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This Is So Stupid

Breaking: A-Rod Still Has Gum Disease

Alex Rodriguez looks at his teeth, with this hand pulling one of his lips back, and you see him in the mirror and also see the back of his head.
OraPharma release

We finally have an update on the sports story that transfixed the nation earlier this year, and the news is not good: A-Rod still has gum disease.

Back in May, Alex Rodriguez appeared on CBS Mornings for a seven-minute segment to discuss a recent trip to the dentist. The 14-time All-Star told the shocked anchors that he learned he has gum disease, an affliction the CDC says affects 47 percent of Americans over 30 and 70 percent over 65. Obviously Rodriguez had recently signed a deal with a drug company to promote some gum disease drug or whatever. “But anyways, viewers at home, it’s always better to be safe,” he said on TV, pivoting from a discussion about whether chewing tobacco gave Tony Gwynn gum disease. “Go see your local dentist.” Just show up, ask the dental hygienist if you have gum disease, and tell ’em A-Rod sent ya.

A site called Truth in Advertising wondered if the whole segment was a paid ad, but does it really matter? The whole segment was an advertisement for a drug company that makes a treatment for gum disease; in my mind it’s even worse if CBS did this seven-minute ad for free. But while he did his job for those seven minutes, A-Rod did not get much more coverage out of it. Sure, Us Weekly did a short story after the CBS segment, and People did one the day after that in which Rodriguez denied that chewing tobacco gave him gum disease. Generally, though, A-Rod was left alone to deal with his diagnosis. I assume the drug company was a little disappointed in the lack of subsequent reporting. I don’t think MarketWatch or Detroit’s WXYZ-TV were the kind of outlets they’d hope would do followups.

Well, they’re all giving it another go! Last week the drug company put out a press release about how they’d teamed up with Rodriguez and the League of United Latin American Citizens “to foster a greater understanding of gum disease detection and treatment within the Hispanic community.” This would be accomplished, presumably, by telling the community to brush, floss, and talk to their dentist about taking whatever drug A-Rod’s shilling. The release promises “a range of educational resources featuring Alex Rodriguez,” but I can’t seem to find anything yet. The anticipation is building.

The company did previously put out a three-minute video where A-Rod talks about his common affliction; I have edited it into a 39-second supercut of the best parts.

This is all just very funny. Rodriguez made a lot of money during his playing career, and does not appear to have squandered it all on gum disease drugs or stock in a pharmaceutical company specializing in treatments for gum disease. He has a notable PED scandal on his docket, and a number of smaller and less notable ones—ESPN even recently reported he dimed out other players that were allegedly clients of his dealer—but he is already on TV. He’s handsome and famous. Yet instead of selling sandwiches in commercials he is making web content about flossing. It is, perhaps, the fate he deserves.

Defector will keep you updated on the status of A-Rod’s gums, if further information surfaces.

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