The day I almost became a pro soccer player (or experienced the best scam possible)

Since I moved to NY and got my brand new NY area-code phone number, I think I’ve received at least one scam call a week.  Sometimes I hang up immediately. And sometimes, when I don’t have anything better to do, I actually listen to the things they have to say.

And I gotta say…

Scam artists are geniuses!

But today everything changed.

Hands down, I’ve received the best scam call ever.

So, cue the memory flashback sound effect and let me start with my story:

It was 10 or so in the morning. I was sitting down at my desk pretending to update some copy comments from last night. I was sharing with my ACD the next Stephen King movie he should watch when my phone started to ring. The number identified as being from Newark, New Jersey.

I was perplexed. I’m so unpopular, I receive fewer calls than a cow with a cellphone.

So I picked it up.

Immediately, someone called me by my name and started inviting me to what could easily be one of my childhood dreams. Play for a professional soccer team. Well… kind of a professional team. It was for the NY Red Bulls, who play in the MLS, which isn’t considered a real pro league (sorry, Red Bulls fans).

At first, I couldn’t believe my luck. Finally, I was being recognized for my talent to trip myself while dribbling the ball. And I knew that some MLS teams pay so little that often have players with side gigs.

Then, the questions started. How did they get my number? Maybe my old coach, who probably don’t remember me recommended me. Maybe they knew Mexicans kinda play good, so they’re calling every Mexican they could. Maybe, just maybe, they realized I have a dormant Messi-like talent nobody (not even me) knew about.

There I was, picturing me, in all my glory, wearing the red-white Adidas kit. The number 15 cradling my surname, while every fan at the Red Bull arena shouting my nickname.

And then, it hit me

This might be a scam…

…or a plot to get me killed.

So while I was trying way too hard not to shit my pants, I politely told them I wasn’t interested and hung up.

And that was it. Cool story, bro.

But, if this was a real call and any of the Red Bulls scouts is reading this, I have something to say.

I’M IN! I WANNA PLAY FOR YOU GUYS!

 

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Procrastination (or the post that took 7 months to write)

Yes, you’re not reading it wrong. It took me seven months to write this f****ng post.

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As much as I’d like to blame my lack of posting to my new job, my trips to renew/get a new work visa, the holidays, a nighttime shift, charitable charity, a sports league I joined but never went to a game, an Instagram-worthy social life, failed business ventures, food comas, global warming, modeling gigs, stunt double duties, being mistaken for a famous person, exploding phones, Exploding Kittens or even trying to win the Lotto jackpot—the truth is I didn’t write a post because I was procrastinating the shit out of it.

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I swear I even had at least ten good topics I could write about (and by ten I mean I had between 0 and 2).

So, when I saw a fellow writer documenting her trip to the other side of the world, her 30-day journey to learn how to draw, and a few other posts she wrote after that, I forced myself to write this.

So let’s talk a little about PROCRASTINATION

Look, I was gonna do some deep research about its origins, causes, if there’s an actual medical condition associated with it, but honestly, I would end up procrastinating that too. So, ya’ll end up with the next best thing: a Wikipedia article! (come on, click it, you know you want to).

So much winning!

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Next, I spent a couple more days procrastinating.

And then, as the truly great creative I am, I went to Giphy.com to find the GIFs I needed and finish this post 10 minutes before my next meeting.

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I even got a guest writer to help me, but she procrastinated too and this is the only thing she could come up with:

Sopenis by Alice X.

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I make ads. I block ads.

When I was growing up, I remember my excitement when my parents finally decided to get cable TV and I was gonna be able to watch as many ads and cartoons as I desired (I know, I was a weird kid). I grew up watching ads and I loved it!

So yeah, I grew up watching ads and I loved it!

Little me had no clue that one day I would become a proper ad man and be the mind behind those ads.

But what “little me” couldn’t predict is that “adult me” would also pay to block ads.

Let me explain.

I still love ads, any kind of ad. In fact, I spend most of my day watching new ads, good ads. But let’s be honest. There are so many bad ads that finding those few good ones is like finding a gold mine in your backyard (or any other analogy you’d like better).

For example, every time I watch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Hulu, I get this Bud Light Lime ad that’s, for the lack of words, bad (sorry if you’re the ones behind it, but you know deep in your heart that I’m right).

I think I’ve seen this ad at least 20-30 times in the past 3 weeks. But when I try to analyze the thought behind it, my only outcome is this:

Limes in a beer -> Hispanics -> Spanish

Refreshing -> Summer -> Palm trees

=

Palm trees speak Spanish

I know it’s really hard to get good ads out there (heck, I’ve done my fair share of embarrassing stuff that I’m afraid to look at). I know that there’s always someone in every department and every client that maims the original vision. I also know that as creatives, we need to pick our battles and only fight for the things that are monumental.

But now, technology is against us and those Ad Blocking plugins are just gonna keep on growing, and more people are going to start paying to block ads. Or if the Adblock Plus thing goes trough, see only the ads that pay to be seen (an extra to their media budget).

So unless we start educating ourselves and our clients to be bolder and create better content and better ads that people want to see and share, the people like “little me” that love to see ads will go extinct (and our jobs with it).

P.S. I also pay to see ads. Good ads.