Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Respect in all Seasons

R.I.P. 1933-2006
A Showman to the end, a true legend, entertainer and International icon. We salute you James and you'll be greatly missed.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Just a few months in and the new ball is toast...complaints from prominent players have David Stern replacing the new with the old by Jan 1st. I wonder how sales have been going for the new in game tool, I haven't personally heard of any amateurs giving it rave reviews. Hard to sale when you're star players are degrading the product, I'm sure whomever invested in the company hoped they had covered that bet with a short some where else.

I guess you can't force all changes in the name of progress...especially when the Player's Association has a grievance in motion.

Speaking of rolling in the NBA, A.I. is looking for a new home. Frustrated with the losing and continually re-tooled roster, the 76ers have stated they will be honoring Iverson's request for a trade. Once one of the top brands in the League, the likes of 'Melo, LeBron and D. Wade have now come in and taken center court. Iverson hopes to reinvigorate a team for a playoff run, having achieved pretty much every individual award and criticism.

Checked out Ali Rap this past weekend. No doubt a cultural icon, the program straight put a security gate around the rock solid foundation. Ali's impact on our social, political and athletic conscious has yet to be matched though efforts by Pele', Lance Armstrong, Arthur Ashe and others have been very noble. Ali was and is-the man. Not because he entertained us, but because he can never do another thing and he would still be. This as been fact for the last 15 years. Sharing Ali's story through modern day griots such as Rakim to Bob Costas, we see the man, the myth, the legend.

We're out here, food for thought

Friday, November 03, 2006

Take a Break

Please excuse the tardiness of the posting…I needed a reprieve and just got back from vacation.

After changing the only piece of office equipment it has by introducing a new basketball this season, the NBA has added additional rules to uniform requirements on the court. David Stern said he’s not in favor of “…being a detention monitor,” but uniformity has been sacrificed and protecting the brand has been at the top of the Leagues’ list lately.

From the ball, to mandatory business attire, to now banning the arm bands worn on, arms? Apparently the wristbands have no function on a bicep and headbands wider than 2 inches are a problem. And let’s not forget the tights, popularized last season after Kobe Bryant began wearing them, these new rules are providing the NBA with a way to make sure marketing dollars aren’t flowing past them and straight to players. With retro uniforms added as “4th color” options in the first part of 2000, we saw players accessorizing their game day look for a personalized touch. Players are now starting to feel a bit like the employees they are, though contracted and the NBA is only protecting it’s investment by leveraging the strength of its recent work to build an international brand.

New site to watch, Crackspace.com will at least garner attention with the name.

How about Nike taking over SportsCenter? The positioning that Nike already has established makes me wonder if over at the Swoosh they’re really gearing to protect their current market share since the Reebok acquisition by Adidas.

That’s it for now…gotta recover from the vacation.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Raising A Brand

With both Diddy (Sean Combs) and Jay-Z (Sean Carter) prepping for their respective albums set to drop in the last quarter of the year, as established entrepreneurs and hip-hop icons, one has to wonder what is left to prove in this arena.

Diddy has a thriving clothing line (www.seanjohn.com) and saw his group Danity Kane hit #1 on the charts with minimal promotion, no established track record and just that old Diddy drive, but what else is there? He recently announced he will again be a father, this time of twin girls.

Jay took over Def Jam, but still found his way to the booth regularly for guest appearances on tracks in between signing new artists and transitioning from a business man, to a business man. Currently he's on a 2 month international tour while working with the U.N.

What both have in common, besides the same first name is they have truly been able to brand themselves far beyond the hip-hop hustlers they first needed to be early on. The commercial success they both share has not diluted their credibility with most fans however, the early steps they have laid out are now a blueprint for many who wish to follow their path. The need to embrace the streets is still very relevant, but with the loss of a close friend to both of them (Notorious B.I.G. aka Christopher Wallace) and an adversary (Tupac Shakur), the focus soon turned to business and establishing an empire.

Just last week while traveling Carter learned that a single from his upcoming album Kingdom Come had been leaked and immediately released another song. Without a press release, or a single interview Carter did make a statement however, and fans have responded favorably.

