Ned Flanders doesn’t believe in homeowner’s insurance because he sees it as a form of gambling: an activity strictly verboten in the Bible.  For the rest of us, insurance is another way to mercilessly gouge you protect your investments on such things as a home, car, and Troy Polamalu’s hair.  Basically, all of the bad decisions you make in your life (sorry, new home buyers circa 2006!).  Well, now the stupid companies that tie their investments to the athletes that will surely fail them have a way out, too!  It’s called “Disgrace Insurance, ” and I’m pretty sure it’s the laziest thing I’ve heard of since that guy Scott Hanson on the Red Zone channel (Ok, not really, but this brings up an interesting point: Scott is on television for seven straight hours on Sunday.  Sometimes eight.  When the hell does he use the can?  There aren’t any commercials with Red Zone and it’s not like someone comes in to help him out.  Does he just not eat or use the restroom for seven straight hours?  Anyway, Scott, you are the man).

Back to Disgrace Insurance: say you’re AT&T.  So, when you’re not charging people $100 a month to use their iPhones to make dropped calls, you like to host golf tournaments with Tiger Woods attached to them.  A lot of people drop calls on their iPhones, so this means AT&T has lots of dough, which they give to Tiger to show up and do his thing on the course.  In turn, this makes self-conscious folks feel pretty good: if AT&T pays the greatest golfer in the world a lot of money to shill, he must think dropping calls on your iPhone is pretty awesome; in fact, maybe they’ll actually switch carriers and cancel their Verizon service just to have that right to make dropped calls on iPhones (Additional side note: I wonder if Tiger did all of his sexting from an AT&T BlackBerry.  Tiger’s little mishap last year was interesting if for no other reason than we finally received confirmation that he wasn’t really driving Buick Roadmasters.  But we never found out if that infamous BlackBerry was AT&T’s or not.  Personally, I think there is no way Tiger uses AT&T service or has ever sat in a Buick, much less driven one).    

Now, because AT&T is lazy and doesn’t do the normal due diligence that any international billion dollar company should do, they paid Tiger all of this money in good faith that he’d be a positive representative of the company’s image.  And because they are a bunch of pansies (or because they have toothless endorsement contracts) they are scared to sue him when he does go out and ruin his image, rendering the entire marketing campaign a failure (aside from the whole nasty contract breaching thing).  Now, AT&T can support their failure to do due diligence (i.e., laziness) by collecting on Disgrace Insurance. Whose premiums were mostly paid for by loyal customers dropping calls on their $200 iPhones. 

If you can’t tell already, this is ridiculous to me.  You run background checks on the employees you pay tens of thousands of dollars a year.  How hard would it be to run a check on the athletes you pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year?  Especially when their lives are followed by hundreds of third-party sources on a daily basis?  If you give money to Wayne Rooney to drink Coke, don’t you think there’s an inherent risk that he might head-butt his coach?  Hey Wrangler Jeans, I’m guessing you had no idea that Brett Favre might be a little self-absorbed and somewhat of a flake? 

Dear corporate marketing people,

Let me help you out here by giving you a list of professional athletes that should probably stay away from when it comes to hiring them for endorsement purposes: 

  1.  All of them.

Professional athletes are notoriously bad decision makers when it comes to their personal lives.  Being young, rich, and famous does that to people.  Do yourself a favor, skip over Tim Tebow (even Ned Flanders made a few mistakes along the way) and hire George Clooney to sell your iPhones and hock diet soda with fake lime juice.  In the meantime, stop with this Disgrace Insurance nonsense, fix your damn cell phone towers and give me total cell phone coverage on the train.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask. 

And in the meantime, do me a favor and click on some of the ads to the right of this post.  Duke needs a new iPhone.

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