A Knock On Pigskin Plugapalooza


Oh, they were saying “the Reese’s BCS halftime show.” I thought for a minute it was the Reese’s Pieces halftime show. Actually, it was a distinction without a difference. Watching the Orange Bowl last night on Fox–sorry, The Orange Bowl on Fox on Fox–I waited until halftime to find out whether a football game would accidently break out in the middle of more plugs than a Hair Club For Men convention.

It may have been the Ford Built Tough Pregame Show. It may have been the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Starting lineup when the starting lineups not for Merrill Lynch but Georgia and Iowa were introduced. It may have been the Reese’s halftime show and Reese’s Perfect Ending video highlight clips. The aerial views may have been courtesy of Bud Light. The overhead camera shots may have been courtesy of DirecTV. But it was the Fed Ex Orange Bowl, and make no mistake about it.

It will probably be the “Orange and Blue Bowl” next year? “The Fed Ex Orange Bowl on Fox is brought to you by Fed Ex,” said the company, in an effort to totally unhinge me. There were Fed Ex Orange Bowl patches on the shoulders of every player on both teams, Fed Ex Orange Bowl logos ringing the field so they could be prominently featured in numerous shots, a logo the size of a house in the middle of the field and car-sized logos elsewhere on the field when the action had the audacity not to feature the big logo.

And there was a Fed Ex Orange Bowl logo in the score graphics bar on screen virtually the entire duration of Fox’s coverage, except when a team scored and the word “touchdown” had the nerve to replace the plug. And during the Kool and the Gang halftime performance, the Reese’s logo (at least it wasn’t a Kool cigarette logo) was in the top right-hand corner of the screen throughout the performance.

Then there was the highlight reel of both teams’ seasons during halftime that was simply an ad for Fed Ex, with references to getting it done in the air, or carrying the load on the ground tied to Fed Ex air and ground services in the sort of forced metaphor land once dominated by Marlin Perkins (Boomers will remember those days: “And just as the mother Koala protects her young from the marauding hyenas, so, too, does Mutual of Omaha protect your most prized possessions,” etc.).

Knock, knock! Who’s there? Orange? Orange who? Orange you glad I didn’t say Fed Ex orange again?