By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
So you remember that World Cup Pub Crawl we put together last week? Well, at least one of those bars was proud to offer a free pint to everyone in the bar for every goal Uruguay would have scored against France on Friday. But the teams battled to a 0-0 draw, so no freebies were poured at Connolly's On Fifth in Charlotte.
The France-hate -- or at least this most recent case of it -- stems from Les Bleus' qualifying game against Ireland last fall. Thierry Henry committed a painfully obvious handball in the box that went uncalled and led to a France goal, allowing the French to escape with the victory over Ireland, and a spot in the World Cup.
Connolly's is an Irish pub, and a manager there named Jimmy told OGS in a telephone interview Monday morning that "even if France goes all the way to the final, we'll offer a free pint for every goal against them in every game."
The Parlour, an Irish pub in New York, also offered a round for all in attendance, but Uruguay's failure to find the net yielded no free vodka shots. The bartender who picked up the phone at about 10 a.m. Monday chose to give only one-word answers, but for those wondering whether freebies are possible for Thursday's France-Mexico game, "yes," the same offer will apply, she said.
NIKE DELIVERS AGAIN: Perhaps more than any advertiser in the world, Nike is known for its big-budget, high-energy, creative and colorful campaigns that in recent years have taken on the feel of movie trailers. I fell in love with the "Fate: Leave Nothing" ad featuring footballs stars LaDainian Tomlinson and Troy Polamalu two years ago. And this year, the David-Koechner narrated "Nike Air" spot was genius throughout its 210-second entirety.
But the Swoosh may have outdone itself with its World Cup effort, a three-minute marathon released en masse Friday called "Write The Future." Football stars Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo appear in Wieden+Kennedy's latest masterpiece, directed by "Babel" director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
The spot shattered Nike's record of viral video views set this year with the surprisingly weak "Earl and Tiger" ad that earned 6.3 million views in its first week. "Write The Future" registered 7.8 online looks in its first week. At the beginning of this writing, it boasted 15 million views, but by now it's probably at 16 million.
Nike VP Trevor Edwards told Mashable.com the ad "is among the best we've ever done."
ADIDAS EARNS ITS STRIPES: At first glance, it may look like Adidas borrowed some gloss from Nike's Beaverton, Ore., corridors, but the German outfitter went a step further on the fun front in its own latest spot.
Sports fans, pop-culture addicts and geeks alike likely rewound their TiVOs several times Saturday afternoon upon the launch of Adidas' Star Wars Cantina ad. Snoop Dogg, David Beckham and slightly less A-list Jay Baruchel make cameos in this very slick two minutes of visual goodness. Daft Punk and Noel Gallagher also appear.
Back in February, a Huffington Post reader shared an impromptu clip of Snoop, Darth Vader and a couple dozen Stormtroopers parading through the streets of New York's SoHo district.
LET US HAVE SOMETHING: A few of us were gathered at Steve Susi's OGS World Cup Auxiliary Headquarters on Manhattan's Upper West Side when the Adidas spot debuted and we couldn't stop howling. Then this conversation unfolded:
Steve: "It's not three minutes, but second for second, that was way better than the new Nike ad."
Cath: "Something like that will always turn you men into giddy little boys."
Darian: "We don't have 'Sex & The City.' Let us have something."
INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL 101: Specially marked diving areas? Marigold cards, instead of yellow? And a goalkeeper's hands bursting into flames? If you're new to soccer, this very helpful diagram from The Onion will get you caught up.
THE NAME GAME: Want to know what your name would be if you were a Brazilian football star? No need to wonder; find out right here. PS-Mine would be Wiseto Santos.