Combs announced this week a partnership with Burger King to create a co-branded YouTube channel (http://youtube.com/diddytv) to allow advertisers the opportunity to thread their messages into the emerging technologies that are so quickly changing the media consumption habits of consumers.

While just ten years ago companies were reluctant to associate with entertainers who happen to rap, marketers are now running towards them with open arms and check books. With the ability to drop a product mention into any song and immediately create brand affinity, repeat purchases and credibility, the ROI often is large enough to create a working synergy.

Though both have had run-ins with the all too controversial NYPD, it hasn't diminished the returns and I believe we'll see Sean (Carter & Combs) working to continually define the sphere of business and marketing while calling the shots.

Keep it irregular-

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

T. O. (no...time-out)

Ok, so I had been exercising a vow of silence on any issue regarding T.O.-until today. Unfortunately with reports of an attempted negative prescription reaction/suicide I decided to step in. Terrell Owens thought controversial and a non-conformist is most likely not going to be missing any playing time.

He has rebutted any reports of a suicide and most likely will be playing on October 8, when he matches up against the Philadelphia Eagles. T. O. has over $15 million still to go for in his contract, though I don't gamble, I'd wager he is more focused on cashing those checks he worked so hard to get than ending his life. If we recall, part of the controversy surrounding Owens over the last 18-months came from him wanting to re-negotiate his contract and being denied. With currently only one major sponsorship (Team Jordan apparel) there aren't currently multiple streams of income available for him.

Cutting it off now doesn't seem to be something he'd do; second, he's always maintained excellent physical condition and is known as a health fanatic, so the mix of medicine and natural vitamins isn't that far removed. Whatever the case, suicide attempt or not, the story does nothing positive for him or the Cowboys. The team is valued at over $500 million according to Forbes, they're building a brand new stadium and they just fell 1.5 in the SuperBowl running with bookies all these pieces of information suggest that money is talking, not the blown out of proportion reports and speculation.

If we need something to blow out of proportion, let's talk about that cat Aaron McGruder. You mean the one who took some of the most talked about and/or ignored issues in the Black community, gave them some breath, a platform and open conversation? Yeah-that guy. It's been reported that his notoriously conscious and heartfelt comic strip The Boondocks won't be coming back.

"Although Aaron McGruder has made no statement about retiring or resuming The Boondocks for print newspapers . . . newspapers should not count on it coming back in the foreseeable future," Universal's president, Lee Salem, said in the release. "Numerous attempts . . . to pin McGruder down on a date that the strip would be coming back were unsuccessful."

The parallels to another black man with comedic skills have already began to filter. Makes you wonder, what gives? Black people getting paid, given creative control to say anything are still finding something to be upset about? How dare them! Right...? Well apparently not, if there are events taking place we are not informed of, something is still pushing the envelope too far. McGruder still has the TV show on Cartoon Network, a movie to get done and innovation, there will be other avenues to develop the franchise.

I just hope he makes it back after his re-charge with the something to recapture the attention of his devoted following. We need to remember that artist are free to bend the rules, change direction at the drop of a hat. If Andre' 3000 doesn't want to rap anymore and act-fine. Dave Chappell feels people are getting fake around him-cool. Barry Sanders decides he's going to walk away a mere season or two away from...ok, ok we got a bit carried away. The point is, as each one develops their own image and self-image, it's their brand, and though we support, consume or observe it, it's not our choice that dictates their decisions.

Time in-

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Hustle

You ever wonder how there are so many variations of this enticing, rhythmic interpretation of music? Everyone in there own little world, but still moving in the same direction, well most everyone, there is usually a couple of folks off beat.

I watched an episode of Flavor of Love last night, yeah, so? Anyways, I had to marvel at the turn around Flava' Flav has been able to recreate. After the heyday he had with Public Enemy, Flav took a couple of wrong turns and was only seen sporadically during Hip Hop history events. Since then, he's become King of reality television. The premiere of the second season saw VH1 post the best numbers for a show in the history of the network.

Flav' needs to be trademarking some of these catch phrases ("luckiest man in America" "Yeah Boy!"). His job description is currently something like, be surrounded by beautiful women, travel to fun, exotic places and do it all while having fun and looking for a companion.

