If there’s one NFL game this weekend that the world’s attention is going to be fixed on, it’s… well, okay, it’s totally the one that Taylor Swift is going to be at, projecting her “I am mega-famous” reality distortion field so hard that her mere attendance at a football game is enough to alter the marketing strategies of major TV networks. But if there are two NFL games that demand attention, the second is definitely this Sunday’s matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Atlanta Falcons, a.k.a., the game that Disney is about to turn into some kind of bizarre Toy Story cross-promotion with digital toy players.
We wrote about this a few weeks ago, as Disney+ announced plans to run a digitally altered NFL game on the streaming airwaves, because while children tend to find football very boring, they do like toys! But details are continuing to roll out about the plan, and they don’t make the whole thing sound any less bizarre. Like, what do you do about the (roughly) 8 million minutes of commercials in every NFL game (which are, arguably, the entire reason for playing them)? Well, instead of a bunch of ads being tossed at kids who just wanted to see their friend Woody, how about one big ad—in the form of a series of football quizzes presented in a Toy Story-style, all paid for by insurance company Allstate? (What could delight a child more than being asked about the Heisman while Buzz Lightyear tries to sell them car insurance? Nothing. None more delight.)
The game in question will kick off at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning (it’s being played in London, hence the weird hours), and will use “state-of-the-art tracking technology” to recreate the game in as close to real time as Disney’s animators can manage—although, presumably if someone takes a really gnarly hit, they’ll edit that bit out, maybe with a tastefully deployed Allstate logo covering the carnage.