Another example, perhaps, of truth being stranger than fiction.

A little while back I wrote a somewhat tongue in cheek post about the launch of the new adidas "Jabulani" rugby ball for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when last week I received an email from someone (who obviously does not read this blog) at an agency on behalf of adidas asking me to promote the new adidas "Torpedo Respect" - apparently the new official match ball for the Heineken Cup.

Here are a couple of statements - see if you can tell which statement is fictional:

(1) ...manufactured using a new design consisting of 16 thermally bonded 3-dimensional panels molded from ethylene-vinyl acetate and thermo-plastic polyurethanes; or

(2) 100% hand stitched and crafted from natural rubber, the interior is composed of a mixture of latex and butyl to offer exceptional quality and durability.

No? OK, I'll make it a little easier:

(1)...through positioning the valve in the seam and not in the middle of a panel, there is an enhanced sweet spot area ideal for kicking; or

(2)... adopting a ball with similar properties will discourage kicking to touch and long-range penalty attempts.

So, Torpedo Respect or Jabulani?

Admittedly some people might be very excited by the launch of the new ball but, frankly, I'm not one of them. A ball is a ball is a ball. Both regular readers of this blog will know that I'm not in the habit of endorsing products - not unless it's a product I genuinely believe in or unless I am showered with free samples. Suffice to say I'm not expecting the postman to be calling anytime soon and perhaps the most salient point about the new adidas ball is that it retails at 50 quid.


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