Some say the show is crude, others say it's just a hoax, whatever it is, it's working. The show will undoubtedly be picked up for a third season, but there needs to be a branch at some point. There has been the post-show reunion and of course the DVD should be a great stocking stuffer.

Flav' needs to make sure he's got a solid transition after the public tires of him, something to capitalize on his recent marketing coup and an opportunity to expand upon a solid idea.

Monday Night Football back in New Orleans, should be a show. The Saints are looking to be the feel good story of the week; Dome is back up, fans have sold out the arena, many parallels and analogies will be used. I'm wondering however, who bought all the tickets? With area residents still recovering and trying to maximize funds, I hope there was some sort of voucher or ticket amnesty section. The NFL did an excellent job last year raising money for relief, I can only imagine part of the proceeds will go to areas affected by storms and flooding.

Though some players are just happy to be playing again in the NO, others are just trying to get in for two years for a lifetime pension. They're not trying to stay in the League, they just trying to secure a stream of income and move on. I feel you, preserve the body and keep the investment of a well maintained body.

Everybody do the hustle now...

Drop the next song-

Monday, September 11, 2006

It's that time...

The season has kicks off and we are now into the marketing machine known as the National Football League. With Monday Night Football being broadcast on ESPN, off season trades ready to explode and players coming back from injuries-we've entered the frenzy period. Fantasy season is in full swing, so those companies vying for the attention of males 18-35 have spent millions of dollars to hawk their products and push their services. With services like this one http://mobile.espn.go.com/espnfantasyfootball/

you will be able to constantly keep track of breaking news and satisfy your addiction to the life and times of players on "your" team. It's good to see a League that puts the money where it's mouth is. Analyzing the situation, we I can draw no other season that generates as much capital at the beginning and end of it's season, concluding with the SuperBowl. NASCAR may get there one day, however, it still has to develop a more crossover appeal to the minority segment. It has already achieved one major victory, going from perceived country boy sport to the upper echelon of Corporate business.

Gotta give a big ups! One time for the Flint-town MVP of the World Champion Detroit Shock, Deanna Nolan.

Finally, we kept it short as a way to exercise the moment of silence for the tragic events that took place this day five short years ago. No matter, race, creed, religion, political belief-acknowledge the affect and be still for a few.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Game Time!

What's going on? How come this thing isn't being blown out? Here we are strongly entrenched in the game, but the ROI is depreciating returns. What am I talking about you ask?

The WNBA Finals-that's right. The "we got game" crew, who is celebrating it's 10th anniversary this year. Tomorrow at 7 p.m. the first game tips off with the Detroit Shock taking on the Sacramento Monarchs in Aurburn Hills, MI.

I want us to flash back to 1996, if you were anywhere in the U.S. and paying some kind of attention to the Olympic games being played that year down in Atlanta, GA you might be able to follow me: Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, Dawn Staley, Ruthie Bolton, Rebecca Lobo, Nikki McCray, Catrina McClain, Katy Steading, Teresa Edwards, Jennifer Azzi, Venus Lacy and Carla McGhee. They had a SQUAD! Do you hear me!? If you are a true hoops fan, then you will never be deterred by league or sex, you'd never allow yourself to be pigeon holed into some small frame work for fulfilling your craving for true athletes playing the game.

Since then, not much has changed, there has been expansion and some re-shuffling, but for the most part attention has waned. Marketing efforts have allowed the game to expand from LifeTime network to ESPN and local cable programming. The proliferation of European athletes is one similarity which the WNBA takes from the big brother, but translating this into an appealing opportunity to gain access into primetime broadcasting spots has proved difficult.

The 5 game series is unfortunately sandwiched between Tiger Woods recently capturing his 12th career major, college football and NFL fantasy drafts. Hopefully, the eventual Champion will get the recognition they deserve, grace that Wheaties box and maybe even one day everyone else will hear them when they say, "we got game".

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Business as Usual-

Where ya’ at Nelly!? I think if Bryant Gumbel is anywhere near you, he’s probably saying it’s “Gettin’ Hot In Herre!” After some major controversial statements about NFLPA head Gene Upshaw being the “personal pet” of outgoing Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Gumbel will need to wait for word on his future as the new play-by-play man for the NFL network. If anything, Gumbel must be looking for some sort of change to occur in what is by far America’s number one sport-whether it’s a change in the front office or a change in his job is the question.

