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It's still the No Fun League

Here's a clever idea: teams from two different sports in the same city doing funny commercials together. Done right, they'd be good publicity for both teams. An executive with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks came up with the idea to pair up with the NFL's Chicago Bears during a meeting of NHL honchos in which it was mentioned that 92 percent of NHL fans are also NFL fans.

The Bears liked the idea. A series of ads were filmed, including the Hawks' Patrick Kane shooting footballs (with a hockey stick, I assume) so the Bears' Devin Hester could run them back, and Bears kicker Robbie Gould, with the Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp holding, trying to kick the ball into a hockey net strapped to the uprights. The players had fun, the teams do a clever cross-promotion, and as a bonus for the Bears, the Blackhawks paid the costs for the commercials and planned to buy the TV time for the ads. Who could possibly object?

Well, if you understand the reference in this post's title, you already know the answer. The NFL has a rule prohibiting use of team marks and logos in connection with the promotion of other sports, except by a three-quarters vote of all NFL teams. The Bears felt that the ads didn't violate the spirit of the rule. The league disagreed. The ad campaign has been squashed.

It's not like the ads aren't promoting the Bears. It's not like the NHL (despite its incompetence in many areas -- the front office, the players' union, the on-ice officials) is some junk sport like, say, arena football. And the ads certainly can't be worse than the one with Troy Polamalu and his Diana Ross-esque hair selling shampoo:


Sure, the Bears probably should have gotten permission before filming, but It seems to me that the NFL could easily take a vote by teleconference or email or something to allow the campaign to go on. But if they did that, they wouldn't be the No Fun League, would they?

Hat tip to the Yahoo! Sports "Puck Daddy" blog.