Need some lotion, Joe?

A Few Un-Salved Football Players

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Is Joe playing for the other team?

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by Jim Provenzano

In ten years as teammates, probably the only thing Ronnie Lott and Joe Montana never shared was the same huddle.

Whether they were celebrating a Super Bowl championship, reeling from a stunning loss or recovering from an injury, Lott, the San Francisco 49ers' punishing safety, and Montana, the team's unflappable quarterback, always knew who could put the moment in proper perspective.

In Canton, Ohio last July — as the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined five new members — Howie Long, Lott, Montana, Dan Rooney and Dave Wilcox — the special bond shared between Lott and Montana was one of the dominant themes.

"Ronnie meant to me, not only on the football field but off the football field, what a true man is supposed to be," Montana said in the opening of his touching induction speech.

"Ronnie spoke and Ronnie delivered. When he said something, he didn't just say it, he went out and did it. "I had a few injuries in my career and Ronnie was always the first there to pick me up."

Now Joe has been able to return the favor.

In recent Tivo commercials, viewers are told that they can program shows their own way.

Tivo’s first ad focuses on sports, how a chubby dad is able to effectively coach his kids, a roly poly boy and girl, by watching sports. To the father’s dismay, the only thing the boy finds interesting is figure skating. He begins a twirling dance in the living room, much to Dad’s ire.

That’s what he gets for exposing them to figure skating.

Tivo’s second campaign shares a focus on sports from an equally odd perspective.

On a palatial golf course, retired San Francisco 49ers Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott share an intimate moment on the green. The two are intimate friends off-screen and off the field.

Lott complains of "men’s itching," a common problem for the athletically inclined. Montana explains with probably the best deadpan of any jock who’s acted, that his latest product, Itch Stopper Plus, can do the trick.

Montana hauls out a large jar of what looks like KY jelly, and proceeds to discuss the gross symptoms of men’s itching, complete with convincing graphics.

But before Montana "simply applies two fingers of the oily balm" to Lott’s affected parts – namely his groin – the camera freezes and jumps to the sales pitch for Tivo, "get rid of the stuff you don’t want to watch."

The intention presumes that any normal viewer would not want to watch Joe Montana apply an oily balm to the itchy genitals of Ronnie Lott.

Not at all under this comic ploy is the subtext that you, the "normal viewer" do not want to watch anything gay, since to the "normal" viewer, the airwaves are rampant with perversion, ex-lesbian Island nudity and pressing newsertainment stories of celebrities being attacked by their assistants.

This is how gay people develop our extra senses like tolerance, gaydar, and taste. When the culture tells us what we’d like is bad, we learn to think around the culture.

Ball Parked
There must be a lot of fond memories from the four Super Bowls they won together, both Lott and Montana. Imagine all those injuries that needed attention, all those bacterial areas needing some friendly helpful goo.

Some of their favorite moments occurred in practice when the first-team offense and defense went head-to-head.

"Some days it was frustrating when that ball didn't hit the ground," said Lott of Montana's impeccable accuracy. "There were times when you couldn't find a way to stop him. When he got in the zone, it was pretty awesome to see."

What would be awesome to see would be Joe applying a salve to Ronnie’s "effected area." It would also be nice to see Joe applying an oily salve to any part of his body, or anyone else’s.

In fact, contrary to Tivo’s propaganda campaign, no doubt many viewers willing to pay for a handy reshuffle of their favorite stars could watch the Tivo commercial over and over, or just Joe.

Let’s have the "Joe Montana Sports Injury Clinic," 24/7! With all his injuries, it could be a mini-series.

Imagine non-stop Britney Spears, marathon sessions of "Saved by the Bell." All-Day Patrick Stewart! The Ron Ely Festival. John Tesh-orama!

Tivoted off the Island
Tivo promises any obsessed fan thorough and comprehensive listings of any actor or topic. It furthers the cultural filtering system offered through a variety of sources; simply click ignore on any aspect of the culture you don’t like, and it goes away.

I plan to spend the next four years filtering out anything to do with the White House. That makes it appealing at the ten bucks a month it costs you, provided you buy a Tivo-sized VCR to go with it.

I’d order Tivo, and like a search engine, hope for a "non-Shrub" option, and live in a little head-in-the-sand world, the way other people outside this county do about us. That is our battle, on the other channel. If straight people can have their porn in Mormom-owned hotels, why can't we have "The Jason Sehorn Channel?"

As much as Lott and Montana miss the battles of football, both men believe they left the game at the appropriate time. Nowadays their advertorial time seems leisurely, to be sure.

As for the timing of their induction, neither Lott nor Montana could have ever imagined that they would receive football's greatest honor on the same day.

"I'm sure fate had something to do with it," Lott said.

As did Tivo have something to do with two of football’s greatest legends contributing to the campaign of cryptic anti-gay sentiment in advertising.

Who needs smash-mouth football when you can serve it up coated in gooey salve?