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Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
 
BUFFER HAS ULTIMATE GIG



    Michael Buffer has the primo gig. You have to be envious. With his room-filling baritone this ring announcer has one job and one only. That is to say “Let’s get rrrrready to rumble.”

    But what I like is that he’s stepped out away from the ring and brought his talented tonsils to other fields. There’s no reason other activities can’t enjoy his auditory.

    At gymnastic events and weddings he’s all “Let’s get rrrrready to tumble!”
    At cookie bake-offs he’s there with his “Let’s get rrrrready to crumble!”
    At debates where Sylvester Stallone and Marlon Brando face off it’s “Let’s get rrrrready
to mumble!”
    At football games where OSU tailback Tatum Bell carries the ball, he says “Let’s get
rrrrready to fumble!”
    At Latin dance contests, Buffer belts out his “Let’s get rrrrready to Rumba!”
    At the orthopedic operating theatre he shouts “Let’s get rrrrready for the lumbar!”
    On the Iron Chef cooking show Buffer has his “Let’s get rrrrready to add the cucumber!”

    Enough already. You get the idea. Buffer and his patented slogan get around. He’s big. He’s the most popular boxing figure in Germany. He’s everywhere: TV, movies, disco records, video games (4), T-Shirts, ball caps, hot sauce – “Let’s get rrrrready to…arrrrgggghhh… owww,” autographed boxing gloves, you name it. To check Buffer’s popularity we did a Yahoo search and came up with 396,000 sites. For comparison the two highest paid baseball players - Alex Rodriquez and Barry Bonds - had 341K and 272K respectively.  

    There’s even a site called the BufferZone.Net designed to snitch on anyone using the phrase: Let’s Get Ready to …. It seems that in 1995 Buffer copyrighted anything that starts with
“Let’s get ready” and the BufferZone will pay people who report infringements on the phrase. If a church group prints up a T-Shirt promoting bingo night with “Let’s get rrrready to Bingo” snitches can collect bucks by turning in the grannies.

    It doesn’t even have to be “Let’s get ready…” It can be “Are you ready…” Or it can be “Are you prepared to gamble?” just so long as it plays on the excitement of Buffer’s coined introduction. The site doesn’t guarantee that the snitch will get money but it does say he’ll get a “special gift” for his report. The money, called “a bonus” comes if and when the Buffer group makes a “recovery” based on the information. In either case the snitcher does become an associate member of the “Rumble Team.” 
   
    You’ve got to protect your livelihood. That’s millions of dollars from coming up with one phrase. One phrase that starts the heart pumping: “Let’s get ready” is as good or better than the Baha Men’s “Who let the Dogs out?” Actually better, eleven times better. Baha Men only came up on 36,000 websites.Buffer Gig



    I’m working on the phrase: “That’s not a muskrat.” It doesn’t quite have the cache’ of “Let’s get rrrrready” but it might find a niche. Say a car dealer is introducing the new Corvette, we could be at the grand opening with “That’s not a muskrat” or if a bank is giving away toasters with each new account we could be there saying “That’s not a muskrat.” We’d have T-shirts with a picture of a muskrat and little old man reading “Muskrat – Not a Muskrat.”

    And then if some church group decided to have “Not a Muskrat Bingo Night” we could swoop in and say we own that phrase, where’s our share? Then when they stammer and drop their daubers on the floor, we’ll say you better pay up or we’ll sic Michael Buffer’s lawyer on them. Yea, that’s it. They’ll know they’ll be in for a rumble. 
 

   
    
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