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Greg Wyshynski

NFL ruins historic ad campaign for Chicago Blackhawks, Bears

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

The NFL is a bunch of killjoys. Always have been, always will be; from the "No Fun League" rules regarding celebrations to the fact that their craven lust for every cent of TV revenue supersedes their fans' desire to watch the overtime in an out-of-market game before "NFL policy" pulls the plug as the late games kick off.

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Now it's the NHL getting the "waaah-wah" trombone from these Debbie Downers: As Lambert mentioned this morning in What We Learned, the historic promotional partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Bears has been nixed by the NFL for violating a policy that the Bears did not believe was being violated.

The campaign was to feature Bears and Blackhawks players interacting in amusing ways in a series of commercials: QB Jay Cutler offering advice on how to beat Detroit, and Patrick Kane shooting footballs so the Bears' Devin Hester could run them back, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Blackhawks financed the ads and were going to buy the TV time to run them.

But Phil Rosenthal of the Tribune reports that the NFL has sacked the campaign:

The NFL prohibits use of team marks and logos in connection with the promotion of other sports except by a three-quarters vote of the league's 32 clubs, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

The league saw no gray area, which is probably why the Bears-Hawks ads were thought to be unprecedented. "We felt it was within the framework of the spirit of what the rule was," said Scott Hagel, Bears senior director of corporate communications. "They felt differently, and we have to respect their decision."

The Tribune reports the ads have already been filmed. Boy, it surrrrre would be a shame if one or all of them somehow ended up on YouTube ...

Obviously, the campaign would have benefitted the Blackhawks, as the budding NHL powerhouse would have mingled with arguably the most iconic franchise in the Windy City. At the time of the announcement, the Bears said they were eager to participate because it would have portrayed their players in a humorous new light.

That's all kaput now, thanks to the NFL, which is really too bad ... for the Bears. A 5-7 team that's infuriated its fan base this season could have used some positive buzz from a division-leading Stanley Cup contender, no?

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