|I Am 13. I Am 18. I Am An Ad
By: Brian Keller
I am 13. I am a girl. I can throw a baseball. I can throw a baseball very well. I can throw a baseball so well that I struck out a lot of people in the Little League World Series. It’s really neat. It’s so cool. Hey, guess what? I threw baseballs on television. I threw baseballs, I think, for my team. I’m not sure, though. The Jackie Robinson West Little League team did, too. Too bad for them that they got caught, because they could have really pitched.
During the time I was throwing baseballs, ESPN was finishing up an eight-year, $30.1-million deal with Little League to televise the LLWS. I had just signed a new eight-year deal, this time for $76 million. I may have been pitching for ESPN. You may have to look it up. I’m sure a team of lawyers can figure it out. I also pitched for Chevrolet as pitchman for their products. I think Chevrolet is a big company. They are part of General Motors, who reported a Q4 2014 net income of $1.1 billion. I’m not sure what that means for Chevrolet. I haven’t got that far in math. I think Chevrolet paid me — wink — for my appearance pitching cars for Chevy. I pitched to grown-up adults who eagerly ate up the commercial that made Chevy look good by comparing themselves to me, a 13 year old girl pitcher of baseballs. I’m an American sweetheart. I will probably go to pro baseball. I will make lots of money and play for 5.6 years. I will be out of a job by the time I’m 28. I don’t worry, though, because Chevy will still be using me to pitch for them. I’ll still be living in the past before I tore up my shoulder and left my childhood behind. I’ll still be America’s sweetheart.
I’ve got something really cool for all you guys who want to pitch for major advertisers. Just go to your favorite browser and look for this article: Here’s How To Legally Pay Mo’ne Davis, Little Leaguers. You can find out how to skirt all the rules about payment to little leaguers and other amateurs. Yes, it’s all compliant with the forever-honest NCAA. It’s great. Do it today, because when you hit the big time, you’ll need money to support your mom, dad, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, posse, lawyers, psychiatrists, and unlabeled hangers-on. If you can throw a baseball at 13, just think how great you’ll be at 18.
I am 18. I just greeted a national TV audience on ESPNU’s “Signing Day.” Signing Day is when my high school colleagues and I told adoring, overweight grown-ups, gamblers, fantasy leaguers, misfits, and people with huge personality flaws where I am going to play college football. It was a great show. It went all day. There were lots of commercials. We were interviewed and talked like adults. Our handlers taught us. We are 17. We are 18. They showed commercials with all the stars. I’ll probably make the Madden cover one day.
College scholarship? Chump change. I will play for a few semesters before I leave my university and the student body to go pro. I will miss the kids. I will say goodbye through my agent. I will miss school, but I will love my new Maybach. I will tattoo my school mascot on my arm next to the one of my baby (babies?) momma. I probably won’t be able to say goodbye to coach, though. I’m sure he’ll be long gone to a better job. He told me he’d be there, as a second father, to help me develop my game, thinking process, my personality, and my outlook on life. I knew he’d leave before he knew he would leave. It’s in their nature. I’m not sad. I’m a star. I know I’ll leave. Don’t tell anyone. They think I’m staying. Quiet; let’s not spoil an adult’s dream of a national championship.
I am 18. I am 6’5" and I weigh 280 pounds. I’m a little small, but I do project to 6'7" and 315 pounds. I can't wait for the combines, where I'll get free gear and then flex. I will probably be involved in some kind of violent altercation during my career. I will play for 3.6 years. I will sustain multiple collision injuries, and that will probably include a severe concussion. I will have a 78% chance of going bankrupt. I will drink Pepsi products (made by PepsiCo, the NFL's biggest sponsor). I will have Roger Goodell next to me when I put on my team cap, made by New Era. It's free to me. You can get one for $29.99. I will wear Nike. I will wear Under Armour. I will drink Gatorade. I will be looked at like meat. I will look at women like they are meat. I will look at everyone else like they aren’t there. Advertisers will turn my malice into strength. I will probably continue to be a self-absorbed ass. Advertisers will turn that into strength. I will behave poorly live and in front of the American public. They will adore me. They will hate me. The haters will love me when I shed a tear, post-arraignment, for ESPN, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, Bryant Gumbel, and more. The New York Post will have me on the back page and page 6. Miller, Bud, Coors, and others, who want you to drink responsibly, will bring me to you. I will be brought to you by insane pee-wee league coaches, high school coaches who want to be college coaches, college coaches who want to be at better programs, McDonald’s, Burger King, Toyota, Chevy, Ford, Doritos, universities who look the other way, parents who look the other way, communities who look the other way, and the American public, who can’t seem to look away. Walmart and Target and ESPN and Fan Duel will bring me to you. Exxon and the United States Military will bring me to you. I may be bunking with Johnny Football at training camp or, probably, rehab, or I may wind up bunking with Aaron Hernandez. I will be brought to you by hundreds of advertisers more than I mentioned, and most likely I will be carried off the field, for a final time, on a gurney pockmarked by logos.
I am 18. I play tennis. I am a golfer. I am a soccer player. I am a hockey player. I am an extreme athlete. I am a mess. Thanks, America. Thanks, advertisers. Thanks to all of you who have nothing better to do than worship children who play children’s games.
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.
Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.
He has built the creative departments at two agencies.
He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.
Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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