The Worst Local Sports Commercials
Have you ever been on the road and watching TV in a hotel in another city? You end up watching sitcom reruns on some local channel. It's a boring night until...that local ad comes on featuring the big-name athlete in town.
There is always loads of unintentional humor as beyond-humanly-sized men stumble through pun-laden dialogue to make a pitch for local Joe Car Dealer who's paying for the debauchery.
It's the type of gold that makes fans cringe...and then go spend money wherever their favorite ball-player says to.
Here are the 25 worst (best?) local sports commercials.
25. John Elway: Wysi Wyg
Even after the commercial ends I have not idea what a Wysi Wyg is. No idea.
Elway has carved out a nice post-football fortune in Denver. But it's very clear why he's back in with the Broncos on the executive side. How many commercials like this could he stand to film?
How long did the other guy in the commercial wait to ask for Elway's autograph?
24. Joe Flacco: Mother's Federal Hill Grille
Joe Flacco hasn't made it into many national ads. I wonder why.
He's less composed in that first scene than he was during the AFC Divisional game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Zing!
Seriously though, he can barely keep it together when the two girls go in for the kiss on the cheek. And why are they tying him up? Awful all the way around.
23. Bart Starr: Rawhide Boys Ranch
There's nothing wrong with Bart Starr's delivery. There's nothing wrong with the message. But who edited the film?
About 20 seconds in one of the guys wipes his nose with his arm. Apparently, the first thing I noticed didn't get picked up by the editing crew.
Or, the rest of the footage available was just worse.
22. Marcelo Balboa: Colorado Rapids
Personally, that much of a close-up of someone's feet is unwelcome.
Getting a look at old-school soccer kits is fun too. They used to be so baggy. And the MLS had such terrible color schemes. The uniforms and the play in the league is getting much better.
Hopefully the commercials are too.
21. Mario Lemieux: Car Dealership
So much emotion, so much conviction, Mario Lemieux brings his A game for this one.
Listening to him try to pronounce "Chevrolet" is comical, the American version of Chevrolet, anyway. Lemieux probably has a lot better grasp on pronouncing french names than most Americans since he is of Canadian and French descent.
20. Pavel Dtsyuk: Eye Institute
Lots of preparation went into this one. "Hey, guys. Let's go down to the Red Wings' practice and we'll have Pavel Datsyuk skate around for a while after while we film him." Commercial gold.
At least the eye institute gets him in a suit at the end to declare his trust of the facility.
19. John Abraham: Ford Dealerships
We've all dreamed of making that last-second sack. Never do we dream of making the last-second touchdown pass or the last-second touchdown catch. The whole thing is a bit of a stretch.
I have no complaints about John Abraham. He's convincing and kind of funny.
But then there is that tag line. The Guts. The Glory. The...Goodies? Huh?
18. Joe Mauer:
What's with the Celine Dion-esque song in the background. Maybe it is Celine Dion. Either way, it's weird.
So are the sideburns. The sound effect accompanying Joe Mauer pulling them off his face is disgusting.
Mauer is good enough not to be made fun of. The thumbs up is a stable of bad sports commercials.
17. Wade Boggs: Massachusetts Libraries
That's all it takes, kids. Read a book about hitting and you'll be a .300 hitter. If only somebody had told me that as I struck my way out of little league.
There is some leniency here because Wade Boggs is pushing libraries and education.
But how about that double to left-center? Boggs looks like he pulls a hammy lumbering into second.
16. Utah Jazz: Karl Malone Jersey Retirement Night
This one probably goes over the heads of anyone out side of Utah. Therefore, I've effectively alienated 99.9 percent of my audience.
But the voice delivering the play-by-play is the one, the only, "Hot" Rod Hundley. This is when he was still on TV and not completely against referees.
He soon moved to radio and pretty much blamed any lag in the game, any Jazz drought, and world tragedies on the refs.
15. Hakeem Olajuwan: Shoe Store
How old is that little kid? Seven? Eight, maybe? He is far and away the best of the three in this commercial. He's on top of his lines, throws in a corny arm swing and is probably heading Nike's shoe marketing.
Give Hakeem Olajuwan credit for marketing a shoe brand and a shoe store at the same time.
