So, I was cruising through Times Square yesterday in one of those tank-like yellow cabs when I spied a billboard advertising the New Jersey Nets basketball team. I smiled as I glanced at "Vinsanity," Jason Kidd and "RJ." But, then my grin turned to a frown as I read the brief inscription below the players: "Just 15 minutes from Broadway."
Say what? Fifteen minutes from Broadway? Who are they trying to kid (or, Kidd, if you will)? On a rainy, gridlocked night, Madison Square Garden (home of the abysmal NY Knicks) can be a 15-minute cab ride from Times Square. So, are the Nets (or, more likely, their ad agency) trying to tell me I can make it from Times Square to Continental Arena in the Meadowlands in just 15 minutes? C’mon. You can’t even get to the Lincoln Tunnel in 15 minutes on most nights.
There’s no friggin’ way that message rings true. So, why plant the seed in the first place? Obviously, advertising has long been notorious for stretching the truth. But, this billboard is a slam dunk of a lie. Even my partner, Ed, whose reckless driving has prompted many a hapless Peppercom passenger to dislocate a neck vertebra, couldn’t make it from Times Square to courtside in a quarter-hour.
So, how about a quick fix? How about a younger, more adventurous Nets fan provides an assist by shimmying up the billboard one night and replacing the number one with the number four. "Only 45 minutes from Broadway." Now, that’s a tagline I could live with.