Baseball Toaster Cub Town
How the Other Half Lives
2005-10-07 08:42
by Derek Smart

One of the fun things about the playoffs for me is when I listen to other team's games during work hours over my Gameday Audio subscription (that's not meant to be a promotion, and I know, I should probably get myself an XM subscription, but I just can't justify the expense to myself). I should do it more during the regular season, but I just don't, and in failing to do so I miss some good stuff.

It's an opportunity to get to know other places a little more, albeit in a cursory and superficial way, but even so there can still be some illuminating moments. Perhaps not surprisingly, these moments come less from the broadcasts themselves than from the commercials between innings.

For example, if someone from outside Chicago was listening to a Cub broadcast during the year they'd likely get the idea from the preponderance of Old Style adverts that this is a beer obsessed fan base, drunkards all, hopelessly addicted to lousy baseball and even lousier brew.

I could argue that such a thing is merely the nature of advertising during sporting events, and I'd be at least partially right, but sadly, all it takes is one trip to Wrigley Field in the middle of summer to confirm the inferred stereotype (or, I suppose, I trip to my living room, but that's not on the agenda).

Which leads me to what I heard yesterday on the Cardinal broadcast of Game 2 of their series with the Padres. I can't remember the brand, and I was unable to find a link, but please take my word for it when I say there was a commercial for a hand sanitizer between innings, and not only that, but it was billed as the official hand sanitizer of the St. Louis Cardinals.

I don't know that I've ever heard or seen an ad for a hand sanitizer during a sporting broadcast before yesterday, and it was the degree to which it felt misplaced that drew my attention to it. Perhaps not Summer's Eve misplaced, but out of its element nonetheless.

And truthfully, and while there are some easy, if likely erroneous, conclusions to draw, I haven't the faintest clue what that little radio spot might mean - I've never been to St. Louis so I'm not in a position to judge, and besides, while the parts of Chicago that the city government cares to acknowledge are really quite well-kept, it's still far from a clean-room out there.

So, I leave it to you, dear readers, to help me understand the deeper meaning attached to what I've heard, or to regale us all with stories of your own out-of-town-oddball-adverts. Fill the comments with your wisdom, and please, like hands all over St. Louis, keep it clean.

* * * * *

Just a quick programming note: I plan to start some 2005 post-mortem soon (specifically, a position by position breakdown of what happened, and what needs to happen), but my intent right now is to hold off until after the playoffs, both to give me time to get started so that there isn't a huge publication gap once posting of the series begins, and in deference to the postseason itself.

In the meantime, while there will still be posting, it's likely to be light, if for no other reason than because there's little in the world of Cub to comment on at the moment. So, while there might be a dearth in the short term, know that there is work going on behind the scenes to ensure that the winter months here at Cub Town are not a baseball free period.

2005-10-07 09:10:04
1.   Shaun P
Its not baseball-related, Derek, but there's a nail place near where I live in Massachusetts that prouldy advertises itself as "The Official Nail Salon of the New England Patriots' Cheerleaders."

I laugh my ass off every time I hear or see that, but my wife insists that it probably brings in a lot of business. Just another thing about advertising (and women) that I don't get.

2005-10-07 09:57:02
2.   yankee23
Also not baseball-related, nor a personal story, but it just reminded me of this episode of 'King of the Hill' I happened to watch a couple weeks ago...

Hank & Bobby go to watch the Dallas Cowboys at training camp and see a place which touts "Official Propane Supplier of the Dallas Cowboys."

Obviously it was just a plot for the show, but it made me laugh nonetheless. The best was when they went inside and the employees all hated the Cowboys and loved Oklahoma.

2005-10-07 10:01:35
3.   Derek Smart
That's hilarious, Shaun.

" wife insists that it probably brings in a lot of business. Just another thing about advertising (and women) that I don't get."

I think you're excused on this one. After all, I doubt the cheerleaders intend that your eyes be drawn to their nails...

2005-10-08 00:53:43
4.   neal m
It's Germ-X. I was taken off guard by the same ads. To the best of my knowledge they started this year. I didn't know what it was about until I went to Busch this year and they have big bottles of hand sanatizer by all of the condiment stations and elsewhere... I'm also guessing some money is involved in the promotion, but it is nice to know that the Cardinals care about fan hygiene, especially in light of that recent article on ESPN about Atlanta fans washing their hands the least at games...
2005-10-11 06:55:24
5.   rynox

I found it ironic that hand sanitizer is an alcohol-based product. Granted, not the type of alcohol you could or would want to drink...

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