Bears all pissy about Tomlinson’s Nike spot

The narrative of your typical sports ad usually involves a high-profile endorser kicking the crap out of some hapless opponent. The identity of the opponent is usually murky—often he or she is just a faceless blur in a generic jersey. Not so in the latest Nike Zoom spot. The ad shows Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson tearing through a very non-fictional defense: that of the Chicago Bears. The Bears, who actually have a great defense, are unamused by this, and see the ad as high-tech trash talking. Tomlinson doesn’t see it that way, but this week he did semi-apologize. “I didn’t make the commercial,” he complained. “If [it shows] disrespect to the Bears, then I’m sorry for that. But it’s a commercial. … Our motivation is to win games. That’s it. Not to talk trash.” Tomlinson may be regretting the timing of the ad in particular. San Diego, which hasn’t played the Bears since 2003, opens its season against Chicago on Sunday. UPDATE: Tomlinson threw for one touchdown and ran for another as the Chargers beat the Bears 14-3 on Sunday.

—Posted by Tim Nudd