Gumble who has over the years become a very respected journalist by some and the host of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel where he dropped his thoughts during his August 15 show. I’m constantly amazed how journalists though surrounded by athletes, owners and teams day in and day out, seem to sometimes feel like they too are athletes or really understand the situation. Covering the life is one thing, living it is another and for any human being to make that stretch is totally unfair, yet we do it with sports each and everyday.

The sad thing is the NFL just received accolades on it’s diversity issues and here are two African-Americans unfortunately re-affirming the crabs in a bucket mentality. Everyone is in a position for professional and personal gain, but the lure of a billion dollar sport has squeezed out a bit of controversy and the season hasn’t even officially begun. Upshaw has been unable to be reached for comment since he’s on vacation and will soon have to deal with essentially a non-football issue upon his return.

Also interesting to note is what will be the affect of the NFL broadcasting eight games on the NFL network this season. Will the translation equate bigger bucks from advertisers and subscribers? Depends if the taste most fans get at sports bars leaves them hungry for more , but if successful look for more games to be added with at least one high profile match up being moved there. This type of branding allows the League more control of content and distribution, similar to the NBA TV set up by the NBA.

This weekend Idlewild opens in theatres starring the duo of OutKast; set against a 1930’s backdrop, this musical has received mixed reviews from media outlets such as vibe.com and The New York Times. On Monday the box office will offer it’s opinion, though I do know that over the years OutKast has been able to mix both hip-hop and rap to blend a perfect concoction of hits, money making and uniquely infused sounds that appeal internationally. We’ll see what happens since this project has been highly anticipated by fans and they’ve seen the timeline continually pushed back by the director/writer, Bryan Barber and the stars, Andre’ 3000 and Big Boi.

I’m out, but shouts out to J Dilla-R.I.P.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cross Training

Looking to score more points with fans, and by creating fewer turnovers Stephon Marbury is sure to be an All-Start this season. However, those improvements will be seen mainly off the court and at your local spot for kicks. Steph has signed on with privately held Steve & Barry’s to push his own pair of kicks retailing at $15. This concept while admirable has been executed in the past without sustainable successful returns. If it resonates with shorties doing that all too critical and important school shopping will be closely monitored.

We’re in a day and age where BAPES for three hundred and jeans for five-hun are nothing to bat an eye at in high school or college, so why go for the cheap kicks? Shaq currently has had a shoe for the last few years and back in the 90’s C. Webb left Nike to do the same thing. While it gives parents something to cheer about, it hasn’t blown up as much as many would have thought or hoped.

Why? Possibly we need more athletes doing the same. If Kobe, LeBron and Melo all joined in, we might see a dent in market share of the major athletic lines. It’s in the marketing, but also who’s doing the marketing and the perception that’s going to decide how well it works. If that happened, the major Leagues might take offense since these same companies shell out millions of dollars to be the “Official” sponsors or Licensed Athletic apparel supplier. For now the act is admirable and the results have yet to be seen.

Round of applause for the NFL, the “Rooney Rule” which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate when there is a head coaching vacancy has produced an opening season with seven black head coaches-a new record. Richard Lapchick, author of numerous diversity studies and Director of the Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central reported that though the NFL has improved it’s efforts to recruit individuals from diverse backgrounds, the NFL and other pro sports with the exception of basketball continue to lag in hiring women. Wonder what Jimmy ‘The Greek’ Snyder would have to say on this.

I have a feeling that as the demographics of fans continue evolve we will see the front offices change with them, which in the long run will serve both leagues and fans. I find it odd however that major sporting organizations have been so late to the game, when many Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, Chemtura, and McDonald’s, among others have had phenomenal success within their respective leadership positions. The lessons though late and millions of dollars later have begun to seep into the reasoning of owners and their constituents. Being a professor of a Division I institution, I’m sure Lapchick would agree that the NCAA would be well served to also learn from this.

