The world of sports offers us a plethora of compelling stories that go beyond the field of play. Some are inspirational. Some elicit laughter. Some make us shake our heads in disappointment.
What many off the field stories do, however, is provide a human connection to the people who play the games we love to watch. Product endorsements also connect us to the people who make the games possible. They give us a glimpse into what those people are like after the games are over (even if what we see in the glimpse is manufactured to a degree).
As we have done in years past, here are product endorsements you can expect not to see in the coming year.
Tim Tebow for Disney World
Traditionally, the MVP of the Super Bowl has the privilege of making the iconic announcement, “I’m going to Disneyworld!” after the game. More often than not, the quarterback is the MVP. Last year at this time, Tebow was thought by many fans to be the future of the Denver Broncos; then he was traded to the Jets. The Broncos may win a Super Bowl next year but I wouldn’t expect Tebow to shout the catch phrase, given his change of fortune in the last year.
|The next time Tebow says, "I'm going to Disney World," will be followed by him kissing his mom goodbye, getting into his car, and driving to the airport. It won't happen on the football field, not while any cameras are on him. 1|
Jeremy Lin for ESPN
Jeremy Lin burst on to the NBA scene last January and was one of the hottest stories of the month. Lin was nearing the end of a 10 day contract with the New York Knicks before being inserted into the lineup and lighting up the stat sheet.
Lin, an Asain-American point guard who played college ball at Harvard, trended heavily on search engines and social media. Why a staffer at ESPN.com chose to title a headline following a Knicks loss, “Chink in The Armor” is beyond me, but the staffer was soon fired and I doubt Lin will be appearing in any ESPN “This Is SportsCenter” spots in the near future.
|Whoever was responsible for this reached the peak of an unremarkable career. 2|
Sean Payton for Bounty Paper Towels
The New Orleans Saints head coach became ensnared in an NFL investigation that exposed an alleged bounty scheme by the New Orleans Saints. The Saints were accused of paying players under the table cash incentives for shots that resulted in injuries to opposing players between the 2009 and 2011 seasons. Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season for his knowledge of and role in the “Bountygate” scandal.
Tiger Woods for ChristianMingle.com
I don’t think this one warrants much explanation.
|Perhaps skankcity.com? 4|
Bobby Petrino for Harley Davidson
The former University of Arkansas head coach was fired from his position at Arkansas following a motorcycle crash in which the married Coach Petrino had a female passenger, 25 year old former volleyball player Jessica Dorrell. Petrino was allegedly romantically involved with Dorrell and reportedly pulled some strings to help land Dorrell a job with the University of Arkansas Athletic Department. Considering that poor operation of a motorcycle caused scandal and the demise of a major football program (and career), I don’t think the Harley people will be racing to Petrino to trumpet his use of their product.
|That's not a good look, Coach! 5|
Bobby Valentine's Motivational Speaking Circuit
The Boston Red Sox hired Bobby Valentine to succeed longtime, two-time World Series winning manager Terry Francona. The thought was that Francona’s approach was not fresh and perhaps things needed to be shaken up in the clubhouse. To say Valentine “shook things up” would be an understatement. He ran off longtime fan favorite Kevin Youkilis and was publicly thrown under the bus by team leader and former American League MVP Dustin Pedroia…less than a month into the season. Valentine was fired after the 2012 season.
|I'm sure the Red Sox are kicking themselves, too, for hiring him. 6|
Metta World Peace for Any Brand of Elbow Pads
Just before the beginning of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace delivered a fierce elbow to the head of Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden. Harden, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year last season and a key player on the Thunder’s Western Conference Championship winning team last season, suffered a concussion and it was speculated that he could miss playing time. World Peace was suspended for seven games and the former All-Star missed a chunk of the Lakers first round playoff series with the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets took the Lakers to seven games before the Lakers advanced to the second round where they were eliminated in five games by the Thunder.
|Two Ludacris songs come to mind: "Move _____! Get Out The Way!" and "Throw Dem 'Bows". 7|
Jerry Sandusky for Preparation-H
If I need to explain, you're probably too young to know.
|But without the feminine odor.... 8|
And last but not least...
Manti Te’o for LensCrafters
The Notre Dame linebacker and 2012 Heisman Trophy runner up made tabloid gold with the revelation that his believed to be deceased girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, was not more than a figment of the imagination of a disturbed hoaxer. Te’o believed, and told the media, that his Kekua was suffering from Leukemia and passed away within hours of his grandmother.
The story was the source of profound embarrassment for Te’o and Notre Dame. Te’o also claimed to have met Kekua at one point, which we now know is an embellishment. If it isn't an embellishment, Te’o is seeing invisible women or has a terrible set of prescription contact lenses. Either way, expect no eyewear endorsements in Te’o’s future.
|I'd say I've seen everything, but I know I haven't yet. 9|
2) Image from www.deadspin.com
3) Image from www.hahajk.com
4) Image from www.myhoustonmajic.com
5) Image from www.thevictoryformation.com
6) Image from www.boston.com
7) Image from www.rsvlts.com
8) Image from www.thetrendguys.com
9) Image from www.buzzfeed.com