(Editor’s note: Mixed into a rambling narrative about the current state of affairs in the NFL loaded with historical and pop culture references, Mr. Brutal makes some football picks. Why does he call it the “War of 1812 Football Prognostication”? He likes history, he’s Canadian, Bob Gaughan is American and includes his picks as well.)
SEASON TO DATE:
MR. BRUTAL 22-39
MR. BRUTAL 2-11
It’s great to see corporations who have a stake in promoting their products with the aid of the National Football League take a stand against domestic violence. However, this is most likely due to current public outrage and not deeply-held moral theorems. So don’t expect most of the sponsors, advertisers and capitalistic corporate leeches that temporarily suspended their support for the NFL in the last few weeks to stay on the sidelines for too long.
Because hypocrisy rules and the NFL is far too valuable a prize to ignore or ostracize for very long. Besides, there are scores of others that are anxious to take their place. There is no shortage of competitors eagerly salivating like a pack of Pavlovian dogs suffering from severe gastroesophageal reflux disease, waiting to commit to a largely unholy financial relationship with the Godfather of Team Sport Revenues. The cue of desperate suitors grovels at the door of 345 Park Avenue, New York– corporate lawyers and marketing heads attempting to stick their noses into the inner sanctum at any opportunity to gorge on the manna whose intoxicating aroma fuels their plutocratic daydreams of excessive numismatical abundance.
In today’s ever-changing promotion sweepstakes, the NFL is one of the last super value prizes available in the TV or internet market. More than any other franchise, professional football offers the most in:
- Huge ratings
- High product identification & message retention
- Real time viewers
- Collective viewing
- Follow-up water cooler gossip the following day
Today, a huge percentage of “views” of any prime time programme are recorded. Then episodes are watched later, often back to back to back to back in cathode ray, plasma & liquid crystal orgies of overindulgence. Popular themes include “Masters of Sex,” “Girls,” “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad” and whatever litany of prefab change-the-location-in-the-script-only CSI franchises currently available around the globe: Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Fresno, Kalamazoo, Calcutta, Fallujah, Magnitogorsk, etc.
This means many potential endorsement viewers are fast forwarding through any commercials or network promotions, thus simultaneously irritating both the companies who have paid out exorbitant fees based on viewership rates that don’t account for this phenomenon, and the broadcast Network that tries to justify the huge rates they are charging to offset their excessive financial commitment to producing/procuring/promoting the programs in question.
But the NFL is different. It has the highest number by far of simultaneous real-time viewers, which means the viewers are less likely to miss all the commercials, and if the advertisements are eye catching, provocative or overtly titillating, they will promote conversation around the room and the next day at work. So, this has a “Super Bowl Effect” on viewers and advertisers throughout the entire football season and not just the Super Bowl itself.
Having a dwindling viewership elsewhere on other television shows and mediums, means they are willing to debut new, innovative and creative ideas on NFL broadcasts that might just keep the viewers talking, watching and associating positive feelings toward their products.
Hence campaigns like our previously mentioned favorite, the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” franchise series of commercials of the Lincoln Division of Ford featuring the Ginsberg-Kerouac narrative of unaffiliated Space Ranger and Super Thespian Matthew McConaughey.
The mood of these mini works of art is mesmerizing as the Descartes of Chauffeurs pilots his Lincoln SUV around the metropolitan panorama in a barbiturate paralysed state of reflection and bemused self awareness.
To Ford & “Miasmatic Matt’s” credit, …… this commercial series does have some credibility since the actor did star as sleazebag lawyer Mickey Haller in the respectable movie version of Michael Connelly’s “Lincoln Lawyer.” In the film Matt himself was chauffeured around Los Angeles in a reliable late model First Generation Lincoln Town Car.
Apparently the ads have been effective and Lincoln sales have already experienced a slight bump.
So watch for more attention seeking, entertaining and quirky contrarian ad campaigns on upcoming NFL telecasts in the near future– many by the very same companies that have been heeding public pressure, the daily internet public opinion polls and are presently denouncing the Shield for their poor handling of the very serious latest public relation disaster of the moment.
