Friday, January 13th, 2012
Today when I saw a headline talking about how McDonald’s will remain a sponsor of the Olympics through 2020, I thought exactly what I was supposed to think by reading that headline:
“That’s ironic- a fast food company is giving free burgers and fries to Olympic athletes and buying ads for everyone to see during a world-wide athletic event? Isn’t that sort of defeating the purpose?”
So yes, I fell for it, Mr. Headline Maker. But then I kept thinking about it. Isn’t it sort of a double standard for us to pinpoint a major contributor of America’s malnutrition when there are plenty of others doing the same thing?
I think of how Coca-Cola is typically a sponsor of middle school and high school sports. It’s common for young athletes to receive a free t-shirt with the classic logo on it, along with the school’s name. Not to mention, when I was growing up, there were soda machines conveniently placed right outside the gym doors.
In an average can of soda, there are around 39 grams of sugar. Knowing that a tablespoon of sugar translates as 12.55 grams, that means a can of soda contains about 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Really? Think about adding 3 tablespoons of sugar into any 12 ounce serving of any kind of food. Isn’t that kind of weird? Or disgusting? Maybe even unnecessary?
Yeah, I know. There are diet sodas too, if you trust forms of aspartame. I don’t, sorry.
I’ve heard that my generation (around age 30 and younger) focuses on the planning of advertisements more than any generation before. I know it’s true for me. I’m always eager to spot ironic sponsors for any event, whether it’s for something athletic or even the ads showing up here on this site. (I’m still waiting to see a “dad ad.” on Parents.com.)
But honestly, does anyone really care about ironic sponsorship? Does McDonald’s giving Olympic athletes free food really affect our lifestyle choices anyway?
I don’t think it does. It doesn’t actually change anything. It just makes us point out the irony and makes for a light-hearted, 45 second conversation.
And then the conversation turns to Beyonce’s baby or Hostess going out of business.
To me, the most ironic thing would be to see advertisements for carrots during an athletic event.
Image: Hamster with a bar, via Shutterstock.
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Sunday, September 11th, 2011
I’ve made mention before that one of my many weaknesses is that I’m horrible/inexperienced when it comes to anything mechanical. My deficiencies in this department aren’t for a lack of interest or a lack of trying, though. A couple of weeks ago I attempted to change the back tire on my mountain bike, since the tube in the tire exploded from the summer heat.
Fast forward a few paragraphs into this story and it turns out I went to the bike repair shop and was told that the cost of repairing the bike would be more than the cost of the bike itself. I evidently am that bad at fixing even the simplest of things!
Fortunately, the girl at the repair shop was wrong and they were able to fix what I messed up for only $27. (It would have only cost me $10 to let them repair the flat tire in the first place.)
My son, Jack, on the other hand, will most likely not suffer from his old man’s bad luck with understanding mechanics. He currently is sort of obsessed with trying to figure out how mechanical stuff works. Jack loves taking things apart.
I can just tell already his brain is working in ways that mine never has.
Another thing about Jack that I can’t help but be aware of is that he will likely end up being an athlete; something I tried to be a few times as a kid, then eventually turned to art, music, and writing- activities that were more my speed. Even today, the physical activities I involve myself with, mainly running and mountain biking, are noncompetitive hobbies.
But Jack is simply built like an athlete. He’s a tank. He’s a 1940′s wrestler.
A few weeks ago at his 9 month check-up, we learned that he is in the 90th percentile for height and 75th for weight. Maybe as he gets older he’ll end up adopting the skinny, bow-legged Italian body style that his dad had. However, I think he will grow up to be the opposite: a tall, large-framed, coordinated boy who is picked first on teams in gym class.
It’s safe to say I’ll eventually become a sports fan and learn a lot more about doing home repairs, thanks to my son.
How did this athletically-built, mechanically-minded boy come from me? All I can say is that it figures. I’m still laughing at the irony that a fair complected, blue eyed kid could ever be the offspring of dark-featured, olive complected parents like his mom and me.
I wonder in what other ways Jack will be the opposite of me . . . I’m sure he’ll be a whiz in math and science.
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