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Monday, 05 February 2018


"By this time next year, we will all be asking each other, "who won last year, again?"

I thought that was for baseball??

Hi Mike,

Wilt? Dr. J.


Amen to the Dodge commercial sentiment.

The genius who came up with that one is probably too young to remember the Alcatel spot in which King’s “I Have A Dream” speech was used. All 250,000 people in the March On Washington audience were electronically removed as Dr. King was seen delivering his signature message to a vacant plaza, leading to a sanctimonious and self-serving message about the “power of connection” in the last few seconds. (Alcatel is a tone-deaf telecom company).

King’s heirs, through a foundation, have adamantly enforced copyright on his image, words, and appearance in order to license their use repeatedly. I believe the last big flap was over their plan to auction off his bible and Nobel prize medallion.

When we heard him speak we thought we were at last on the way to civilization. Market forces, it appears, prevailed.

Ah yes. This year’s “big game” was only the third full football game I watched this season. I used to be a very enthusiastic football fan, since I was a single-digit lad waiting for over-kicked field goals outside of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. (Yes, the Bears played there for years.). But about five years ago I just plain lost my taste for it. The relentless ads, the over-amping of coverage, the under-amping of strategy variety (pass, pass, pass, pass, run, pass, pass....). The excessive precision of calls, and the resulting prolongation of games. Pfftt. I don’t need to waste my dwindling time on that any longer.

Still, I do still enjoy watching a good contest and that’s what yesterday’s Super Bowl certainly was. Complete with daring trick plays, one failing but the other memorably successful.

To put lack of defense in perspective, the teams combined for the most total yards in ANY single game in the history of the league, regular season or playoffs.

Philadelphia Phillies (oldest continuous franchise) have won two World Series, the most recent in 2008. The parade afterwards was attended by an estimated 2 million fans.

It was Ram, not Dodge I think. I'm not American though so might be same thing. Backlash here - MLK's estate explains why they lent his voice to a truck commercial


For me the great moment was Brady’s muscle memory throwing the ball that was no longer in hand.

The very best thing about the Super Bowl is all the special trailers for those blockbusters I can't wait to see.

I was shocked at the Dodge commercial. If the family agreed to that I hope they used the money wisely. It goes to something I began to notice about the same time that you remarked about the 1960s- something like "to more and more people the 60s are an abstraction, a time that may or may not have happened.. they regard them the way I look at the 1920s."
As a currently too-well-known misbegotten fool would say- "Sad.."

"...the city of Philadelphia actually has sports heroes who aren't fictional."

Um, 1980 Phillies? 2008 Phillies? Playing a sport that doens't, you know, cause dementia?

Just sayin'...

Running up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps (aka "Rocky Steps") has not only become a cultural phenomenon, it was also the subject of a 2006 book: https://www.amazon.com/Rocky-Stories-Happiness-Americas-Famous/dp/1589880293/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517848688&sr=8-1&keywords=rocky+steps+book.

What makes Dodge's use of an MLK, Jr. speech to sell pickup trucks all the more depressing is the fact that they were given permission to do so by Dr. King's estate. Dr. King's speeches are NOT in the public domain and his estate is notoriously tight-fisted about granting rights for use. There is no way that speech could have been used without Dodge paying big bucks for it--and someone associated with the King estate selling out.

Tried watching on a TV but the incessant and obnoxious commercials! I wanted to watch the game, not be cut off over and over and over.
Turned it off and listened on the radio.
Oddest thing was in the second half I hit the Video broadcast by mistake and discovered the radio broadcast was more than a minute ahead on the clock. Four minutes left in the quarter on the radio and more than five minutes left on the TV broadcast.
Really can't stand all the damnable commercials - they ruined the chance to watch the game.

If I appear to pick apart your posts, i think it's in the most benign way possible. Like, if you don't have a TV, where did you watch it?
I can imagine others reading a more contrarian view between the lines!
That's the price of being a popular blogger!

