Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Big East/ACC Rivalry Ruined My Marriage

I noticed this ad in last week's issue of Sports Illustrated. In case you can't make sense out my low-res photograph, it's a picture of a couple standing next to their air conditioners, each one "skinned" with the logo of their favorite college athletic program (Syracuse and Boston College, respectively). Below the picture, it says "Marriage counseling sold separately." The text of the ad goes on to explain how York now offers their air conditioners and heat pumps in many of your favorite college team colors.

I dislike this ad on several levels. For one, it's nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is. This kind of thing has been done before. The gold standard in this genre is the "without college sports, this wouldn't be disgusting" commercial that ESPN ran a few years ago. In addition to its lack of wit, the York ad doesn't even pit two natural rivals against each other. Syracuse and BC aren't even in the same conference anymore, and even when they were in the same conference, it's not like they had much of a rivalry. If your marriage is so weak that it can't withstand the heated rivalry that is Syracuse vs. Boston College, I don't know how much counseling is going to help you. I'm hoping that they ran the same ad with different teams in other media markets and they chose Syracuse and BC for the New England market because they figured no one here really cares about college football. Another problem that I didn't even notice until I started ripping into this ad was that in order for it to make any sense, the couple in the ad must live in a house with two central air conditioners. I don't think I've ever been in a single-family home with two central air conditioners. Perhaps this is a common feature of the so-called McMansions I've been hearing so much about.

While I'm on the topic of air conditioners and Syracuse University, I must say that I find it ironic that Syracuse was the home of the largest air conditioner company in the world for so many years. When you think about it, the city of Syracuse was instrumental in creating the single appliance that made it possible for people to leave cities like Syracuse and move to places where an air conditioner might come in handy in months other than July and August.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fog Hat

We went to Town Beach after work last Thursday to play some beach ultimate. We drove into a fairly think layer of fog as we approached the beach. If you've never seen a beach shrouded in fog, it really is quite a sight to behold. It's best if the beach is not crawling with people, since the emptiness combined with the fog makes for a very mysterious atmosphere. I'm still such a tourist when it comes to the ocean. I make it a point to go swimming every time I go to the beach regardless of weather, water temperature, etc. because going to the beach is still a pretty novel experience for me, even though I now live close enough to the water to drive to the beach after work. True to form, I went in for a swim after playing frisbee. The sun had set and it was starting to get pretty dark by then. I'm pretty sure it was the first time I ever went swimming in the ocean in the dark. Like a foggy beach, a swim at dusk is another highly recommended experience.