Day 03: Real Football and Intentionally Watching an Ad

For a Seattleite, sports fandom is fickle. Nobody I knew gave shit about the Seahawks until they were winning, and then all of the sudden I couldn’t find Skittles anywhere. I had no idea why at the moment, as I’m no sports fan. And though I may live in (North) Hollywood now, 206 is still imprinted on my heart. So that’s why it feels completely right to say that I no longer support the Seattle Sounders FC (and for the sake of argument, let’s say I did prior to this point): While looking for information about a gray whale who managed to swim his or her way into the Ballard Locks, I saw a banner ad for the Sounders on Ublock Origin is good, but it doesn’t manage to catch them all, I’m afraid.

So I’ve decided to pick a different team, based on which one on the Wikipedia page for Major League Soccer I thought I could make jokes about. The LA Galaxy seemed an obvious choice, but David Beckham isn’t with the team any longer (had to look it up), so it seemed unfair to talk about his high voice, and that’s pretty much all I know about the LA Galaxy. Portland’s Timbers almost had me, thanks to my extremely pleasant memories of my visits there (my kingdom for a Pine State Biscuits and Reverend Nat’s care package), but my good friend Ryan threatened to boycott our friendship if I picked the rival to his beloved Sounders. And of course the San Jose Earthquakes were considered, as I do enjoy a sports team named after a disaster that kills dozens of your fellow citizens, and will do again (what’s up, Iowa State Cyclones).

So I’ve decided that I’m now a fan of Real Salt Lake. Not because I’m a fan of Utah, though I enjoy a John Ford Monument Valley western to a level that is healthy and appropriate, or Salt Lake City in particular, but because the name Real Salt Lake makes me think that there is some sort of evil twin Salt Lake soccer team skulking around, possibly in an under-saltwater lair, and almost certainly plotting… something… That or there’s a serious problem with ersatz soccer teams in the general Salt Lake area, so they just went the obvious route and renamed the “Real” team to avoid confusion.*

While I was watching sailing videos on YouTube, an ad for Tourisme Québec came up, which I had already seen, but skipped on Tuesday. I gather that it’s part of their Québec Original campaign, and it’s called “Blind Love“. It’s the story of an apparently whirlwind tour of Québec, featuring gorgeous and interesting places and events around the province, featuring and narrated by a blind (surprise!) man named Danny from Long Island who uses the American-preferred kweh-BEK pronunciation, and is accompanied by a never-acknowledged female companion. It’s your standard tourism board commercial, but done particularly well, and with an interesting hook.

This time, when the ad came on, I decided to watch it, because it was pretty, but also because… I’d already been exposed to it, so the ad presented no danger to me — not that it realistically did anyhow, as I’m unlikely to be visiting Montreal in the next month, moreover the ad is specifically for Québec in the summer. “You’re already on my list, you’ve got no power on me, Québec” I might have thought, were my life some sort of poorly written fiction. So I watched it. And it made me want to go visit Québec. A lot. I mean, watch the thing if you want, as I said, it’s really pretty. Here:

I suppose it’s kind of interesting that in an experiment where I’m trying to avoid advertising, I’ve chosen to expose myself intentionally to advertising. I’m not sure what that says. But I do know that I want some poutine, and I’m betting they have some pretty good food and drink in Montreal.

* I know about Spanish.

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