Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Don't Believe the Hype

I've been watching a lot of World Cup matches (I know, I know... I'm a total hypocrite... but I'm also unemployed and love sports so if I want to spend my days watching a sport I don't really enjoy all that much while drinking at socially-inappropriate times of day, I will, mmmkay?). I'm particularly bothered by a Sports Authority commercial. The one with the football player that was good and once won a Super Bowl then inexplicably won his own prime time sitcom when his finest work was arguably in a Speed Stick commercial and some ugly child actor playing in goal who has a face I just want to punch.

Yeah, that Sports Authority commercial. Strahan kicks a goal and stupid fatty mc fat fat catches it an calls him some inaudible name that is the punchline which makes zero sense to me. That one. It's so goddamn terrible that YouTube doesn't have a copy of it. It's moments like this that make me think god exists and that he amuses himself with things that drive me insane.

Well, allow me to let you in on a little secret: supplies of World Cup gear aren't going fast. They also aren't limited. They never go fast and are never limited. I know because I worked in sporting goods retail (for a company smaller than but much more upscale than Sports Authority). And every year we were stuck with tons of World Cup soccer crap that we employees thought was cool but only because we got a substantial discount on it.

Every year, we carried World Cup soccer apparel and gear and every year was OUR YEAR. "This is the year that Americans will care about soccer! And they'll totally buy an $85 track jacket emblazoned with some other country's logo! These $25 tees will just fly off the shelves! See them flying? Oops, they're being stolen. We didn't mean 'fly' like that. Okay, let's reduce them to $15. SEE? THAT WORKED! They're moving! Except they're all being bought by tourists who are stoked that the Euro is [nee: was] kicking the dollar's ass and they're getting a t-shirt with the name of their stupid country on it for the price of half a liter of petrol. It's totally our year for soccer."

I'm not dissing my former company's buyers because they're awesome and I really did love the company I worked for. They picked awesome gear across the board that sold really well. Their optimism about America's growing appreciation for World Cup soccer was incredibly exciting and wonderful and worldly. But, alas, it didn't come to fruition. Maybe this year it did, but I doubt it. And I doubt that employing the stunt casting of Michael Strahan in one's commercials indicates that World Cup gear is flying off the shelves. Unless, of course, someone's stealing it.

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