October 25, 2009

Arnold Palmers

My kid has started insisting on stopping at the Arco station to buy an "Arnold Palmer." That's a half lemonade and half iced tea beverage that, back in the 1960s, Arnie "invented" -- i.e., he requested a bartender in Palm Springs mix it up for him, and onlookers started asking for the "Arnold Palmer drink."

This product comes in a big can slathered in pictures of Palmer.

Man, is there any kind of pro sport where growing old is kindlier than golf? Arnie is 80 years old. He hasn't won a major championship since 1964. Yet, he still rakes in millions in endorsements.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, I think they still sell "Baby Ruth" candy bars.

Anonymous said...

Bill Simmons has approved the John Daly:

"Q: I work as a waiter. At work today, a table of a friend of mine ordered an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade, for those readers who don't know) with a double shot of vodka. Having never heard of this before, three of us on the wait staff deliberated and decided that this drink should forever be known as a John Daly. Any objections? -"

Anonymous said...

To be a little more exact, around $30M a year, according to Golf Digent's annual list, number 4. Doesn't distinguish between earnings in companies he owns and endorsement type income, but obviously golfers and a much wider base really really like Arnie, the guy most associated with bringing golf into the tv age.

Anonymous said...

Dude also has a very pleasant, affable, gentle demeanor.

Was married to the same woman for 45 years, still lives in his home town of Latrobe, PA, has his own children's hospital, etc etc etc.

Mrs. Palmer was a business student at Brown University when she met her future husband in the Pocono Mountains in 1954 during Fred Waring's annual golf tournament. Palmer had just won the Pennsylvania state amateur championship.

"I met him on Tuesday; he asked me to marry him on Saturday," she once said.

Dutch Boy said...

Mr. Palmer is a reminder of better days gone by and seems to be a good guy too. I also like the way he pronounces golf (as in "goff"; must be a Pennsylvania thing).

Jim O'Sullivan said...

So, we'll watch Tiger Woods commercials until at least 2058! Ugh.

Don't blame me, and other fans sensible enough ignore the 'sport' of golf. A guy walks for five miles, followed by a stronger guy carrrying a bunch of metal sticks, some of which are called 'woods' for reasons almost lost to history. The first guy has a ball with him, and occassionally he asks the man following him for one of the sticks that that he uses to hit it into a consequetively numbered set of 18 small, shallow holes that have been dug into areas of unusually short grass.
A group of guys do this once day for 4 days, and the guy who uses his sticks the least often during this period is is declared the "winner" of this sporting event.

There are some technical rules about how this is to be done, but I don't want to bore you with detail. The really odd thing is the the 'winner' of this 'sporting' contest can 'defeat' those who came closed to his 'score' without ever seeing them, or interacting with them in any way.


Tens of millions of people who like to waste their own time in this way (and who seemingly like to drive absurdly expensive cars) watch these proceedings on television. So, the manufacturers of these cars and the equipment used to hit these balls with sticks (which is also absurdly expensive) spent countless millions of dollars to show their commericials to them.

The rest of us are left to wonder what all the excitement is about.

Mark said...

There's a name for that drink? I've been making it for years.

Glaivester said...

You know, my niece was born at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando.

Anonymous said...

I made up a drink- it's half sprite, quarter RC cola and a quarter milk...it tastes terrible

Dan in DC

beowulf said...

Ha ha, so they're calling it a "John Daly" these days! A business associate of mine met Palmer at a social event and asked if his drink of choice was an "Arnold Palmer", Arnie said yes, but don't forget the vodka.

He went on to explain that in the 60's many tournaments were played in dry counties and the players weren't allowed to drink in the clubhouse. So he'd order a lemonade and tea and retrieve the vodka from his golf bag. :o)

l said...

When I get a fountain drink at my local convenience store, I'll mix Coke or Mr. Pibb with unsweetened ice tea. Is there a name for that drink?

dearieme said...

"My kid has started insisting on...": it is your duty to refuse, Steve.

Truth said...

"Well, I think they still sell "Baby Ruth" candy bars."

The origin of the candy bar is disputed, The company says that it was named after President Grover Cleveland's daughter Ruth, and the timing of the candy bar and Babe Ruth's fame make this story plausible.

Anonymous said...

Golf isn't really a sport and golfers aren't really athletes.

albertosaurus said...

