Monday, July 21, 2008

Okay, I'll actually get to my AL All-star team, admittedly a few days after the all-star game, but no worries there.

First, though the terrifying curse of the Gillette commercial.

The commercial features great-of-all-time candidates at their respective sports Tiger Woods and Roger Federer and excellent-and-great-but-not-inner-circle-great Thierry Henry, all waxing on their priority of focusing on the current rather than the past. The Sports Illustrated cover of shaving commercials, perhaps, Gillette commercials the future will indicate which athletes are about to take a fall.

First, possibly cheating, is the fact that Thierry Henry had already suffered the "curse" prior to the commercial even being aired, or likely produced. Sure, Henry is still an excellent player, and last year led Barca in goals with 19, but in his heyday Henry was captain of Arsenal, and more impressively was back-to-back runner up for FIFA World Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004, as back as runner up for European Football Player of the Year in 2003 and third in 2006. So, in a lot of ways Henry had already past his peak when the commercials started airing sure. Still, the commercial managed to jinx him to an end of his four year (2003-2006) stranglehold on French Player of the Year, which he ceded in 2007 to Frank Ribery.

Next, Roger Federer fresh off his Gillette apperance which cites his 2006 Wimbledon title gets crushed in the French Open final by Rafael Nadal and loses his five year (2003-2007) stranglehold on Wimbledon, losing to Nadal in five sets. Some would say he's getting older, he's lost a step, or that Nadal has gotten better, or that simply this was a battle of equals and could either way, and Federer will be back with avengence. Me? Simply curse of Gillette - easy explanation - doesn't mean his career is done, but can never be at the top again (maybe only until he stops maybe Gillette commercials? this part remains unclear as of yet). Hubris! Shouldn't just be living for today - should enjoy your past! (Maybe?).

So does that mean Tiger Woods is next? Well, he hasn't been stricken yet, unless the injury counts, or there will be some complications we don't know about. Frankly, I think this one is unlikely to pan out, but the commercial knows all, so we'll see.

There's also been a new commercial in which Thierry, whose on-field performance, I suppose has fallen off enough that he's been kicked out, has been replaced by Derek Jeter, who has so far responded by having a 100 OPS+ this season so far, which would be his worst OPS+, well, ever (not including 48 ABs in 1995) and his worst both OBP and SLG ever. Frankly, if I were him I'd call my agent and return Gillette's dirty money.

Also looking into athletes and politics can often be a silly enterprise - because, particularly in baseball especially I know the vast majority will probably be conservative, and because it can kind or ruin your love for your favorite players if you know where they stand, while on the other hand it shouldn't matter what someone's politics are to appreciate their athletic achievement. Still, if it's a coin flip, just as I'll generally side with someone who is democratic (as well as someone's whose lefty in the literal and not political sense) so now apparently I can support Shawn Marion, Gabe Kapler, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. So now I must take back anything bad I've ever said about Jimmy Rollins. He is now the greatest shortstop ever to play the game. (Almost wrote "not" instead of "now" - letting my old ways get the best of me.)

Please don't hate me the zero conservatives that read this.

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