Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The University of Oregon football team will return to prominence

If I told you that I could take the University of Oregon and their football team’s image from complete THUGS and turn them into perfect little angels who hoist a BCS championship trophy above their heads with green and yellow confetti floating everywhere in under a year, is that something you might be interested in? I’m sure it would violate NCAA rules to actually sell that script to Hollywood, but it still won’t stop ESPN from creating a movie that will be replayed 692 times on all five of their networks. If this were USC, they could sell the script to Hollywood since half those guys are paid to play!

It is without question that the University of Oregon and their football team is in crisis mode after numerous off field troubles. The latest victim, Jamere Holland, just found out that social media (facebook) can cost you an opportunity to receive a D-1 scholarship to play football, and obtain a degree for the University of Oregon. We can go ahead and throw a $50,000 price tag on the education, and possibly millions more are swirling down the drain in potential NFL contracts if he doesn’t find his way back to the field soon. Word to the wise: don't be idiots, go check your privacy settings on all your social networking sites.

These kids are out of control. I would call them adults, but due to their inability to act like adults, I think we should stick with referring to them as kids for now. The university needs to take action to preserve, and restore the integrity of the institution, athletic department, and football program. Don’t worry Duck fans, I have everything figured out! The answer lies in the spring 2010 academic calendar. This proposal will apply to all collegiate athletes at the University of Oregon; NOT just the football players. This plan will turn the ducks back into the primadonnas that we are.

During the athlete’s non-competitive season, they will be required to register for at least one credit of independent study requiring them to spend 30 hours volunteering somewhere within the Eugene/Springfield area during that particular quarter. You hold a press conference with UO President Richard Lariviere, Athletic Director Mike Bellotti, and Head Football Coach Chip Kelly. Kelly will be the one to take the proposal to Bellotti for approval. This program allows student athletes to give back to the community, and to those who are less fortunate. I see this as a mentoring program for youth that will help build relationships, and will help restore the brand image of what the university stands for. The personal growth and development of these student athletes will experience working with troubled youth, is something that cannot be learned on the athletic fields or courts. This is a perfect opportunity to develop a partnership with Serbu Youth Detention Facility for troubled youth in the community. This facility resides directly across the street from Autzen Stadium, and I think it’s time to start seeing the potential for a relationship between the detention center and the university athletic department.

Phil Knight believes that there is no such thing as bad press, and a lot of people will disagree with that statement. What people fail to understand is that the negative publicity allows for an opportunity to evaluate the situation, address it to the media, and then take the necessary steps to correct those problems. Once you have taken those corrective steps, you then invite the media back to showcase the university’s progress, and use it as a platform to promote the new program. Once graduation rates increase due to the implementation of Coach Kelly’s program, other institutions will follow and adopt something similar.

This will also ensure John Canzano’s absence from Oregon, as he has never written anything positive about the institution. I’m guessing Canzano failed to get in to the school of journalism at Oregon, and had to settle for a degree from Douche- Bag-U…Quack Quack, Go Ducks!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tiger Woods, Live on NBC?!

It seems very ironic to me that Tiger Woods’ so called “Press conference” was aired on NBC when both brands are facing major image problems as of late. They are both digging their own graves as I have mentioned in previous postings. I’m very surprised that NBC aired Tiger’s “press conference” live, without tape-delaying it until the 8pm primetime slot. I’m sure the intention was there, but the communication broke down somewhere in the chain.

After watching Tiger face family, friends and a carefully selected group of people to fill the remainder of the room, this wasn’t a press conference, but rather a well scripted, well rehearsed statement by Woods and his public relations staff. In my opinion he fell flat on his face with the deliverance of the speech. I don’t think anyone is surprised by the message or the content Woods discussed, but spitting out the rehearsed lines like a freshman in high school, irritated me. There are multiple things Tiger could have done differently in trying to regain the faith of the American public.

First of all, sitting down would have made the “press conference” more relaxed and would have had a more intimate feeling, while standing is letting the people know who has the podium and basically says, “All eyes on me” which is the exact opposite of what Tiger wanted to achieve. I will give him props for forgoing the tie at Friday’s affair (pun intended). Losing the tie, making this a business casual appearance, makes him appear soft,where as a tie makes him look a little stiff (again, pun intended).

