Friday, May 28, 2004

Beer Wars

Miller Brewing has recently begun a few series of ads aimed at capturing some of Anheuser-Busch’s market share. In the first series, a woman goes through a “breakup” with Budweiser, while proclaiming she has someone new (Miller Genuine Draft). The second series features mock election debates pitting Miller’s “President of Beer” candidate against a Clydesdale representing Bud and its “King of Beers” claim. And the third series goes to the heart of the low-carb craze by comparing the carb levels of Bud Light and Miller Light, encouraging people to choose Miller Lite because of its low carb volume.

I normally don’t take any notice of beer ads and they’re insinuation that the more you drink, the better you’ll look and the more hot chicks will notice you. I have paid a bit more attention to these Miller ads, however, because I have never seen a beer ad do an out and out attack on its direct competitor, going so far as to feature said competitor in its own ad.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to take notice. Anheuser-Busch has retaliated with a series of ads, described here on

[T]he multi-pronged campaign will include point-of-sale materials positioning Budweiser's recently reformulated sub-premium Natural Light against Miller Lite. Bud's Natural Light, like Miller Lite, has 3.2 grams of carbohydrates.

Other weapons include radio ads featuring the Bud lizards Frankie and Louie. The reptiles make fun of Miller's "President of Beer" ad campaign, though they don't mention it by name.

And there will be more ads positioning Lite as the "Queen of Carbs."

Honestly, I couldn’t care less about either company. Of the many beers brewed by the two companies, I only enjoy AB’s Michelob and Miller Genuine Draft. Why am I blogging about this then? Well, I love those Bud Lizard ads and am hoping they make a comeback. I heard one this morning and was stunned. (The lizard ads haven’t run for several years.) Here’s hoping this feud escalates to the point where the lizard ads make their way back onto television.

UPDATE: Apparently, this little feud has some legs. Miller Brewing Company has filed suit in Milwaukee against Anheuser-Busch for "engag[ing] in false or misleading advertising activities."

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Getting down to business

Tonight marks the first game of the second half for my softball team. We're playing the team we opened the season against 5 weeks ago. We got off on the wrong foot in the first half, losing 14-7. Hopefully, we can turn this around; with a strong second half run, we have a legitimate shot at the playoffs.

UPDATE - 5/28/04: We wound up losing 3-2 last night, and looked a lot like the Phillies doing it. We had runners on base every inning, but just couldn't get that one hit to bring them home. Scattering 12 hits over seven innings, we stranded a total of 10 runners. This drops our record to 4-6 and give us an uphill battle towards the playoffs.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Random Thoughts

To continue in the tradition of my "mostly unedited ramble," I present my brand new "Random Thoughts" column that will appear on a weekly basis -- hopefully, on every Monday. And with that, away we go.

1. Is there any surprise that the Camden Riversharks have a better, more accessible beer selection than the Phillies?
2. Am I the only one who thinks that, despite how good of a team they are, it will be terrible for the NHL if Tampa Bay wins the Stanley Cup?
3. How ridiculous is it that the Phillies did not update the score of Saturday's Flyers' game -- a Game 7 in the Conference Finals, mind you -- until the Flyers scored in the second period, and then not for the rest of the game?
4. Is it okay to call someone out while they're on vacation? If so, Boats Against the Current needs to get his ass in gear. If not, well -- just ignore what I wrote there and keep reading.
5. Would it be possible for Shallow Center to talk any more about baseball? And, on top of that, would it be possible for him to quote some more blogs while he's at it? If I want to know what those other blogs are saying, I'll click on them. I go to that blog because I want to read what he writes. Or something.
6. Does this new proposal by President Bush for a multinational peacekeeping force in Iraq look like anything other than that America wants others to share the burden of a free Iraq -- including casualties -- but none of the benefits -- namely oil?

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Busy Weekend

I will apologize now if I don't get a chance to post this weekend. You see, my eyes and ears will be filled with nothing but the sights and sounds of sports tonight and tomorrow. As I noted previously, I have tickets to tonight's Phils' game against San Diego. And, since that's nowhere near enough, I will bring my walkman along and listen to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. To cap my weekend off, my friend Shawn invited me to Sunday's Camden Riversharks game. Hopefully I will have plenty to cheer and nothing to boo.

Thursday, May 20, 2004


I'm afraid I may be starting to believe in these guys.

