Nike's too-good-to-be-true coin flip photo is indeed too good to be true

Just after the start of the College Football Playoff, which Ohio State triumphed over Oregon 42-20 on Monday night, Nike offered up a fascinating photo that sure seemed to be a remarkable shot of the coin flip:

It was a fascinating shot, a miracle of composition and promise and symbolism. And, of course, it was fake and completely staged.

[Yahoo Team Fan Shop: Buy Ohio State national championship merchandise]

Yes, those are actual people and an actual coin. But as SB Nation notes, those weren't the actual players who went out for the coin flip. Check the numbers:

Via SBNation
Via SBNation
Via SBNation
Via SBNation

Another point: Nike doesn't tweet these photos out of the goodness of its own heart. This is an ad, and college players can't appear in an ad, knowingly or unknowingly, without risking their eligibility. Nike used models instead to pose for the picture ahead of time.

So, yeah: nice image, nice sentiment, false premise.

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter.

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