Excuse me, but I do have to vent some spleen here… Last evening, my long-suffering wife said that she really had a craving for Chinese food and suggested we go to our favorite Chinese restaurant. That sounded like a great idea to me and so we did. It is a 2.5-mile drive from our house to the restaurant and on that short drive home we counted 4 – that FOUR – homes that still had their Christmas lights up and turned on.
Memo to Whomever: It is March 8! I do not care how religious one is nor how happy one might be during the Christmas season for secular reasons; you need not continue the celebration into March.
I can understand if somehow you fell and broke a hip and cannot climb a ladder to take down the lights and put them away. I cannot understand why you feel it necessary to illuminate them announcing to everyone who passes by your home that you are an asshat. Pull the plug on the lights or do not flip the switch to turn them on.
That is all…
Given that evidence of my current state of crankiness, you should not be surprised to learn that I did not react well yesterday to an announcement from the US Olympic Committee. That august organization announced the details for the 2016 Road to Rio Tour – sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance don’t you know. The Tour’s purpose is to
“…bring the spirit and excitement of the Rio Games to fans throughout the United States.”
Now before you think that I need to up the dosage on my meds because this is just a harmless announcement, let me inform you that the Road to Rio Tour began last year. So, if you are going to take the position that this is an important way for the Committee to pump up interest in the Games, tell me three things that have happened on the Tour already. Since you almost assuredly have no idea that the Road to Rio Tour existed in the first place, you surely cannot tell me where it has been or what it has done. So, here is the next event; you can prepare to be excited.
On 27 April, the Road to Rio Tour will be in New York City at Times Square to begin the “100 Day Countdown” to the Rio Games which start on 5 August. This extravaganza on Times Square will:
“…engage fans through athlete meet-and-greets, interactive sport elements, athlete demonstrations, Team USA giveaways and sponsor activation.”
The USOC Chief Marketing Officer had this to say about the “100 Day Countdown”:
“We have the most passionate fans in the world, and because of events like 100 Days Out and the Road to Rio Tour, we are able to bring the energy of the Games to more Americans than ever before.”
Memo to Chief Marketing Officer: “Most passionate fans in the world” is not a phrase that belongs in the same paragraph with events such as “synchronized diving”, “canoe slalom”, “rhythmic gymnastics” and/or “modern pentathlon”.
I do not know about you, but I am certain that on April 27th I will have some meaningless and inconsequential thing to do with my life which will take precedence over paying even a moment’s worth of attention to the start of the “100 Day Countdown”. Maybe I will go to those houses that still have their Christmas lights up and volunteer to take them down for the homeowners.
One other recent announcement was a bit unsettling. The retailer – Sports Authority – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced the closing of hundreds of its stores. I know that the idea of “creative destruction” is considered to be a fundamental element of capitalism, so I do not give a fig if Sports Authority reorganizes and survives or reorganizes and “goes paws up”. However, the fact that people are not buying enough stuff from Sports Authority to keep them afloat now raises a question that has bothered me for a while.
The Denver Broncos play their home games in Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Sports Authority pays the Broncos more than a little money for those sponsorship rights and whenever any deal such as that one is announced, the folks doing the paying exult in the great value they will derive from paying millions to a football team to name a stadium.
Memo to the Sports Authority Financial Mavens: So, how’s all that “promotional benefit” working out for you?
My spleen is vented. As Gomez Addams was wont to say:
“I’m feeling MUCH better now.”
Notwithstanding what Peyton Manning did or did not say to Bill Belichick after the AFC title game, Manning’s retirement announcement means that the 2015 season was indeed his “last rodeo” as an NFL QB. You have been inundated in the past day or so with summaries of Manning’s statistical accomplishments; I will not repeat them here. Suffice it to say, he was a great QB and if he is not a first-ballot inductee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it will be a shocking turn of events. What impressed me as much as his on-field accomplishments was his retirement announcement.
Clearly, he wrote those words himself; those were not the words of a PR spokesthing.
He thanked and acknowledged more than the usual suspects for such a speech and by doing so he honored those other folks.
If the emotion he showed at points in the speech was “faked”, then Peyton Manning should be a favorite to win an Oscar after he stars in his first movie next year.
Tony Kornheiser said on Pardon the Interruption that Manning might be “running for Commissioner” of the NFL. I have no idea if that is the case but given the performance of the incumbent Commish over the past couple of years, it may not be such a horrible idea…
Finally, here is a comment from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald about the outcome of a recent sports-related lawsuit:
“PGA Tour caddies lost a lawsuit in which they sought compensation for having to wear bibs with advertising. Dear fellas: Your job consists of carrying a golf bag, telling your guy, ‘178 yards’ and collecting up to 10 percent of his earnings for doing very little. Quiet, please!”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………