Dumb Jock: Chicago Bears QB Cutler Blunders Surface Pro 2 As ‘A Knock-Off iPad’

Recent comments made by the National Football League's highest paid player underscore the challenge Microsoft faces in promoting its Surface tablet line as not only a legitimate notebook replacement, but also a separate product from the iPad, which has come to represent the tablet market for the majority of mainstream users.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler described the league-provided Surface Pro 2 tablets as "Knockoff iPads," according to a Twitter post by ESPN's Jon Greenberg. In a follow-up tweet, Greenberg added a bit of context by saying, "Cutler did say the Surface tablets work great. He just didn't know who made them or what they're called." That's called damage control, folks.

Cutler isn't the only one confused by the existence of Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 and it's sudden appearance on sidelines during NFL games. On more than one occasion, TV announcers and commentators have mistakenly referred to the Surface Pro 2 as iPads, inadvertently giving Apple free advertising that Microsoft paid a pretty penny for.

Surface Pro 2
Shown above are a pair of Surface Pro 2 tablets, not iPads

Prior to the start of the current season, Microsoft made a $400 million deal with the NFL to feature its Surface slates as the official tablet of the league for the next five years. On top of that $400 million investment, Microsoft agreed to provide the NFL with hundreds of Surface Pro 2 tablets, with 13 going to each team for use on the sidelines and another dozen for the coaches' booths.

Bear's QB Jay Cutler
Drop and give me 20, Cutler.  That was a whole heap of stupid.

Cutler's comments are the latest on what's been a rough start to the promotion. Microsoft has even begun coaching NFL announcers about the Surface so that these mistakes don't keep recurring. Nevertheless, it's obviously an uphill battle.