09/28/2005: 'I can resist anything except temptation.'
I'm not a big breakfast cereal eater (which is why I hadn't seen it earlier; I'm usually not putttering down that aisle of the grocery), but when I saw this looking at me from the shelves at Schnucks, I knew what I had to do:
Go Prince Albert!
Of course, the association of Wheaties with celebrity athletes is a long one, which is as deft a segue as I can manage on short notice to my favorite Wheaties story....
Back in the olden days, Wheaties was faced with competition by a now forgotten and probably unlamented rival from Post, called "Huskies". Like the Wheaties folks, Post tried to boost sales by associating Huskies with famous athletes, and one of the ways that they did that was by sponsoring a sports radio program featuring (along with other content) interviews with prominent athletes of the time. The story is told about how Yankee Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig once made an appearance on the Huskies show and, while being interviewed, stated that every day he ate a bowl of Wheaties for breakfast.
At the end of his career, Gehrig considered making up for his earlier gaffe. According to some sources, Gehrig contemplated beginning his famous "farewell speech" (presented at a July 4, 1939 "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day" at Yankee Stadium) a bit diffferently:
Before I begin my remarks, I'm told that today my words are being broadcast to the country courtesy of the makers of Wheaties. I remember another time when I mentioned Wheaties on a radio show sponsored by Post cereals, so I just would like to take this opportunity to say: Huskies! Huskies!This is one of those "if it isn't true, it ought to be" stories. While I love it, I can't vouch for it, although the official Wheaties website does say that Gehrig inadvertently referred to his eating Wheaties on a radio program sponsored by a competing cereal. What makes the story a bit hard to swallow is that Gehrig (who was, incidentally, the first athlete to have his picture on the Wheaties box) also had an endorsement deal with Huskies as well.
Len on 09.28.05 @ 10:57 PM CST