Each year I look forward to the return of NFL games like a child leading up to Christmas. Peyton Manning is Santa Claus with his many helper elves including Adrian Peterson, J.J. (S)Watt, Suh from the Lions (I’m not Googling how to spell his first name, sorry) and a multitude of others. We’ll call Goodell Target in this metaphor. That man commercializes darn near everything. I’m surprised we couldn’t buy auctioned off Replacement Referee jerseys to burn in effigy last season. But I digress.
I giggle, I clap and I start counting down to the pre-season games in July. Once the regular season games start I am enthusiastic and such a happy camper. This year my favorite quarterback is kicking butt in Denver. Awesome! However. The rest of my teams. Oy vey, as some would say.
My current theory is that there are a few teams who should just shut it down for the season. Play your third and fourth string players and take your other guys back to camp. Maybe a few “Come to Jesus” speeches being screamed in their ears while they lift weights and run laps until they puke will encourage them to not beg for the pass interference flag instead of actually making the play for the ball and drawing the flag the way someone who was playing with their full heart would (I’m looking at you, Dude From Denver I Will Not Name Publicly). I may have wandered afield here. Sorry.
RedZone is a fantastic thing. Swear to God. For someone who truly loves football being able to flip from game to game during commercials is nice. Having a station that does it FOR you? AND has every game played that day? Heaven, my friends. Pure Heaven.
So imagine my dismay on Monday nights when I flip excitedly to ESPN for the Monday Night Football extravaganza and it’s back to Commercial Land. Commercials are fine. They do have a place in this world. However, the commercials I’ve been noticing lately have grown my ire faster than Eli Manning throwing his 4th pick six in… never mind. Off topic.
ESPN is a basic cable channel, in case one didn’t know. This means they play local commercials so that Gold and Silver pawn shop down the street from your house gets an equal voice, I suppose. Generally I wander off during commercials; use the DVR to pause for a few and then skip them. Last night, however, whilst unable to find the remote, I finally snapped.
A year, maybe 2 years ago, there were these commercials for a product called Yaz. It’s a women’s birth control thing. I never talked to my doctor about it because, after listening to the extremely graphic listing of possible side effects, I was pretty sure Yaz was not for me. I’m not the only one who saw these commercials with the side effects listed. Saturday Night Live did a skit about it that was pretty darn funny.
Now, assuming a woman lived in a cave and hadn’t run across that informative commercial, when she went to her doctor to consult about family planning they may have told her about this nifty new product called Yaz. “Here’s what it does for you, here are the possible side effects. I suggest or don’t suggest this for you. Here’s a pamphlet explaining every single thing you ever did or did not want to know about what could happen if you use this product. Do you understand that you take some risks by using this product? You do? Okay, let’s get to it.”
We come to the present day and one of the commercials was for, wait for it, a lawyer group suing the pharmaceutical company for the side effects patients experienced while making use of Yaz.
Hair dryers come with warning labels about not using them while still standing in the shower. This tag is enough for courts to say, “No, you can not sue, you knew the warnings when you used the product.” So why is the information from a person’s doctor not enough to warn them? They have to acknowledge what they’ve been told, correct?
Two commercials later there’s an ad for a new drug that lowers cholesterol. I swear to God the very next one was yet another lawyer group suing for, wait for it, side effects related to a cholesterol drug.
I miss the days when I found out about a new cereal while waiting for my show or game to come back on. Remember when a store had a sale and you knew about it because it was all over the television? Or new movies or shows that were starting? Commercials used to be entertaining, informative bits of cotton candy for the brain. Is it possible we could start that tradition back up before I have to start railing about personal responsibility?
One random side note as I love to include these. It still hasn’t reached Thanksgiving, much less Halloween. Can we PLEASE stop talking about it on Facebook and other social media sites for a while? No one out on the street or over at the pool is reminding me there are only however many shopping days left, why do my Social Media contacts feel they must?
Thanks for listening and please, check out my two books available on Amazon.com for Kindle. Freedom’s Treasure and Extremity by A.K. Lawrence