Joe Torre, the frumpy Los Angeles Dodgers manager, reportedly will replace studly Michael Jordan as the new Hanes Underwear pitchman in its national TV ad campaign. Torre tested well among people who still bought underwear, such as the 65-and-over generation, and the newly sagging 35-to-45 crowd.
"I'm too old to go without underpants now," said Hollywood's Terry Adamowski, a 36-year-old accountant who can't get work because his junk keeps falling out of his khakis. "If you're 30, you can still pull it off, because in southern California it's hip and kinky. But when you start packing on a few pounds, if anything coyly slips out onto a spreadsheet, people are no longer amused. They call the cops."
Torre Shorts promise to keep everything in place with unforgiving straps, levers, belts and braces, and will hide a certain bulge, unlike Jordan's line that accentuated it. Reports show that men who purchased the Jordan-approved skivvies were dissatisfied with the product because it did not make them look like an NBA All-Star, give them the extra lift needed to dunk a basketball, improve their golf scores, or add the charm needed to attract ladies who are out of their league.
Hanes reportedly said the trend toward reality TV programming also played a part in its decision to drop Jordan.
"I hate to say it, but America looks like Joe Torre," a Hanes spokesman said.
Torre won four World Series with the New York Yankees, but was unloved in the front office because of his inability to win just seven more titles. Club owner George Steinbrenner, coincidentally, wore the underwear that Jordan pitched. It boosted his ego, even though insiders said that the waist had to be let out by a yard and a half while other areas of fabric had to be pinned up to compensate for his shortcomings.
Torre has found endorsement riches galore on the West Coast, where he has signed on to promote varicose vein cream, Halloween masks, Vick's Vapor Rub and Hair Sprigs for Men. And in a case of mistaken gender, Torre was selected as the centerfold for Bag Lady Magazine. The publication hit the newsstands and sold out in several locations before anyone realized the error.
Torre, whose sad sack features give consumers something to relate to, shrugged his shoulders upon seeing the magazine and, as usual, was too nice to complain.
"It even fooled me," Torre said. "I thought it was Margaret Thatcher."