GoDaddy Presents: A True Underdog Story

A snapshot of Go Daddy's recent Super Bowl Commercial.

Go Daddy Super Bowl Commercial

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.

About the author

Matt Hugie

A graduate of Weber State University, my day job is journalism as the Assistant News Director for KPVI-TV based in Pocatello, Idaho. My passion is sports particularly the University of Utah. I've been going to games as long as I can remember and it's the best way I know how to honor a loving father who took me to games when I was a young buck but passed on to the other side far too soon. Now I take my smokin' hot wife at least until she gets too pregnant with our first to attend.


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  • You forgot one important factor as to why so many were turned off by it. Jesse Heiman didn’t exactly win as an underdog by himself. Undoubtedly Bar Rafaeli was paid a huge amount(maybe even millions) to kiss Jesse Heiman. He didn’t get the girl by his own merits. Would we congratulate a #16 seed who had the refs bought out and who’d been told before the game started they were choreographed to win? And really, while I’m sure Jesse Heiman isn’t complaining after kissing a woman like that, really the fact that he got the job means the people at thought he was the most disgusting opposite of Bar Rafaeli’s beauty they could find willing to take the job. That’s a gigantic slap in the face to every geek considered ugly by the world’s standard. It’s pathetic and cruel.

      I think you make some very good points. Yes the commercial was choreographed, fixed, whatever you want to call it. Choreography just doesn’t play well in sports. Certainly Godaddy searched out what they consider a “disgusting opposite” as you say. I agree that’s cruel and harsh. But, as you’ll read in the article linked above, this ad has been huge for Heiman, even if Bar collected a giant paycheck for it. Sure he’s not going to end up with that girl but a #15 seed has never won the NCAA tournament either. I’m just inclined to root for Heiman just as I would an underdog in sports and he’s getting work done.