Print Story Commercials are weird
By jayhawk88 (Fri May 29, 2009 at 11:25:39 AM EST) (all tags)
Case in point

This is likely an American only thing, but if you've been watching any kind of basic cable over the past month or so (particularly NBA playoffs), you've probably seen the AT&T "Possibly Maybe" commercial. Just a generic "Oh wow our network is the balls" kind of commercial overlaid against some kind of coffee house style song. What you notice on about the 15th viewing, though, is that the little "story" going on in the commercial doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.

Here's a basic description as far as I can remember. Guy and girl are at a train station. Girl is on the train, looking longingly at her man standing on the platform. Note that she's the one leaving, not him, though he does have some kind of backpack/gear with him I believe.

Next up we see the girl in a variety of poses, sitting in her bedroom (I guess), walking through a park, and she's getting pix messages from her boy, who is seemingly traveling the world. "Hello from Paris" and "Miss you from Cairo", etc. And of course at the end he sends her a picture message of herself and she realizes with joy he's come back to her. But...she was the one leaving on the train? So, did she ride on a train with him to a certain location to see him off on another train (which we don't see) and then return home? Were they both leaving "home" for some reason, and he met up with her somewhere....after traveling the world on his own? Is she off to college, and he has to join the Army or Peace Corp or something to make enough money to join her? Are they playing some twisted game of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? It kills me that I use brain power to think about this otherwise completely forgettable commercial, but clearly there's some kind of story going on here. Or did the director just screw up and shoot the girl leaving on the train when it should have been the guy, and they were too cheap/lazy to reshoot?

Speaking of NBA playoffs: LeBron James. Now, I know that a lot of you probably don't care about the NBA, and even a year or two ago I would have only been partially interested, but when you all of the sudden spend a lot more time on the couch feeding/playing with/putting to sleep a baby girl, you find yourself watchign a lot more sports. At least I did. So it is that I'm becoming more and more of a sports fan than I was.

An argument I hear a lot lately regarding LeBron James is that he doesn't deserve all the hype/accolades he receives, with the first justification for this argument usually being something along the lines of "Let's see him win a couple of titles first, since Jordan won 6". The counter for this easy and two-fold: Jordan didn't win a title until his 7th year, and couldn't win without good teammates, notably Pippen, Horace Grant, and to a lesser extent Bill Cartwright and John Paxson. In addition, this core of players was with Joran for 2-3 years before they finally broke through in '91.

The interesting thing, however is how quickly this counter-argument is just dismissed by those arguing against LeBron. As if getting an All NBA defensive stud and one of the 50 greatest NBA players in Pippen, and a young big man in Grant in his prime who could give you 15 and 9 every night should just be ignored. Even this year when the Cavs got LeBron "help" in Mo Williams, who might seem an equal to Pippen in '90-91, as they both averaged around 17 points a game, is in fact nowhere near Pippen's contributions. Pippen in '90-91 averaged 7.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.4 steals, and was 2nd team All NBA Defensive. Mo this year is averaging 3.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 0.9 steals. Granted Mo's a 6'1" point guard and isn't going to get that many rebounds, but still, Pippen destroys him in both assists and steals. And why shouldn't he, he's one of the best ever. Big Z v. Grant is similarly lopsides in Gran't favor, and that's ignoring the fact that '90-91 Grant is probably about 10 times as athletic and mobile than '08-09 Big Z, which obviously makes him more valuable on the defensive end. Hell Big Z is such a defensive liability they had Ben Wallace in there as a defensive replacement at the end of Game 4.

The point is, you can't discount what Jordan had as teammates when comparing him and LeBron (which of course really isn't a fair comparison to begin with). Look at what we got out of LeBron this year: 66 wins from a team where Anderson Varejao is your 5th highest scorer. Champion NBA teams need at least two, sometimes three, legit All Star calibur players to win titles. LeBron doesn't have that second guy; Mo's nice but as we saw in the first four games, too inconsistent to be counted on. He's the 4rd or 5th option on most chapionship teams at best. 

