NFL announcer forgets name, calls Microsoft Surface 'iPad-like'

Despite Microsoft spending a lot of money for its Surface tablets to be used on the sidelines, the product name seems not to have penetrated Fox's announcers.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

It's not the best idea when your sponsor is Microsoft to call its Surface "iPad-like." Fox screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The NFL is one long commercial with a violent game attached.

Around 12 minutes of actual action are sprinkled around what seems like 3 hours of ads.

You'd think, therefore, that it would ensure that its sponsors get everything they paid for. However, in Sunday's Atlanta Falcons-New Orleans Saints game, Microsoft suffered an image contusion that should put it out for the season.

Fox's announcers were surely briefed on the fact that Redmond was donating $400 million so that, in part, its Surface could be named " The Official Tablet Of The NFL." Somewhere, though, the name seems to have slipped their minds.

For here were the Fox announcer's words, as Saints' quarterback Drew Brees was watching previous plays and defensive alignments on his Surface: "He's not watching movies on his iPad."

Well, no. Mostly because that isn't an iPad. A clue is the bright blue color.

Still, you'd think that a producer would have screeched in the announcer's ears: "Surface! Surface!"

This may have happened, but it didn't stop the announcer from remaining submerged in his error. He explained that in the new NFL, players had these "iPad-like tools" to help them analyze the game.

Indeed, from the clip obtained by the Verge, there's not a single mention of the Surface or Microsoft. Instead, free advertising for Apple, as if Cupertino needed it.

One has to conclude that the announcer forgot the Surface's name, if he ever knew it.

One has to also conclude that there will be calls and e-mails ("Sent from my Surface") heading toward Fox and the NFL asking for a refund.

There's surely nothing worse than spending a lot of money explaining why your product isn't like the iPad to only hear people you're paying refer to it as "iPad-like."