Saturday, August 6, 2011

So...Today Didn't Exactly Suck

Looks like a Two-Deep, zone defense......
Yep, that's me, taking the snap from a Falcon's player. Well, a dummy in a Falcons jersey at least. That would be in the lobby of the Falcons' training camp in Flowery Branch, GA. I "had" to go up there and record a radio ad with Falcons defensive tackle Kroy Biermann. It's a pretty easy connection to make: He's "Bier-mann", and I'm the beer guy. Taco Mac is the Official Game Day Headquarters of the Atlanta Falcons. For those of you who don't understand the billions of dollars involved in NFL football, or have never heard of what is called an "attorney", let me help you out. You can't just say that you are the official home of an NFL franchise unless you have the expressed, written consent of.....If you watch football, you would get that joke. But it's true. You can't go around claiming to be the "official" anything of a professional sports team without actually having clearance from the team to do so. If you did, you would find out very quickly the meaning of "attorney". And don't event think about using any of the licensed names, images and trademarks of the NFL either. What about the NCAA? Same story. You have to pay to use the words, "March Madness" for example. Why all of this litigious craziness? You. The fan, if you are a fan. (If you aren't, then you probably either stopped reading, or skipped down to the beer events at the bottom ny now anyway.) More specifically, your wallet. See, advertisers want what's in there, so they need to convince you that their beer, cars, pizza, deodorant and athlete's foot medicine are the ones that you identify with, and will therefore purchase

This is you at the store: "Damn, my feet itch."

This is your brain: "Bam! Tough Actin' Tinactin!"

You (ignoring that initial impulse): "Let's look at the different brands and make an educated selection based on the active ingredients and convincing claims of superiority over the competition made on the labels."

Your subconscious brain: "Gee, I love the [insert favorite team here]. I identify with them on an internal level, and therefore I am subject to prefer other people, automobile manufacturers, insurance providers and generally anything else associated with [insert favorite team here]."

You: "Hmmm....Extra Strength....? Prescription Strength..? # 1 In Customer Satisfaction....? I can't decide."

Your brain: "Bam! Tough Actin' Tinactin!"

Your subconscious brain: "I saw that on TV! And it was during the game! I need Tough Actin' Tinactin."

No photos past this point!
And $7.99 later, you are the proud owner of the officially endorsed athlete's foot cream--whether it works worth a damn or not--of the sports team of your liking. But damn it, this is your brand of athlete's foot cream, and all of the other ones can suck it.

That is how our brains work, and the advertisers know it. So the next time you see an especially poignant, touching*, or hilarious advertisement, check your wallet. Someone's trying to get in. Now you may be asking yourself, "Self, why is Fred calling out the entire advertising business, when he himself does ads on the radio?" Good question. But the answer is simple: Because football and Taco Mac are awesome. I don't mind pimping out either one. If you don't like football, that's fine. I am sure that you enjoy spending every weekend afternoon in the fall and winter all by yourself. Whatever floats your boat. But the rest of us are pretty entertained watching giant-sized people collide in a frenzy of violent and exciting action. Frankly, sports has always been about drama, not balls, pucks or nets, and people have always loved drama. Ever heard of a stage play? It's what people watched before movies and TV. Sports is no different. Good guys, bad guys, a quest of some sort. Rings are involved. There are setbacks, redemption, victory snatched from the hands of defeat. All of it. Occasionally the hero loses, further vilifying his enemies, until they meet again in a contest so steeped in history, that it is just dripping with drama. And on and on it goes. Once you can accept the cheerleaders as the "damsels in distress", my analogy is complete. Just go with it.

But like I said, an advertisement featuring Taco Mac and football is not the same as Tough Actin' Tinactin. Taco Mac has 100's of different beers, and that is, in a word, awesome. But I don't need to tell you about all of that. And if you're not on board with the whole football thing, well, that's your business. Plus, I have my suspicions about things like athlete's foot medication and dandruff shampoo. Why, for example, would a dandruff shampoo want to cure your flaky scalp? Then you wouldn't need their product anymore. I suspect that their shampoo cures your dandruff for a very short period of time, then gives it back to you before you could go out and buy another bottle of a different shampoo. Then they get you thinking that you have "problem dandruff", and now you need their "Extra Strength" formula. You know who needs dandruff shampoo and athlete's foot cream? People that don't bathe enough, that's who. Flaky scalp? Take a shower maybe. Fungus on your feet? Try soap.


Sy Sperling
 In closing, I have no ethical qualms about selling people on the attributes of Taco Mac, because I'm not just the president of the Brewniversity, I'm also a client.

So you can see that training camp was fun. Kroy Biermann was really cool, and he was a good sport about doing our radio ads. I couldn't get any autographs or anything though. These guys are working hard out in the sun, and this was a closed practice. I had to have credentials to walk around the building and on the practice field (no photos on the field allowed), and that basically means: Don't act like some sort of awe-struck idiot and freak out around the players. From the field we got to watch them run some two-minute drills, which was also very cool. Julio Jones was out there running routes, looking like a beast. We were escorted around by a big-time front office guy, so I got to ask all kinds of questions about the inner working of an NFL franchise. Luckily I am somewhat educated on these things, so I didn't look like a dumb ass. Plus he had a Detroit Red Wings helmet on his desk, so we are both from Michigan, and therefore bros. Did I mention I got to meet team president Rich McKay? Yeah, today didn't exactly suck folks.
I look I need a beer, don't I?


And now, here are some beer events:

  1. Wednesday you can get your hands on two new brews from Georgia's newest brewing outfit. At our Perimeter store we will have Monday Night Brewing Co.'s IPA and Scotch Ale for the first time. The guys from the brewery will be there, and everything kicks off around 5:30 pm. Yes, I said a NEW brewery from Georgia.
  2. This year's Reunion Beer 2011 by Terrapin is starting to arrive. The Fred and Taco Mac Decatur will have firkins of it next Saturday the 13th (3:00 at TFB, 5:00 at Decatur). This is a high-gravity brown ale with some cocoa nibs and chili peppers in it. Crazy. Can't wait to try it. The event at The Fred is also to commemorate the 2,000th beer of Brewniversity student Terry Becker. He's been tip-toeing around the beer selection at 1,999 for a month or so waiting for something special. Here you go Terry.
  3. On Wednesday the 17th we have a firkin of Southern Tier 2XIPA at Perimeter. I have told you at least 3 times how great this beer is in a cask. This is your last chance for a while. I know for a fact that this is the last of a chunk of firkins that came into town for the ST beer dinner in July. If you've been snoozing on the last few, time to wake up.
Have a great weekend everyone. And don't forget to Rise Up!


Where in the hell is Samuel L. Jackson when you need him?


From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse
This is the top floor of the brewhouse, with buckets of fresh hops about to go into the kettles.