The War Between Soda and Water

By Eric D. Graham
Updated: April 17, 2008

NORTH CAROLINA — We all remember the “classic” 1979 Coke Cola commercial when Pittsburgh Steeler “Mean” Joe Greene guzzles down a magic bottle of the devil’s dark colored witches brew instantly transforming from a big, menacing black man into a friendly fella giving the shirt off of his back to a little white kid, who stared in amazement.

Now, that’s a powerful potion. No wonder, they want all Black athletes drinking this stuff. The subliminal suggestion in this “classic” commerical of a little white child conquering the savage beast could even be seen by legendary blues singer Ray Charles.

Or maybe not, because even Ray Charles blindly sold Diet Pepsi in the early 90′s coining the slogan “You Got the Right One Baby Uh-Huh” OH NO!!!

Cause we all know, you will never catch a professional athlete drinking this poisonous concoction on the sideline, at halftime or at the end of the game. So why do these clever “money-making” marketers continue to place Black athletes in their silly soda commercials and why do athletes pretend like they drink this stuff.

Money is the obvious answer.Capitalism is the cousin of compromise. Profit over people is the by-product.

Remember Nike’s animated attempt to use Penny Hardway’s image in the form of a buffoonish cartoon character named “Little Penny” which utilized the annoying voice of Chris Rock to sell sneakers tochildren.

“Little Penny” made some big bucks off selling sneakers by the pool but it didn’t help Penny Hardway’s game at all. Despite “Little Penny’s” early retirement, Spite “borrowed” heavily from the concept to create their character called Miles Thirst to sell sodas to children.

The commericals as well as the character //<![CDATA[ //]]> were not funny and fizzled out like the soda it tried to sell. Having an animated character is an old tactic used by advertisement agencies.

The evil clown, Ronald McDonald is a classic example of using character placement to sell fast food to children. Notice how McDonald’s traps our young Black athletes even before they graduate from high school by sponsoring the infamous McDonald’s High School All-American game.

Now that’s gangsta.

Over the years, Burger King has tried to steal some of McDonald’s thunder by developing an ever smiling King, who humorously pops up unexpectedly during NFL games intercepting passes and running the ball in the end zone.

I must confess, every time I see this silly commercial, I catch a cramp in my neck that sounds like Lebron James in his first Spite commerical from laughing so hard.

Honestly, as an athlete, I have worked tirelessly trying to convince my two nephews to protect themselves from the temptation of slick TV advertisement that puts the sizzle and fizzle of this sugary, syrupy soda over water.

But as a parent it’s hard to compete with the soda industry when they have famous “And 1″ streetballers like Phillip “Hot Sauce” Champion seeking crossover appeal while utilizing his “killer crossover” to the tune of James Brown’s “Super Bad” while drinking Mountain Dew after dribbling through a maze of bad guys.

The funny thing about this commerical is for a brief second it reveals that Hot Sauce is actually hallucinating in the middle of the street. Maybe that’s why Hot Sauce was cut from the 2008 And 1 StreetBall Tour because he was out of shape from drinking too many sodas.

Who’s stupid enough to believe that after drinking a bottle of Mountain Dew that he or she could perform //<![CDATA[ //]]> these moves anyway?

In the 1990s, Sprite attempted to address this issue by making Grant Hill their spokesperson in their double-talk anti- soda advertisement in which kids, who drank Sprite thought they could beat Hill one on one.

After those Sprite commericals, I thought the soda industry was making some progress but before I could put down the remote control from dehydration, I saw former Heisman Trophy winner and New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush being out run by a Diet Pepsi soda machine in the 40-yard dash!!!

Try drinking a 64 oz bottle of Diet Pepsi and run a 40-yard-dash and see what happens to you? I just caught two cramps in both of my calfs and one in my side just thinking about that.

Who drinks Diet Pepsi anyway? Can a brother get some water around here?

I mean some good ole water. Enough with all this soda stuff.Hasn’t anyone seen Adam Sandler’s classic comedy movie, “The Waterboy”?!

I need some plain non-carbonated, non-polluted water with no silly logos from Aquafina, Evita, Greyser, Deer Park, Mountain Spring or Donald Trump’s ugly face on the cover.

I need some colorless, tasteless but tasteful water that quiches my thirst not some “new” mango favored “Vitamin” water sold by rapper 50 Cent.

Water is absolutely essential to the human body’s survival. A person can live for about a month without food but only a week without water. In fact, it increases your metabolism, regulates your appetite, increases your energy level, helps maintain a healthy body, and decreases certain types of cancers which include colon cancer and cancer of the bladder.

Water also reduces joint and backaches, helps to flush out wastes and bacteria, alleviate headaches, and even naturally moisturize the skin.

So put down the soda and drink some water. OBEY YOUR THIRST Now that’s a commercial I would love to see.