In advance of Super Bowl 54, the NFL gave us their spiritual successor to last year’s “NFL 100” ad. You remember that one? The one where all the legends act completely disrespectful to their local catering staff and beat each other up?
The league brought that basic idea back for 2020, only instead of a banquet, it’s a never-ending game of touch football led by a child who can teleport across both time and space. The “Next 100” ad showcased a bevy of past and current stars, all either chasing or helping 13-year-old Maxwell “Bunchie” Young and his rad faux hawk as he leads a child invasion of the Super Bowl. Or something. I wasn’t quite clear on that last part, to be honest.
Like last year’s NFL ad, this was chock full of solid cameos from NFL vets. But rather than try to top Spencer Hall’s 2,000-word missive on the “NFL 100” spot, I’m just gonna roll out the top five player appearances in what’s been the best of an underwhelming crop of Super Bowl ads so far.
5. Jim Brown, who’s just living his best damn life.
Brown doesn’t have to say a thing to make a good Jim Brown cameo (even if he did this time, imploring our young star to “take it to the house”). He ran for 12,000 yards and made Mars Attacks briefly tolerable. He deserves a little park bench time. Someone get him a bag of seeds and point him toward the most duck-filled pond in the state of Ohio.
4. Ray Lewis, who gets trucked into oblivion.
3. Derwin James and Jalen Ramsey, who are construction workers, I guess?
THIS IS WHY YOUR STADIUM CAME IN $2.5 BILLION OVER BUDGET.
Also, there’s no way that chain is OSHA certified.
2. Alvin Kamara, who may have severely injured a parade performer
Somehow, our hero makes it to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, which is an absolutely wild idea for a teenage boy. His trek down Bourbon Street gets blocked by a parade, but Kamara is there for a lateral, smashing through a big-headed monster in the process:
Kamara asked for the ball specifically so he could take out this performer. There’s no way this wasn’t deliberate. The weight of the costume meant this poor — um — life-sized puppeteer (?) had his or her poor head smashed into the cobblestone thanks to the weight of their oversized dome.
Paramedics were called immediately after this. Mardi Gras was canceled.
Kamara is still at large.
1. Jimmy Garoppolo, who Steve Young does not know and Joe Montana does not respect
This is the face the reigning NFC Championship quarterback (and second-best post-Montana 49ers quarterback) makes when Montana tells him he means nothing to him beyond menial duties as a bag-fetcher.
This is still better than Young’s reaction, which was “give him a tip.” Young does not know who the 49ers current quarterback is. He just assumes the San Francisco Marriott has employed the most handsome bellhop in the world. The 49ers could lose by 50 and this might still be the most damaging interaction Garoppolo has Sunday.