Before the criticism comes rolling in about Lovie Smith not handling business on the football field, a bit of an explainer here: last week before the team took the field for practice on the eve of Thanksgiving, Smith graciously sat down with us to chat about some of the off-the-field occurrences in his life.
Obviously, his NyQuil/DayQuil commercial became a topic of conversation as well as Smith's dry sense of humor, which isn't often seen on a day-to-day basis from the media here at Halas Hall. In this quick Q&A with ESPNChicago.com, Smith discussed the commercial shoot, his virtually non-existent aspirations for more endorsements and the Vicks NyQuil/DayQuil Most Dedicated Fan Contest, in which the company seeks to identify the most dedicated and passionate NFL fans around the country.
You seem to get a kick out of all the wild things people are doing with this Most Dedicated Fan Contest. How is that fun for you?
Lovie Smith: It's neat too to see the different people and what extremes they go through to represent their team. Then also the touchdown dance, that's a little bit out there. But what's always interesting to me is to see the people's basements or whatever, the fan caves or whatever; just to see how people really getting into decorating their basements. Their colors are of course for the Chicago Bears. So it was easy for me to get into this.
You've kind of shied away from doing endorsements in the past. Why?
LS: It's time and all that. This offseason, we had a little bit of extra time if you didn't know [laughing]. So they kind of came to us and worked with my son Matthew. He thought it was a good deal, and we had a blast doing it [in Toronto]. I said, ‘First, off there are a few things. I don't want to turn into an actor with a lot of lines.' They said, ‘Hey, you don't have to say anything Lovie.' I said, ‘O.K., this is sounding better.'
Do you see any more endorsements coming your way in the future?
LS: Certain ones, if they come around and they kind of fit what I stand for, maybe then. But there's just not a whole lot of time for that type of stuff. That's why you just have to really pick the right things that are right for you and not try to spread yourself too thin. So I don't know. I don't do an awful lot of that.
Was it good for fans to kind of get a little better sense of you from that commercial? The commercial was pretty funny, and a lot of people don't realize unless they talk to you every day that you have a pretty good sense of humor.
LS: [Laughs] I guess not. But really, the amount of what you go through just to put on a 30-second shot is really just mind boggling. It really is. When you're doing the scene in the bed, there might have been 25 people around me at the time all in charge of something. It's just like football. For a play to work, everybody has a job. A lot of time you don't see what the center is doing or the offensive guard. You don't see what the wide receiver is doing on that long touchdown run and what all has happened to get to that point. It's teamwork still. You see everybody doing their jobs and concentrating on just that. Then seeing that final product ... [laughs]. We thought that it would play pretty well after I saw the commercial. I really liked the commercial right away. I can't tell you how many people have called me on that commercial; back home, old, young, grandmas. You can relate. There are some jobs where, hey, you've got to go to work. You've got to get your job done. You need something to help you do that: Nyquil, of course to get your rest at night, and during the day to keep you going Dayquil. It just makes sense.
The winner of the NyQuil/DayQuil Most Dedicated Fan contest will be named on Jan. 11, 2012. Winners receive an all-expense paid trip to the Super Bowl. One finalist from each NFL team has already been selected to represent their team. But fans can vote for their favorite finalists by visiting Facebook.com/NyQuil to vote for their favorite touchdown dance and fan-cave photos.