Coming up on the one year mark of the devestation of Hurrican Katrina, actor, director and philanthropists Spike Lee has a documentary airing on HBO beginning this month. "When the Levees Broke" will serve as a living testament for the things that media and journalists were not able to report on, but will focus on those affected being our guide and exclusive reporter. Lee, known for such films as
Malcolm X, She Hate Me & Inside Man will undoubtedly never be paralleled for the historic films he's been involved in.

We'll continue with the lessons later-


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Heat Wave

Let's get right into since I've been moving and taking care of biz the last couple of weeks. The heat's been left on...

We come out the blocks focused squarely on Justin Gatlin. The man we've been waiting to join hands with Asafa Powell and run into a new 100m record last month instead found himself running into questions. Questions about a positive test for testosterone or "related" substances has Gatlin running faster than ever-for cover and answers. As of now he's implicating a massage therapist he's worked before, this is not Gatlin's first failed test, which makes it possible he could be banned from the Track & Field for life.

Should that happen, Gatlin would lose his true source of income to support himself. He already was having a phenomenal year, tying the previous 100m World Record, which translated into new endorsements, higher appearance fees and more face time and coverage of his every step. How this unfortunate turn of events plays out will have huge financial implications for him. With the Olympics just two years away Justin Gatlin's name was already beginning to work it's way into the hearts and minds of the American public; now it's there where it will cost him much more than he could have gained.

The sport of Track & Field in America was building itself back up as a clean and successful program, and no matter what the cause of this year's scandal, it hurts everyone, the coaches, officials, governing body, athletes, but most importantly, the fans. With only baseball and golf keeping many excited right now, this hurts us all.

Floyd Landis, do I even need to go into the scenario? Read the above two paragraphs, substitute the Tour de France in Cycling and we're done.


A party hosted by businessman and entertainer Jermaine Dupri ended with three guests being shot and hospitalized this past Sunday. After party at the Emergency Room, nope not cool. Thankfully the person having the event is not being singled out as in the past the media would have done, instead let's focus on the victims and getting the shooter taken care of. Apparently the violence began after an attempted robber tried to snatch another man's chain. What's that song? Welcome to Atlanta

Either way JD has been bangin' hits since the first time we heard from him and he's still doing it, as of late with his wifey Janet, Mariah, and I hear he's also recently met with D'Angelo. Please make that one happen and continue to show everyone, Money Ain't A Thang.

I'll be back-

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Can ya' dig?


If you've been watching the so called, "Lost Episodes" of Dave Chappelle, you might be having that same response on recent Sunday nights. There must be a reason Dave felt that these were not supposed to make the cut. Granted there are insights and some poignant sketches, don't we at times feel a track by Tupac, Biggie or Luther wasn't supposed to drop? Like if it's not being personally introduced by that person it's not the real product? Just because someone is gone doesn't mean it deserves to be circulated for the consumption of the public.

Sometimes we don't know when to say when and in this case we've gotten a little too drunk on our laughter and good times. The pressures to keep capital flowing, to provide those same impressions to advertisers who ponied up the funds when they were looking at Nielsen ratings is tough. Some how I don't think it's as tough as having to watch editing room floor clippings.

No matter what, those first two seasons are classics in comedy history; watching Comedy Central Execs handle the situation has been a classic too. Unfortunately we've been denied the privilege of seeing a sketch on that one.

Give it up for India.Arie, #1 Album in the country. Check that joint out if you've been sleeping...not her first project, but she keeps improving each and every time. Good to see more conscious artists getting their just due and accolades. Just a couple a years ago, the King website being hacked might have gotten more press than Ms. Arie, hopefully we continue to support our beautiful and talented people.

This years BET Award's garnered he historic honor of being the largest cable telecast ever viewed by Black households, I mean they even got me to tune in for the second viewing after word of mouth pulled me in. While I have not agreed with a great deal with the programming and genderfication of our Black women in recent years, I must say the balance of old and new, grace with innovation was a pleasant mirror of the African-American contributions in entertainment.

