One of the things which suggests the coming of the apocalypse from a sports perspective is the growing trend of placing advertising on team uniforms. It crept into the United States from soccer. If you watch, for example, a telecast of an LA Galaxy game you might get the impression that what you’re really seeing is the company squad from Herbalife.
The Portland Timbers might appear to be actually the Alaska Airlines team. And it goes on and on. The infection has now spread to the WNBA, where athletes seem to be playing for the Mayo Clinic or Verizon Wireless.
The next step, of course, is the NBA. Starting with the 2017-208 season, companies can buy a 2.5-by-2.5 inch space on team uniforms in what’s pitched as a pilot program. Isn’t this just we need? Athletic giants wearing advertisements for laxatives and, who knows, maybe casinos?
Part of the reason for this trend is pure greed, of course. The league wants to squeeze every possible penny out of the game. Look at NASCAR and other auto racing organizations. There’s not a square inch of the driver’s outfits not covered with pitches for Pepsi or Pennzoil.
The other reason is that people are watching fewer commercials on TV. The ad spot on uniform allows advertisers to shovel their message into your view even if you have figured out how to otherwise skip those 30-second pitches.
As you might guess, I’m against this, almost who-heartedly. The sole, slim good reason for advertising on sports uniforms is to distract from, or obliterate, certain of the dumber names which have become attached to major league sports teams. Such as:
Utah Jazz: Originally the New Orleans Jazz, this franchise kept the team name when it moved to Salt Lake City. Located in the heart of a prim (and almost totally white) Mormon center, there is probably no spot in America less “jazzy” than this one.
Washington Redskins. This is the most controversial team name in sports. It’s not so much the association with Native Americans, it’s the name “Redskins.” Can you imagine a team named the “Whiteskins” or “Blackskins”? How about changing to something less offensive, as the Washington NBA team did when it dropped “Bullets” for “Wizards,” considering how many shootings take place in some neighborhoods of D.C.
Tampa Bay Lightning: The name is OK, but the graphic of a white lightning bolt against a blue background looks like it was designed by a C+ graphic arts student rushing to turn in a project after a long weekend. Wouldn’t mind seeing that covered up with an ad for Cialis. Just point the lightning bolt up.
MARINERS, ARGOS, GRIFFS RUNNING HOT
Last week in this column we took a look at the high school baseball races in the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Westminster area; today we cast our eyes on the softball situation.
Our local leagues include two of the top teams in the nation. Los Alamitos (21-3) of the Sunset League is rated second in California and third in the nation. Pacifica (16-7) of the Empire League is rated 56th across America and 25th in California.
The two programs have a link; Rob Weil, coach of the Griffins, is a former coach of the Mariners.
Here’s how local league standings looks as of Monday morning.
Empire League: Pacifica 6-0, Cypress 4-2, Valencia 4-2, Kennedy 2-4, Tustin 1-4, Western 0-5.
Garden Grove League: Garden Grove 8-0, Santiago 6-2, Rancho Alamitos 3-5, Los Amigos 3-5, La Quinta 3-5, Bolsa Grande 1-7.
Golden West League: Loara 6-0, Segerstrom 4-1, Ocean View 3-3, Santa Ana 2-4, Westminster 1-4, Orange 1-5.
Sunset League: Los Alamitos 7-0, Marina 5-2, Huntington Beach 4-3, Edison 3-4, Fountain Valley 2-5, Newport Harbor 0-7.
Monday Morning Coach is written by Pete Zarustica.