I'M STARTING an athletic shoe company. All I need is to line up some endorsements, and I'm all set. My shoes will be all about attitude. You know, just do it. It's your planet.
T-shirts, too, I want to do T-shirts. With some pithy phrases: No fear; Second place is the first loser; I'm the bus driver - I take everyone to school.
I know this won't be easy. All of those phrases are taken. Most of the best attitude-endowed athletes are taken. But there are athletes out there, I know it.
You think I could get the University of Nebraska football team? That'd be perfect. Just picture the commercial:
(Scenes of the Cornhuskers romping to victory, leaving helpless opponents in their wake.)
Announcer: You have to be quick on your feet to win two consecutive national championships.
(Montage of headlines from the many legal problems encountered by Nebraska players in recent years.)
Announcer: And you have to be quick on your feet to move from the courtroom back to the field - without missing a step.
(Shot of coach Tom Osborne being carried off the field after winning a bowl game.)
Announcer: Rayz Shooz. Because, once the whistle blows, no one checks your rap sheet.
Come to think of it, there are lots of NFL players could fit the bill. I have another idea:
(Tape of generic NFL action.)
Announcer: You're a defensive back. Your team is losing 44-18.
(Shot of booing fans.)
Announcer: But you've just stopped the opposition's third-string fullback after a 2-yard gain.
(Losing players looking distraught on sidelines.)
Announcer: Hey, man, you've got to do what you've got to do.
(Our player is seen doing a shuffle, pointing his index finger to the sky, whipping off his helmet and posing bodybuilder style.)
Announcer: Rayz Shooz. Because who says there is no "I" in team?
I think I'd like to go after some of those guys that the other shoe companies might view as a little tainted. Hey, they have attitude.
(Posed portrait of our endorsers - Warren Moon, Robert Parish and Bobby Cox - each wearing T-shirts that read, "Alleged, not convicted.")
Announcer: Out on the field, out on the court, the only women you see are cheerleaders.
(Headlines detailing allegations that NFL quarterback Moon, NBA center Parish and major-league manager Cox engaged in domestic violence.)
Announcer: Hey, remember that old song? "You only hurt the one you love."
(Fans cheering our three endorsers.)
Announcer: Rayz Shooz. Because she has to prove it in court.
Let's not forget those who have an attitude toward the media, either.
(Shot of Albert Belle hitting a home run.)
Announcer: You're paid to hit homers, not to talk to some geek with a notebook or some chick with a microphone.
(Tape of Belle cursing out NBC's Hannah Storm in the dugout. Footage of Belle throwing a ball at a photographer.)
Announcer: And when is the last time one of them wore a jock?
(Fans cheering Belle.)
Announcer: Rayz Shooz. Because everybody hates the media anyway.
Maybe Belle can be my first endorser. He'll get his own shoe - the Boor. It will have spikes not only on the bottom, but also on the sides and top.
The oversized tongue will fold down, showing off the Boor's message: "Buzz off."
Sounds like it'd make a cool T-shirt, too.
Ray Frager is an assistant sports editor with The Sun.
Pub Date: 10/06/96