Advertisers Will Stop at Nothing to Ruin Sports

El Vaquero Sports Editor

Before we begin, this article is brought to you by Budweiser, King of Beers.

Who cares right?

Hey if every facet of sports is being swallowed by advertisements then why can’t this article? Advertisements, the great annoyer, pollute everything of ours; but now they have encroached a little too far on America’s most sacred institution.

The most recent annoyance was when Major League Baseball was nearly vandalized with ads for “Spider Man 2” littered on all bases for the June 30 release of the movie. Thankfully, the league decided to put the idea to bed after public outrage.

It is just appalling to think that pictures of some stupid Marvel comic would be put in a baseball field, the most majestic of sports grounds. Is there no limit as to where the advertisers will go?

Looking around and realizing that the advertisers have already attached themselves to pro sports like parasites is a grim scene.

It’s understandable that some have rights to provide food and a few billboards and names here and there, but ads have nearly done everything in sports except take the field, but don’t be surprised to see beer bottles tackling Ronald McDonald in a game, instead of real athletes. If the price is right it seems like every team would just about sell their souls for a few million dollars.

The ad takeover is exemplified in Nascar, with cars tagged with corporate logos; so when the cars are zipping around the track, it looks like Oreo is taking a slight lead over the Miller Lite car. Soon we’ll see footballs wrapped with ads, basketballs being shot into AT&T backboards and hockey nets spelling, ‘drink Pepsi’.

That “Spider Man” was due to bring Major League Baseball a cool $3.5 million, but at least some decency was upheld, when the league said no.That still leaves the issue over the setting of our first love, our stadiums.

Even that has been puked on by advertisers, most stadiums have a corporate sponsor name and the newest edition of this is with the Texas Rangers who changed The Ballpark in Arlington to Ameriquest Field with a 30-year agreement. Thirty years is not an agreement, it’s a deal with the devil!

Other excruciating names include the Philadelphia Phillies playing at Citizens Bank Park and the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Sounds like the setting of legendar moments, and memories are cemented.

Citizens Bank Park sounds like a place to have a bankers picnic.

How about naming the place something intimidating and something that has to do with the town, just an abstract thought.

To hit it somewhere near home, imagine Dodgers Stadium being renamed Bank of America Stadium. Who wants to tell tales of that famous World Series bomb they witnessed at the great Bank of America Stadium? Sounds like a place to go for loans rather than homers. The only dreams answered here are maybe a short line or free checking.

Now for the residents of these stadiums, are they just as guitly? The players are the guiltiest participants of the advertising takeover.

It has gotten so out of hand in sports that boxers themselves have started selling their bodies, taking six-figure payments to scribble casino names on their backs so they can be clearly seen during fights. Some would say at least the boxers are still competing and the sport is alive.

If the evolution of ads continues, we will see Ronald McDonald dunking on Jack from Jack in the Box, all while across town a whole squad of Pillsbury doughboys are getting ready to take the field against the Trix rabbits.

In a recent Sports Illustrated article that highlighted the top 50 moneymakers in sports for the year, Tiger Woods accounted for more than $76 million. The big news is that 70 million is from endorsements and appearances. Nothing wrong with a player milking his name for everything it is worth, but do not be surprised to see Tiger Woods selling body parts for a few extra million. The man does not belong to the human race any longer; he is part of a new Nike specie, with more swooshes than all the Foot Lockers combined.

Soon teams will be organized by endorsement deals and teams will be named after the companies. The Los Angeles Nabisco’s or the New York Visa Platinum Cards. The reasoning seems to make sense because as a nation we need to be reminded to consume while watching our favorite athletes play our favorite games.

So before the ads take over sports and make it one big ad, fans should unite and make sure that the Spider Man type of ad never happens. It is bad enough I have to watch the Lakers play at the Staples Center. An office supply store for crying out loud.