Gilbert and Buckhantz: a Super Bowl Mystery
So I get an e-mail on Monday from a trusty reader asking me to check out the Super Bowl ad for Coca-Cola featuring the Wizards, G-Wiz, James Carville and Bill Frist. I completely ignored all the commercials on Sunday night, as I was incapacitated by stress, and I sort of forgot about the e-mail, but then I happened to catch the ad on my TiVo of American Idol last night, and I proceeded to watch it 4 million times in slow-motion, at which point I realized three things.
1) The audio of the brief clip of Wiz action was from Gilbert's game-winner against the Bucks last year, exactly 13 months before the Super Bowl. I know, because I had watched that clip about 4.1 million times last year, plus about 14 times already today. It's definite. Phil Chenier shouting "Ohhhhhhh Baby!" after Buckhantz has already begun the "Daggerrrrrr!" is the key.
2) The video--as seen in the Zapruder-like TiVo still that leads this entry--is of DeShawn Stevenson hitting a three-pointer against the Heat, a clip of unknown origin but believed to be from this season. (UPDATE: One reader writes in to say that Oleksiy Pecherov can be seen on the bench in the ad, while another says Nick Young and an injured Antonio Daniels are there as well, meaning the game must have been played this season, and since the Wiz only played Miami at home once this season, in late December, and Stevenson only hit one three-pointer in that game, we can say for almost certain that the score was actually 11-6 Wizards when the ball went in. And so the shot not only wasn't a game-winner but didn't even change which team was leading. And yes, one of these readers, the relentless Bryan Neill, confirmed that the three-pointer Stevenson made in that game came at the exact same spot on the court as the shot in the commercial.)
3) The final score in the commercial's game is 82-80 Wizards, a score by which Washington has never won in the Arenas era, although they do have 81-80 and 83-30 victories. Freakily, 82-80 was the final in Maryland's win over UNC last month.
Why switch up the games? Why choose to highlight DeShawn Stevenson, hardly a national star, for a shot that wasn't even a game-winner. Why use audio from a Bucks game in 2007 over top of video from a Heat game the following season? Why make the final score 82-80?
At press time, Coca-Cola was still looking into all of this, leaving me with the following quote from a company spokeswoman.
"The bigger picture is about two guys from opposite sides of the spectrum sharing a Coke, coming together and enjoying things that people might do in Washington, D.C.," she said. "A Wizards game is certainly one of those things."
At least one other blogger, Goathair of The Blowtorch, has also noticed parts of this mystery. Either way, this is one of the most baffling Wizards-related Super Bowl riddlers of all time, and I plan to do nothing else until I unravel it. That Coke will get free publicity out of this is, sadly, beyond my control.
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