My dream is that the channel continues in ascension into unparalleled dominance, I believe it can happen. One recent step in that direction was the unfortunate death of the late night classic, "Uncut". If we can replace that with some dynamic news programming, we might have a hit.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Smile ;)

It was reported this week Vibe Magazine (www.vibe.com) was sold to Keith Glen Media, the company behind Black Book. Vibe burst onto the Hip-hop and fashion seen in the early 90's is a literary icon for many of Urban professionals under 35. The media jacket features the news stand publication, a website and launched a weekly television program on cable networks. Len Burnett, vice president and group publishe will remain at his current position.

Vibe will now most likely look to transition to centralize itself within other media avenues as advertising dollars have begun
to shift in recent years. As young, urbanites look to grow in their personal and professional lives, look to Vibe to be on the
cutting edge for ways to remain relevant and grow its brand.

In other business, House of Blues will be acquired by Live Nation, which is owned by Clear Channel (suprise, suprise).
This move is great for Clear Channel, who for the past three years has seen some of its attendance slip sharply and
recieve negative press and criticism from concert goers over the companies efforts to monopolize the radio and concert industry.
House of Blues has been struggling after it botched IPO proceedings and had rejected an offer from Live last year, however, unable to dig out of the hole, a deal has been reached.

The Dominican Republic, though I've never been, I have heard tales of it's beauty, grace and charm. So no doubt it's on my top 10 list of places to visit before I'm done living. Apparently, Rush Limbaugh had just crossed the DR off his list last month
when he was detained for having a bottle of Viagra not perscribed in his name. Limbaugh would reach a deal with the prosecutor after his psychiatrist admitted to having his name on the bottle to conceal Limbaugh's identity. Limbaugh having previously admitted his addiction to pain killers, apparently needed to blow off steam and something else down there in the DR. As I said, top 10 spot.

You have to wonder if those hot concerts that HOB has come to be known by will continue, or will Live Nation look to flip it like a cheap piece of property and start the production of cookie cutter promotions it has been accused of in the past. Either way, results will be key or Clear Channel will not hesitate to re-organize Live Nation and HOB.

Ben Wallace handled his business Tuesday and committed to the Chicago Bulls in principle, though he's not allowed to sign a contract until July 12. The Fro'd one who became a fan favorite during the Detroit Pistons run and epitomized the blue-collar work ethic of the fans will now bring his game and phatter pockets to the windy city.

The Bulls offered Big Ben nearly $12 Million more and got there man; I have to wonder what Joe Dumars knows that John Paxson doesn't, I guess we'll see this season and the next three. Meanwhile, the Pistons should be looking for Darko's phone number right about now.

Make sure go pack an extra pick Ben...Chi town wind is no joke and that Fro is going to need to keep that loot warm.

Peace ya'll

Thursday, June 22, 2006

-You're History-

Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie...

They say the same people you see going up, you'll see coming down. I'm sure just before Ozzie Guillen bounced, he had to see that last year' World Series Trophy being held by his team, the Chicago White Sox. He had to see his name in history as the first Hispanic Manager to ever lead his team to a World Series title, now he's just seen his legendary status come down a few notches after his derogatory towards columnist and journalist Jay Mariotti.

Race, gender and sport once again become entwined when fans should hopefully have to be cheering for the only Major League sport being played right now. This weeks events only mirrors what is occurring else where in this world (see my post a few weeks ago on the World Cup).

Two days after the Heat win their first NBA title, are we still talking about this amazing turn around? Of course not!? The focus is now and will be on Isiah Thomas for the rest of the summer, and this year. As of today, Larry Brown is out as Coach of the Knicks. Just like that the NBA has one additional minority Coach, though not his first stint, Isiah will have a much tougher road in the Big Apple than the Hoosier state.

Can he orchestrate a change of mind and style like Avery did in Dallas? Or will Isiah have to ask himself to step down? If so, will he also seek to avoid paying for his own services?

You see, not only did Larry Brown lose his job today, he also was informed due to terms in his contract he would not be paid the remaining $40 million still due. Somehow I don't think Isiah would go for this next year if he finds himself in the same seat as Larry. We'll see if the decision stands, Brown's contract lists commissioner David Stern as sole arbitrator.

