on Sports
Chunky Soup


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman

    When Campbell’s came up with the idea of football players’ moms pushing “Chunky Soup” I don’t think they completely thought it through. If they had they would have asked these questions: 1) If we use actresses instead of the real moms, are the consumers going to care? And 2) What if the star pro football players we select all happen to get injured?

    I can see the Campbell’s Soup guys gathered around, tossing footballs and ideas back and forth and Arnold the Nerd puts his two cents in “They are playing football, here. Can’t you get hurt doing that? If our pitchmen are in the hospital, will they do us any good…?”

    This is where Charlie, the former Jock, tosses the football at Arnold, trying to knock the pocket protector from Arnold’s shirt and says “Nahhh, it’s just football. We’ll be fine.”

    So then Denver Bronco Terrell Davis breaks his leg, recovers, breaks his other leg so the only time you see him playing football on television is when he running with the ball and his mother is running interference, blocking would be tacklers out of the way, all the while carrying a soup bowl and screaming “Terrell, you forgot your Chunky Soup” during an ad. Churnky Soup

    Once Davis started doing those ads, his injuries mounted and his career ended. My neighbor Lyle tells me it’s a jinx - an out and out eerie jinx. Follow that with Kurt Warner breaking his hand, Jerome Bettis getting injured, Donovan McNabb breaking his ankle and consider that all these players were Chunky Soup spokesmen, you start wondering whether Lyle might be right. Nahh, not Lyle. Two more Chunky Soup player/spokesmen for this year –Brian Urlacher and Michael Strahan - had injuries. Urlacher injured his shoulder and Strahan injured his neck although neither missed many games.  It makes you think there’s an evil “Chunky” doll dishing out a dose of payback. By Chunky doll, you know I mean similar to the evil “Chucky” from the movies “Child’s Play” except much heavier from eating all that fattening soup.

    Lyle tells me the curse stems from the revenge of Campbell’s trying to pawn off actresses as the real Moms. This year Campbell’s saw the error of their ways and used the genuine mothers. Campbell’s spokesman John Faulkner said “This refreshed the spots and gave them new life.” But was it too late?  Were the advertising gods angered so much by falsifying a mom, never mind that she can body block a 260 # defensive player one handed, that they sought retribution from the careers of the devious players in on the scam? Did Kurt Warner deserve to break his passing hand for trying to put one over on us?

    Can a little lie like faking your mom come back and bite you? Especially if you’re trying to convey this is like a home cooked meal? Supposedly this is what many males in the intended demographic desire - Mom cooking a big, hearty meal especially if it helps them grow to be buff football players. This is all very sad. First we tell them there’s no Santa Claus, and then that the Playmates are air-brushed, and now that no real mom is going to make you Chunky Soup?

    Yes, Virginia, there is a Chunky Doll.         

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