June 17, 2014

Gooooaaaallllll!

If you're like me, first of all, you have my sympathies.

But if you do happen to be like me, at least in the more agreeable ways, then you've probably been watching a fair share of the World Cup the last few days.  It's been surprisingly good so far; sides really seem to be playing to win, rather than playing not to lose.

As I mentioned over at the other blog, I've liked soccer for some time, but it's only been in the last few years that I've really started to appreciate it - to become a fan.  And one of those responsible for this development is Andrés Cantor, one of the great announcers of our time.  If you don't recognize his name, or even his face, you'll probably know him from the famous way he calls a goal...


Now, I don't speak Spanish, even though I do live in Texas.  (That will probably change eventually.)  But one year I was so disgusted by the subpar announcers on ESPN and ABC - this was before they significantly upgraded four years ago by hiring real soccer announcers, who were British and actually knew the game - I watched the World Cup final on Univision, even though I couldn't understand what they were saying aside from the players' names.  Of course, this gave me the chance to appreciate Cantor in more than just short clips on SportsCenter.

So why talk soccer on a classic TV blog?  First, because it's my blog and I can write what I want. But more seriously, one of the ways we can tell that soccer - and Andrés Cantor - have become more mainstream is by the commercials he's appeared in over the years - ads for Pepsi, Geico and, new this year, VW.  They counted on people getting the joke, and I think they showed good judgment.

Here's a Pepsi ad from a few years ago:



That was followed up by this wonderful commercial for Geico:


And then this year's addition for Volkswagen, with his real-life son:


Just watching these while I was copying them to the blog, I sat here and laughed at each one.  They're not offensive, not suggestive, not stupid.  They're not male enhancement ads, they're not for female protection, they don't have stupid fathers or slutty mothers or smart-mouthed kids or plain idiots.  They're just charming and funny.  And when watching a commercial can make you smile, that says a lot more for the product than those others.

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