If you’ve watched football in the last year or two, you probably know what’s coming during the Super Bowl. During the commercials, that is, when we will be bombarded with the most annoying character on television.*
State Farm has a series of commercials featuring fictional sports agent Gabe Gabriel — yes, the agent’s name is Gabe Gabriel, and the fact I know this only fuels my rage — who is busy wrestling time from his two most prominent football clients, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.
Super Bowl 54 has one of these quarterbacks, and we very nearly had both.
Mahomes did his part, leading the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl in 50 years. Rodgers couldn’t overcome the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. With both State Farm quarterbacks in the NFL final four, actor David Haydn-Jones, who plays Gabe Gabriel, was feeling it.
There are at least five spots currently in the rotation, and they run roughly every commercial break, or so it seems. The premise is almost always the same: Rodgers is with his insurance agent, and meets up in some capacity with his football agent — a smarmy, unlikable fellow straight out of central casting. Mahomes later joined the campaign, and many spots include both quarterbacks.
I am not ashamed to admit I want bad things to happen to Gabriel. I want him to have a reason to use a State Farm agent, which if you think about it would be a much better commercial.
Quick clarification: As great as it would be for someone to smack that smirk off Gabriel’s face (I mean, LOOK AT IT) ...
... it is important to note David Haydn-Jones deserves nothing but praise as an actor. That the character is so detestable is as great a compliment I can pay him as a thespian (I also enjoyed your work in Cookie Cutter Christmas, for what it’s worth). Congratulations, David. You play this role so well, I want to cause the character harm. Well done, sir.
The football agent always seems to feel threatened by the presence of the insurance agent, and in all honesty this is the truest part of every commercial, though probably unintentionally.
“Aaron takes his favorite agent everywhere,” says insurance agent Patrick Minnis in one of the ads. Minnis is a former television sportscaster and now real-life State Farm agent who has been in over 10 of these commercials with Rodgers.
Based on these ads, Rodgers spends more time with his insurance agent than with his family.
Rodgers isn’t alone, of course. Chris Paul hangs out with his insurance agent all the time too, but at least he can ask Oscar about juicy tidbits regarding Jim and Pam when they run out of things to talk about.
But really, NOBODY SPENDS THAT MUCH TIME WITH THEIR INSURANCE AGENT.
Insurance agents are boring by nature. There’s nothing fun about an actuarial table. The only real-world way a person would spend that much time with their insurance agent is if they had numerous claims for their home, auto, or both. I can only imagine how ridiculous Rodgers’ premiums are.
Had this been a Packers-Chiefs Super Bowl, the State Farm ads could have gotten insufferable, with both Rodgers and Mahomes vying for the Lombardi Trophy but Gabriel coming out a winner either way.
Then I remembered this is the Super Bowl, where excess is king. It doesn’t matter that only one of the State Farm quarterbacks playing on Sunday (they haven’t added Jimmy Garoppolo yet to the ads, but I wouldn’t put it past them). That’s more than enough to see Gabriel on our screens during the commercials and maybe even as a cutaway into the stands, that is if there are any seats not occupied by stars of a Fox television show. At least Gabriel is too interested in getting his hair just right to wear an NFL cap, like Rob Lowe did in the stands during the NFC Championship Game.
Either way, I will dread camera shot of the crowd during the television broadcast, and will wince at every commercial break, just knowing the tyranny of Gabe Gabriel is soon at hand. Maybe I can contact State Farm before Sunday about some renter’s insurance, just in case something thrown accidentally breaks my television.
* Excluding the abhorrent Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, and other calculating blowhards of their loathsome ilk.