February 23, 2024


Like All Trades

Cheez-It hotel room offered to 4 Cheez-It Citrus Bowl participants

“Here’s where you’ll be staying before the biggest game of your life. Enjoy!”

“Here’s where you’ll be staying before the biggest game of your life. Enjoy!”
Image: Kellogg’s

Imagine you’re a college football player. You’ve led your team to a solid season this year, and are rewarded with a bowl game. In the week leading up to the contest, you’re studying film, and working hard in practice because you know NFL scouts will probably be there watching. Your future could depend on how you perform in this game. Then, Cheez-It — yes, the cheese cracker snack brand from Kellogg’s — offers you an opportunity to spend the night before the game in a Cheez-It-themed hotel room with “Cheez-It box bedside table lamps, Cheez-It orange and yellow mood lighting, and unbe-cheez-able plush pillows.” [Editor’s note: Groan] Why? So, you can wake up “Feelin the Cheeziest” of course!

Four players — presumably two from each of the teams participating in the Cheez-It Bowl (ACC vs. Big 12) and the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl (SEC vs. Big Ten) — will be invited to these rooms ahead of their matchups. But it won’t just be the players who get to sleep in these rooms that would make even the cup stacking room from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition embarrassed for the people involved. Nope, a few lucky fans will get the opportunity to spend the night in replica rooms positioned in Camping World Stadium’s endzones!

For the fans, this seems awesome. Yeah, sleeping in a room that looks like it was designed by a troubled 8-year-old might not be optimal, but once that nightmare-inducing experience is over, those fans will have the opportunity to watch the game(s) from Cheez-It’s on-field suites. I don’t care what the room looks like, getting to watch a college bowl game from on the field is an opportunity most fans can’t pass up. Here are the official rules for anyone interested. For the players though…

I don’t know about you, but before I play a big game, I’d want to feel pumped. I’d want to feel jacked. I’d want to feel angry, ready to destroy anyone in my path. I wouldn’t want to feel “Cheezy” like someone who’s supposed to be walking around with an enormous, annoying grin on his face ready to spew the most cringeworthy dad joke since the last MCU movie.

Keep in mind, the players involved in this publicity stunt will probably be important players for both teams. This is a NIL deal, so Cheez-It would probably want the most marketable players from both teams to participate. That’s likely going to be the quarterbacks, star running backs, or outstanding defensive players. Those are the guys you want to be in the zone prior to the game. They’re the guys that have to pump up the rest of their team, but instead of approaching the bowl game in a normal fashion, they’re going to be forced into a “Cheezy” room. If I’m a head coach, that would piss me off. Let the players approach perhaps the biggest game of their college careers with a clear mind. Sure, they’ll get paid, but there are other ways to promote your product through players without interfering with their pre-game ritual.

The Cheez-It Bowl is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 29, at 5:30 pm EST at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Cheez-It Citrus Bowl will take place on Monday, Jan. 2, at 1 pm EST in the same stadium. All I’m saying is don’t expect big days from the players deemed the Cheeziest ahead of each matchup. Hopefully, every player involved will be able to shake off that “Cheezy” feeling before their games…and the announcers refrain from awful puns.