Much has been said and written over the past 24 hours about how wretched the GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial was. But I want you to take a second look from a sports fans’ perspective. After all, the commercial aired during one of the most-watched sporting events ever.
What is it about this commercial that makes people cringe? I agree, it’s very unnatural and even awkward to see such a beautiful woman, Bar Rafaeli, kiss such an awkward character. But doesn’t Jesse Heiman personify the underdog that we all love to cheer on?
Let me share some examples of “Jesse Heiman’s” that have captured our hearts over the years.
We’re still waiting for the #16 seed to beat the #1 in the NCAA tournament. I’ve been in several arenas, however, where the crowd gets behind a #16 seed that is hanging tough with the big guys. Isn’t Jesse Heiman a #16 seed? He got a chance to run with the big dogs and he certainly didn’t waste it.
Six #15 seeds have upset #2. Sure the loss may have wrecked your March Madness pool but didn’t the fact that a huge underdog captured victory take some of the sting out?
Five #13 seeds have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Most of us will remember the Ohio Bobcats who beat South Florida to move on the next round of last year’s tournament. And don’t forget about Shaka Smart’s VCU Rams who advanced to the Elite Eight as an #11 seed back in 2011. Butler basketball anybody? Their run in 2010 is one reason it is very easy to cheer for Gordon Hayward.
College football has its “Jesse Heiman’s” too.
Most people probably couldn’t find Idaho on the map, let alone Boise State, before the 2006 Fiesta Bowl. A hook-and-lateral for a touchdown, the statue of liberty for a two-point conversion followed up by a marriage proposal… Now everyone knows about the blue turf and Chris Petersen’s bunch.
And, closer to home, very few pundits gave the Utah Utes a chance in the 2009 Sugar Bowl against mighty Alabama. Now Paul Kruger is sacking QBs while David Reed is making plays on special teams in the Super Bowl.
Who can forget Appalachian State’s victory over Michigan in the “Big House” back in 2007. You can’t tell me you didn’t cheer, unless of course you dawn the Maize and Blue, when the Mountaineers blocked what would have been a game winning FG.
NHL’s 2011-12 LA Kings
NBA’s 1998-99 New York Knicks (although they just fell short in the NBA Finals)
NFL’s 2010 Green Bay Packers
MLB’s Boston Red Sox came back from an 0-3 deficit to beat the NY Yankees
MLS’ Real Salt Lake captured one of the last playoff spots in the Eastern Conference on their way to winning the MLS Cup in 2009.
Boxing’s Leon Spinks defeated “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali back in 1978.
And the list goes on and on…
“Jesse Heiman’s” exist at every level and in every sport. As long as fans don’t have a dog in the fight, they’ll throw their support behind this underdog of all underdogs. That’s what the Go Daddy commercial represents to me.