Thursday, November 3, 2016

Some thoughts on the Cubs and advertising.

Cats are barking.

Dogs are saying 'moo.'

The sun is rising in the west.

Print advertising is making a comeback.

The unlikely, the improbable, the uncertain, no, the impossible has happened.

The Cubs have won the World Series.

For the first time since Teddy Roosevelt was President, way back in 1908, the Cubs have won.

Watching the game last night, however, all was not ebullience.

In fact, as I watched the game, I thought a lot, of how baseball has been sullied for me in much the same way, by many of the same forces that have sullied advertising.

First, and most perniciously, there is just too much noise. To put it most simply, the announcers don't shut up. They talk and talk and talk and talk. Tales told by idiots, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Baseball, at its best, is a quiet, pastoral, almost meditative game. They have turned it into a talk fest. Now part of the Great American Blather Machine.

Second, is the crushing ubiquity of ads and logos. There's a logo behind every batter, changing every third pitch. There are two or three logos or more in nearly every shot. It's too much. Your ever-presence is making me--not like you, but hate you. You and your logos are pissing in my pool. You are taking from me the serene beauty of the Summer Game.

Third is the cupidity of the league, the networks and the players themselves. It is absolutely asinine--an affront to the game itself--to be playing ball into November. We dodged a low fahrenheit bullet this series--or we globally-warmed our way past it--playing each game in mild temperatures. But let's face it, the season is way too long. 162 games starting sometimes in March and stretching to November, then tacking on four rounds of playoffs is too much.

My advice for the game is my advice for advertising, my advice, frankly, my advice for life (this is an old man talking) is this:

Take your foot off the gas a bit.

Lower the volume.

Let other people speak.

In other words, pull back a bit and stop trying to out-shout the world.

Let's run against the avaricious grain a bit. And maybe even against Leo Durocher--the Cubs' manager from 1966 to 1972.

Let's see if nice guys can't finish first.

If being polite and respectful to viewers won't win more hearts.

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