Well ESPN broadcasts a lot of poker. I guess that makes it a sport. And Doyle Bruson is almost 80.

The difference is that Brunson still wins.

josh said...

Was he the guy behind the "Sex On The Beach"?

Anonymous said...

The John Daly cocktail has been known as such for years. Simmons' correspondent was either being dishonest or happened upon a discovery long since made.

Mark said...

The really odd thing is the the 'winner' of this 'sporting' contest can 'defeat' those who came closed to his 'score' without ever seeing them, or interacting with them in any way.

Kind of like the way it is in the business world.

At work today, a table of a friend of mine ordered an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade, for those readers who don't know) with a double shot of vodka. Having never heard of this before, three of us on the wait staff deliberated and decided that this drink should forever be known as a John Daly.

I offer you the Barack Obama: 15 shots of white rum and 15 shots of coffee liqeur and a massive hangover to follow, assuming you survive.

Steve Wood said...

Well, I think they still sell "Baby Ruth" candy bars.

Yeah, but Babe Ruth never got a dime of money from the Curtiss Candy Company, nor does his estate get any money from Nestle, who current owns the brand. Curtiss claimed they named the candy bar - or renamed, actually, since they were already selling it under a different name - after Grover Cleveland's daughter Ruth. Funny thing, though ... Ruth Cleveland died in 1904, whereas the Baby Ruth candy bar came on the market in 1921, at the height of Babe Ruth's fame. You can read the whole story at Wikipedia.

OT: I wish blogger.com would provide better instructions on html tags. I realize some folks hereabout have memorized the command for hyperlinks, but not everyone uses it often enough to remember what I seem to recall is a fairly complicated tag.

Middletown Girl said...

Boxing. Muhammad Ali hasn't fought since the 80s but he's still seen as God by many.

Bob said...

I'm not bothered by athletes endorsing consumer crap, but I always find it highly depressing that every time I go to an airport I see really lame Tiger Woods posters advertising Accenture.

Here is an example:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3240/2368238228_85e68c2dbc.jpg

It is depressing because it upsets my mental image of the men who run large corporations as not be dumb enough to be swayed by paid celebrity endorsements. Hiring Accenture I think generally runs a company at least $250,000!

They even have a hokey jingle "We know what it takes to be a Tiger."

Blech. I think he got a multi-year deal worth $30 million from accenture. If their margin is 50% that means they in signing it think they will get an extra $60 million in business. Hopefully they're wrong.

Anonymous said...

steve wood, it's pretty easy to remember:

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Anonymous said...

Half iced tea and half lemonade is called swamp water. Or so I was told by my waitress at the Middleton Place Plantation restaurant. I couldn't decide between their fresh brewed ice tea or housemade lemonade. She told me to get both! Crab cakes, fried chicken, biscuits, swamp water, pecan pie, a late night walk through the gardens...happy memories (except for the chiggers--don't touch the moss).

Anonymous said...

Steve,
I don't play golf or understand the economics of golf. Could you explain it sometime? Where does the money come from and do the sponsors really get their money's worth? What is their motivation?

Truth said...

"If their margin is 50% that means they in signing it think they will get an extra $60 million in business. Hopefully they're wrong."

Well apparently, if they get $250,000 per company, they know something about business.

Grizzlie Antagonist said...

When was the last time that Yogi Berra even played baseball? It's probably been about 40-50 years, though he was a manager as recently as the mid-1970's.

But he still sells books and other products on the basis of his stature as an ex-ballplayer and pop culture philospher.

AFLAC!

Steve Sailer said...

Good point about Yogi Berra.

Yogi is sort of two people in one: the great baseball player and fine manager and coach, and the hilarious sage, the cracked Poor Richard.

I suspect the latter was largely the invention of Yogi's boyhood buddy from St. Louis, Joe Garagiola, who became the top baseball broadcast color man.

josh said...

Garagiola was also the inspiration for Fred Willard's character in "Best in Show."

Robert said...

They still have Arco stations? There haven't been any Arco stations in my part of the country since Arnold Palmer was winning teournements!

Robert said...

"Well, I think they still sell "Baby Ruth" candy bars."

The Baby Ruth candy bar came out befor Babe Ruth was famous. It is supposedly named after Teddy Roosevelt's daughter.

David said...

Palmer is a "nice guy who finished first."

Which makes him an outlier of the first order.