Drew Timme Owes Me An Apology

Drew Timme stands next to actor Mark Robbins, who is standing on a crate to equal Timme's height
Drew Timme (left) and the author. (Photo by Bryan "Goose" Gosline)

March 06, 2023
The guy in all those commercials with Drew Timme

More than 10 years ago, I got a call asking if I could come perform in a commercial for Northern Quest because the actor they chose first didn’t end up fitting the role. I raced up to a house on South Monroe and shot the first of what would become a long series of ads, featuring my pretend wife, Brooke Stocker, and me.

Even though I got the role by default, over the years, I developed a level of Spokane celebrity that is only rivaled by long-time, local-news meteorologists and “The Inlander” magazine’s best barista. When I walk through Costco, people stare awkwardly thinking “How do I know that guy?” so often that my real wife frequently pretends not to know me. I can stand in line at Sonnenberg’s for five minutes unnoticed, but when I ask for two pounds of flank steak, everyone turns to my familiar voice before someone is bold enough to say, “You’re that guy in those [insert name of business I have not been in an ad for] commercials.” I’m kind of a big deal.

But when the NCAA changed its rules around athletes making money, Drew Timme (likely because he thought some of my star status would rub off), started acting in the same series of commercials. And I was cool with it, you know? I welcomed him with open arms…literally.

I went to hug him when I misread his move to shake my hand, and to make it less awkward I held on to his waist for several seconds. He did not hug me back.

When we made the first few ads together, there was one moment when he had to pick me up while I stroked his mustache. We both kept breaking into laughter, but like a professional, and because nobody was paying attention to me, I made it seem like it was his fault. When we finally got the shot, he humbly hung his head, beating himself up, apologizing for how many takes it took, while I held my hand up in an unrequited high-five. He, as they say, left me hanging. He might argue that he was staring at the floor with his head in his hands, but he’s tall enough that, you know, I think he must have seen me in his periphery.

Drew Timme and Mark Robbins filming a commercial.

Since then, although more people ask to take their photo with me than pre-Timme, even more people, after verifying that I am “the guy in all those commercials with Timme,” assure me that their grandparents love me. And while I have had my picture in several national publications (where I was unnamed: “the man sitting beside him,” “the hapless husband,” “Timme’s buddy," and “a balding intentionally nerdy gambler”), I haven’t heard from him once. I’m sure I gave him my number on a napkin after he insisted his phone died, and I must have Facebook Messengered him a thousand times, both on the page that hasn’t posted since July of 2021 and on the page where he disguises himself as Andrew Timme, sign-shop co-owner in Ross, Ohio.

But in the biggest sleight of all, last season, when a former Gonzaga employee friend took me to a raucous game against Texas Southern while the students were on winter break, where we sat in McCarthey’s version of the nosebleed section, I worked hard the entire second half trying to get Drew’s attention, screaming, “Drew! Drew! It’s me! Drew! I’m here at the game to watch you play! You’re doing a great job! Drew!” And when Drew, pretending to be focused on the “job” at hand, never acknowledged my shrill screaming, the people sitting in front of me were almost as mad as I.

Assuming this request too will go unnoticed, to Drew Timme I say, apology accepted. Apparently I’m the bigger man.

Mark Robbins is “the guy in all those commercials with Drew Timme.”

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