Reebok Helps the NFL Get Down With Its Surreal-Pastoral-Folk Side

New Pre-Season Spot Features 1966 Vashti Bunyan Track

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Yesterday couldn't have been slower if it was rolled in molasses and dipped in breadcrumbs. Or so we thought ... until this little dollop of joy dropped into our mailbox: Reebok, through its agency mcgarrybowen, licensed a Vashti Bunyan song for an NFL TV commercial.

The concept is pretty simple: Gridiron dudes, savoring the off-season on the beach or catching fish or whatever they do (making pre-season commercials?), are drawn back into the NFL's tractor beam as Bunyan's bewitching 1966 single "Train Song" plays in the background. Many of you will probably recognize players like Eli Manning, Peyton Manning and about 18 others trudging through deserts and abandoning half-mowed lawns to arrive at a stadium in a migratory V formation for the fall season. Naturally, we were initially drawn to the recently rejuvenated folk hero who sings about glowworms.

We watch football, but we're not the type to get chills just thinking about 4th-and-goal crunch-time, so mcgarry has obviously done something right.

Then there's also the wonderful parity between this fictional situation and that of Bunyan, who returned to folk music after 40 years of family and farm life, not wholly unlike a wide receiver lost in a desert of summertime baseball.