And now I hear babies stirring, so I can't go on this any more or write anything else I had planned. Girls are great, approaching 8 months, no teeth or crawling yet but should happen soon. Star Trek was awesome, can't wait for them to turn that into a 3 or 4 picture run. Looking forward GI Joe of all things, looked good, but otherwise summer offerings seem kind of blah this year. Royals are somewhat surprising but falling back to earth, hopefully the bats can get going again and they can turn it around, but in the grand scheme of things if they hang around .500 this year it will be a good season, and also the Kauffman renovations are awesome.
< new conclusion | It was a nice, relaxing four day weekend >
Commercials are weird | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Adorable baby pix please by duxup (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri May 29, 2009 at 12:40:16 PM EST
The issue with evaluating NBA players is that the NBA’s and all the marketing around the players is all about superstars.  Of course it doesn’t matter that like half of all players get called a star at some point or another (often during the same game), but people only remember the big names so you’d think Jordan or any of those guys won their rings single handedly.  

Heck, throw Rodman in his prime on any team and you’re winning a bunch more games.  I would even argue during the NBA regular season you might win just as many more games if you added Rodman than if you added Jordan :o

It is a weird contrast to MLB where the fascination with statistics and history mean with just about any claim you’ve got to show your work.  I was skeptical of LeBron for a while but the dude is for real, but no matter how awesome, dude has a bad team.

Interesting you mention stats by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri May 29, 2009 at 02:47:15 PM EST
Apparently there is something of a revolution going on in the NBA right now regarding statistics, and how you use them to evaluate players. Stuff far and beyond just points/rebounds/assists obviously (or even blocks and steals on the D end), but also attempting to evaluate the worth of players who don't put up hard stats, but nevertheless are key to a team winning. Think someone like Bruce Bowen on those championship Spurs teams. Weird stats like "number of made open 3's" vs "number of contested 3's", number of drives stopped, deflected passes, etc. Stuff that you wouldn't necessarily think you could even track easily, but apparently a lot of teams are really paying attention to. Bill Simmons has fired off a couple of 15k word articles on the subject.

To me it's interesting because it helps explain how a guy like Shane Battier can average less than 10 points a game for his career and still be a highly sought after free agent, or how Jacque Vaughn spent like 12 years in the league.

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Those would be cool by duxup (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri May 29, 2009 at 03:22:21 PM EST
The NBA does suffer from a lack of hard data.  Maybe it explains some demand for players but the NBA also seems to have (just my theory) a lot of asshole issues and some dude with a good attitude might always be in demand because there are always a few teams, coaches, tired of their last asshole. Also the whole issue where they make you trade X % of a contract to the other team means a LOT of bad contracts live way longer than they should. I think that skews what is in demand too.

It would be cool to see how some of those stats work.  The all offense focus of the NBA makes it hard for me to "get" or enjoy at times.

[ Parent ]
From what I read by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri May 29, 2009 at 04:49:06 PM EST
A lot of NBA players and teams are going to get a very harsh dose of reality over the next couple years of free agency. The league is in trouble; ticket sales are down drastically across the board, and a lot of owners who had a lot of "paper wealth" are hurting now with the market in the tank. Superstars will still get theirs, of course, but you won't see guys like Luke Walton pulling down 4 years/$20 mil.

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Yeah by duxup (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri May 29, 2009 at 05:20:55 PM EST
Well the structure of the league stinks.  The contracts are insane to begin with. Then that whole dead weight trading deal sucks, if your team stinks you can’t just trade away to make lots of cap space, you need to pick up in the same trade a percent of what you traded away. WTF? I can see why the union would like it but that just keeps garbage on the court. The number of games waters down the product but cutting games might cost money.
It is a mess.

[ Parent ]
But where else by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri May 29, 2009 at 06:33:37 PM EST
Can an expiring, insured contract for Raef LaFrenzt, who hasn't played for like two years, be considered a legitimate asset?

[ Parent ]
Commercials are weird | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback