The “Super Bowl Babies” ad and its horrifying implications

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The NFL just came out with an ad called “Super Bowl Babies.” It’s a 60-second commercial that is part of the league’s “Football Is Family” marketing campaign which will air in the third quarter of the Super Bowl. It features people who were born nine months after their parents’ favorite team won the Super Bowl.

Really. That’s the idea. Kids singing about how their parents experienced vicarious arousal based on what, say, Eli Manning did one evening and decided to take things to the next level. An ad campaign all but requiring people to think about their parents doin’ it:

 

I want to cringe at that, but it’s probably genius given how, um, passionately people feel about sports.

But it does get my brain working in ways I sort of wish it wouldn’t. For example, it makes me think about the other side of the Super Bowl Babies coin. Sure, if you were born in Chicago nine months after Super Bowl XX you may be the product of your parents’ joy, but what if you were born in Boston? Are you a “God, Tony Eason Sucks, This Game Is A Disaster So What Do You Want To Do Now” Baby? As some people on Twitter observed a bit ago, are there hundreds of Millennials in Buffalo right now conceived in disappointment? Are there Scott Norwood Babies? Don Bebee Babies?

Also, what if your parents weren’t football fans at all and, instead, watched counter programing? Might you be an “In Living Color Halftime Show Baby?” A “Lingerie Bowl Baby?” “Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Baby?” Take THAT one up with your therapist.

For that matter, there are far more dubious [Sports Event] Babies out there than Super Bowl-related babies. For this my mind, of course, turns to baseball. How many “Bucky F***ing Dent Babies” are there in New York and Boston? How many “Aaron F***ing Boone Babies” for that matter? Are babies born in the summer of 1987 in New York or Boston “Buckner Babies” or “Mookie Babies?” Depends on which city you’re from, I suppose.

Of course, humans being humans, it’s obvious that it doesn’t take the thrill of ultimate victory or profound defeat to inspire some baby-makin’. Any little bit of inspiration will do. Are there 17-year-olds in Miami named Livan Gregg who owe their existence to Game 5 of the 1997 NLCS? Are there “Don Denkinger Game Babies” in Kansas City? Someone, somewhere, may be a “Chase Utley went 3-for-5, drove in three and Cole Hamels tossed seven strong innings as Philly beat Washington 6-2 Baby.”  Someone I know who did the math a little while ago has a decent case for being a Ten Cent Beer Night Baby. That would be something.

Man, I gotta admit, at first I was sorta skeeved out by the Super Bowl Babies commercial, but now I am rather taken with the whole idea.

Or, at least I was until I did the math and realized I might be a “Hooray, Richard Nixon Got Reelected Baby” and now I wanna go curl up in a corner and die.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.