The Pats D has been smoke and mirrors all year ... and maybe even most of last year too. They have traditionally made up for it with scheming, turnovers, the offense and getting the other team to be either too aggressive or not aggressive enough at the wrong times.

The Eagles did not fall for any of that, going for it when other teams would have settled and generally keeping the pressure on. They played and coached a smart game and played all the way to the end, which didn't happen last year.

That said I'm not sure why the Philly D was so ineffective, it came into the game with a much better reputation, but only really managed to get to Brady that once at the end, which alas was enough to win.

I think the lesson of the last 3 Patriots Super Bowls is how thin the margins are between a win and a loss and how densely those margins are populated with luck. 😃

I can't really see this Pats team making another run without some major retooling on the D. Maybe this will finally be close to the end of this stupidly long window of general success.


You didn't have one of these Dodges, did you?


(Well, OK, it was a Plymouth in the film.)

Don't be mad at Dodge, the King family sells access to use Dr. King's name. They are smart enough to know that the public will be upset at Dodge while they pocket the $$$$.

Several of my Super Bowl guests who are huge sports fans also commented on the "bombast, jingoism and marketing manipulation". They always watch sports using their DVR and just watch the 12-15 minutes of actual play and replays that are of interest. My OTA TV setup was painful for them. I have an OTA DVR purchase in my future.

I once owned a 1969 Coronet (318ci) that earned me a ticket for excessive smoke on the first day of ownership. It was still better than that 1995 Nissan pickup I bought. I will never by a Nissan again. I don't know what I was thinking...

The trick play that the Eagles pulled off was a thing of BEAUTY!

The irony is that all the negative press Dodge is getting over their inappropriate use of MLK will only spread their brand, rightly and wrongly, thereby reinforcing the power of advertising.

Pats D will be re-tooled next year. Defensive coordinator Patricia will be introduced as the Detroit Lions head coach in a week or so.

Then he can go down in history as the umpteenth coach of the Lions that couldn't do anything with the mess left him by the front office, which is run by the Ford family.

As long as they fill the seats at Ford Field, they couldn't seem to care less about fielding a winning team.

Lions fans are long suffering...

a) I think the Stanley cup looks much more impressive than the Lombardi trophy. Maybe the Flyers will win it again ... someday.

b) Eagles parade set for Thursday. Just as when the Pope came to Philly, I think I'll just stay away. Crazy crowd photo opportunities for those who are hardier than I.

c) Still, it was an exciting game to watch. I'll always remember my wife, a peace love hippie from the 60s, shouting "kill him!" on one play.

I agree it was a great game, and my nephew and I were similarly puzzled after the Dodge/Dr. King commercial. We were just looking at each other going,"what the heck was that?" Clueless indeed. Having also once owned a Dodge, I too am a member of the Never Again club, I think our K car aged in fruit fly years.

Well glad that's out of the way. There is nothing to interfere with curling coverage now. The Norway team's pants aren't up to their usual high*
standards IMHO.

*Yeah, I know

My only Chrysler/Dodge experience was with my wife’s Grand Cherokee. The dealer botched a recall repair, and the electrical system never worked right again. Of course, it proved impossible to get the dealer to take responsibility. That was 20 years ago, and it still puts me off considering any of their products.

As we rush headlong toward the end of the internal combustion engine, it's fun and instructive to look back. On March 14, 1999 the New York Times published a long review of the 2000 Neon.

The advertising also took a fresh and memorable approach. Who could forget the simple ad campaign in which the Neon was presented like a friendly pet, its grinning face filling the television screen with only a single word -- ''Hi'' -- underneath?

Who could forget? That ad is the only thing I remember about the Neon. I'll bet Mike wishes it is the only thing he remembers as well.

I didn't see the Dodge commercial yesterday, so I found it on YouTube when I read your post. On the one hand, it's pretty appalling as an ad; on the other, I hadn't heard the speech before, and the words on their own are something to live by. As the Buddha says, take what you will and leave the rest.

