You’ve probably seen these rather perplexing “What’s G?” commercials on TV. After seeing them several times, I still didn’t know what the heck ‘G’ was. So, I went and did exactly what they were hoping I’d be suckered into doing – I looked it up online. (BTW – it’s Gatorade, though I have no idea what the ‘G’ thing is getting at branding-wise.)
The only reason I bothered researching this was because of who appeared in one of the commercials. Here’s the video. Watch at about 25 seconds in. Know who that is making the basketball shooting motion?
By God, it’s Jason McElwain.
If you don’t know about him, start here and read around. In four minutes and with 20 points on an average high school basketball court with nothing but a ball and his love of the game, this young man with autism changed us forever.
As I said in a previous post, Jason McElwain is blazing a trail down a path many of our autistic children have yet to travel. He is an inspiration to millions and a role model for our children and what they can achieve. It chokes me up to know his nickname is J-Mac. Sounds a little familiar around here.
And to celebrate the other heroes of his story, from his parents to the school to the coach in tears to his teammates and the students celebrating like they’d won a world championship, this is what autism can look like when it becomes a full part of a school’s community.
One of my simple goals is that someday J-Man and I will get to meet J-Mac and shake his hand and say thank you. And I can turn to my son and say, “Look. Here’s a man who showed us that anything is possible.”
To see the two ESPN videos about his amazing story and to see other inspirational, athletic goodness, read my post from back during the Olympics and watch the videos. No matter what kind of day you’re having, it’ll brighten it.
Someone at whatever marketing firm produced these commercials had their inspiration hat on when they thought to include him in there.
There he is, right in the middle of Jordan, Manning, Mia Hamm, Jimmie Johnson, John Wooden, Billie Jean King, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, and more. Positive messages about autism are slowly bubbling through.
Seriously, kudos to Gatorade for this. I almost never publicly praise an ad, but I think they deserve it.