SPENTERTAINMENT – where you hype a sport to a level where people pay more for the hype of a brand, yet, get less and less of the actual sport.
How long do you think I got to watch the super bowl in Switzerland?
Three plays. Yes, it was a "three and out series" then the punt team was called in. When I played, I was a linebacker, and while “three and out” meant the defense did their job well, it also meant you usually weren’t on the field playing much. The time of possession for the game went to your offensives unit, who hopefully was all giddy scoring points.
I smile and think of the hall of fame punter, Ray Guy and the Oakland raiders. People used to think he filled the balls with helium to make them hang higher and go father.
If you haven never been next top rated punter, your jaw drops at how high and far they can kick the ball. The best ones have the ability to put the ball exactly where they want on the field.
There is less and less of my American heritage with my time in Switzerland. I have vowed to stay until i am fluent in the German language This might take many years? So there are days I do get homesick for a delicious greasy cheeseburger, or the unlimited Chinese buffet shops many Americans will not go into, “cause it is different food.” I also miss the open 24/7 mentality that you can go get a cup of coffee or shopping anytime you wish. While I don’t think the later is the greatest thing for the health of your overall society – it is a nice convenience, and face it, in the developing world the blur between man and machine will make for some interesting times in how we actually do things.
Despite all the convenience of the developed world, in some ways it is sad when I remember some of my best meals in my life were off the streets in various parts of the world, yet, inside my own home country, we seem to have picky eaters, yet the widest variety of food choices on the entire planet.
The two food groups my home country excels in eating is the fat and sugar groups.
I digress – I did get to see the Austrian announcers in their over the top, gaudy, yet highly memorable announcer costumes. I figure I can blame Nike for putting out the neon orange, yellow and lime green –“look at me!” colors.
This year they weren’t in the gift shop of the Marriott marquis in NYC. I became fans of the two garishly dresses men, for it took some real creativity to make a gift shop in a hotel a broadcast booth for a super bowl broadcast to Austria
So my three and out started on the last play of the 1st quarter when the most god-awful “television time out” transpired. I even said, “television time out” when the Europeans watching became bored a live feed of consisting of players standing on a field pretty much doing nothing, chatting away, waiting for the referee to say, “ok, bills are paid, play away.”
Then there was one series of plays – yes, one play, in between plays cut to the announcers babbling away, 4 seconds of action, cut to announcers, another 5 seconds. Without warming:
“This is a boring sport!” (click) Channel changed...kaput!
Some times things are better left unsaid, and that is what I did, I simply shut up. The announcers are talking all the time to try to educate a viewership that is rabid about what Americans refer to as soccer. The experience is something missing here with the broadcasts. I even had to sneak to the British channel to see if they were doing the same thing, “was the broadcast really that boring to watch outside of the USA?”
The problem I have with the brand is that it has elevated hype so high and with so much that they are loosing the sport.
This becomes horrifically apparent when you simply watch the live feed, no commercials, no gratuitous cheerleader shots, no repeats of the same play in super slo motion, and no “jubo” of players jumping up and down because they got a first down.
Isn’t that what their job is supposed to be? Why all the hype and jubilation?
Today, sport isn’t enough; we need to have SPENTERTAINMENT – better balance sheets for all!
Now I have to go look to see who even won the game.