Marketing, Media, Politics, Sports

We’ll Never Hear About Those Balls

Ball Pressure


January 18, 2015 the Indianapolis Colts had their hats handed to them by the over-ripe New England Patriots. Moments later the incredible tale of the deflated game balls levitated the media for two weeks until the Super Bowl eve.


“Quickly Roger! The game is afoot!”

By then, suspicions were suspended long enough for the NFL to crown Tom Brady, dispense Rings, get Bill  Belichick a new hoody, rush Roger Goodell back to his limo, hustle Katy Perry and her Sharks back into her bus, pack Lenny Cravitz into his box, and to astutely hire Ted Wells, locker room attorney, to chase down every possible lead to get to the bottom of this horrifyingly regrettable schmozzle, and effectively bring a calm rational end to the controversy that has rocked the very foundations of the NFL.

In other words, kill it.

Mr. Wells however has been diligent, and we have been able to get an inside look at his case book.  Dates are omitted, but you can follow the subject line pretty well:

Iron Ball

Volume X Temperature = Pressure

~ Pigskin or Naugahyde? ….  Steer hide!   Who knew?

~ Cage free steers… more relaxed?

~ Check laces.  Proper bow?

~ Left handed or right handed balls?


~ “Let it Go”… Roger singing this…why?

~ Bratwurst steamer in locker room.  Why?

Aaron Rodgers

“I had trouble getting these in so I bled them off a bit…”

~ BP station in Glendale.  Check pumps.

~ Gluten free steers… more relaxed?

~ State Farm “Pump You Up” commercial.  Code?   What’s with Aaron Rodgers?

~ Belichick… Ideal Gas Law??  Physics degree??

~ Mythbusters test lab– put in call 

~ Mental state of footballs?

~ Presidential PAC for Roger.   Too much?

Mythbuster Lab

“Yunno what we need to try next?”

~ Get plane tickets, sunscreen

~ Set up out-of-office voice mail

~ Empty shredder

   The report may come out soon, but it will be as light as the victimized footballs.   The next time we hear about the infamous footballs will be on Cold Case, or on Discovery Channel’s expose on Stonehenge.  Stay tuned!




Media, Politics, Sports

Complicated Is Right


Will Estes and Tom Selleck tackle a dilemma.

Our favorite TV police commissioner is Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck, Blue Bloods, CBS) who presents at least one pithy moral judgement at the Reagan family dinner table on Sundays.   Lately, he said: “Doing the right thing may be hard, but it’s not complicated.”

So it probably was hard, and not complicated for NBC to say ‘anchors away’ to Brian Williams, who will go without work or pay for 6 months.

As a loyal fan of the NBC News show, I will miss Mr. Williams, but at the same time, the quick action of his management will save his reputation for another day.   (It begs the question, when he returns in August, will he have a weathered tan, beard and shaggy hair, shod in Birkenstocks?)

This week the American audience had another cold shower when the International Little League stripped the Jackie Robinson West baseball team of their 2014 U.S. Championship title.

The flames haven’t quite burnt out in this issue, as a legal suit is now underway against the League contesting the decision.   But there might be kudos for the individual or group who made the vacating decision.   We’ll wait to see.

In these two instances however, one must respect the gumption of the decision makers, to essentially throw away the enormous investment of public goodwill and the positive momentum directed at both Williams and the Little Leaguers during their respective arcs.

The Jackie Robinson West team, reputedly disadvantaged Chicago south siders, practiced and played their way to the top of the heap, a great story.   Brian Williams, hardly disadvantaged, but still trusted and loved as America’s #1 rated news anchor… could he just be a celebrity entertainer after all?

These are huge disappointments.   But due to some tough decisions, the integrity of the Little League, and of the NBC News can be preserved.   There won’t be any nagging thoughts and “yeah-buts” in the future.

Which raises another troubling question: what about those deflated footballs?

Is it possible that the NFL will escape the painful compression point of making a decision some day?   Does the investigation, effectively in place since January 22, continue long enough that the public loses interest as MLB Spring Training hovers on the horizon?

It must be tough in NFL headquarters, especially when the public saw one of the best games ever, with impossible catches, Tom Brady with his 4th Super Bowl ring, Katy Perry and her sharks, and the incomprehensible Lenny Kravitz dazzling us at half time.

Against that euphoric background, and pumped up with countless $4.5 million ad spots, it will be very, very hard for the NFL to stick a pin in the balloon if the investigation turns up any factual details of malfeasance.

In the mean time, we’ll coast through to the next Super Bowl, but always with a nagging thought, a “yeah-but” on our conscience.

Which brings me back to another observation that Frank Reagan tells his family a week later at the table: “Doing the right thing is easy.   Deciding  what is right is hard.”


Just my point of view obviously, but tell me if you have another perspective I didn’t consider.  Thanks for reading!


Hands Up!

Does praying really work?   I am guessing it does, because any footballer whoever crossed a goal line knows that next to putting both feet on the ground, it’s getting an elbow down on bended knee fast that is just good sense.    Especially if your contract is up this season.


“…for three more years on my contract, a product endorsement, and don’t boot my car out front…”


It seems that NFL’s Sunday, Monday and Thursday football games ensure that at least three days out of the week, someone is getting to church, sort of.

My question is, should one pray before making the play?   Or only after?   Is a touchdown the minimum requirement for a prayer?   What if one flubs an end zone pass?   Especially in the fourth quarter? Should one whisper a plea for a second chance?  Maybe admit they did not really close their eyes during opening team prayers earlier on?  Personally, I would pray for protection from getting pureed by a highly motivated gang of college-educated, beef-fed, millionaire road pavers.

Of course, the truly devout are curlers.   I witnessed this when I watched an intense match on the ice earlier this weekend while viewing sports TV in a Canadian pub.  On one screen we had football: men in colorful helmets and tight pants;  on another: extreme surfing.   Yet another there was cage fighting, and on the fourth screen, curling.


As in football, the runner is not down until the knee touches.


Without fail, on every shot, the curler would get down on one knee immediately and stay long enough to string together a pitch for charity, world peace, an end to the chicken dance, and for their rock to land on the button at the other end of the rink.

You may think my bar-mates were also praying that they would not to die before they woke at the end of the game, but you would be mistaken.    Despite touchdown passes hurtling through the air, sharks tearing into surfboards, fighter bits oozing through the grills of their cage, all eyes were wide open, riveted solely on the curlers madly swiffing the ice in front of a rock rumbling  down to its target at about 4 miles per hour.


A devout congregation.


This past summer the whole issue had come to a head at the NFL where rules are to flag any “excessive” celebration that might taunt an opponent to explode into a melted pool of plastic.

So in practice, it turns out that one-knee prayers are okay, but two-knee prayers are excessive.   Hence the curlers slip in under this definition.


“Chris, we’re just in warm up.”


It is also worthy of note that curling is a game built on contemplation.   In addition to allowing the near glacial speed of the stone, the curlers themselves have up to four minutes to “think” about their shot… which I suspect is separate from praying.


“You notice they never have blue ones?”


This is all well and good that comparisons between the two sports reveal their differences but we would never expect to cross-pollinate the two.

After all, football doesn’t use brooms, and curlers don’t spike the stone.