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The Future According to NIKE

May 21, 2010

Nike’s newest Super Ad is everything we’ve come to expect from the creators of sports hyperbole, where the fate of nations rides on each errant pass or perfectly slotted through ball, but, hey, maybe it does. With an all-star cast and more epic slo-mo than a Michael Bay film if it doesn’t give you goosebumps then hopefully the scintillating commentary will.

Lets break it down shall we?

Drogba is a force to be reckoned with. And watching him tear through the imaginary defense of poorly paid actors was enough confirmation for me. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get to see the negative alternative reality for the star italian defender Cannavaro. What would that have entailed exactly? A towed Ferrari? A ripped Designer suit… wait… wait I know, … THIS SEASON ON THE JERSEY SHORE…


The ball then finds its way to Wayne Rooney. My favorite part about this bit is that they aren’t showcasing Rooney’s talent, because his pass goes astray (passing to Theo Walcott is a bit unbelieveable… Are we supposed to believe he will be playing?), but rather they are celebrating his scrappiness. I like that, but I find it amusing that they showcase the skills of everyone else, but they think all Rooney is good for is tracking back. We should probably ignore all those goals he has been scoring.

But let’s be honest with ourselves. The real highlight of this video isn’t the dribbling, the shooting, or the star power. It is Trailer Trash Rooney, also known as Wayne Rooney during the summers. That beard is magnificent. Really and truly stunning. I just don’t have words for it. I’m guessing it was the most expensive graphic in the whole commercial. As far as the Ribery billboard mocking Rooney, I wonder if maybe after Rooney’s beard the special effects budget was empty, I mean I thought it was Michael Cera up there. Couldn’t they have maybe airbrushed some muscles on him? Becks and Freddie Ljungberg had some great advertisements, but I think Ribery should probably avoid any contracts with Calvin Klein.

And let’s not look over the fact that the US team appear to be reading the news from home. That’s right, Nike seems to think the US will be back home by the time England crash out. Thanks Phil Knight. I mean I know you’re a transnational corporation, but a little patriotism would be awesome. Doesn’t Landon Donovan rank alongside Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro, and Franck Ribery? No, I guess not. But surely he is at least as good as Theo. Couldn’t we have slipped him in on the England team? I’m sure Everton would love him to be English.

Among other snubs, apparently Cesc Fabregas is only good enough to pull a cameo. I mean really? I know he struggles to get games for Spain, but that is because he is playing behind Xavi and Iniesta. And where the hell is Messi? Surely Nike managed to get a contract with him. He is the best player in the world right now, and yet he is strangely absent. Then again, I think his idyllic future would have been sitting at home in Argentina with his family enjoying a nice Sunday supper. I suppose Nike can’t really do much with that. Damned humility.

The ball sails through the air and lands with … Ronaldinho?? SECURITY!!! SECURITY!!!! We have a fan on the field. He’s in a knockoff Brazil Jersey and has ridiculous hair. Yeah the one with the jacked up teeth who is dribbling a lot but not getting anywhere. Round him up.

In case you’re head has been buried in the sand, or if you’re a normal American trying to catch up on World Cup news, Ronaldinho, the most famous soccer player in America, behind American stars players David Beckham and Landon Donovan, was not invited to play for Brazil. *Collective American Gasp* “But his step-over! Its so cool!” I have a theory on Ronaldinho and the video really drives my point home. In the Super Ad, we are periodically transported to the future to see the impact, positive or negative, of a player’s actions. Simple enough. Where are we taken for Ronaldinho? Youtube. He is a Youtube sensation. An amazing soccer player? Yes. Expendable for a Brazilian team who really doesn’t need someone to dribble in the middle of the field? Absolutely. My theory? Without Youtube his absence doesn’t get a second thought. But, alas, this is the world we live in. Now excuse me, I’m going to go work on juggling the ball, catching it on my penis and trying to run with it. Move over Ronaldinho, Youtube here I come!

So here we are, dribbling down the pitch as our Super Ad comes to a close, careful not to forget The Simpson’s reference on the way. Ronaldo is the poster child for over-budget marketing campaigns. Let’s see, we have Christiano Ronaldo Stadium, Ronaldo the movie, And a miniature statue of Ronaldo’s ego. Yup, I’m pretty sure all that is going through his head on any given day. The most confusing part is why Ronaldo was played by Gael Garcia Bernal in his movie rather than play the role himself. He is widely considered to be the best actor in the world, after all.

I’m reminded of my favorite Nike Super Ad, “there are no Cinderellas” All this day dreaming about fame and infamy is great but what I want to know is who is working, who is in camp sweating, who isn’t day dreaming? Is it you Rooney? How about you Ronaldo? My hope? The boys in Red White and Blue threw away the papers and got to work. Who knows, maybe they’ll get to Rooney before Franck can.


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