Big Lead Sports Bar



by A.J.
from 105.9 The X
What started on April 11, 2008, finally came to an end on Wednesday night. The amazing emotional rollercoaster for Penguins fans known as the Stanley Cup Playoffs saw our boys come up one Chris Osgood kick save short of forcing a game seven against the mighty Red Wings. The loss left us dazed and stunned, but far from heart broken. Not only was this one of the most memorable regular season campaigns by any Pittsburgh sports team in recent years, but how great was the Penguins’ gift of 20 bonus heart-pounding postseason hockey games? Anything that can distract us from the Pirates for nearly 2 solid months is nothing short of a blessing.

We weren’t even so sad to see the Pens lose as we were to see the season end. Now we suddenly find ourselves with a lot more free time in the evenings. We‘ve found ourselves asking such questions as “I wonder if that “Office” show is still on?” and “who the hell is this Jason Michaels guy?”. We’ve also been missing a few songs that we’ve grown accustomed to hearing during the past few weeks.

It was the opinion of most hockey fans that the broadcasting powerhouse known as the Versus Network had several shortcomings with their coverage of the NHL. One of which was their decision to seemingly sell their entire advertising allotment to about six different companies. Granted the NHL on a network best known for bull riding is probably a hard sell for most sales executives, but it would have been nice as a viewer to see more than a half dozen or so commercials during the entire playoffs.

If we’ve learned anything in the past few weeks it’s that: 1) it’s totally legal to construct waterslides in the middle of a major metropolitan street. 2) the orange Edge foam-spraying girls are a little hotter than the green Edge nose dancers. 3) Mike’s Hard Lemonade does not use soy. 4) Madison Avenue is in love with hip indie rock bands.

Quite frankly, I was a little stunned at some of the song choices used in this season’s crop of commercials. Judging by market research, it is evident that NHL fans are the kind of people who attend Coachella or South by Southwest, drink import beers, and are likely to wear khakis. Here are the songs that you’ve heard during the playoffs and the bands that performed them. Feel free to load them into your iPod and relive the memories.

Heineken – Share The Good

So, if somebody gives you a Heineken Light, you are supposed to pay the favor forward by crossing the globe and giving a beer to someone that you’d normally have nothing in common with. I’ll have a PBR thanks. No travel required.

The song is called “It’s Love” and performed by a guy named Chris Knox. Chris Knox’s album Beat (where this song can be found), was originally released back in 2000. Even Chris Knox had forgotten about this song before Heineken’s ad agency approached him to use it in the commercial.

Dodge Journey – Waterslide

Is building a cooler in the back seat of an SUV really a good idea? Something tells me that the average person who buys one of these cars isn’t going to fill that thing up with Capri Suns. Furthermore, we’d hate to be the poor bastard that has to sit on that seat during the road trip to the Niagara Falls casino for your buddy’s bachelor party. However, riding a giant inflatable gorilla down a slip n’slide is awesome.

Apples In Stereo “Sun Is Out” is the song used as the soundtrack to the impromptu beach party. Apples in Stereo is another one of those bands that has been around forever, but chances are you’ve never heard of them until Dodge decided to use their song to pimp their ride. I’m guessing Journey wasn’t available.

Apple iTunes – Coldplay Viva La Vida

Another band that was somewhat surprising to see attempting to appeal to NHL fans is Coldplay. However, a new CD means heavy promotion. The new album from Coldplay will be available on June 17th. If you would like to hear it now, you can give the entire album a listen for free at (shameless plug)

Dockers – San Francisco

Ahhh yes, the unofficial theme song of the Penguins playoff run. It became a bit of a good luck charm to see it. Despite the mojo, I will never buy a pair of Dockers after viewing this commercial approximately 1,456 times in the past two months.

The song is “California Soul” performed by Marlena Shaw. It was originally written in 1969 by Ashford & Simpson for the Fifth Dimension, but it has been covered quite a few times over the years (most notably as a duo by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell).


Jonny Van Mundegaarde said...

Nice article today, the first time I heard the California Soul song I thought it was going to be Gang Starr's Check the Technique

Amy said...

I have to admit to downloading "California Soul" [and "Viva La Vida"] shortly before the final, but if I never see that Dockers commercial again I'll be a happy girl. Have to wonder if they had it in mind for a summer of golf tournaments and were too lazy to find something a little more hockey-appropriate for the playoff run.

I have to say, though, that my favorite commercial during the playoffs was the NHL's "Cup Raise". I teared up the first time I saw it, and it still gives me goosebumps.

Anonymous said...

"California Soul" and "It's Love" were both winners in my opinion.

In recent years, advertisers have taken the "bombardment" approach where they drown you with the same commercial every other break during a sports broadcast.

The most infamous offender, and creator of this hideous practice, is Chevrolet with their miserable "This is ourrrrr Country" spot.

The Chevy ad makes me run across my apartment to grab the remote and change the channel when it appears during an NFL or MLB broadcast. However, for some odd reason, I actually found myself enjoying the Dockers and Heineken ads during the NFL playoffs.

Thanks for putting both of those songs into my head for the rest of the day.

"Like a sound you hear that lingers in your ear..."

DWanny7 said...

Did anyone else notice that the golfer on the dockers commercial was putting on the fairway??

Emartin said...

Also, did anyone notice in that Dodge commercial the first kid that makes a running jump onto the slide? He is basically landing straight on concrete - those slipn'slides don't have much cushioning.