated and enjoyed this article, I think Poz is also wrong about the end of the Jackson commercial. It's necessary, in part, because we finally get to see the car. But it's also funny to see Jackson going out of his way to be respectful to an average Joe by learning his name.
   32. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 06, 2011 at 06:18 PM (#3953637)
That's fascinating. I don't see the ethnicity in there that I think is necessary to all of Roth's work; I see more of a parable about the banality and inertia of the modern American marriage, which makes it more Raymond Carver than Roth. Or maybe it's "Rabbit Is Rich."

Yeah, Updike might be the better reference. I really like Roth so he's just foremost in my mind, maybe. That couple is too wealthy to be Carver-esque.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: October 06, 2011 at 06:40 PM (#3953658)
Stop it! It's a ####### phone commercial not a Don DeLillo novel.
   34. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 06, 2011 at 06:45 PM (#3953667)
Yeah, I don't see any DeLillo in there at all. For one thing, Phil and his wife talk like normal human beings.
   35. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 06, 2011 at 06:46 PM (#3953670)
Stop it! It's a ####### phone commercial not a Don DeLillo novel.

Now, see, this post reminds me of an Alice Munro short story. The quiet desperation, the subtle shading. Very nice.
   36. phredbird Posted: October 06, 2011 at 07:32 PM (#3953728)
I love Roth (when's he going to get the damn Nobel Prize already?)


i actually think there's some anti-semitism involved. he's politically incorrect to the academy these days. besides, they've already given one to a postwar jewish-american writer (bellow).
   37. pthomas Posted: October 06, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#3953734)
What's a "commercial"?
   38. Zach Posted: October 06, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3953777)
Youtube always delivers.

HIS FATHER IS THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY!
   39. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 06, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3953787)
   40. The District Attorney Posted: October 06, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3953790)
   41. Guapo Posted: October 06, 2011 at 09:02 PM (#3953847)
I don't like the Captain Morgan commercial where everyone is sitting at the boring dinner listening to the White Stripes, and they start smashing all the dishes and cups. That's not particularly my idea of fun.

You would think the good Captain would just give everyone some rum and they would get happily drunk, instead of breaking ####.
   42. Nasty Nate Posted: October 06, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3953858)
I don't think I've ever seen the 'giant person made up of tiny people' commercial.

The greenhouse ##### one I have seen
   43. Greg Franklin Posted: October 06, 2011 at 09:25 PM (#3953867)
Michael Stipe almost certainly cracks up after the "Dr. Seuss" line. Damn, someone else noticed that, too.

Fox will never do a promo hell ad again to compare with Skin, so I think we'll have to settle for the MLB "OOOOOOOHHH IT'S WRITTEN IN THE STAAAAARS" promo as contender for this year's promo hell.
   44. Ebessan Posted: October 06, 2011 at 09:39 PM (#3953884)
I don't like the Captain Morgan commercial where everyone is sitting at the boring dinner listening to the White Stripes, and they start smashing all the dishes and cups. That's not particularly my idea of fun.

...A reference to the "Blue Orchid" video? But that's maybe the sixth most notable Stripes video, and not even top ten for Jack White.

Fox will never do a promo hell ad again to compare with Skin, so I think we'll have to settle for the MLB "OOOOOOOHHH IT'S WRITTEN IN THE STAAAAARS" promo as contender for this year's promo hell.

Oh, yeah, it's astounding how TBS seemingly hit bottom on their annual theme songs with Kid Rock, but then they pull out an ersatz Lupe Fiasco/Muse collaboration that's even WORSE than what it'd be if those guys teamed up in 2011.
   45. Srul Itza Posted: October 06, 2011 at 09:48 PM (#3953894)
The "giant" one -- is that the one where the giant breaks up into people and they all drive off in their own car? It really did seem too stupid for words.
   46. Tripon Posted: October 06, 2011 at 10:02 PM (#3953909)
I'm surprised nobody talked about the Hatsune Miku ads Toyota are running. Between the Giant made out of people, and the Miku ads, they must be smoking something good. But then again, Miku does love some Bacon wrapped Hot Dogs.
   47. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: October 06, 2011 at 10:20 PM (#3953929)
Why didn't Ray Romano surprise other restaurant goers? Or was that the only time someone didn't mind him interrupting a lunch conversation and actually wanted to have a photo taken with him?
   48. Tripon Posted: October 06, 2011 at 10:25 PM (#3953937)

Why didn't Ray Romano surprise other restaurant goers? Or was that the only time someone didn't mind him interrupting a lunch conversation and actually wanted to have a photo taken with him?


The whole notion is that the two women donated to a charity that is fighting cancer.
   49. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 06, 2011 at 10:27 PM (#3953940)
Now that I think about it, I have no idea which phone company that Updikean greenhouse commercial is touting. And I have no idea even what kind of product the giant man-of-men is for, or the Ray Romano ad, which I've seen several times.

I don't think these ad people are doing a very good job.
   50. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: October 06, 2011 at 10:43 PM (#3953948)
The whole notion is that the two women donated to a charity that is fighting cancer.

Were they the only ones standing up to cancer that week?
   51. WillYoung Posted: October 06, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#3953960)
I don't know what she's selling, but the only commercial I'm not completely tired of during the playoffs is the one with the woman walking around in the pink dress.
   52. Tripon Posted: October 06, 2011 at 11:00 PM (#3953968)
I hate J-Lo and Fiat.
   53. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 06, 2011 at 11:03 PM (#3953970)
I hate J-Lo and Fiat.

