Mike Merrell’s Three-and-Out
The summer training camps are in session across the land and it is officially time to start getting hyped up for football season — and what better way to do it than to look at preseason hype videos?
They range from slick to sick to why bother, but for better or worse, preseason hype videos are the subject of this week’s Three-and-Out.
1. Rod … Rich Rod. Licence (British spelling) to Thrill, Arizona’s version of a James Bond thriller produced by Rita Rodriguez, wife of master whatever Rod … Rich Rod, has received box office reviews ranging from “brilliant marketing” to “four minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.”
Not to spoil it for those who are wondering how it ends, but here’s the plot. Rich Rod and some Arizona footballers dressed in tuxes get in some fancy cars, go to a resort where hot women appear interested in them. Rich Rod dances with his aging but still hot wife while everybody stands around and watches. Then Rich Rod and the football players split and drive to the football stadium where Rich Rod swings from a rope.
This is followed by a few clips from last year’s football games and the fans storming the field after the big win over ASU. Not exactly the most enticing story line ever. But it does have the great James Bond sound track, unfortunately played without giving credit. Let’s hope the Broccoli Family doesn’t catch on — they guard their stuff pretty jealously.
Notably absent are scenes from the last two games of the Wildcats’ 2014-15 season, which is probably what spurred the “brilliant marketing” review.
In spite of the thin plot, there is at least an element of creativity. Some might call it fun and some might question the channeling of energy. Personally, I just didn’t know what to think, but it did leave me wondering what the two Hollywood schools had come up with …
2. Hollywood Strikes Out. For being next door to Hollywood, USC and UCLA made Tucson, Arizona look like the film capital of the world.
I couldn’t find any current hype video at all for UCLA. All I found was this B-movie production from last year.
Apparently as a result of assigning the project to a Film Editing 101 class, the sound track got mixed up with something obviously intended for a horror flick.
Even though the Trojans have as late struggled on the field against the Bruins, they did win the town trophy for football hype video production, even if it was by default.
For some reason, the film starts out with a picture of a national championship trophy. I couldn’t see any fine print on the trophy, but I suspect that it’s the one that was awarded in August 2012, USC’s most recent national championship.
I found the sound track offensive to the ear, but as a 67-year-old accountant living in the forest in North Idaho just over the hill from Ruby Ridge I have to accept that my taste in music may not be universal.
For those of you who choose to endure the entire film — with or without the sound track turned on — pay special attention to the hit at 2:40. In what appears to be a clip from an old Rose Bowl Game, a USC cornerback ties up a receiver, and a USC safety comes blasting in with a clear helmet-to-blow on a full sprint. It is curious that the Trojans would select this play for a highlight reel, but chances are defensive coordinator Josh Wilcox insisted on it so that he could reminisce about the good old days when giving people concussions was fashionable.
3. It’s Like a Sad Old Kind of Movie. I still love the obscure Pickettywitch hit, but what do you do for a hype video if you’re Washington or Washington State?
Washington, appropriately, shot pretty much the entire show in slow motion. At least I think it’s slow motion, because the players on other teams shown are moving almost as slowly as the Huskies.
The story line is quite difficult to follow. Toward the end of the story, it shows other Pac-12 teams’ highlights — presumably because the Huskies didn’t have enough of their own to fill a 3 minute 10 second video.
But then at the very end, Husky football players are hoisting a trophy. I’m still trying to figure that one out — whoopy-doo Apple Cup? Something from long, long ago? Perhaps borrowed from their 2009 softball team?
I hate movies where I can’t figure out the ending.
I had intended to review all of the Pac-12 2015 football hype videos, but after watching Wazzu’s, I honestly just couldn’t take any more. The video starts with an empty Martin Stadium. Then it goes to an empty weight room, then some players dancing. Eventually, there are a few players lifting weights, players dancing again, more empty stadium — finally a small handful of play highlights, which inexplicably includes only one pass. All of this is accompanied by something — my guess is a male humanoid — wailing in agony.
I actually put the stopwatch on this one. Of the 3:26 duration of the film, 2:19 consists of panning an empty stadium, an empty weight room and players dancing to wailing in agony. It is a sad time to be a Cougar fan. Take plenty of Kleenex along if you watch this one.
But if you are planning to watch a 2015 football hype video for your late summer entertainment, there is still hope. Here’s one with lots of highlights, characters you can love and a great sound track:
Top photo from Video