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I Saw It Advertised One Day – One Out of Three Isn’t Bad…Okay, It Kind of is

This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of pieces looking at advertisements in comic books over the decades that amused me for whatever reason. Here is an archive of all installments of this feature.

Today we look at the final issue of Marvel’s Godzilla comic book from 1979 and the three ads within the comic that featured famous athletes endorsing products. Two of the three have since become…well…let’s just say not as well-admired as they were in 1979…heck, even the third had his issues…

We open with an ad featuring Pete Rose, roughly a decade before he was banned from Major League Baseball for life due to gambling on the game…

peterose1

Said lifetime ban was recently re-confirmed by the current MLB Commissioner. The fact that Rose bet on his own team when he originally said that he did not did not help matters (dude seems allergic to the truth).

Next, an ad featuring OJ Simpson, roughly fifteen years before, well, you know…

ojsimpson

Finally, Johnny Unitas keeps the issue from being a total loss…

johnnyunitas

But even there, the football legend got some guff a few years after this ad for lending his name to pretty much any company that would ask him to do so, including some fraudulent ones (although, seriously, people, if you’re getting a mortgage from a company because some football player tells you to do it, you got some issues).

19 Comments

I remember seeing those when they first came out.

Sigh…

Thanks for reminding me I’m old, folks. ;)

At least OJ’s not hocking knives…

I wonder if any group of Icons has held up worse than the ones that Gen Xers got as kids.

Pete Rose is one of those guys that says “He sorry” – “Sorry he got caught.”

“Now, Johnny Unitas, there’s a haircut you could set your watch to.”

I don’t think I ever realized that was Johnny Unitas in that ad.

I feel like O.J. used to pop up in an ad just about every month back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I was flipping through some old issues of Mystery In Space from about 1980 and he was in every one extolling the virtues of a “Western style” boot for kids. Y’know, I’m glad we at least have his scenes in the Naked Gun movies to go back and re-watch. Like the one where he gets dragged under a bus, or the one in which the bed crushes him…

I had forgotten Rose spent some time playing for the Phillies. I’m a little too young to remember those years first-hand; I remember his player-manager years, and of course his early career with the Reds is iconic. But those middle years in Philadelphia (and Montreal!) had slipped my mind.

If the Spot-bilt does not fit, you must acquit!

Not that I feel that sorry for Pete Rose (because he’s probably done just as well for himself as the guy who can’t get into the Hall as he would have as just another guy in the Hall), but it was just gambling, and he didn’t (probably) kill anyone.

Well, so far as we know…. He probably associated with gangsters, so who knows?

IIRC, Johnny Hustle bet on himself to win, so in my eyes, he wasn’t gambling…he was just that good.

If there’s a hell I don’t think Pete Rose, Johnny Unitas, and O.J. are going to frequent the same ring, or even be in rings that are close to each other.

@Andrew Collins:
“Frank… I luv you…”
“I love you too, Nordberg.”

The OJ Simpson ads I remember best are the ones for OJ Dingo boots. In the mid-70s Simpson was in ads for the boots in comic books and Penthouse magazine. You can image search google ‘OJ Simpson boots’ to see examples of both.

I think it is funny that the same product with the same pitch man ran in both forums at the same time.

It’s okay; Pete got into the WWE Hall of Fame, alongside such luminaries as Vince McMahon Sr.’s chauffeur (no lie!) As for Johnny Unitas? Well, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”

If you want something creepy in retrospect, read about actor Jeffrey Jones’ legal issues, involving films with underage males, then watch Ferris Bueller again. Ed Rooney’s obsession takes on a new light.

IIRC, Johnny Hustle bet on himself to win, so in my eyes, he wasn’t gambling…he was just that good.

That’s what Rose maintains, but he’s been known to deny established facts before, and investigators have contradicted Rose’s claim.

I’d put him in the hall anyhow. I mean, if the guy was throwing games, his playing record is less than what it could have been. Unlike Clemens and Bonds, Rose’s rule-breaking (if he did bet against himself and underperform to throw games) actually hurt his hall credentials rather than helping them. Like it or not, Rose is one of the greatest to ever play the game, and holds the all-time hits record. The HOF is incomplete without his plaque.

Becca Danny's Wife

February 12, 2016 at 10:29 am

John Unitas pretty much had no choice towards the end. As great as he was as a quarterback, he wasn’t a businessman; the Golden Arm restaurants he had tried to build his retirement on basically swindled him. And this was in a day when huge salaries were not being paid to football players. (Most of his Colt teammates, even the Hall of Famers, had to hold down offseason jobs.)

And the damage all those games did to his body. When the Ravens played the last game at Memorial Stadium, they staged a play where several Colts wound up giving the ball to Raven Jermaine Lewis on a reverse to “take it to the new stadium”. Unitas, of course, was part of it, but it had to be a handoff. He couldn’t raise his right arm to throw it anymore.

Do I remember wrong, or was OJ found innocent of the crime in a court of law?
Who commits a crime in a court of law anyway?

Becca Danny's Wife

February 12, 2016 at 11:26 am

Innocent in criminal court, responsible in civil court

(Does this need a SPOILER ALERT?)

Oh, lots of people. Putting aside perjury (which happens a lot), I’ve witnessed no fewer than a dozen angry defendants engage in physical and verbal assaults in a courtroom, and one guy whipped it out to pee on the district attorney.

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