Isiah, some how I get the feeling we've seen this coming and seen this before...but we'll stay tuned anyways just to make sure. Please represent, as player, we loved you leadership and ability to deliver in the clutch, so let's see if you can still make it happen. If not, you may have to call Larry to find out where you can find a good job.

USA goes down, Ghana moves on. Not much to be said, though we have some awesome athletes in this country, and we have thousands of 8 year olds playing the most popular sport in the world every evening, however, that has not transferred into a soccer dynasty-yet. Keep watching and dreaming kids.

You might make history...

Sunday, June 11, 2006


The past week have seen some statements by some great teams/athletes and I'd like to examine some implications we might need to reflect back on.

First off, the biggest, widely covered and most impacting game or games of the year--World Cup Soccer. Hosted by Germany, a country with a storied and controversial athletic past, Mexico today came out and made a statement to the world...we're here and we're for real. Beating Iran 3-1, it was not necessarily who the opponent won, but the magnitude of the voice collectively coming from Mexico and the team that has been assembled. The pride we can see is evident in the fans of Mexico who have not had a lot to cheer for the last 7 years.
It's my opinion that as Mexico advances through the coming rounds, we will continue to hear that voice as they seek their first World Cup Trophy.

Speaking of voices, did you hear Asafa Powell? That's my record.
Powell tied the 9.77 mark he set along with Justin Gatlin recently at the British Grand Prix. Talk about marketing, Track & Field could not be scripting this type of PR any better. Now everyone is looking even more towards July 28th when Powell and Gatlin will finally meet and compete against each other. Make sure you don't blink, you might miss it, hopefully it's a sign of things to come.

Some are coming, others are going...supposedly last night was the final fight of Bernard Hopkins' career; if it was Hopkins looked and fought magnificently against Antonio Tarver who saw much of the legendary status he has spent the past 2 years building take two steps back. Hopkins technically won every round except one, however, it was a unanimous decision and Hopkins' finally was given the due he deserved. We thought maybe Larry Merchant would ride off last night too-no such luck.

This fight set up an excellent situation and shows that maybe boxing has some intelligent federations after all. Winky Wright will take on Jermain Taylor, Taylor has defeated Hopkins twice in his career and if he were to also beat Wright handedly and talks the right game, he could be the motivation to bring Hopkins out for one last one...Granted the payday is also there. Hopkins indicated that if he were offered $20 million, he'd even think of coming out of his grave to fight, the way he looked last night, smart man.

I must admit, I'd be intrigued myself, Hopkins did not look like a 41 year old man last night, and if someone besides me also saw all these things, you better believe, the machine is already in motion.

Around this time last year I had a few friends who were so distraught that hockey season was not happening last year; this year if I'm correct, I think that they are distraught this year with the season going on. If I'm correct NHL season has come and while it's not gone...it's not really here either. I can remember excitement and thrilling games to look forward to, but after the initial marketing done to re-establish the League with fans this year, the efforts to sustain have not been there. A post lockout year needs to be HUGE. Yet, the core fan is ho-hum, what gives? Slap some fireworks on that thing, get some pride out here, maybe we need to contract Under Armour out to promote, if I can get more excited about putting on a pair of their cleats than catching an NHL Finals game-something is clearly wrong. Someone didn't protect that house...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Day After...

So Barry Bonds has now surprassed the Babe and added another record to his resume...does he bring another asterik?

This weekend saw some great Track and Field action. The Reebok Grand Prix in New York brought out an old friend-a healthy and strong Marion Jones. Jones bouncing back after nearly two years off proved still that there is very minute competition. She still has improvement to make, but showed she's well on her way and possibly, looking to be better than ever.

Justin Gatlin, while being whooed by the Philadelphia Eagles seemed to leave the pursuits of an ailing franchise and the rest of the 100 meter field all wondering when he'd be available to take any time to take them seriously. However, Asafa Powell, did not race and we'll just have to wait for that matchup hopefully later this summer.

These are the types of stories we need during non-Olypmic years to highlight the fantstic feats of these professional athletes. So Barry Bonds has now surpassed the Babe and added another record to his resume...does he bring another asterisk?

This weekend saw some great Track and Field action. The Reebok Grand Prix in New York brought out an old friend-a healthy and strong Marion Jones. Jones bouncing back after nearly two years off proved still that there is very minute competition. She still has improvement to make, but showed she's well on her way and possibly, looking to be better than ever.

