Just a few days into spring training and Dice-K is already running afoul of the US government, specifically the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, whose office parties have won the award for “Worst Parties Ever” six years running.
The problem is that Matsuzaka starred in a beer commercial in Japan and an athlete is prohibited from appearing in beer commercials in the US since 1874 or whenever this archaic law was written. And yes, you read that correctly; he starred in a beer commercial in Japan and starring in beer commercials as an athlete is illegal in the United States. From the article…cue pull quotes:
A slick commercial for Asahi “Super” Dry beer features Matsuzaka donning a Red Sox jersey and throwing in full uniform in front of a simulated frenzied throng (ed: one of these days they’ll forget an ‘R’ and that sentence will be a hell of a lot more funny. And I’m not talking about a fenzied throng, either *). In between those shots, Matsuzaka, in street clothes, is shown first taking a couple of gulps from a large glass of beer. After a quick cut, the shot returns to Matsuzaka downing the beer and, with foam on his lips, smiling and sighing contentedly.
Silly commercial, Japanese people are always smiling and sighing contentedly, it’s part of their culture!
According to Arthur Resnick, director of public and media affairs for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in Washington, D.C., Matsuzaka’s Asahi ad may merit punitive action.
“Our jurisdiction runs to false and misleading ads,” said Resnick, who pointed to a 1995 ruling that says the bureau would consider unacceptable any ad “which depicts any individual (famous athlete or otherwise) consuming or about to consume an alcoholic beverage prior to or during an athletic activity or event,” or an ad that states that drinking alcohol “will enhance athletic prowess, performance at athletic activities or events, health or conditioning.”
This is asinine. It’s asinine that we pay a bureau that has such a paucity of tasks that they even look into this sort of thing.
The actual commercial in question IS FREAKING AWESOME. And I will only be drinking Asahi from now on or until I become a famous pitcher for the Red Sox, because the commercial makes it abundantly clear that if you drink enough Asahi Super Dry you’re pretty much on a one-way train to Fenway Park.
I’m actually drinking two as I type this.
Cue Japanesse announcer: “Asahi: SuperDuurrryyy!”
* While on the subject of editing errors and sex, I’ve gotta bring up the famous Chicago Tribune error that turned “You Can’t Say That” into “You Cunt Say That” — on the front page of the WomanNews section.