Monday, August 15, 2011

Major League Adball

I love baseball but I despise anything that takes away from the purity of the game.  Steroids. Gambling. Scandals. Strikes. You name it.

During this past Sunday's afternoon game between the cellar-hugging Houston Astros and the barely surviving Los Angeles Dodgers, I was excited to witness three home runs slugged into the stands by several Dodgers. One of those home run champs was Bellflower native Justin Sellers, whose contract with the Dodgers was just purchased this week. What a joy to witness a young rookie hit his first career home run.  Now that's baseball purity at its finest.

Yet when centerfielder Matt Kemp shot his 28th homer out of Dodger Stadium, I noticed an impurity take place inside the stadium.  Amidst the usual home run fanfare with dazzling lights and loud music, the center field scoreboard started flashing the words, "State Farm."  I was confused.  I thought Matt Kemp hit the ball out of the park not State Farm.

Dodger Stadium 8/14/11 iPhone Photo
Then on the cascade that runs around the stadium below the Loge seats, the following bright letters were flashing alternately to the delight of the fans:  "Home Run - State Farm  Matt Kemp -  State Farm."

I wondered to myself, "Is State Farm on the Dodger roster? Does manager Don Mattingly know this? Who is State Farm?  Why is his name being flashed on the main scoreboard along with Matt Kemp's?

And one other thought. I don't want to be thinking about auto insurance while watching Matt Kemp run around the bases.

The only conclusion I can come to is that State Farm Insurance wants the fans to associate their company with a home run.  Their thinking must be:  "As you enjoy this four bagger hit by a member of your home town team, remember State Farm insurance is the home run of all the insurance companies. Hit one out of the park by calling State Farm as you leave Dodger Stadium today."

I was resentful, and on top of everything . . .  I have State Farm for my car insurance!

Major League Adball is going too far by brazenly ruining memorable baseball moments by pushing products in our faces while we're trying to soak in the game.  Who wants to be bombarded with ads for pistachio nuts or Wetzel's Pretzels after the third baseman makes a diving catch and manages to throw out the runner heading into first base?

My suggestion is to only play the ads in between innings just like they run ads in between segments during TV shows.

I don't want to watch no-hitters or perfect games peppered with commercials for upcoming movies. I'd rather enjoy the tensions associated with with the game of professional baseball.

Sorry to say this, State Farm, if I didn't already own your product, I would intentionally avoid buying it because you ruin home run moments.  I'm just too lazy to switch insurance companies and I happen to like my agent.

As the baseball season is starting to wind down my prediction for the World Series involves  two of the following four teams:  American League: Boston Red Sox or the  New York Yankees. National League:  San Francisco Giants or the Philadelphia Phillies. Regardless of who wins, I surely don't want to see a State Farm ad being flashed on the stadium scoreboard when the World Series team is finally crowned.

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