Second of all, Tiger spent two years at Stanford University, which is one of the top rated academic institutions year in and year out. He has been exposed to the camera since he was child, making appearances on shows like, The Price is Right. He has always been cordial with reporters after a round of golf (not so much during) but he has always portrayed himself as an educated man who speaks very articulately; at least until today. The tone in which he delivered his speech reminded me of the speech class I was forced to take as a freshman…a freshman in High School. It was absolutely atrocious to sit there and watch him stumble over his words, and know that these were strategically placed stumbles to give the impression as if it were “off the cuff, and from the heart.”

I am personally more willing to forgive someone who seems like they are delivering a heart-felt message instead of Tiger’s approach which was to sound illiterate, young, and act like he didn’t know any better. He sounded as though he was still a virgin in front of the camera, and he seemed bothered that this was broadcast nationally on live television. As far as the connotation of the word virgin, we’ll just have to let that story develop…

Luckily for Tiger, he didn’t have to impress me; he was after media personalities, and sports journalists from reputable publications. Moments after Tiger concluded his speech, Bob Costas of NBC was weighing in on the subject matter. His “Professional opinion” was that Tiger’s overall message was “Heart-felt and genuine.” From a public relations perspective, hearing Bob Costas speak so highly of Tiger’s speech, was music to their ears. Mission accomplished! It is not Tiger’s responsibility to convince us that we need to provide him with a second chance. The media personalities, journalists, and sports talk radio hosts will attempt to convince us to put this entire saga behind us and move on.

With all that being said, I just pray that John Canzano does not share the same opinion as I do, as I would hate to give that man any sort of journalistic credibility…

Tiger Woods Latest Statement

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Where does Tiger Woods’ allegiance lie?

Tiger’s Image has taken some pretty brutal punches from the media which is expected, but I did not expect his fans to react the way they did. Tiger is one helluva golfer, but that image of him fist pumping (not to be confused with the type seen on MTV) on the 18th at Augusta National to win another major championship has been lost in his inability to “keep a wrinkle in it” (Quote courtesy of Mrs. Murray). I’m not condoning the behavior by any means, but Tiger only needs to answer questions and face scrutiny from his family and friends. He has absolutely zero obligations to answer questions and take the criticism from his fans.

We all became fans and fell in love with Tiger Woods because of his ability to punish a golf ball off the tee, his precision ball striking ability with his irons, and his ability to stand up to Nike by telling them that they make inferior putters. Tiger’s, Scotty Cameron putter made by Titleist®, and his black Ping® grip is a staple on the PGA Tour, and his faithfulness to that putter has never been in question. Sure, he has shopped around for something better, but always comes back to the best putter in the game. We should not be surprised by his behavior, as he couldn’t even commit to Stanford for four years; he left just after two years.

We were never allowed into Tiger’s life beyond what we saw between the tee box and the green, and it should stay that way. The only time Tiger would need to answer to his fans, is if/when he gets caught taking performance enhancing drugs. Disobeying our trust on the golf course is definite grounds for termination, but committing adultery is for him and his family to judge, not his fans.

The brand that has become Tiger Woods will never be the same, but he can take certain steps to rebuild his empire. In 1993 Charles Barkley came out and expressed that Athletes should not be considered role models. Soon after the statement, Nike released a commercial starring Barkley which helped save his image. He ends the commercial by saying, “Just because I dunk a basketball, doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”

Since Nike is remaining loyal to Tiger, they should recreate this commercial and air it during his first tournament back to competition. They need to end the commercial by focusing on Tiger’s career. “Just because I am a two-time U.S. Amateur champion, and have 71 PGA Tour victories, 14 of which are Major Championships, and currently rank #1 in the world, does not make me a role model. What makes me a role model is my dedication to the youth, and helping millions of kids realize their true potential through the Tiger Woods Foundation. I am pleased to announce that all winnings I receive in 2010 will go to helping the youth of tomorrow make their career dreams come true...that is, after Elin takes her 40% of course.”

Who wouldn’t support a guy who splits his paycheck between his charity and his wife?

