No matter what Bill Gates says, context -not content- is king. The late American artist Kenneth Nowland was correct when he said that it (context) "is the key- from that comes the understanding of everything."
To illustrate this point, we will be looking at a short-print photo variation from 2012 Topps baseball.
When I first saw this card of King Felix, I didn't know what to think. Sure, it was humorous, but what was going on? Why is Felix wearing glasses? Why is he wearing a wig? I didn't understand because I had no context from which to interpret the photo. Had we not gone without cable or satellite for close to ten years, I would have probably seen the commercial that provided the context for this picture.
I don't know about the team in your market, but each season Root Sports (formerly Fox Sports Northwest) air a few Mariners commercials to promote the team. One of the commercials the team aired for the 2011 season featured Larry Bernandez, the alter-ego of ace Felix Hernandez. The schtick centers around Felix's competitive nature, with the ace going to extreme lengths to pitch on his off-days. "Felix, I know you love to compete, but you just pitched yesterday" says manager Eric Wedge, after going out to the mound. "I'm Larry," deadpans Felix, who's sporting a mullet, sideburns and glasses. Wedge then looks at the name on the back of the jersey and sees it says "Bernandez," with the F having been changed to a B with the help of electricians tape. It gets even better after skip takes the ball from Larry, as the commercial ends with pitching coach Carl Willis asking (who I believe to be) bullpen coach Jaime Navarro "who's the new lefty?" to which Navarro replies, "Some guy named Jerry."
Back to today's card... the photo comes from the night of August 27, 2011, when Felix once again donned the Larry outfit to throw out the first pitch on Larry Bernandez bobblehead night.
It's too bad that Topps didn't have a chance to do a SSP card of Felix's other alter-ego, Jerry.
The original commerical:
and finally, Brad Adams and Dave Valle interviewing Larry on Felix.