Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Most commercials get old- or annoying- after the first few viewings. The ESPN "This Is Sportscenter" series of commercials are one of the exceptions. The best of the best, in my opinion, is the one featuring John Clayton.

In case you haven't seen it, the commercial begins with Clayton wrapping up his segment. As the camera pulls away, John is shown getting up off his chair and ripping off a faux-suit and tie, revealing a Slayer t-shirt underneath. He also 'lets down his hair' which had been pulled back into a pony tail. The studio where he was taping, as it turns out, is actually his bedroom- in all its black/death metal glory. As the music blares, John jumps on his bed and yells out, "hey mom, I'm done with my assignment!" as he takes a bite of his Chinese takeout. The genius of the whole spot, of course, is that John Clayton is the last person you would expect to be listening to and decorating himself and his room with that genre of music. Pure genius, I'm telling you.

Lately I've been trying to finish my own assignment. No, I'm not taking any classes. These are actually self-imposed assignments. I'm coming into a time of year where my work schedule and yard duties will consume much of my time, leaving very little time for other, more fun activities like blogging and enjoying my cards. And so I've been trying to get some things in order around the card chop office before vacation and my summer of hell.

What's going on? Well, I had hoped to paint and re-carpet the man cave before now, which has ended in failure. I have managed to do some re-organizing of the collection after coming to the conclusion that I'm short on space, time and money to chase much of the team sets I had hoped to add to the collection.

I've also been looking at candidates for my own 'Assignment' commercial and I've narrowed the field down to four.

Sonny Jackson

Sonny boy had three cups of coffee before finishing runner-up as a 21 year-old in the 1966 Rookie of the Year balloting. He could have still lived at home during those first three years (as an 18, 19 and 20 year old). Strong candidate.

Cecil Upshaw

Of all the candidates, Upshaw most closely resembles John Clayton- which for my money plays huge. If the late Mr. Upshaw were to star in a Sports Center commercial, I'd like to see it focused him getting ready to close a game (he saved 27 games for the division-winning Braves in 1969) to the sounds of one of 1973's top hits: The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia by actress/singer Vicki Lawrence. (oddly enough, Upshaw passed away in Lawrenceville, Georgia in 1995.)

Paul Runge

Paul seems to have an advanced pre-pub mustache going on here, along with the chest hairs poking out above his undershirt. Otherwise, he could very well pass for a 14 year-old. Nice try, Paulie.

Denis Menke

"Hey Mom, I've lost my hat!!!" Don't fear, Denis; with metal gods such as James Hetfield sporting short hair, you don't have to worry about not fitting the part. 

I have a winner in mind, but I just don't see any of them topping Mr. Clayton.


  1. I'm totally ignoring my current assignments... and catching up on everyone's blogs. Love me some Clayton!

  2. It has to be Cecil, right?

    Clayton is cool in my book just for doing that ad.