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 classic “The Scarlet Letter” and the main character Hester Prynne, can relate to what Tiger is going through. Although Tiger hasn’t fathered any bastard children that we know of, he certainly has faced public scrutiny for committing adultery. Tiger will never have a to wear a giant scarlet “A” on his chest, but he will be constantly reminded by his family of the acts of infidelity, just like Hester Prynne had Pearl to remind her of her adulteress behavior.

Charles Barkley: I Am Not a Role Model” Nike Commercial.

Monday, February 15, 2010

NBC and William Faulkner: More Similar Than You Think

The 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver B.C. needs a reenactment of the 1980 Miracle on Ice, or it will go down as one of the most tragic Winter Olympic Games in the modern era. Nobody needs that miracle to occur more than NBC who has the exclusive broadcasting rights to the games. NBC has been in the news for all the wrong reasons as of late, and that will continue for the next two weeks and well into the spring. They are slowly digging their own grave.

NBC and El Nino are ruining the 2010 Winter Olympics. (Lets be honest for a second, we watch the winter games because they are only on every four years.) The weather is a well known and over broadcasted problem, but NBC is making an absolute joke out of the situation. All their correspondents are dressed in their 700 goose down jackets paired with their beanie and Gore-Tex® snow gloves, and for what reason? (Rhetorical questions are used to achieve a greater expressive force, and not to illicit feedback.)

NBC producers are making their correspondents wear all this attire to emulate to everyone watching at home that it is in fact freezing cold in Vancouver, British Columbia. The truth is that it’s 55 and sunny up there, with an occasional rain shower. Send them out there in a windbreaker, and save the down jackets for the 2014 games in Russia. I can live with the framing of the picture, and the heavily edited programming we get to see on tape delay, but I cannot live with the advertising for NBC’s programming following the Olympics.

NBC has been digging their grave for quite some time now, reminding me of William Faulkner’s classic, As I Lay Dying, when Cash is preparing Addie’s coffin right in front of her window. I have learned through the advertisements that I will NOT be watching NBC once the torch has been extinguished on the 28th. This will be a symbolic moment as it will represent NBC turning out the lights on their giant conglomerate. They took the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and turned into the Nothing But Compost Corporation. (I now understand why The University of Notre Dame football games air on this network!)

Here’s what NBC has in store for us after the games; don’t get too excited.

1. Celebrity Apprentice-Starring Donald Trump. Will Donald Trump and Jeffery Zucker file for bankruptcy together? (It’s another rhetorical question; we all know the answer is YES!)

2. The Marriage Ref- In a country that has the highest divorce rate in the world, NBC brings in celebrities to dissect and help decide who is correct in real-life disputes between spouses. Hollywood doesn’t have a high divorce rate or anything does it? (You should recognize this as a rhetorical question by now.)

3. Who Do You Think You Are? (Usually a rhetorical question, but the title of a soon-to-fail program)- All I can say is think X-files meets E! True Hollywood Story…No Thanks!

4. Parenthood- See ABC and Supper Nanny (already been done. Thanks for playing!)

President and CEO Jeffery Zucker, is digging NBC’s grave for everyone to see, just as Cash was digging Addie’s grave in front of her window in Faulkner’s classic. As February 28th draws closer, the Nothing But Compost Corporation will slowly pluck the peacock’s feathers one color at a time, resembling the slow and miserable death of a once dominate conglomerate. (Now that's programming worth tunning in for!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

In the English language, there is a term known as an equivoque. M. H. Abrams’ book titled, A Glossary of Literary Terms is commonly known to your college English major as his or her Bible; we refer to it constantly, even after we graduate. Abrams defines an equivoque as being, a special type of pun or a homonym, that changes a single word or phrase to give it two disparate meanings, making them equally relevant in context.

With that being said, let me formally introduce you to my equivoque; “The Loose Canon.” This stems from my failure to filter the words that flow freely from my mouth, and also my familiarity with the English Literary Canon…your lesson on alliteration, and the proper use of an ellipsis will come at a later date.

This blog is an outlet, a place for me to tell you what I really think, while conveying to everyone out there that an English degree doesn’t have to equate to teaching High School English.