It’s relatively easy to tune out the constant patter of in-game commercialism, once you’re used to it.
This Web site is peppered with ads. Look up and to the right. Capitalism is what fuels this country. I get all of that.
And the Redskins control their preseason broadcasts, and can do whatever they like with them. I get that, too.
But for some reason, during last week’s Redskins-Bears broadcast, the ads seemed overwhelming at times, and it felt like I was watching a three-hour commercial, with brief football breaks. During either the game or the commercials surrounding it, we learned about the Redskins’ official movers, official office-equipment supplier, official chicken, official bank, official pizza, official furniture store, official training restaurant, official travel planners and official college savings plan.
For each quarter, a different corporate logo accompanied the ever-present score bug in the upper corner of the screen. I understand when soccer broadcasts use that technique, since those feature 45 minutes of straight game action, without commercial interruption. NFL broadcasts, though, are filled with real commercial breaks.
Plus, during Saturday’s game action, a Mazda logo appeared on the actual playing surface. This practice is only permitted for club-controlled preseason games; it’s been going on for several years.
We were also treated to the Geico What to Watch For, the Ford Keys to the Game, the Bud Light Lineups, the Bank of America First Quarter Stats, the McDonald’s Game Summary, the CDW First Half Stats and the KFC Player of the Game.
I counted 17 in-game corporate logos in all, not including the logos that appeared just after commercial breaks, during “this game is brought to you by” chatter.
Again, I know that every team does stuff like this. But it felt relentless, especially when Joe Theismann would subsequently talk about the sponsor in question.
Just to see if I was crazy, I watched a decent amount of the fourth quarter of the Bears-produced broadcast. To me, it felt significantly more like a sporting event and less like a commercial. It felt like a relief.
(Also, Delvin Johnson did not start at left guard, despite what the Bud Light Lineups and Theismann would have you believe.)