A certain team will be missing this year from the big contest in Tampa Bay between football's Steelers and Cardinals: The Eastern Grays.
Nowhere in the noble list of big game sponsors is there a company who, this year, enlisted the help of these agile, photogenic, crowd-pleasing rodents to help showcase their products and services.
Are they nuts? (Apparently not, because a nut company would have chosen the obvious spokesrodent.)
Gone is the genital-chomping squirrel who assailed a dentist in the Trident chewing gum commercial of yore, the screaming, and (fortunately) tire-eluding fellow in the Bridgestone ad, and of course the unforgettable "Running of the Squirrels" high drama staged in Cecil B. DeMille-like fashion for a very forgettable company called EDS.
Are squirrels experiencing layoffs too? In this season when their cousins the chipmunks and the groundhogs are nestled in sweet hibernation, should the eastern gray perhaps rethink the addition of a similar midwinter's snooze too? Granted, that means they would miss the playoffs and Superbowl, even as spectators, but that would open up whole new career possibilities for them in sports advertising once baseball's spring training season is through.
Provided, that is, Major League Baseball can somehow keep them from gnawing at the teams' bats.