The Touching Commercial Tribute To Carl Weathers During Super Bowl 2024

When the news of the death of "Rocky" and "Predator" star Carl Weathers hit, it left many fans understandably stunned. Weathers was only 76 years old when he died, and he seemed to be in good spirits, having recently earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in "The Mandalorian." The actor also recently appeared in a commercial for the sports betting and fantasy app FanDuel alongside former New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski. Weathers appeared in the spot as the former tight end's mentor in his quest to successfully kick a field goal. The presence of Weathers recalled not only his status in the hall of fame of sports movie characters for his work as Apollo Creed in the "Rocky" series, but it also served as a reminder that Weathers was an NFL player himself (even if his time as a football player was short and troubled).

Gronkowski performed this field goal prior to the Super Bowl, and naturally FanDuel was going to show a follow-up commercial that would address whether he made it or not. Spoiler alert: He didn't. The problem is that Carl Weathers was supposed to appear in this follow up. So how was FanDuel going to handle the now-departed Weathers? Would the ad even address it at all? Would the company cut the late star out of the commercial entirely?

Thankfully, FanDuel chose the noble path. The popular sports betting service added a nice, if short, in memoriam for the actor.

Watch the Carl Weathers FanDuel Super Bowl 2024 commercial

There is only so much remembrance you can squeeze into a 30-second advertisement, but adding a postscript with a simple message of "Thank You, Carl" is a very nice touch. Unfortunately, watching this commercial on YouTube obscures this message with all of the platform's irritating "watch next" prompts as the video concludes. The prompt does, in fact, block out the "1948-2024" markers designed to let you know why FanDuel would be thanking Carl Weathers in the first place.

Format issues aside, the ad itself is a nice nod to Weathers' penchant for poking fun at his own sports history in his theatrical roles. This was the case when Weathers famously played himself in "Arrested Development" — not to mention his finest role of "Chubbs" Peterson in "Happy Gilmore." While it would be nice if his final work on screen was something like "The Mandalorian" and not a gambling advertisement, it is a reminder of how effective his screen presence could be even with such little time and material to work with. 

With less than two weeks to pivot the campaign in light of Weathers' death, FanDuel did the best it could in respecting Carl Weathers' memory.

The legacy of Carl Weathers

It may have been the last thing he ever did, but this FanDuel commercial is not going to be the thing Weathers is remembered for. Fans are going to remember his turn from showboating rival to best friend of Rocky Balboa in the "Rocky" films. Fans are going to think about his leading roles on the TV series "Street Justice" and "In the Heat of the Night."

He will be forever enshrined in the "Star Wars" canon, a bridge project introducing Weathers to a new generation of fans. Perhaps most importantly, the Internet will always treasure the moment in "Predator" where he and Arnold Schwarzenegger lock hands in the most testosterone-fueled greeting in movie history. As long as dudes watch movies together in high school and college, the rest of that film will live on as well. 

Carl Weathers was in the public eye for over five decades, and there is so much quality work to be cherished in his memory. It's nice to see FanDuel found time in the most expensive spot of the year to acknowledge that legacy.