I am unemployed and it sucks. Yes, I work here, at Over the Monster, but this doesn’t pay the bills. As a result of that, and of being a half-custody dad, I don’t have as much free time as I’d like, so it wasn’t until Sunday afternoon that I got to take in my first full baseball game of 2023: Nicaragua vs. Israel in the World Baseball Classic.
What a game! It finished 3-1 and was wonderful from start to finish: low stakes done perfectly, the platonic ideal of a small-time sporting event, all that jazz. It also had precisely two (2) sponsors on FoxSports.com: Taco Bell and Indeed.com, the ads for which played during every break. If their logic was that this was a game for stoners without jobs, I can’t exactly argue.
Still, it was so charming! It was a razor-thin match between two countries who’d never otherwise face off in a million years in, like, anything, and the players were fully invested. The WBC is as good as sports gets and virtually no one cares, but I do, and games like this are why.
It made me happy, which is nice because as unemployment drags on it’s harder and harder to stay positive. I know that getting a job is a lot like this scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
Such is the job search: You look, you look, you look and then the whole thing happens in a week.
Anyhow the Indeed commercials – usually narrated by Charlize Theron or Ed Norton, unless my ears deceive me – made me feel less alone. Instead of feeling like a failure I felt like someone part of a large group of job explorers in Sisyphean hell. I understand there’s record “employment,” but I’m “employed” by those standards and not truly employed at all. It’s a pisser.
So thank you, advertising, for making me feel less alone, if only for an afternoon. And thank you, teams Nicaragua and Israel, for illustrating all that is good about sports, i.e., a small, plucky country losing a game it should have won because its singular star player, a Yankees pitcher, blew it in the eighth inning. I couldn’t script it better unless someone paid me to. Which I will allow.