Oklahoma plays Florida State in the Cheez-It Bowl on Thursday night down in Orlando. Which is a pretty delicious matchup for a mid-tier bowl named after a mid-tier snack. The company has been doing all it can do to capitalize on the moment, including providing these insane "heavenly" rooms for four players and generating a predictable buzz online because, well, look at this monstrosity.
And more power to them. They've anted up and should get a return on their investment. But we should be careful not to let Big Cheez-It accrue and wield too much power. History is full of not-so-great things happening when good people stay silent instead of speak up. So I feel like it's sort of my duty to push back on a claim made a bowl representative last night to Seminoles beat writer Carter Karels.
No. Just no. Insert the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag here for effect. The good people at Cheez-It can say this stuff behind closed doors all they want but they have to know — they need to know — that they have failed to make this a winning message in the marketplace of ideas. Everyone who has ever stuffed their face with those sharp, four-cornered morsels has referred to them as Cheez-Its. Because they are Cheez-Its.
Hell, if someone called them "Cheez-It crackers" you'd probably ask them to leave your house. Or at the very least wonder silently about what chain of events in their life sent them down such a troubling path.
I guess Cheez-Its are technically crackers but I've never thought of them as crackers. I've thought about them as Cheez-Its. Which you'd think would be a historic W in the public relations department. Cheez-Its have not been pigeon-holed as being like something else. They are their own thing!
My father called them Cheez-Its. His father called them Cheez-Its. His father called them Cheez-Its if they'd made their way up to Northern Michigan from their humble beginnings in 1920s Dayton, Ohio. My kids will call them Cheez-Its.