I too have been off the TV grid so long that it is truly culture shock to see how far crassness has progressed in my absence. For me, the moment last night was Justin Timberdoodle singing a duet with the late great Artist Formerly Known As Prince, "I Would Die For You."

There was another Dodge commercial. It featued a Viking Warrior, all in his 12th century battle dress, long beard and so on, driving along in his Ram truck. Stooped to pick up another Ragnar type, batle axe and everything, then another and another and pretty soon the old Crew Cab is full. Down to the sea, and they're gamely rowing their longboat through the stormy waves, with the pickup in tow on a raft. Next, they're on dry land again, happily (for Viking Warriors, anyway) tooling along in the truck towards, you guessed it, Minneapolis. One of the warriors checks his cell phone (historical acuracy went out the rear window long ago, right?) Anyway, the phone displays, “Tonight's matchup” and the next thing you know, they're rowing back the other way.

Well, isn't "Dodge" a synonym for "avoid?" Don't even get me started on the "Ram."

I attended a small “anti-Super Bowl” party. I made a really great vegetarian chili (hate messages bounce off me) and we watched a movie. It was a musical, singing along; Marian Paroo is still lovely.

When will the NFL follow truth in advertising regulations and rename this event “The CTE Bowl”?

Re: the Neon

The Neon was wildly successful as a racing car.


Its attributes were that it had really lightweight (flimsy) sheet metal, lightweight (ineffective) sound deadening, and apparently, hardly any of the manufacturing budget went into useless stuff like the interior, heating, and AC, or stuff racers would replace like brakes and tires.

All good things for a race car, maybe not so good for a car used for transportation

"Any car which holds together for a whole race is too heavy."
Colin Chapman

It appears that Dodge is following a tradition of awkward marketing. Ten years ago, at the Detroit Auto Show, Dodge paraded 120 cattle through the streets of Detroit up to the show, where a new Ram truck was being introduced outside of Cobo Center. While a Chrysler executive was trying to point out the features of the new truck, in the background the longhorn cattle were stealing the show by mounting each other. That marketing moment became less about the truck, and more about the “Brokeback Mountain” bulls.

Speaking from Australia, and knowing only that Dr King's speeches are held in high reverence by a substantial proportion of Americans, to have that semi-sacred speech appropriated for advertising, the very thing he was condemning, is a step too far. The commercial projects all the bad aspects that MLK objected to. What's next, war veterans' medals used for baby formula?

Like you, I will never buy a Dodge, although since they aren't sold here, that's not hard.

I missunderstood the Superbowl announcement here on BBC sport news in the UK, and thought that it was a 50 second Superbowl - some sort of speeded up version for us uninitiated Brits. Actually that wouldn't be a bad idea. I'd watch that.

the Omni supposedly had a vw rabbit powerplant

all I can say is after six months of warranty work (almost weekly) I had a stable 34mpg vehicle that survived several 100mph trips across the northern plains...the longest was 1400+ miles at an average speed of 107mph....fueling stops included

I never purchased or contemplated a Chrysler product again

Me too, Sal.

If Boston had won, there would have been a hundred people dressed in cozy mufflers in Harvard Square sipping hot cocoa and high-fiving each other.

I fear you may not have been aware of the rioting across New England in 2001, the season Tom Brady stepped off the bench and won his and the team’s first Super Bowl. And then, of course, there were the riots when the Red Sox finally ended their curse (and the riots in years they came close, but failed before that).

Boston fans, now jaded with championships, may have tempered some, but it’s too soon to forget their rough past.

(Disclosure: I grew up in New England before moving to San Francisco in time for the Giants to start their winning streak.)

[Right, but in 2001 (and 2004 for baseball fans), *Boston* thought they'd never get to celebrate again. Who could have foretold the Pats dynasty in 2001? It's like imagining Buffalo or Detroit dominating the NFL for the next 15 years. :-) --Mike]

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