Lead Actors: Lebron James
The camera takes us into working-class Akron as the piano from Hozier's (new) and earthly spiritual "Take Me to Church" slowly starts growing in the background.
We see parts of Akron, construction, demolition, working people.
Then we see Demi-God Lebron James humbly walk back into his high school, where, even then, he established himself as a nationally recognized basketball legend.
In a scene ripped almost directly from the Gene Hackman movie "Hoosiers", he looks from the free throw line to the hoop, and most likely realizes that the distance from floor to rim is still 10 feet, the same as it has always been.
The same 10 feet it has been as James, like a young soldier plucked from a small village to fight foreign wars for the Roman army, has been slashing and dashing and dunking and blocking for the Miami Heat.
This is a team he himself decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for and leave his home state of Ohio to fend for itself so many years ago. If you are familiar with the story, the piano chords and stark shots of parts of Ohio outsiders never see are that more meaningful.
Hozier chants "Amen, Amen" as James hits the weight room. James, a talented player and one of the best to ever play in the NBA, is possibly best known for his God-like physique and muscle structure.
A comparison between him and NBA greats from the 80s would show how much stronger he probably is than most of his fellow hall-of-famers.
And of course, in the new NBA, is that much more important as the sport becomes more about contact, grit, fighting skills and brute strength than it is finesse.
Perhaps a 1980s version of this commercial would show Lebron polishing his three-point shooting skills with a dozen basketballs at his side.
Throughout everything James' face remains a humble expression.
James then transitions to flipping a tractor tire, for yet more upper-body strength.
As he does this, we hear a woman's voice, most likely James' mother, saying "don't ever forget where you came from", good advice in any context unless you are a spy in a Quentin Tarantino movie and how you signify you want three drinks could mean the difference between life and death!
Who Would Like it and Why
Basketball fans obviously. Anyone familiar with James' journey. Also, anyone disgusted with free agency and the fact that most players don't even manage to keep the same job with the same professional basketball team for one season, let alone play in a town that is anywhere close to where they live or grew up.
In fact, some basketball players commute half way across the country to attend practice!
What makes James' journey unique though in this author's mind is the fact that he started playing in Akron, Ohio, which is also where he grew up.
Then, when he was drafted, he was drafted to the Cavaliers, that region's professional team. It was there that he stayed for several years before he requested to be traded to the Miami Heat,famously, or infamously taking his talents to south beach.
This move was met with the ire of all of Ohio. Jerseys were burned, James was cursed by all and by some reports, his life was in danger.
Now, after several seasons in Miami, two of them championship -winning, the last one a bitter loss to the San Antonio Spurs for the title, he is back. Ever the prodigal son.
I felt this commercial, albeit designed to promote headphones and miniature beat "pills", seemed to capture the goodness and hope and humanity in Lebron James' decision to go back to Ohio.
This is important because the United States' three main sports are decaying due to greed and lack of education and refinement in the players who are becoming drafted at younger and younger ages and developed only for their skills and not for character.
In this author's opinion, by moving back to his hometown while he is still in his prime as a player, showed calculations that possibly came more from Lebron's heart more than they did his Endorsement and Marketing Manager.
That, and Hozier's heartfelt song, make this commercial, albeit a plug for another product, kind of nice.
Who Might not Like it and Why
Straight dudes skittish about shirtlessness.
I felt there was a little too much shirtlessness for a commercial about a sports figure most likely aimed at straight males between the ages of 18 and 34.
There's a lyric about "straighten my knife" that comes up as Lebron is working his triceps in the weight room, it seemed to work well visually, evern though it endorse the showing of way too much adult male skin!
Three Mike and Ikes