NFL goes after Feingold for using game footage in new ad

Holly Bailey
October 5, 2010

Trailing significantly in the polls, Sen. Russ Feingold is in the fight of his political life to win re-election in Wisconsin, and now he's run afoul of the National Football League.

On Tuesday morning, Feingold unveiled a new ad meant to push back against the perception that he's a political goner, using footage of NFL players dancing in the end zone to accuse his GOP opponent Ron Johnson of celebrating his demise well before the election is over.

The spot includes an infamous shot of former Minnesota Vikings player Randy Moss pretending to moon fans at Lambeau Field after scoring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in 2005. "That is a disgusting act!" sports commentator Joe Buck is heard saying.

"In pro football, they call this excessive celebration," Feingold tells the viewer, as the ad cuts to him walking down the sideline of a football field. "It's exactly the type of behavior that corporate interests and Ron Johnson are engaging in. They are dancing in the end zone because they think they are going to take down the U.S. senator who has been named the No. 1 enemy of Washington lobbyists."

You can watch the ad here:

It's a memorable ad. The only problem: Feingold didn't ask the NFL's permission to use the Moss footage. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Don Walker that the league has asked the Feingold campaign to remove the spot. A spokesman for Feingold says the campaign is editing a new version of the ad to comply with the NFL's request.

(Screenshot of Feingold ad)