Ever since college athletes were allowed to profit off of their name, image and likeness in July, we have seen an assortment of ways football players have made money. Some have helped charities, some have done signing events and apparel deals, but none have been as humorous as Kentucky Wildcats defensive end Josh Paschal's latest deal.
Paschal tweeted a video on Tuesday with a video commercial he shot with a local Lexington, Kentucky, pediatric dentist. On the surface, that sounds pretty boring and even painful, but watching the video, the partnership is pure comedy.
It's been great working with Steckler Pediatric Dentistry (@kykidsdentist) and the kids in the community with their oral health! I am the #DefenderOfDecay! @creativecaddie #ad pic.twitter.com/HT8OGg2Bx2— Joshua Paschal (@JPaschalx) November 23, 2021
In the video, Dr. Danny Steckler of Steckler Pediatric Dentistry says Paschal was hired to help communicate the importance of oral health.
Paschal smacks a sugary beverage out of a child's hand in the opening scene and yells, "Don't be bringing these sugar-coated lies into my house," while wagging his finger in the child's face. He then reaches through a car window to grab sugary snacks from an unsuspecting driver who says he isn't even going to the dentist.
The commercial then moves to the lobby of the dentist's office, where Paschal is giving a pep talk to parents and their kids about staying off Facebook and TikTok before bedtime and instead focusing on brushing their teeth.
Steckler and Paschal know each other through a Kentucky subset of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a non-profit sports ministry, and a mutual friend, Aaron Hogue.
"[Paschal has] actually been a really big influence on the community around here. I remember that old Terry Tate video from like 15 years ago, 'Terry Tate: Office Linebacker,' and I was like, man, this would be fun, because Josh is such a meek, humble guy," Steckler said. "I want people to see him just crush people in a goofy ad, so that's kind of where we got the idea, and then we just kind of ran with it a little bit. I'm telling you, Josh was unbelievable, his acting was unbelievable and he didn't have to do too many takes."
Who knew Kentucky's leader in tackles for loss this season had such acting skills? The commercial closes with Paschal yelling at kids after beating them in a video game, twirling a sign along the street for the dentist and finally filling in for a dental hygienist who cramps up while working on a patient.
Paschal has done signing events, launched his own website to sell merchandise and has had another humorous NIL deal in the past. He signed with a local attorney to produce a billboard that reads "Size matters," while featuring some of the bigger Kentucky football players.
We have seen quite a few NIL deals come through from college football athletes that have created buzz, including Kansas Jayhawks walk-on Jared Casey, who signed a deal with Applebee's after catching the game-winning touchdown against Texas. But we haven't seen many that are creating a buzz quite like Paschal's new commercial.
As of 3:00 p.m. ET, the video had over 181,000 views on Paschal's tweet. That number blew Steckler away, as he didn't really have any expectations for the video outside of creating something funny for his office and staff. It is good exposure for his business, of course, but this one was about Paschal and letting him shine.
"It's really good, I think, for people to see that fun side of [Josh] a little bit," Steckler said. "I guess kind of like the Peyton Manning 'Saturday Night Live' sketch when he was just rifling footballs at kids. It's just kind of funny, goofy, so we wanted to do something like that. I feel like it turned out really well, but I did not expect this type of reaction by any means."