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American NinjaSummertime TV watching can be a challenge.

Recently I was channel-surfing and came across NBC’s American Ninja Warrior.

Where have I been?  It’s in its eighth season!  The show features contestants – all incredibly fine-tuned athletes -- running, climbing, jumping and hanging through made-for-TV obstacle courses that most of us would never stand a chance at beating.

Actor Matt Iseman and former professional football player Akbar Gbaja-Biamila are the hosts.  They offer play-by-play and background on the athletes and their journeys through the obstacle course, much like we see on “regular” sporting event broadcasts.

Here is where I don’t know if I’m offering up kudos or demerits.  It’s where the highly entertaining display of athleticism, pawned-off as a real sports competition, takes a turn toward big-time wrestling.   It’s where Iseman and Gbaja-Biamila inundate us with a relentless barrage of clever, pre-canned comments related to the ninja-contestants’ real-life jobs, such as:

  • Regarding the optometrist- ninja, “The eye doc couldn’t see his way past the swinging spikes.”
  • Regarding the police officer-ninja, who was “busted by the fly wheels.”
  • Or when the coach-ninja fell into the water: “drop and give me 20!”
  • The pest control technician-ninja was “exterminated by the hour-glass drop.”
  • The salon owner-ninja was “washed out on the log roll.”
  • The auto parts assembly worker-ninja “ran out of gas at the swinging spikes.”

And that’s just a partial sample from one episode!

I love a good play on words – but when is the quota met?


Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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