14. Emmitt Smith: Dance Studio
Talk about a direct commercial: learn to dance and get women. Emmitt Smith says so. It's a fact, even.
Smith uses his new dancing talents from "Dancing With the Stars" to make himself doubly marketable. The commercial's shortcomings aren't at all his fault. That's owned solely by the writer.
13. Pittsburgh Penguins: Car Dealership
It's hard to think that it can get worse than this, but it can. How did these guys sign off on this being show publicly in the Pittsburgh area?
You all the coolness you gain from being a professional hockey player? Yeah, it's gone.
Sidney Crosby probably got this offer and passed it on to some of his teammates instead. Just trying to help his bros out.
12. Mike Ditka: Chicago White Sox Ticket Sales
At least Mike Ditka had a good sense of humor about being fired by the Chicago Bears. Having a sense of humor and being funny, however, are completely different.
The plot of the commercial has nothing to do with selling tickets, yet that's exactly its goal. This was probably a successful ad anyway. Plug in the right local celebrity and it will get the job done.
11. John Wall: Washington Wizards Ticket Sales
If my NBA team's franchise player started playing basketball with me on blacktop, I would start blitzing him with profanities. What are you doing?! You're risking injury, man!
I would feel bad for Washington Wizard fans that they had to create preseason hype around a player that had never stepped on an NBA floor before except that I'm a Cleveland Cavaliers fan. It can get worse, Washington.
10. Boston Celtics: Restaurant
I apologize for the quality of the video, but not for the commercial itself.
Robert Parish intensely believes that lobster is the best part of the meal. Bill Walton eats a trough of salad for dinner. And Larry Bird can't believes he's about to start the wave.
It's refreshing to see all those guys get into a commercial like they did.
9. Drew Brees: Advocare
Where did that box come from, anyway? Seconds before his hands were full with markers and then...Vuala! Spark, whatever that is.
Advocare doesn't even bother distinguishing what the product is that it is paying thousands of dollars for Brees to advertise.
8. Larry Bird: Car Dealership
There's just something so funny about Larry Bird working so hard to deliver in commercials. The guy really gets into it.
The editing is primitive.
Couldn't Rodman and all his employees found a better place to film this? Why not on the lot or in the showroom instead of some weird blue room?
7. Magic Johnson: Casino
Maybe the details of the commercial fail to reach viewers outside of the local market, but the whole hockey game part goes completely over my head.
I could listen to Magic Johnson read random things all day. The way he talks is hilarious and just adds to his charisma.
6. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry: Car Dealership
Jason Terry showed up on the set and told the director he could assign him one line and it had to be only one word. Seriously, what is the point of paying him to be in this commercial?
Dirk Nowitzki is the big man in town and could have carried it himself. "But you can get a good deal..." is such a cheesy delivery.
5. William "The Fridge" Perry: BBQ Sauce
The only reason this isn't No. 1 is that I can't bring myself to fully believe that it's real.
Worst use of a green screen ever. At the end, they just got lazy and went to a Power Point delivery, giving up video altogether.
I hope William Perry isn't solely relying on his BBQ sauce for income.
4. Joe Flacco: Pizza Hut
Any commercial that begins with a personal introduction is doomed.
Why do the Pizza Huts of Maryland even need their own ad campaign? The national ones seem to do pretty well.
3. Phoenix Suns/Dan Majerle: Subway
I literally want to punch that one guy in his purple-painted face. I'm sure he was so proud of his work the when that commercial played over and over and over and over again.
The beauty of the local sports commercial is in full effect when Subway uses Dan Majerle, an athlete that pretty much no one outside of the greater Phoenix area would recognize.
2. Scottie Pippen: Mr. Submarine
Scottie Pippen definitely got second choice of local commercials while in Chicago. There's just so much bad in that 29 second commercial.
The forced implementation of basketball and the awful jingle stand out. The cherry on top is when the ladies close with a catch-phrase in unison.
1. Jonathan Ogden: Car Insurance
There you have it: the worst local sports commercial out there. Jonathan Ogden's demonstrative acting and cringe-worthy dancing put this in the top spot.
What's worse is that this is just one of at least two similar commercials that Ogden filmed for this company.
Soon enough, somebody will make a mistake worthy of dethroning him.