They’ll be back in the hunt because there are ten other sponsors waiting to buy up all the commercial slots they have vacated– so their image and the League’s all recover eventually after a short, seemingly appropriate time-out after this latest marital spat. But not too long, or their contractual option to re-up and renew their advertising purchases might actually lapse.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Minnesota @ GREEN BAY (-10) 48
We made a crucial error last week. Somehow with all the resources at our disposal, the memory cells failed us and we forgot the simple fact that the Minnesota Vikings are not playing in a dome. We picked Atlanta to cover the small spread in a close game since they had such a dominant record indoors. Our stupid oversight!
They of course are playing this year outdoors at the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gopher prairie mound while their new dome is being constructed. The Vikes looked good playing outdoors last Sunday and it brought back memories of those sub-zero games at the “Met” forty plus years ago that were colder on average than those “Frozen Tundra” exaggerations by Packer propagandists.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer has apparently consulted with true legend and former Minnesota Viking/Winnipeg Blue Bomber Head Coach Bud Grant about playing in arctic conditions in preparations for games later in the year. The players can only pray that Zimm doesn’t take the stoic 87 year old’s first rule for football.
“No heaters of any kind on the sidelines!”
QB Teddy “Thor” Bridgewater started, won, and got injured in his Viking debut last week. His status for Thursday’s game is tenuous.
His likely replacement will be former starter “The Magic Christian” Ponder. With QB Matt Cassel gone for the year, and likely forever due to his high salary, the rest of the quarterback depth chart is as follows:
- McLeod Bethel-Thompson
- Chandler Harnisch
- King Canute
- Tommy Kramer
It looks like Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers was Nostradamus last week when he told Cheesehead Nation to “R-E-L-A-X.” With the confidence of a medicine show hustler, he dissected the Bears’ barely existent secondary due to Chicago’s completely non-existent pass rush in a 38-17 rout of Minnesota. Aaron Norman Vincent Peale Rodgers was not touched by a Bears’ lineman or linebacker all game, a new team record.
The Packers are happy, management is happy, the fans are happy, Olivia Jezebel Salome Munn is happy, and Aaron is considering moonlighting in the off season as a motivational speaker, co-headlining selected engagements with Tony Robbins, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar and Johnny Knoxville.
For the Vikings, last week’s 41-28 pulverizing of the Falcons was reminiscent of the Viking slaughter of the Saxon forces of Ethelred of Wessex at the triumphant “Battle of Marton” in 991 AD. The Vikings were led by pagan brothers Halfdan Ragnarsson and Ivar the Boneless.
This week, with only a few days rest, likely without Bridgewater and the momentum he brings, the Norsemen might just relive the decisive 1066 AD Norwegian/Viking loss at “Stamford Bridge.”
The practicing christian King of Norway Harold Hardrada and his Norse army were defeated and killed by their arch rivals to the English throne. Harold Godwinson won a decisive victory for the Anglo-Saxons, ending forever any Scandinavian claim to ruling the British Isles. The death of Hardrada brought an end to the life of one of the most spectacular and understudied military careers in our collective histories.
The Anglo Saxons had their own comeuppance about a week later at the “Battle of Hastings” where they lost an epic back and forth day long struggle that wasn’t decided until inside the two minute warning. The victorious Normans under the leadership of William the Conqueror went on to rule Great Britain unopposed till the present day, and changed the course of Western Civilization.
The short preparation week, the long journey and the schedule maker didn’t help the Saxons any as they brought a battered and bruised side to the field that day. With a little luck, things could easily have gone the other way and an entirely different history would have resulted.
While nobody is suggesting that the result between Minnesota and arch rival Green Bay Thursday will have the implications of these battles, it is worth noting the facts.
We must “Ponder” the historical reality that the Scandinavians were never as effective or menacing as when they were led by a “Christian”… and Green Bay looks like they are back on track and all signs point to an easy win.
On the other hand, this is a rivalry of rival neighboring states, an NFC Central Division derby with its own history of epic proportions,
10 points is a big number and although Thursday Night Football blowouts have been the norm, overreaction to the previous week’s results tends to drive the squares to bet the chalk and drive up the number beyond its competitive reality.
So, Jim Morrison, The Doors and Mr. Brutal foresee the ultimate “Back Door Man” cover.
Mr. Brutal: Vikings (+10)
Bob: Vikings +10