Earlier this week, Everton’s 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the two sides’ FA Cup Fourth Round replay was decided with Dan Gosling’s goal two minutes before the end of extra time. Sadly for those watching on ITV, a Tic Tac commercial was shown in lieu of Gosling’s dramatic strike, leading the Independent‘s Brian Viner to muse, “I could almost picture Bill Shankly at the Almighty’s right hand, growling: ‘If they must win it, let’s at least do our best to ruin the moment.'” The Guardian’s Russell Brand — a West Ham supporter — is a tad less outraged declaring “as integral to the legend of the Cup as Ricky Villa’s Wembley goal, or Wimbledon’s victory over Liverpool, or Sir Stanley Matthews, is a sugary little ovum of nothing that will be daubed across the brainscapes of millions of football fan.”
This bizarre blunder by ITV demonstrates the problem inherent in the increasingly integral relationship between football, broadcasting and commerce. The truth of the matter is that Tic Tacs paid for that match to be on the telly and are ultimately more important than the event that their promotional material tarnished. The unpleasant reality is that the Merseyside derby, the extra-time and Dan Gosling’s goal are all there to form a shelf upon which Tic Tacs can be displayed for us, the salivating, halitosis-ridden consumers.
The people of Nintendo Wii have co-opted a number of sporting personalities to butter us up and flog us their game console, notably the adorable Redknapp family ” all of whom I love, a bit, as it happens. I’ve played on one of those Nintendo Wii’s myself and, frankly, it takes liberties. The one I had a go at, “virtual tennis”, casually announced that it thought I needed to lose weight. That is way beyond the jurisdiction of a toy. I do not wish to be told I’m fat by anything other than a weighing machine or a tabloid. If my Star Wars figures had murmured that I ought get a haircut they’d’ve been subjected to a regime of fierce torture that would’ve had Darth Vader making frantic calls to Nato.
Harry, Jamie, Louise and several unidentifiable Redknapps appear in that Wii advert. Harry must’ve negotiated that deal himself ” “If you want Jamie, you’ve gotta take Dean. And if you think you’re getting Louise without a cameo for Shirley you’ve got another thing coming.” I admire Harry hugely but feel it’s worth acknowledging the genetic chasm between him, with his face rich in idiosyncratic character, and Jamie, clearly derived from Harry’s seed but so ridiculously handsome that he’s almost deformed. If the Redknapp lineage continues to improve proportionately, Louise and Jamie’s next child will be a golden orb of pure consciousness.