I traveled down a late night wormhole of local TV ads featuring famous athletes. There’s nothing better than seeing a Super Bowl winning QB in a car commercial in bumblefuck Texas during their rookie year or a NBA Champion pushing a local hoagie joint for an extra six figure check. As kids we were blessed with Eric Lindros in Modell’s and Ellios commercials and more recently the Cure Auto Insurance commercials, who definitely own the local Philly ad crown now.



We need more local TV ads. Imagine Bryce Harper in a Steak ’em Up commercial delivering the official mating call of South Philly.



Or Joel Embiid wearing consignment store clothing and singing “Stretch those bills…Forman Mills”.


We need more of these from the terrible acting, to the average camerawork, and the nostalgia. I love old school local TV ads. Such simpler times when you could get major stars to do them for $10k and a free car cause sports right deals weren’t in the billions yet. Here are some of the best I found.



Imagine coming off your 5th NBA Championship and only getting paid $2 million a year. Of course Scottie had to subject himself to Ameritech and Mr. Sub commercials. Damn free weekend calling all throughout 1996? I get why Ameritech isn’t around anymore. How are they supposed to make any money with deals so good? And is it just me or did the writer for the Mr. Sub commercial have A LOT of pent up sexual frustration. The way I see it is the shoot wrapped up and Scottie took those two Luvabulls cheerleaders and showed him his own Mr. Sub.



I am furious I went 27 years without seeing this commercial of Chris Collinsworth slinging frozen Mexican food. You think Collinsworth got a free tacos for life card like he was Happy Gilmore? Just hands to it to the cashier checkout lady and is like the beef filling is on them. His family is probably living off of 30 year old JTM soft taco shells because no one can get anything in the grocery store. I need Collinsworth to do the slide-in on a SNF broadcast a hit America with a Buenos Tacos, Amigos. He’s going to be replaced by Drew Brees in a couple years anyway. Might as well get your kicks in while you can.



You think they couldn’t afford a costume designer on set or no one in Cleveland would know who this Shrek character was unless his last name was on his chest? Mozgov was hilariously reading off the cue cards to the side of the camera the whole time. No chance he could remember what he had to say since the jersey was cutting off the circulation to his neck.


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Do you think Mozgov even stepped in the Brew Garden before? No chance they just found a rock wall and were like, “This looks good.” What’s crazier? The fact you think this Russian guy actually likes American beer and not Stoli straight or the Cavs gave up two 1st round picks for him.



Jake Delhomme in a Bojangles commercial is a collab I never thought I’d see. Jake doesn’t strike me as a Bojangles guy. He’s definitely more of an Arby’s guy. Roast beef is the Jake Delhomme of fast food meats. Also, the Defender of the Biscuits needs to work on his superpower because I’m pretty sure a throw from candy arm Jake wouldn’t do shit to anyone.



The craziest thing is Jake Delhomme really had a good thing going with Bojangles for a little. I didn’t know Delhomme had this kind of personality. He struck me as a quieter less goofy Eli Manning. Nope. He just loved slinging the pigskin and chicken & biscuits.







I mean this with no bias because it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins, but this is easily the worst acting of all time. There are countless TV spots to pick from and this one is undoubtedly the worst performance ever. I mean mail it in more Penguins. Sidney Crosby isn’t going to be there to pick up the slack this time. Those Beamers ain’t going to sell themselves.

I wish I was in the editing room when this move was greenlit.



You know the director was like just be yourself and we’ll take care of it in post-production. Well Fu Man Chu Joey Fatone really went above and beyond feeling comfortable. Jesus Christ guy, buy the car before you try and fuck it.

I didn’t understand the need for these Russian henchmen looking guys, but hey I’m not in TV.


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This is the first product I’ve seen that I actually believe someone wanted to sell. You could hear the excitement in Coach O’s voice when he described that Hummer. Big, Tough, Aggressive – all adjectives you need to have when you’re playing for Coach O’s program. When the H3 Hummer was released it was badass. Yea it got 16 miles to the gallon on gas and it basically killed the ozone layer by itself, but shit at least you were the coolest guy on the block and could crush your pussy neighbor’s Prius with it if you had to.

I have a Hummer. You need a Hummer. Tell ’em about it Jo Jo.

A linguistic masterpiece! I hope the Hummers this winter were flying off of Roger Dabbs lot since Coach O and the Tigers won the title. What’s that thing people have attached to them, like Q rating or something, whatever it is Coach O’s is through the roof.




Absolute star power in this commercial! Honestly, Clinton Portis had to have been doing this for a close friend because he signed for $50.5 million in free agency for the Redskins. DelMarVas finest all in one commercial and who would’ve thought Brendan Haywood would’ve stolen the show with FORD, HYUNDAI, CHEVY, BEAMERS. You think Eastern Motors cared they had All-Pros like Ray Lewis and Clinton Portis? Nope. They’re building this commercial around the legacy of Brendan Haywood and his 14 year journeyman career.

To be honest, I’m not surprised Clinton Portis would get involved with a company who definitely committed their own form of wire fraud at least once.




This has to be the greatest rags to riches story in local TV ad history. Talk about McGavock Nissan finding lightning in a bottle. You get the local Texas Tech QB to come back while he’s a nobody and backing up Alex Smith. You’re probably paying a tenth of the money he’s now worth. And then he goes on to win the Super Bowl and is named the face of the NFL for the next 10 years. That’s a story that every car dealership owner goes to bed dreaming about at night.

Would Patrick Mahomes be the first person I’d listen to pitch me a product? Nope. But whatever Coach O’s Q rating is, double it for Mahomes.



I’m glad the shot of someone shoveling their mouth with food never made it out of the 80s. Imagine watching Cataldi shovel his mouth with some mashed potatoes while he’s babbling about Chicken Francese in a commercial for Misconduct. I’d puke all over the place.  Manny’s unfortunately closed in 2010 and how can you blame them. Look at the size of that bread on the table! How are you supposed to pay your bills during a recession when your food costs are 30% bread? You could kill someone with this thing.

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If you don’t think I’m going to say “Chicken Francese” the exact same way Mike does every time I order now, you couldn’t be more wrong.


There will never be enough local TV commercials to satisfy me.