That seems more like a commercial for Jennifer Lopez than for Fiat. I really don't get her popularity and I'm happy to be out of the loop.
   54. alkeiper Posted: October 06, 2011 at 11:22 PM (#3953987)
The only thing I noticed about the Giant Man ad is that they used a Kinks song for it. I haven't paid attention beyond that.
   55. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 07, 2011 at 01:08 AM (#3954138)
His name's not Phil, it's Steve! And that time, Shooty, I noticed the ethnic implications.
   56. Ebessan Posted: October 07, 2011 at 01:40 AM (#3954235)
The only thing I noticed about the Giant Man ad is that they used a Kinks song for it. I haven't paid attention beyond that.

Same.
   57. phredbird Posted: October 07, 2011 at 02:13 AM (#3954329)
there seems to be a fair number of the unintentional misdirection ads out there these days. for instance, the chevrolet ad with the young marrieds looking for an apt. ... i had to see it a bunch of times before i wasn't mystified about what the product is. it simply didn't stay with me.

it hasn't been on much lately, but i really like the geico campaign using the spokesman with the rhetorical question 'can geico really save ... etc.', especially the one about abe lincoln and the one about 'what, do you live under a rock?'
   58. phredbird Posted: October 07, 2011 at 02:15 AM (#3954335)
and i can't stand the 'written on the stars' baseball playoffs promo. i can't reach for the mute fast enough.
   59. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 07, 2011 at 02:39 AM (#3954395)
Those Miller Lite ads that make fun of guys is really stupid too. So what if I like wearing speedos with my Ed Hardy shirts while with my mom? Besides, tools make up Miller Lite's target population and you shouldn't make fun of your audience.


it hasn't been on much lately, but i really like the geico campaign using the spokesman with the rhetorical question 'can geico really save ... etc.', especially the one about abe lincoln and the one about 'what, do you live under a rock?'


I can't remember who tweeted it, but last week I chuckled when I read "we should just stop calling them 'TV shows' and just call it what it is: 'stuff between Geico commercials."
   60. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 07, 2011 at 03:13 AM (#3954526)
The only thing I noticed about the Giant Man ad is that they used a Kinks song for it. I haven't paid attention beyond that.

Yeah, that's another problem. James Last's "Giant Man" wasn't available?
   61. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: October 07, 2011 at 03:30 AM (#3954603)
I really don't get her popularity and I'm happy to be out of the loop.

Because she's gorgeous and multi-talented?

I mean she does shitty music and stars in shitty movies but she's a lot better than the material.

EDIT: Take that, nanny!
   62. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 07, 2011 at 03:49 AM (#3954708)
I mean she does shitty music and stars in shitty movies but she's a lot better than the material.
That's one for the "damning with faint praise" Hall of Fame
   63. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: October 07, 2011 at 04:15 AM (#3954778)
Oh whatever. I'm going to go watch Maid in Manhattan again.
   64. cardsfanboy Posted: October 07, 2011 at 11:19 AM (#3954888)
I'm curious about the overmanaging part, Why would anyone rather pitch to Pence(.314/.370/.502/.871 overall, and .317/.400/.590/.990 vs left) over Howard(.253/.346/.488/.835 overall and .224/.286/.347/.634 vs lefties)? How is making the clearly right choice an example of overmanaging? Oh, wait, it's TLR, all of his decisions no matter how obvious they are, is considered overmanaging by other people. I mean some of the complaints about his overmanaging so far that I've seen have been downright silly---this has to rank up there with those.(the complaint about the intentional walk to Ruiz is again another example of people criticizing a defensible move---it guaranteed the pitcher wouldn't bat, and even if you look at win exptectency, it didn't actually affect anything until the 93 ops+ hitter with 6 homeruns this season--last being May 25th-123PA's ago--hit one)
   65. Greg Franklin Posted: October 07, 2011 at 01:09 PM (#3954930)
Oh whatever. I'm going to go watch Maid in Manhattan again.

The official J-Lo movie of BTF is "The Wedding Planner," available on cross-country flights as a feature presentation, and on Netflix.
   66. OsunaSakata Posted: October 07, 2011 at 02:05 PM (#3954963)
I'm curious about the overmanaging part, Why would anyone rather pitch to Pence(.314/.370/.502/.871 overall, and .317/.400/.590/.990 vs left) over Howard(.253/.346/.488/.835 overall and .224/.286/.347/.634 vs lefties)? How is making the clearly right choice an example of overmanaging?


Because the MSM haven't realized that Ryan Howard is no longer the scary behemoth he was three years ago.
   67. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: October 07, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3955007)
The official J-Lo movie of BTF is "The Wedding Planner," available on cross-country flights as a feature presentation, and on Netflix.

Sheep, the whole lot of you. Ralph Fiennes over Matthew McConaughey any day.

EDIT: Had to google the spelling of both names.
   68. Morty Causa Posted: October 07, 2011 at 11:05 PM (#3955644)
i actually think there's some anti-semitism involved. he's politically incorrect to the academy these days. besides, they've already given one to a postwar jewish-american writer (bellow).


There's a strong element of feminazism involved here. Nothing brings out the the extreme cxunt contingent of Galstapos like Roth. See that recent brouhaha over some prize awarded just awarded to him

However, as much as I like Roth, I think John Barth and Thomas Berger prime him. Both have been more experimental and more various in their achievement. The Floating Opera and The Sot Weed Factor, Little Big Man and Reinhart in Love (and Killing Time and Arthur Rex)from one end of the spectrum to the other--Roth's range of achievement is much narrower than this. Berger is 87, though, and he has that Regiment of Women novel that would probably bring the banshees out, and Barth seems to have run out of gas.

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