Justin Gatlin, while being wooed by the Philadelphia Eagles seemed to leave the pursuits of an ailing franchise and the rest of the 100-meter field all wondering when he'd be available to take any time to take them seriously. However, Asafa Powell, did not race and we'll just have to wait for that match up hopefully later this summer.

These are the types of stories we need during non-Olympic years to highlight the fantastic feats of these professional athletes.

The Piston's are going home and this year not ever after the NBA Finals, but the Conference Finals. I'm sure one person, possibly GM Joe D. awoke to wonder if Ben Wallace already had flights scheduled for the first day of free agency.

Mark Cuban man just is the happiest man in Texas right now. His Mavericks showed a great deal of resilience and a new defensive attitude, Coach Avery Johnson has come in a made the team one to be reckoned with.

Checked out the Detroit Tigers lately? Something you might want to put on your priority list...

South Beach decided to bring the Super Bowl atmosphere back a little early; advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in team history, Shaq, D. Wade and Pat Riley are looking to solidify careers and make more history with a first ever title.

With the World Cup just about ready to hit high gear, there have been concerns about racism related violence by soccer hooligans being a big problem. I say, no problem, let’s just take those caught and convicted and show them eighty-percent of a game and then place them in solitary confinement.

This is a global athletic event that will have millions of eyes and ears in tune, so racism related crime must be stomped out and eradicated if the diversity of these teams, crowds, workers and nations are to come together and truly be a meaningful event.

The Piston's are going home and this year not ever after the NBA Finals, but the Conference Finals. I'm sure one person, possibly GM Joe D. awoke to wonder if Ben Wallace already had flights scheduled for the first day of free agency.

Mark Cuban man just be the happiest man in Texas righ now. His Mavericks showed a great deal of resilience and a new defensive attitude, Coach Avery Johnson has come in a made the team one to be reckoned with.

Checked out the Detroit Tigers lately? Something you might want to put on your priority list...

South Beach decided to bring the SuperBowl atmosphere back a little early; advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in team history, Shaq, D. Wade and Pat Riley are looking to solidfy careers and make more history with a first ever title.

With the World Cup just about ready to hit high gear, there have been concerns about racism related violence by soccer hooligans being a big problem. I say, no problem, lets just take those caught and convicted and show them eighty-percent of a game and then place them in solitary confinement.

This is a global athletic event that will have millions of eyes and ears in tune, so racism related crime must be stomped out and eradicated if the diversity of these teams, crowds, workers and nations are to come together and truly be a meaningful event.

Monday, May 29, 2006

NBA Playoffs

Checked out this seasons playoffs? If not, you may arguably be missing one of the greatest stretches of games in history. We have drama (multiple game 7 series), excitement (Phoenix coming back from 3-1), surprise (Kobe not taking over), one word: LeBron- and it all means one thing-big bucks for D. Stern and the franchising property known as the National Basketball Association.

Coupled with the emergence of the more 'fundamentally sound' as Bill Walton likes to put it, foreign imports, the League has now set itself up to capitalize nicely on the positioning strategy to take this show truly on the road.

David Stern has to be asking himself how he tops this next year...all I can say is hopefully there will be more where this has come from.

With conference finals now going on and shaping nicely, we have to wonder how exciting this summer could really get with a weaker draft and mediocre free agency period. There is still the Larry Brown and NY Knicks scenario to work out, which I'm sure will be a bit more down played in the off season. In all, the NBA has been able to look back lately and pat itself on the back for the moves it has made; even the dress code situation has become less of an issue, with more players opting to show off their style. Most likely the feeling is, better to dress for work in June than be golfing with nothing to do already.

And don't forget about next season's All-Star game in Vegas, this is one weekend that may actually give the regular Super Bowl weekend a run for the money...I'm sure Vegas will be betting on it.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


I just wanted to take some time to acknowledge the first post and what looks to be a new great endeavor. This Blog will be a place to exchange thoughtful banter and various viewpoints...please return to discover the many varied reflections and sports/marketing recaps and opinions.