Have you all seen the ‘It’s a Whole New Ballgame’ commercial from Gatorade yet? Saw it during CSI last night and I got goose pimples. It’s happening folks. The advertisers know a big event is coming up and they’re pushing it in their ads weeks ahead of time – here in the US. I expect it’ll only get more interesting as new ads come out. Up until now, the Nike ads have set the standard, but this has my vote, so far, as the best ad yet for the World Cup in the US. Setting it to take me out to the ballgame – priceless. Wonder if that clip in the snow was from the match against Poland.

UPDATE: Looks like some baseball fans take offense at the use of Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Josh at ThroughBall.com asks some questions of his readers:

Amy says that, as a baseball fan, she’s offended by Gatorade using what is essentially baseball’s national anthem, Take Me Out To The Ballgame, in their soccer advertisement. I’m not sure her offense is warranted; however, her point is well-taken.

My questions to you, gentle readers, are these:

1) Do we have a distinctly American soccer anthem?
2) Do we need one?
3) What should be included, e.g., what is soccer’s response to peanuts and Crackerjack?

OK, I’ll bite. First, Amy needs to lighten up. I thought Gatorade’s use of the song was perfect. It showed that there is a ‘new’ ballgame coming down – not a replacement. Just something new. The whole idea was to get people thinking the commercial was about baseball and then surprise them with soccer. Very slick ad IMHO.

As to the questions… Do we have a soccer anthem? Not that I know of. Do we need one? No. Take Me Out To The Ballgame isn’t an anthem as much as a romanticism of the game and its place in American culture and history. That makes it unique. But I’m not sure it brings anything new to the game. That said – I bet we could have a lot of fun writing one.