The film that its director has called a “shot between the eyes of the NFL” is being promoted during ESPN’s NFL coverage.
A trailer for Concussion, starring Will Smith, appeared during ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown, in advance of the game between the Bills and Patriots. The commercial followed (although not immediately) a discussion of the handling of Case Keenum’s situation on Sunday, during which the Rams, the officials, and the ATC spotter failed to insist that Keenum be removed for a concussion evaluation.
Said Mike Ditka during the segment, “The long-term effects of this, we won’t know about it. But he’ll know about it. Whatever it’ll be. It might be 10-15 years down the line, there’s gonna be some kind of effect from a hit like that, believe me.”
And that plays perfectly into the agenda of the film, which criticizes the NFL for its failure to take seriously evidence of the existence of Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy.
Concussion opens on Christmas Day, amid stiff competition for dollars and eyeballs during the holiday season. It’s unclear whether promoting the movie to ardent NFL fans will get NFL fans to go see it, but if nothing else the strategy shows that Sony, which made the film, is indeed aiming right between the eyes of the league.