BS Off-Topic: Best Sports Commercials
It’s that magical time of year where we have less to talk about as it pertains to Purdue basketball and football so it allows us to pop out the beloved #BSOffTopic posts. (No word on whether they’re really beloved.) Today’s topic is sports-related commercials. I’m sure some of you love the one where the kid knocks the ball out of bounds and the refs make the wrong call, so the kid fesses up to it, but that’s not what we’re talking about today. (And seriously, that kid would be hated by his teammates for life.) Today we’re talking about some of my favorites and ones I think have truly been worth watching in a time when commercials are watched less and less.
There’s no particular set of rules around this – that is, it’s not a top ten or a finite list or categorized in any way, because, let’s face it, I’m too lazy for that. No, this is just a list I’ve compiled over time of sports commercials I can watch over and over.
Cubs Win, Playstation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_qNFjJn3No
This one is brilliant on many levels. Thinking about what Chicago would be like if the Cubs won is fun and having it begin with live action really draws you in because, what? The Cubs? And then ending it with the teary-eyed reality that it’s not there yet… well done.
There Are No Words, Stanley Cup Playoffs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSd8CqBEbcYG
A personal favorite of mine, but also one I’ve had non-hockey fans remark to me that it’s really great. It captures how so many grown men feel about getting their hands on the ultimate chalice – it’s the best trophy in sports, hands down.
Pedroia Can’t Hit The High Stuff, MLB The Show PS3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wax-ssiZX3M
I liked this series of commercials where the same actor appeared in different wise-ass sketches. Pedroia playing along made it even better… and of course the final, unexpected, “Apart from you?” sarcastic ending makes this a favorite.
Chicks Dig The Long Ball, Nike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ltD21rYWVw
A classic that to fully appreciate, you have to remove what you know about Mark McGwire, cheater, from your mind. This was back when he was the king of baseball and Glavine and Maddux were at their peak of dominance. The latter two also were not particularly known for being colorful, funny guys – they played in Atlanta (awful sports town) and just racked up wins, Cy Youngs and division titles. But, true to the theme of the commercial, nobody ever cared as much about them as they did about Big Mac’s home runs.
The commercial is vintage Nike, from back when they made truly awesome ads. It has it all – humor, nonsense, poking fun at the whole situation, and of course, Heather Locklear – a perpetual hot woman of the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s who was Meg Ryan before Meg Ryan was.
Bo Knows, Nike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXVAiFBEpwA
If you’re old like me, B-dowd and Dave, you remember this ad campaign as much as (or maybe more than) Bo’s two-sport career. This is widely agreed to be the time when Nike pivoted to the behemoth they have become. After this came Michael Jordan’s rise to greatness and the rest is history.
But Bo Jackson, as has been said, was a unique talent that everyone wanted a piece of. It was believed he could do anything, so why not meld that idea into a cross-trainer campaign and ask all your stars from other sports to play along? (Never mind that it looks like it was shot on Phil Knight’s camcorder.)
Generations, MLB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4saN4fpu3t4
Now we move into the sappy. As a dad and someone who has always loved baseball, this one gets me right in the throat. It’s simple, quick and packs a punch.
Thank You Moms, PSE&G: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SwFso7NeuA
Basically, this is one of those “if you have kids… or a mom…. Or kids and you love your kids’ mom…” Man, tough one. A bit dusty in here.
Calls for Dad, Dove: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt1cXw3Gf2A
And of course, for you dads out there, how perfect is this one? It melts my cold, black heart. As I said to a friend of mine, the reason it’s so good is that all dads have heard those variations of “Dad” and “Daddy” and know what they translate to: “Help me,” “I love you,” etc. And it reminds you of that feeling you get as a dad when they’re very small and you realize your lifelong goal from then on is to always be there to catch them.
As always, please share any that I’ve missed in the comments. If we get enough good suggestions, we’ll run a follow up.