Why does a corporation choose to lend its name to a football stadium? With fees averaging thousands of dollars a day, couldn't a company find a better avenue for advertising? Surely, particularly for companies like poor, disgraced Enron, which sell a product that most sports fans will never even have the opportunity to buy, the answer must be yes. Perhaps naming rights are a point of executive pride, a corporate trophy wife who can be trotted out to show investors just how successful a company is. Or perhaps--and this, we believe, is truly the case--these companies simply love their hometown teams.
And what obstacle can't be overcome with love? With the heartfelt support of a corporate sponsor, what team wouldn't have the inspiration to fight on when the chips are down, to run that extra yard? With this in mind, we present our Week 13 Football Picks: Clash of the Sponsors.
|Tennessee (3-8, The Coliseum) at Indianapolis (11-0, The RCA Dome)
The Colts added another feather to their cap last week with a 26-7 win over the Steelers. If they beat the Titans this week, they'll clinch a playoff spot and be one step closer to a perfect season. After cutting a score of veterans from their roster, the Titans are a team in transition, with a record to match, and since former sponsor Adelphia went the way of Enron in 2002, The Stadium Formerly Known As Adelphia Coliseum had to divorce the company from its moniker, becoming Just The Coliseum. No new sponsor has come forward for the Titans, who just won't be able to overcome the skill, momentum, and innovative entertainment sponsorship of the Colts.
SU Pick: Indianapolis
|Oakland (4-7, McAfee Coliseum) at San Diego (7-4, QUALCOMM Stadium)
Out of the playoff race but still hoping to finish the season with a winning record, the Raiders are looking for an upset against the San Diego Chargers this week. To do it, they will have to shut down Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson and his next-generation wireless communications sponsor, QUALCOMM. McAfee's system and network security products will try to inspire strong pass protection from Oakland's sagging defense, but QUALCOMM's history of award-winning management and commitment to the end user will make San Diego the winner in the end zone.
SU Pick: San Diego
|Denver (9-2, Inveso Field) at Kansas City (7-4, Arrowhead Stadium)
SU Pick: TBA
|Seattle (9-2, Qwest Field) at Philadelphia (5-6, Lincoln Financial Field)
We at Suburban Underground hate Qwest. I mean, we really hate Qwest. It is not because of that time they forgot to connect our phone service for two weeks, or because of that time they forgot to DISconnect our phone service and then insisted that they would have to charge us for the incoming residents' phone calls (well, OK, these were probably contributing factors); It is because Qwest is The Man. The squeeze-you-of-your-last-dollar, puppy kicking, faceless, all-controlling Man.
So when the Seattle Seahawks face the Philadelphia Eagles this week at Seattle's QWEST field, the Eagles will most certainly go down to defeat. Is this because Terrell Owens is a stupidhead and QB Donovan McNabb needs to be home with a heating pad? Is this because of the Seahawks' stellar offense? NO! It's because Qwest is the The Man, and will crush the life out of all that come before it. It's true.
Lincoln Financial, sponsor of the Eagles' home field, also may be a minion of The Man, but they can't be as bad as Qwest. They just can't be.
SU Pick: Seattle