|ESPN.com: Opinion||[Print without images]|
The big business of the NFL is never more symbolized than in the world of NFL endorsements, as current players and all-time greats (and even not-so-greats) hawk a wide variety of products. And, of course, there's Super Bowl Sunday when we'll see a mix of old stalwarts, popular players and celebrity endorsers.
Other than a new Go Daddy commercial co-starring Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels, and Justin Bieber promoting Best Buy, many companies are keeping their Super Bowl spots under wraps, So while we wait and see which NFL stars and celebrities will be gracing our screens this Sunday, let's reflect on the best and worst NFL endorsements.
Peyton Manning for MasterCard (2008): Yeah he's overexposed, but the relationship between Manning and MasterCard is nothing short of genius. These ads are witty, creative, and completed catered to Manning's "aw-shucks" persona. It doesn't hurt that No. 18 is a pretty good actor too. When is he hosting "Saturday Night Live" again?
Dan Marino for Isotoner (1987): I don't care if you lived on Maui: Dan Marino made you want to buy a pair of Isotoner gloves. So young, so All-American, and so ... well-dressed? See, 80's fashion wasn't totally disastrous.
Jerry Jones for Papa John's (2007): Clever segue from Jones scolding his Cowboys for touchdowns celebrations to his own the life-long journeys of LT and Polamalu in exactly one minute. The soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission.
Mean Joe Greene for Coke (1979): Headed into the tunnel after a tough game, a limping Greene is offered a Coke by a slightly intimidated, yet wide-eyed, little boy (above). Greene takes a sip, yells "Hey kid" and tosses his jersey to the boy. Instant classic.
Tim Tebow for Jockey (2010): The signing of Tebow was not surprising because all Heisman Trophy winners that are huge NFL question marks should be signed to multi-year endorsement deals. But even for Tebow, the timing was odd because the angelic quarterback was a third-stringer. On top of that, what's creepier than the thought of a self-professed virgin in his tighty whiteys.
Joe Montana for avocados (2009): Growing up in San Francisco in the 80's and 90's, I've always felt a modicum of joy seeing Montana during Super Bowl week. Last year that joy turned to dismay when the greatest QB of all-time trotted along radio row with a single purpose -- to hawk avocados. Sure avocados are a healthy fat and who doesn't love good guacamole, but this is flat-out embarrassing.
|Even worse than Carson's Palmer's commercial is the print ad.|
Carson Palmer for John Morrell sausages (2007): A heavier Palmer talks up a sausage that is "a full inch longer than the competition." That's just ewww. And a John Morrell jersey to boot? Synthetic and embarrassing. But hey, at least no one was talking about his pick sixes back then. Even worse than the commercial is this infamous print ad (right).
Emmitt Smith for Just for Men (2008): Smith retired in 2004 and four years later he's in a rest home with a face of gray hair? NFL players take a beating, but this isn't the presidency. The idea itself isn't terrible but is ruined the second Smith delivers the line "oh, it's bad." So is your acting, Emmitt.
Joe Namath for Beautymist pantyhose (1973): While Broadway Joe had that Brady-esque "every woman wants to be with me and every man wants to be me" thing going on in the 70's, this cross-dressing ad must have turned a portion of our species away long before his fateful Suzy Kolber interview.
Jimmy Johnson for ExtenZe male enhancement (2009): Because "most men want to perform their best in just about everything." Oh Jimmy, what were you thinking?