Football For The Friendless
written by: Cory Q
Rarely am I actually offended by a program on TV unless by insipid writing and see through gags that reinforce tired stereotypes. No; usually I am knocked off kilter into the realm of disbelief and possibly anger by commercials.
This particular commercial just made me sad. It isn't that the product is necessarily bad, but only that if someone was to give this item as a gift, hurt feelings are all that could follow. I imagine the exchange as such...
Grandma- "Here you go Billy. Happy Birthday!"
Billy Ė Tears open the wrapping paper to reveal the RZ Trainer . "Oh... thanks Grandma...".
Grandma- "See now you can play football by yourself!"
Seems that the inventive folks over at Pro Performance Store have invented a football with an elastic cord attached to one end of the ball. You attach this cord to a belt you wear around your waste so that you can practice throwing the ball without having to run after it each time. So, you can play football with yourself. Yup, don't need any friends at all for this little puppy to work. You can go to any public space and if shunned by those good looking people around the park you can still enjoy a rousing game of catch... sort of.
I can only picture that the giver of this gift does not understand how insulting it is. It seems to say "Hey, you need to get outside in the fresh air instead of playing on the internet ya lard bucket and since you donít have any friends to carouse with, you have to play by yourself with this thing to get your hopes up of actually being good enough to join a team that won't pick you last and laugh at you". I mean what kid would actively want a self returning football? Isn't that why you go outside and play football? To get some exercise? This is some sort of activity paradox.
On a practical level, I am not convinced that this device would actually help you get the ball to someone running down the field. I think if you practiced with this device long enough, you would be very good at getting the ball to come back but your depth gauging ability would be zilch. I am just guessing.
The commercial was pretty convincing though. They had Joe Montana using the RZ Trainer and he won like 15 Super Bowls so it must be good, right? Wait... didn't Mr. Montana pick up this product after he already retired? Hmmm. Seems a bit shaky to me. Just like I don't ever recall Dan Marino actually wearing Isotoner gloves. He lives in Florida! They donít need gloves!
You can watch this very commercial yourself here.
In summation, this product might help kids learn to throw a football but it comes along with a strange stigma of looking like you don't have any friends.
When I went to research this product, I was exposed (like as to asbestos) to several other offerings from this company. You can play baseball by yourself in the manner of tether ball (which looks like it might work) or you can hit a ball on a string at another kid (the one product that requires you have friends!) or you can attach a soccer ball to your waist via an elastic cord and worry about your nuts on the rebound. Pro Performance Store's fecundity in this area is indeed amazing.
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