"Don't Mess With Texas" Ads & Athletes: Mixed Success, in Five Examples

You may have noticed that TxDOT has been re-running classic ads from their 25-year-old "Don't Mess with Texas" campaign. It's part of a contest to pick the best.

The ads tend to work best with musicians; Stevie Ray Vaughan is the classic, of course, but Willie Nelson and George Strait also shine.

Athletes, on the other hand, are more of a mixed bag. Here are five:

5. Randy White, failing to be menacing The Dallas Cowboys' Randy White was one of the most feared defenders of his time. You'd be hard-pressed to tell, though, from his effort here: crushing an aluminum can and trying to convince some TV director that he's pissed. Nice move by Ed "Too Tall" Jones with the garbage can, though.

4. Unknown boxer, overexcited sound-effects man We've never heard of Mike Williams, but Wiki tells us he was a once-promising boxer. Here, thanks to some very, very enthusiastic work by a sound-effects director, his right is the equivalent of Thor's hammer.

3. Run-and-shoot works, for now The Oilers' Warren Moon throws some garbage to Ernest Givens, who is otherwise occupied reading what appears to be a totally blank newspaper. In the extended version of this video, the Moon-to-Givens teaming results in a series of three-and-outs and, after Texas had built up a seemingly insurmountable lead, litter messes with it.

2. George Foreman and that Great Grill in the Sky We gonna give TxDOT the benefit of the doubt and say this is a loving portrayal of the black church and not at all a stereotyped, condescending trivialization of it. Plus it takes us back to the days when George Foreman worshiped a mighty God and not a low-fat grilling machine.

1. Mike Scott's disastrous audition reel Any dreams Astro pitcher Mike Scott might have had about a lucrative post-baseball career as a commercial spokesman were laid to rest by this effort. Comically tight pants, a completely un-jock-like walking motion, wooden reading of an insipid script that includes perhaps the most unconvincing uttering of the word "oops" in recorded cinematic history; let's just say this hasn't aged well. Not to mention that he is seen throwing a pitch without first scuffing it.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly