Jonathan Begley

February 8, 2010


Filed under: Character,Current Events — jonathanbegley @ 7:58 pm

Yesterday I sat down with a handful of friends to watch the best of the NFL battle it out in the Superbowl. The game did not disappoint. I can’t say the same for the commercials. For much of the country (myself excluded) I believe that the game is secondary to seeing the million dollar ads that organizations and companies produce. It amazes me that at the end of a three hour game I had a hard time remembering even a handful of good, quality commercials despite the astronomical amount of money spent.

 I define a quality commercial as one that not only is clear and memorable, but one that gives America a reason to buy that product over a competitor’s similar product.

When companies like Budweiser or Pizza Hut can shell out millions of dollars for a thirty second spot that is forgotten thirty seconds later, what does that say about their priorities? What does it say about who they are and what they want to represent? Giving away a free pair of pants or a free Grand Slam breakfast doesn’t get me excited about a product or company. Neither do cows and Clydesdales, men without pants, or Punxatony Palamalus (okay that last one was hilarious, but I still cannot recall what the company was).

In the weeks before we all heard countless opinions about the Tim Tebow Pro Life ad. Whether I agree with a woman’s right to choose or not, I know what Focus on the Family stands for and what they believe. I heard several commentators today complain about the sexist commercials that were so prevalent during the game. How offensive a particular commercial was can be debated but it is clear to me that some companies just flat do not deserve my money.

So while some commercials are funny and others full of sex or star power the mark of a good commercial is one that makes you want to act, to choose that product or service over another. In an attempt at name recognition I think that many companies are turning off the very people they are trying to reach. Name recognition is important, but not as important as a company’s character.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Which commercials were great? Which were not? What makes you want to move?


January 12, 2010


Filed under: Character,Current Events — jonathanbegley @ 1:51 pm

Mark McGwire finally comes clean. Obviously many fans are completely surprised that the man took steroids, but the question remains, does he belong in Cooperstown? A few weeks ago many of you know that I would have answered that question with “absolutely not.” Now, I have to admit that my answer is “not yet.”

Although McGwire would like for us all to believe that he took Performance Enhancing Drugs for health reasons only, we all know that this is not exactly true. PEDs obviously make you stronger. If not stronger than how do they “enhance” your performance? Yes, McGwire has God given talent to hit a baseball. No one doubts that. What I doubt is that he could have hit 70 home runs in 1998 without them. Any records that he does still hold should be abolished. We will never know what his careers statistics would look like without PEDs.

Are his career statistics worth a place in the Hall of Fame? Not if he cheated. Roger Maris didn’t cheat and neither did many of the other Hall members. They played with their God given talent and played through injuries whenever possible. When they couldn’t play any longer, they hung up their cleats. What I believe does qualify him to be in the Hall is his contribution to the game. McGwire has made an unmistakable mark on the game, and not just the “I’m not here to talk about the past” remarks. McGwire was the face of America’s pastime during the 80’s and 90’s; teams won pennants and fans cheered.

With his recent admission of steroid use throughout his career, McGwire has shown that he is now ready to address his mistakes. Is he ready to earn the trust and respect of America? He has taken the most difficult step but now he must make a decision. Does he continue on with the Cardinal’s organization like nothing happened? Or does he use his God given position, his talents, and his energy to help repair the damage that was done to the game of baseball?

It is not what he did that will keep him out of the Hall; it is what he will do with his future that might get him in.

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