July 26, 2013

Bellwether's Guide to the Royals on Radio: Part 2

Sometimes baseball is exciting. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes you’re raised in a town with a rich baseball tradition of developing premier talent, public sentiment, and world championships. And sometimes you’re raised in a town with a franchise that takes every step possible, at every turn, to squander such traditions.

Regardless of which baseball team you root for, the rules remain the same; nine innings, three outs apiece. So what does that mean for you, the humble listener of baseball on the radio? Well, that means at least -- at least -- seventeen breaks in the action, not counting pitching changes, injuries acquired via errant relay throw, or the visiting team (often) leading in the 9th.

Which leads to... horrible, horrible commercials which will be bored again and again into your skull, and through sheer repetition you will know them as parents know their children, and resent them as such.

Here are some of my favorites from this year:

The Missouri Help Quitline

Apparently, the Missouri Help Quitline is a telephone number that you can call in the state of Missouri which gives you helpful hints and tips to quit smoking, which I assume probably comes down to “buy some gum” and “don’t smoke.” I’m sure there’s some B.S. government studies which justify its existence and most likely heftier-than-it-should-be price tag to the taxpayer such that the only thing that I keep thinking about every time I listen to it is Ron Swanson.

But politics aside, the commercial is just awful. Billy Butler and Mo Gov. Jay Nixon exalt the virtues of the quitline, giving advice on how to quit smoking. It’s such great advice that despite having heard it approx. 8,000 times, I still can’t remember any if it except the very end, where Jay and Billy recite the tagline (Strike. Out. Smoking. In. Missouri -- get it?) with a bunch of elementary school students who were apparently there the entire time.

So there’s your lesson kids. It’s not cool to smoke, but you can still clog your arteries with nitrate-laden pork product smothered in highly caloric barbecue sauce.

Kicker Country Stampede

Those who follow me on Twitter know that I am something of an audiophile. I’m quick to drop a link to youtube video just to prove to you how much more awesome my taste in music is than yours.

I’m basically these guys.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone that this commercial -- in between every freaking half-inning -- drives me up a goddamn wall. In case you didn’t know, The Kicker Country Stampede “...could be the hottest ticket of the summer!!”; a celebration of shit-kickin’ ho-down good ole’ boy over-produced country schlock sung by guys with pedicures and their own line of puka-shell necklaces. You know: country.

The headlining act this year was Miranda Lambert, a person whom I couldn’t pick out of a lineup that consisted of her and Ronald McDonald. In order to solve the mystery of who was pummeling my eardrums every night with chicken fart music clips that are supposed to entice me to travel to outside Manhattan KS and listen live, I enlisted the help of a girl I work with. She’s in her mid-20’s, drives a Chevy Cruze, and still has her mother pay her credit card bills. You know: country.

Me: Who the fuck is Miranda Lambert?

Her: She’s married to Blake Shelton!!

Me: Who the fuck is Blake Shelton?

Her: [gouges my eyes out with a ballpoint pen]

Thankfully, the Stampede was in late June, so I don’t have to be waterboarded with invitations to a ho-down anymore this season. But! The Kicker Country Stampede was such a success that it’s already coming back, and from April-July 2014, I’ll be inundated with commercials for the Kicker Country Stampede featuring, I don’t know, probably Bill Engvall and that guy from Real World 2.

Bro-ish Booze ads

There are several of these over-libido-ized spots that appear throughout your average broadcast, and while on television, your booze ads can rely on well worn archetypes such as boobs, dumb guys chasing after boobs, and talking animals next to boobs, the radio spots’ lack of visuals creates a vicious cycle of repetitive tropes that bludgeons you to death with bro-ness.

Without the creative safety net of female anatomy, radio booze ads are forced to convince us that it is our damned birthright as bros to drink the booze together. There is some sort of Jungian Collective Bro, a great mountain top Bro Lama who must be appeased by you sacrificing your good taste by guzzling down overpriced piss water with other HPV-laden comrades.

For example, want to drink Captain Morgan? You must first acknowledge adherence to the memory of Henry Morgan, the most Bro-ish of all 15th century Dutch privateers, who -- if you believe the commercial you hear six times a game -- sailed all over the world in the 1600's bedding Hooters waitresses. In actuality, he went around plundering settlements along the Spanish Main, killing natives and new-world-ers alike. During one such slaughter-filled expedition several of his sailors got drunk on shit rum and accidentally set off explosives, sinking the fleet’s flagship. Actually, okay, I take it back. Kudos to the ad guys on that one. That’s pretty accurate branding.

The Sonic Guys

Small confession. Love the Sonic Guys; the two lovable loofs who, oblivious to things like taste buds or glycemic index, spend all their time at the Sonic Drive-In discussing Bell’s Spaceship Paradox, Vivaldi Concertos, and the collected works of William Faulkner.

But basically I love the guys because they’re dumb and kinda funny and the ads themselves were the creation of a Kansas City ad agency and I don’t know. Look, I listen to shitty baseball on the radio and seem to enjoy that, so why not enjoy ads for shitty food while I’m at it?

Tompkins Industries 

In my time as a Royals fan, I've probably heard more commercials for Tompkins Industries than any other company, and I still have absolutely no idea what the hell they do. Well, I take that back. I know -- possibly verbatim -- that "Tompkins Industries is Kansas City’s home for adapters, hoses, and gaskets for Industrial Accessories and Original Equipment Manufacturers with locations in Olathe and North Kansas City." Again, I have no idea what that means. This must be what Hud feels like when someone tries to explain to him how to calculate OPS.

Still, I’m sure there’s a lot of blue collar dudes that listen to Royals radio broadcast that rely on the quick, award-winning service that Tompkins provides. But, seriously, are there a surplus of these types of stores around? Is there an incredible amount of competition that necessitates spending probably multiple thousands of dollars on radio advertising each year when none of said competition finds it essential to do so? Who knows.

All I know is that writing this will cause fate to frown on me, and soon I’ll be ironically in an Edgar Allen Poe-type life and death situation where the only thing that can possibly save me is a Reverse-Thread Forged Steel 37° JIC Union Cross Joint Flange Adapter, and I won’t for the life of me remember where I can find one.

Shawnee Mission Kia Jen


Shawnee Mission Kia does not ever broadcast commercials on the radio... and it just now occurs to me that I could have saved every minute that I wasted typing this up by simply letting you know that at the beginning.

Oh well.

Go Philo T Farnsworth! You’re the best!


  1. Fuck you, man, I love Sonic! Brown Bag special with tots, bitch.

  2. No take on Pipe Fitters Local 533? Probably a pretty solid penis-in-vagina joke in there, right?

    FYI, Pretty Solid Penis in Vagina is now the name of my fantasy baseball team.

  3. It's so obvious they spent all the smoking ad budget on the St. Louis version, and asked Billy Butler to say some stuff in a mic in the hallway behind the dugout. Probably because, according to Jefferson City, about 3 people in Missouri are actually Royals fans.

    I've always said naming a Caribbean rum after Captain Morgan is like naming a Polish Vodka after Hitler.

    I also feel like I have a special bond with Mark Ferguson, who's been telling me for years that the cops know my limits better than I do. And sheet metal Local no. 2 has changed their ad once, when they went from "Kansas City's Men of Steel." to "Kansas City's Men and Women of Steel." GO TITLE IX, YOU'RE THE BEST!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...