The man behind the man.
One of the running gags in NFL Network's Leon Sandcastle ad campaign is that the fictional cornerback is expected to be the top overall pick in the NFL draft.
What makes that gag even more humorous is the fact that he probably would be the first player taken this year if he actually, you know, existed. In a pretty weak draft at the top, a cornerback and wide receiver combo who ran a 4.2 40-yard dash would easily be the top prospect on the board.
Frankly, teams would probably be clamoring to make a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs to procure the No. 1 pick.
But how did Sandcastle get his start? Who is this fictional character who is shooting up fictional draft boards? What's the meaning of life?
Take a journey with me, folks. I promise that I'll answer at least two of those questions.
For those of you reading this who haven't been following the evolution of Sandcastle, he was introduced to the world during the Super Bowl in the following commercial.
That commercial brilliantly followed Sandcastle through the entire process of the NFL offseason, cutting to scenes of the NFL Network covering events like the combine and NFL draft. It was one of the funniest and most effective commercials of the Super Bowl, as it actually showed the service that the NFL Network provides.
Yes, folks, we actually want to see what the product you are advertising does while we're being entertained. It's a novel concept, I know.
So given the success of that spot, it's hardly surprising that we've continued to hear from Sandcastle since.
He's already been informed by the Chiefs that he'll be the top overall selection. That's good business by the Chiefs.
He signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour.
You can't blame the NFL Network for taking a successful ad campaign and squeezing every last drop out of it. And I expect that we'll be hearing from Sandcastle on draft night. Sanders' portrayal of the character has been pretty hilarious, after all.
And what happens when Sandcastle isn't selected? Will we get a sad montage with Jimi Hendrix strumming a tune in the background?
Man, I hope so.