So my buddy Mike B recently had a post linking to an absolutely hilarious “director’s cut” of Rooster Teeth’s commercial for the Madden07 video game. After showing it to some friends on Saturday, I tried again on Sunday and… somewhat ominously, the video had disappeared.
The “director’s cut” shows a remake of the original Madden07 commercial but with Dallas Clark – a fairly average tight end for the Indianapolis Colts – shaking tackles, scoring touchdowns, kicking field goals and generally appearing invincible while being mockingly praised. Rooster Teeth published the video after Clark complained about the original commercial in which his (virtual) likeness is brutally tackled by some (virtual) Philadelphia Eagles.
There are two sad, but important, points to this story. Least important is that Rooster Teeth felt it had to pull the video. Obviously someone, most likely lawyers representing Dallas Clark, the NFL players association, EA Games or the NFL (and possibly all the above) threatened Rooster with something unpleasant. Ok, disappointing… but until Lawrence Lessig convinces the US Supreme Court otherwise, I realize this is the world we live in.
More troubling though is how the video has completely vanished. Up until a year ago, a video like this would have spread virally through the internet so that even if the original was yanked, interested viewers could still find a copy. This is, for me, the first time I have seen something disappear from the internet. It’s not even on YouTube! Because everyone linked to the original video, once Rooster Teeth yanked the feed everyone’s links simply broke. Good news for Rooster, but maybe, indeed likely, bad news for the rest of us…
(obviously, if anyone has tracked down a copy of said video, please let me know so that I can enjoy the happy task of recanting this post!)