Sunday, June 29, 2008

Giving baseball a bad rap

It's a sad, sad day in the world of rap and hip-hop. The selling of the Death Row catalog? Not exactly. More like this:

For those of you who aren't familiar with baseball, the guys in the ad are Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella and Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. And for those of you not familiar with rap, they are making complete asses of themselves.

Guillen: "I'm a South Side guy!"
Piniella: "I know, I can tell!"
Guillen: "What's that mean? You can go to [honk]!"

"Lou Piniella don't gotta cuss in his raps to win ballgames. Well, I do. So [honk] him and [honk] you too!"

Piniella: "We play day ball at Addison and Clark!"
Guillen: "At 35th and Shields, we're balling after dark!"
Piniella: "Sparks'll fly from our Cubbie bats!"
Guillen: "You remind me of being sorta fat!"

Wait, what? Is that something one can be "reminded" of? That doesn't make sense. Why are billiard balls being racked up in the background of that shot? And why does Guillen suddenly get personal (aside from the fact that this is in keeping with his normal personality, that of "total asshole")?

EDIT: As noted in the comments, the actual line is apparently "You remind me of Minnesota Fats," which explains the billiard balls (and, of course, makes the line's syntax a lot more reasonable). It also explains why I wasn't able to correctly discern what Guillen was saying there because, holy shit, a Minnesota Fats reference? Even Ozzie Guillen isn't old enough to be dropping that one. Can I fairly assume that the guy who wrote this copy is at least 70?

Piniella: "I'm a North Side guy!"
Guillen: "I know, I can tell!"
Piniella: "At least I ain't trapped in no South Side cell!"

Wakka wakka. The White Sox play at US Cellular Field, often referred to as "The Cell." Also, their fans often end up in jail cells. It's a double entendre!

Guillen: "Black and blue, that's what you're gonna be!"
Piniella: "Oh yeah? It's the crosstown rivalry!"
Guillen: "South Side!"
Piniella: "North Side!"
Both: "You decide!"

I like how they say "you decide" like this is really a choice anyone needs to think about. If you live in Chicago, you either root for the Cubs, or you root for the White Sox, or you don't care about baseball and are waiting for Bears training camp to start.

If an ad like this doesn't prove that middle-aged white guys are the dominant force in advertising, I don't know what does. This is right up there with Rappin' Rodney or that track Ron Jeremy did for absolute ear pain. "Hey, this is what the kids like, right? Rap? Man, this is going to be so cool. See if you can get two older guys to do it. Old guys are usually pretty awesome at rap."

What does this have to do with Chevrolet, anyway? (That's right - did you know this ad was for Chevrolet?) We don't even find out what it's for until 23 seconds in, by which point anyone sane has changed the channel. Is that really effective? Anyone who likes baseball, or rap, or cars, or anything really, should be embarrassed on behalf of everyone involved with this ad.


Quivering P. Landmass said...

Chevy has another of these rivalry ads that shows Guillen and Piniella having fun together around town -- fishing, eating, taking pictures in one of those black and white photo booths. It makes even less sense, because how is it a rivalry if the two coaches are best buddies?

Oh, and apart from showing the Chevrolet logo at the end, you have no idea what it's trying to sell. Doesn't seem like a smart use of resources for a company in the foundering automobile industry.

Anonymous said...

It's "you remind me, of Minnesota Fats", which explains the billiards shot. That said, nothing can explain why this commercial was made, and why Lou Pinella looks like he's attempting to mimic the onstage walk of an exotic dancer with a hernia.

Windier E. Megatons said...

Ahh, you're right. Chalk one up for Ozzie Guillen's general unintelligibility, I guess. But in a way, it makes even less sense now - I mean, a Minnesota Fats reference? Is it 1961 already?

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I almost commented on how incredibly esoteric a reference it was, too. Who under the age of 35 that isn't a billiards aficionado would know of Minnesota Fats (besides myself, apparently)? To be fair, Pinella sort of does possess a passing resemblance to both the real Minnesota Fats and Jackie Gleason. Mostly in terms of his silhouette, though, which gets back to Ozzie taking a personal shot. Smartball, my ass.

c12h22o11 said...

You forgot they're also on a tandem bike together.

If the reason Piniella reminds him of Minnesota Fats is because he IS fat, maybe the line SHOULD have been "you remind me of sorta being fat"...