It's about half-an-hour or so since the end of Game 6. Keith Primeau was a monster once again, scoring his second goal of the game with just 1:49 left to send the game into overtime. With time dwindling on the first overtime period, Primeau's line -- responsible for 4 of the Flyers' 5 goals -- got to it once again. A shot by Primeau bounced right to Jeremy Roenick. His rebound shot bounces straight to Simon Gagne. Gagne then bounced the puck off Lightning goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and into the back of the net to send this series to the full 7 games.

Honestly, I thought the Flyers were going to fold after their failed comeback in Game 5. And, for awhile, it looked like they would. Leading 2-1 at the end of the first period, they coughed up the lead in the second period, and went into the third trailing 4-3. The Lightning came out trying to play defense -- which is not their forte -- in the third to shut the Flyers down. This had the opposite effect from what they intended. The Flyers outshot the Lightning 17-5 in the third period, and again 10-5 in the overtime.

All of this leads us to Game 7. It will be Saturday night at 7:00 in Tampa. Now my question becomes, what do I do? See, I have two tickets to Saturday night's Phillies game. On the other hand, there's a Game 7 to watch. Anyone?

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Keep on swingin'

Well, now that the Flyers are just about out of the playoffs -- and really, who thought they would last this long? -- I'm going to make a concerted effort to post almost every day -- if not every day.

Speaking of concerted efforts, kudos to my softball team last night. I'm a coach for my girlfriend's women's league slow pitch team. I have several friends on the team as well, so I do have fun when we play. The last couple of weeks had proven tough for us. We started that stretch getting hammered 17-2 by a beatable team. We then came back and lost 10-9 to the second best team in our league in the bottom of the 7th -- the very definition of a tough loss when you consider we had never beaten this team, had been losing all game and had managed to eke out a 9-8 lead in the top half of the 7th. Seeking to build on our moral victory, we then faced off against the best team in the league and their undefeated record. We limped away after a lousy four and a half innings with a 19-1 loss and several pissed off coaches. (The league employs a 15-run rule.)

We were able to get in a practice on Sunday -- to which only seven players showed up, a fact that did not help to improve the coach's disposition -- only our second of the season. We knew that last night's game would be important. Nursing a 3-5 record into the game, we wanted a win to send us into the break between the two halves of the season at 4-5 and with some momentum towards a possible playoff spot. (The top four teams make the playoffs, and the top two spots are pretty much already locked up.)

The game was a squeaker. We spotted the other team the early lead -- a very annoying trend our team has -- but managed to claw back to tie the score at 3 by the third inning. It stayed that way through the 6th inning and on into the bottom of the 7th. Our leadoff hitter, realizing we only needed one run to win the game, did her job and singled. The next batter grounded into one of the luckiest double plays I have ever seen. She smoked the ball right between the pitcher's legs – literally -- that wound up right in the hands of the second baseman (basewoman?). Had the pitcher had any time to react, chances are she would have deflected the ball away from any of the fielders and we would've had first and second with no outs. Unfortunately, it was not to be and we had no one on and two outs. Severely deflated, our next hitter swung at a bad pitch and flew out to left field to end the 7th and sent the game to extra innings.

Apparently still suffering from the letdown of that double play, our team gave up 2 runs in the top of the 8th to go down 5-3 heading onto the bottom of the inning. Finding some reserve of hope that they knew they had, our team came out on fire with a three-run inning to win the game. Hit after hit after hit came, with only one out thrown in the mix -- and that a sacrifice fly that tied the game. It was gutsy effort shown by both teams, and I am thoroughly glad we were on the winning side.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Enough already

Can we please stop with the self-righteous fire and brimstone being rained upon MLB? There are ads all over ballparks these days -- including giant "Gap" signs on, of all things, the outfield walls at the gaps. MLB already puts designs on the bases for Mother's Day and Father's Day (breast cancer research and prostate cancer research, respectively). What difference does it make? Are you honestly telling me that from way up in the 300 level of CBP you’re going to be able to tell what the ad even is? And, on top of that, what sort of fan are you that you’re more concerned about what might be written on the base instead of who is standing on it?

Look, my favorite sport is hockey and the NHL sells ad space on the ice. But you know what? I don’t care. You know why? Because I’m watching what the players are doing and where the puck is going.

I would suggest that you do the same.