On Saturday, American Pharoah (intentionally misspelled and all) won the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse-racing Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Having won the Kentucky Derby in a thrilling race and the Preakness in muddy track conditions, it was particularly exhilarating to watch Victor Espinoza ride to the front and never look back. It was such a dominating performance that it bordered on anti-climactic. Then again, being the first Triple Crown winner of a generation’s lifetime could never be completely anti-climactic. It was an impressive spectacle.
Having gotten that out of the way, however, there’s something far more important that needs analyzing..
(Let’s get the base analysis out of the way – American Pharoah ran a dominating race, and victory was never in doubt after the first turn of the track. The thrill comes from the rare achievement more than it does the actual race itself. Go nuts about that.)
I first watched this commercial while looking for re-caps of the Belmont Stakes. It was created in the year of 1992, and was only aired in the noted commercial marketplaces of Sweden and Venezuela. For some reason, it was unearthed by SBNation.com at the start of the Kentucky Derby…and they’ve been throwing it on any related Triple Crown content since.
For posterity’s sake, this needs to be looked at. Let’s break down the cultural, ethical, and philosophical beats of this video, second by second.
0:00 – 0:02
The world of this commercial is one where the dominant populace walks around in horse masks…unless these are the faces of the world of the future. Maybe it’s some weird Planet of the Apes type thing; nuclear holocaust has left humans slaves to their horse people masters.
And as the ball rolls up, we see that horses have chosen urban court basketball as a place to showcase dominance and masculinity. You know, because horses love basketball.
0:03 – 0:04
This poor horse businessman is clearly reading the paper when this basketball rolls up and strikes him, disturbing his peace. Also, is it safe to assume that horses in this world can drive? That they’re constantly searching for discount cars? Does the Internet exist in this world?
0:04 – 0:08
The three horse basketball players just want their ball back. However, BusinessHorse (his name from now on, and you can’t shake me from it) wants to show off, spinning the basketball on his finger prime-MJ style.
Can we talk about how the horses have hands and feet? This is what leads me to believe this is either a horse-apocalypse or the weirdest furry convention ever to set foot on the streets of New Horse City.
0:08 – 0:11
Horseman is laughed off because he’s not wearing the proper attire for a basketball game – particularly the shoes. This was apparant to everyone but BusinessHorse, who seems surprised to discover that he’s wearing a suit and dress shoes. Which raises the question – is he on his lunch break? Why is he sitting on a court side bench reading car mags? Shouldn’t he be out managing the financial future of HorseWorld? Doesn’t he have a wife and family? Or is this some Proust-ian memory of lost youth?
Also, the HorseBoys (their name, now, and I won’t be shaken from it) seem to find it hilarious that anyone would think to play basketball.
0:12 – 0:15
BusinessHorse eats roughly half a tube of Mentos, noted explosive breath-mint candy and Horse Basketball fuel. He is now primed for joining the HorseBoys on the court…if only he were wearing the proper attire…
0:14 – 0:16
BusinessHorse steals the shoes from the sleeping homeless horse man on the bench next to him.
Clearly, BusinessHorse is an asshole.
0:17 – 0:18
The HorseBoys are stunned by this lack of ethical compassion. I mean, the dude just stole shoes from a homeless guy. This leads me to believe that in this Horse World, Mentos are secretly something like PCP. We’ll touch on this in a moment.
0:19 – 0:20
BusinessHorse leaves his shoes for the homeless horse man. This does nothing to change the fact that everyone now knows that BusinessHorse is a Garbage Horse Person. We’re onto you. Don’t try and fool us, you slime bucket.
0:21 – 0:27
For better statistical analysis, I’ve broken down the plays of the brief game of Horse Basketball (ARE THEY PLAYING A GAME OF ‘HORSE’ BECAUSE IF THEY ARE, THAT WOULD BE THE MOST BRILLIANT OF HORSE WORLD FUTURES) in this diagram below. As you can see, not much has changed on the courts of the Horse World since Shaquille O’Neal was dominating the paint for the Lakers.
Clearly, BusinessHorse attended Hakeem Olajuwon’s offseason camp about how to post up.
Also, this raises the possibility that the PCP Mentos are what fueled the monster-rage dunk that he throws down on the Horse Boys. Kids, don’t do drugs. If you do, you’ll turn into a HorseMan and start throwing down killer dunks on random Street Perps. And nobody wants that. Nobody.
0:27 – 0:28
The HorseBoys have no idea how they managed to let BusinessHorse through their triangle-zone defense. They have brought great shame to their herd.
This is why we have game film – so we can get better, faster, stronger. (See above analysis)
0:28 – 0:30
My life is changed forever.
Hope you all enjoyed the Triple Crown! Now go shoot some hoops with guys in horse masks. Soon enough, they’ll be your overlords. I think that if you manage to teach them the art of defending the pick-and-roll, you too can fit in and receive PCP Mentos for your better health.
I refuse to believe that that commercial was actually made for Mentos.
Travis J. Cook
It checks out. This is a valid historical document.