Yesterday, during Oakland’s somewhat surprising upset of the Philadelphia Eagles, a stray pigeon found a moment of fame when it landed on the field before a kickoff, then provided as real an approximation of kickoff coverage as you’ll ever see a bird demonstrate. Video - which we can’t believe hasn’t been taken down yet - is after the break.
Normally, it’s not exactly big news when an animal gets onto the field; sometimes, play is halted while players and staff shoo the animal away, sometimes we just ignore it. And sometimes Dave Winfield kills it for fun. But the Oakland Football Pigeon wanted to be part of the game, and a giggling Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan were all too happy to share in the moment.
That’s awesome, and kudos to the announcers for having the wherewithal to have a little fun during a tight (if utterly lifeless) game.
And really, how many marketing professionals are kicking themselves after seeing this incident? After all, it’s as close to a real-life Super Bowl commercial as you can have - without dancing chimpanzees, of course. After all, a bird lands on the field, lines up with a kickoff coverage team, then runs (flies, whatever) with them down the field on a play. It wouldn’t take a whole lot of anthropomorphizing to put an internal monologue in the bird’s head.
All it would have to be is a bird whose lifelong dream it was to play for a football team, and a company whose commercials give the product a sense of making dreams come true - and let’s be honest, which company doesn’t embrace that? Could be life insurance, Captain Morgan, Pepsi, some HD televison… the possibilities are virtually endless here.
In fact, we’ll actually be a little disappointed if, come February, nobody puts out a commercial with Football Pigeon, we’re going to be both surprised and disappointed.