It was a gift, and a lovely one; a black Iverson 3 Sixers tank top. As you might imagine for a guy who rarely gets to go to games and doesn't play a ton of ball due to being in his 40s, busy with work and family, and basically hobbit-sized, it doesn't get a ton of use. It looks ironic on me, at best, but I put it on a few times a year for games or whatever. I've owned it for a decade, and it still looks more or less brand-new. I haven't really felt compelled to put another NBA jersey next to it in the dark back corner of my closet.
I'm not the target audience in any event, and there really isn't a current player out there who I like so much as to adopt his persona on a shirt. Seems a little silly when you've got kids anyway; if they want one, fine. (OK, maybe I'll spring for the retro Andrew Toney gamer. That's got some cachet to it, I think. Moving on.)
So maybe it's not a big deal that the NBA is going to stick its toe in the water of ads on jerseys. That's something that is done all over the world, and it's not as if NBA teams don't do everything they can to squeeze out every dime, especially now that the league has been emboldened by its lockout heist, Linsanity boost and huge playoff numbers.
And it will all go down so easily, don't you know? Just a few instances of cognitive dissonance, some puling by old bloggers and those fuddy-duddy purists, and the inevitable dumb fun when a company goes sideways after a buy, the way so many stadium naming jobs have gone.
You'd have to be a rube to care about this.
Or, well, someone who uses sports to *NOT* think about the outside world. You know, as escapist entertainment. Human drama. Mathematical exercise. Civic passion play. None of which is, well, particularly suited for nonstop, can't not look at it, distraction and commercial interruption. DURING THE GODDAMN GAME.
There's a reason why companies are going to pay millions for this type of advertising; it will be noticed. Over and over and over, games without end. Until it's not, at which point the ad logos will have to (have to) be made bigger. More eye-catching. After all, they are paying millions for the placement, until they don't. At which point maybe a second patch will be warranted. After all, it's not like that laundry will be virginal any more, right?
And while we're at it, why doesn't the floor have ads? And the backboard? Perhaps ad jingles during the game itself, instead of snippets of freaking songs. Rename the players; if a man can make us all refer to him as Metta World Peace, I'm sure he can bring in bank from being called Metta Geico Insurance.
And once the NBA counts its money and trumpets the innovation, the NHL will follow suit (hell, they are probably kicking themselves for not going first), then the NFL, and finally MLB.
Every sport, every uniform, every team you care about, sold and sold and sold some more, until you will need to be some kind of meditative savant to be able to put it all out of mind and eye and actually, you know, watch the freaking game. (Not that this is easy now anyway, given the we're not really watching coverage disease advanced by more and more teams and leagues. But I digress.)
There is, of course, a small but completely unfeasible way to stop all of this. Don't buy the jerseys. Or if you do, rip off and/or cover up the damn patch. Or, better yet, pay more for the unadulterated outfit. (Hell, since the official ones will have the ads on them, doesn't that mean I can make unofficial ones without? Someone get a copyright lawyer on this.)
Oh, and don't refer to the stadiums by their corporate names. Call them by whatever you want instead; I find The Team Name's Stadium to work quite well in getting the point across. Maybe we can even get broadcasters to do this in our lifetime. That'd be nice.
You see, ads on jerseys *isn't* inevitable. No more than genetically engineered food, Esperanto, no English measurement units, clear cola, teller-free stores, and a million other ramrodded "innovations" that the general public rejected, rather than accepted as a fait accompli.
All it takes is people not buying it, and the future house of crap cards tumbles.
But this won't be decided, of course, by people like you (presumably) and me.
Since we are not, well, the people buying the bulk of the jerseys in the first place...