All summer long, I've been seeing these MasterCard commercials pitching the prize of winning a week with your favorite team. Finally, after sitting through it for probably the millionth time, I headed to the MasterCard site to see what it was all about.
That was where I encountered a very scary, computerized version of Joe Buck. Seriously, I fully expected him to stand up out of his chair, attach a machine gun to his arm and start blasting away. Robert Patrick has nothing on him in terms of creepy.
-Skynet Would Like You To Click Here To Continue-
Buck told me that there were actually two different great prizes. One seemed to be the ongoing promotion of winning a week with my favorite team, and the other was a "behind the scenes" VIP tour of the World Series with Joe Buck. For some reason, the way he said "behind the scenes" made me think I might want someone like Chris Hansen set up doing surveillance nearby. Anyway, at the end of the intro Buck proclaims his love of doughnuts and wheels away in his chair. Though, I tend to think he actually hovered away like one of those mini-hunters.
After Joe Buck took off, I decided to check out the prizes a little more. The first was the "I Want To Be A ______" portion. That's where you pick which team you would want to be a part of, and going to that part of the website rewards you with an eerie voiceover by Buck talking about Yankees and Red Sox. Then he goes on to say something about pod bay doors, but I didn't pay much attention to that.
I went on to pick the Houston Astros, since that's my favorite MLB team. And what do ya know? Joe Buck wheels in holding an Astros' jersey telling me that when he thinks of the Astros he thinks of "big bats". Riiiight. Then he tells me it's because of the "Killer B's" and Carlos Lee. I'm guessing that these spots were filmed sometime around December back when Lee first signed and Houston's line-up didn't seem too awful. Even then I don't think anyone would associate Houston with power hitting. Oh yeah, Joe Buck also let me know that while I was putting together my fan clip of favorite Astros' moments that he would be eating some spaghetti. Seriously, spaghetti?
So I added some clips, then checked out the music selections. I was hoping for something weird, but there were three types of "music", classic, electronic and rock, and they each had a few variations. Silence was also an option, and I was just glad that none of them included Joe Buck singing. Just when I thought things couldn't get better I clicked through to "Step 4: Add Your Own Voice". This is where I was instructed to call a number, provide the pin number and told that Joe Buck would help me tell my Astros story in my own words.
I called the number, and robo-Joe Buck answered! Awesome! Then I had to think of something somewhat witty to say since I only got two chances. Plus, recording this in my cubicle made it somewhat more difficult. I recorded my first message, which sucked so I recorded a second, which didn't suck quite as bad. Robo-Joe told me that my video would be up within 48hrs, but we'll see about that.
Anyway, I moved on to the "Week Of Your Dreams" section where Robo-Joe filled me in on the different ways I could win. Which ended up really being only two ways, either registering on the website or buying stuff with my MasterCard. Joe then suggested some purchases such as gas, a baseball glove, flipdown shades(apparently chicks dig 'em!), and food(hotdog, fries, coke, ice cream and sunflower seeds). As if Robo-Joe's infatuation with food hadn't gone far enough, he took off for some nachos while I checked out the site. I always thought that robots ran on oil or some other type of power source, but according to this MLB/MasterCard site I was way off base.
Finally, I checked out the rules for both contests, which seem fairly standard. The "Week With" contest actually has 3 grand prizes available, valued at $57,500 each, and each one has three choices of how to spend the week. They include Home & Away, MLB All-Star Break and MLB Spring Training. The "I Would Be" contest is a little different in that people vote on the submissions and the top 11 are then judged, though it doesn't say by whom. There is no value listed since it will vary based on where the winner will be flying from, but it does include a "meet & greet with award winning sportscaster Joe Buck". However, I'm guessing that you have to bring your own spaghetti.
All in all, they seem like cool contests even if Robo-Joe's insatiable hunger and creepy mannerisms make viewing the website a bit awkward. Oh well, at least he didn't interrogate me about John Connor.
Update!: They actually put my clip on the website. I got a link, but it seems to just direct back to the main page. Here it is in case it starts working. Since it probably won't, here's the easiest way to find it.
1. Go to the website.
2. Click on "Gallery" at the top.
3. Look for the Astros video by "brian". It should be on the first page. Here's a screen capture to help you out.