Former NFL player and coach Mike Ditka mocked Miley Cyrus by riding atop a giant metallic wrecking ball in perhaps the most popular commercial during Sunday night's Grammys.
The ad for Pepsi featured several NFL greats, led by Deion Sanders, who begins the ad in the Grammys audience and rises to his feet to announce, "You music artists, you've always given football the best halftime shows. So tonight, football is paying music back."
After Sanders breaks into mellow song, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw interrupts with an all-American country tune, but he, in turn, is soon interrupted by a rap from former tight end Shannon Sharpe. Baltimore Ravens player Michael Oher, made famous as the subject of The Blind Side, appears as a deejay in the ad.
The festivities are nearly halted when Ditka, who coached the 1985 Chicago Bears to a much-hyped Super Bowl victory, appears straddling an enormous football while grasping a giant chain, an obvious parody of Cyrus' music video for her song "Wrecking Ball."
"The world is a better place, now that we made this halftime show," he sings while swinging across the theater on the football-shaped wrecking ball. When he and the faux metal ball come crashing to the stage, the crowd goes quiet and the party appears to be over.
Neither Sanders nor Bradshaw are complete novices when it comes to music. Sanders made a rap album in 1994 on Hammer's Bust it Records and Bradshaw recorded some country and Christmas albums and singles on various labels. In the Grammy commercial, each teases the other for his forays into music.
The Pepsi spot was earning high praise online on Monday. Boston.com, for example, says Pepsi "may have given us the best commercial of Super Bowl a week before the game." PopCrush.com calls the ad "hilarious" and adds, "Trust us, it's worth it just to watch Mike Ditka ride a giant football a la Miley Cyrus."
The two-and-a-half-minute ad was choreographed by Dancing With the Stars dance pro Mark Ballas.
Pepsi teased the spot more than a week ago during an NFL playoff game, with Ditka, in another nod to Cyrus, sticking out his tongue. That spot asked: "What if the Grammys had a halftime show?"
See the full ad below.