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Hey, Who Was That Guy?  Share

 12 September 2010

With football season upon us, you will see an increase in professional athletes hawking everything from french fries to Fords on television.  If you aren’t a sports guy, you probably have no idea who half of these folks are.  In this running article, I will keep you informed on which athletes you probably saw on TV but could not explain to your friends if they swing a golf club or a baseball bat for a living.  Most are in commercials, but you can find a few athletes on television shows as well.

 Burger King:  These commercials feature a kind of chubby guy thatTony Stewart looks like the kid that the bullies in school would pick on.  He is Tony Stewart, a driver for NASCAR.  Why does this connection work?  Last time I checked, most of our fattest states are in the south.  People sometimes get fat from fast food.  People in the south like auto racing.  Enough said.

Chevrolet:  Have you seen the big guy with the flat top and wire rim glasses?  It’s an ex-NFL player named Howie Long.  Why does Chevrolet think he is so successful at selling cars?  I have no idea, but maybe he came cheap since he has not played since 1993.  Sports fans recognize him from the Fox Network’s NFL coverage where he serves as an analyst.  Everybody else probably just recognizes him as a tough looking dude that tries to convince you to buy a Chevrolet truck.

Coors Light:  These are some pretty funny commercials that have now become a staple during football season.  Coors Light uses old press conferences from several ex-NFL coaches to cleverly sell their product.  The names of these coaches and the commercials can be found here:  http://www.thepassrush.com/coors-light-commercials/

Hanes underwear/t-shirts:  Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, has maintained a relationship with Hanes for many, many years.  Especially in the 1990s, Jordan was one of the most recognizable figures on the planet.  I usually buy my t-shirts based upon which one is cheapest, but if I was 6 feet 6 inches tall, maybe I would follow Michael Jordan’s advice.

National Car Rental: The ad guy for these commercials should be fired.  The first one I saw featured former tennis great John McEnroe.  McEnroe played way back in the 1980s and was famous for yelling at tennis umpires when he did not agree with their calls.  So in the National commercial, McEnroe yells at the National car attendant.  Brilliant.  The other person they use is Joe Buck who is not an athlete but rather a famous sports broadcaster.  The catchy tag line?  “Choosing your own car, now that’s a good call.”  Brilliant.

Nutri-system:  No big surprise here; a couple of ex-football stars, Mike Golic and Dan Marino, can be found talking about how much weight they lost with this program. Golic played as a defensive lineman for a few different teams while Marino was a record setting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.

Saturday Night Live:  You will find lots of athletes on this show, but does anybody actually watch it anymore?  A classic that people still talk about is Peyton Manning, the star quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.  Manning is known as a pretty straight-laced guy, so he got lots of laughs and attention for this United Way spoof:  http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/united-way/84993/

Skechers:  In another pretty unimaginative ad campaign, one of the NFL’s all-time great quarterbacks, Joe Montana, can be found trying to convince you that their shoes can help you get into shape.  The trick here is that Montana played for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980s, so the commercial has him throwing long passes as if he is getting ready to play again.  How do new shoes help you throw long football passes?  Joe probably couldn’t explain it to you, nor do I think he really cares.

Sony:  This is a pretty odd pair.  You may have recognized pop star Justin Timberlake, but you didn’t know who the tall guy was on the commercial with him.  It is Peyton Manning, the star quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts football team.  I have no idea why these two were paired together.

Tide:  This could be a tricky one.  The most notable US femaleVenus Williams tennis player is Serena Williams, but it is actually her twin sister, Venus, that is the spokesperson for the detergent.  They are pretty easy to spot—look for a scantily clad tennis player with arms like a professional weightlifter.  Venus is just a little less buff than Serena.

If you see a commercial and think the pitchman or woman is some sort of athlete, drop me a line and I will help you figure out who they are.  I promise I won’t laugh at you like some of your friends might.

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