If we can all agree that the four major sports in this country are baseball, football, basketball, and hockey (sorry Dynamo fans), then I'd like to take a moment just to make an analogy on the marketing and strategic direction of each sport.
Let's use a language that any movie-watching American can understand -- Godfather analogies.
If each sport were a Corleone then baseball would be Vito, patriarch and the one with the longest standing tradition and adherence to longtime codes (although the "drugs is a dirty business" speech rings a little hollow for baseball). Football would be Michael -- businesslike, successful, awe-inspiring. Basketball would be Sonny -- hyperactive, truculent, and not afraid to use guns.
That leaves hockey, and I think you can see where this is going. Yes, hockey is Fredo Corleone with its forgotten sibling status, right down to overexpanding the business into the sun belt (Fredo initially got Nevada, remember?).
(Soccer, if you want to be Tom Hagan -- competent, capable, adopted fifth sport -- then go ahead. Knock yourself out.)
Back to hockey....mainstream cross promotion is a big part of building your following for any sport. There are a lot of ways to do it -- ESPN appearances, guest spots on sitcoms, late night talk shows, video games. I suppose appearances on The Price is Right are somewhere on the list, but putting your stars into speaking roles is a big problem when (a) they can't speak and (b) they're your only two real stars.
Case in point -- Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby pimping the NHL Winter Classic as a showcase prize....
Did they not even bother editing this thing to see that Ovechkin's microphone was barely turned on? Or did they just realize that no one would understand what the fuck he was saying anyway so why bother? And Sid the Kid brings a level of energy normally reserved for cigar store Indian statues..."That. Is. Right. Here. Is. Your. Ooooootdoor. Gear."
Awesome. And double awesome for an outdoor hockey game in PIttsburgh being a showcase prize on Price is Right. Seriously, could you blame an intentional overbid right there?
Speaking of intentional overbid, remember this guy?
Best parts of this video, in chronological order:
1. The woman's name is "Gay" so we get Bob Barker starting the segment by screaming "Our top winner in the showcase is GAY!" as if it were Johnny Weir or Clay Aiken.
2. One of the prizes is carpeting. What happens if the contestant has hardwood floors? Carpeting is a downgrade.
3. "$250,000." That is all.
4. Adjusting his bid on a living room, carpeting, and two motorcycles to $60,000, still way too high. If I owned a business in Jose's town, I'd remove all the price tags from everything in the store and just charge Jose 50,000 percent above retail and make my year on him.
5. Gay acting...well, GAY and surprised after winning the showcase with a no-brainer bid of $1. Was there ever a bigger Price is Right lay up? Like getting to rest your starters at the end of the first quarter because you're up 40 in an NBA game. This just never happens. Stop jumping up and down, Gay.
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One more for the road, a million-dollar winner on the show. And an Ed Helms lookalike to boot. Seriously, the looks on his face throughout this thing almost make me think it was staged. I've seen better acting in porn -- Rex Ryan porn, even! Take a look.
Best part, Ed Helms dropping to his knees like one of those people who was just healed by a revival leader. Only this revival had confetti. And Drew Carey.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show" and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.