Nike and Tiger Revive Earl Woods in Time for the Masters

Nike has launched a new ad featuring an austere, motionless and voiceless Tiger Woods while the voice-over of his late father, Earl Woods plays in the background,“Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. And did you learn anything.”

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When I first watched commercial, I attempted to suspend my disbelief and not come to an immediate conclusion. I watched it again. I listened. Then I watched it again.

I reached a conclusion. What Tiger needs is to 1) get a new wingman, 2) hire a new publicist, 3) hit the little white dimpled ball and 4) shut-up. Seriously, just stop talking and play golf.

It seems Tiger’s isn’t a sex addict; he’s an attention junkie. He isn’t so much addicted to sex as he is addicted to admiration. Tiger’s ego supersedes his libido.

Double-digit mistresses fed both. A few weeks after being released from rehab and announcing his first professional appearance would be the Masters, Woods admitted that, “It would be nice to here a couple of claps here and there.”

Tiger just can’t quit…himself. Pre-scandal, his narcissism was glorious, defensible by his amazing athleticism, winning record and praised by the world. Post-scandal, his narcissism is notorious, escalated by the audacity and necessity to exploit his patriarchal bond to try to repair his reputation. He needs publicity-rehab.

Applause and a restored public image will bring him redemption, not forgiveness.

Beneath his brawny resilience, I get the impression he is insecure. Maybe one day he’ll figure out that cheers from the crowd may give him greatness but will not bring him happiness. He has to provide that for himself. It’s called SELF-esteem for a reason.


The Hotel Statler: Time To Let Her Go

Hotel Statler in Buffalo, N.Y., originally uploaded by newspapermann.

The Statler is slowly crumbling and decaying from years of neglect. It’s condition is irreversible. The prognosis is terminal. Mothballing the structure equalled architectural hospice. The time has come. Take it off of life support. Tear it down.

Facebook Latest Feature: Community Pages

What do you do with those inbox cluttering, frequently annoying and occasionally funny unofficial Facebook Fan Pages like “Intelligent, classy, well-educated women who say “F*ck” a lot” or any page that begins with “I bet I can find…”? Well, there is a new Facebook app for that, Facebook Community Pages.

Facebook has created a new page application to corral those frivolous, sentimental and casual-friendly groups. With this latest feature, Facebook is attempting to keep the “official” pages under the control of the appropriate owners and administrators. It will also manage any unofficial page that exceeds a defined limit of fans.

You can read more about Facebook’s latest add-on in an article from Mashable.

The Academy Awards: Take the Party on the Road

Last night as I decided to watch the 82nd Academy Awards. The ceremony is the Cinderella ball of the film industry.  I don’t watch them every year nor anticipate the Best Film, Actor and Actress awards with bated breath. I have a moderate interest in red carpet regalia. However, this year I decided to watch because I adore Gabourey Sidibe. I find her personality and her personal story as stellar as her film debut in “Precious”.

Hollywood is big bucks. The millions of dollars spent for film productions are par for the course. This year’s Best Picture, “Hurt Locker” cost $11 million dollars to produce, a paltry amount compared to the blockbuster “Avatar” which had a $230 million price tag. The economic impact of award shows on Hollywood and Los Angeles is also rather significant. The Academy Awards is a $130 million boon to the local economy. Remember all the furor over the writer’s strike and the 2008 cancellation of the Golden Globes? That resulted in at least an $80 million loss.

I began to think, with local economies across the nation starving for cash and Hollywood’s willingness to spend hyper-gobs of money on ceremonial displays and related ancillaries, (e.g. designer clothes, makeup, hotels, limousines etc.) why not host the Academy Awards in a different U.S. city each year just like the Super Bowl? It is the “Super Bowl” of the film industry, right?

Think about the economic value in addition to the publicity value of this world renowned event on the local economy?

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was a nice boon to cab companies, hotels, bars, restaurants and tourist attractions in Buffalo. Twenty-five years ago, “The Natural” was filmed in Buffalo and with it came a little Hollywood spending.  Keanu Reeves was also here filming “Henry’s Crime” a few months ago. I’m sure he bought a few burgers and a couple of beers. He did his part.

Imagine the possible fiscal jolt for any city that hosts the Academy Awards? A $130 million jolt!

Hotel workers, florists, limousines, caterers, taxi drivers, waitstaff, bartenders and delivery personnel would get a brief but necessary windfall. Buffalo is full of low-wage jobs in case you have not heard.

Of course big events are not longterm solutions but local businesses do benefit from them.

I’m not advocating that hosting the Academy Awards in a different city each year is the ultimate anti-poverty measure. Poverty ain’t pretty but it sure as hell is sexy and profitable for Hollywood. I just think it might be nice if Hollywood would spread the wealth that it’s successful films generate to the good people who don’t get always get a thank you on Oscar night.

The Anti-Fonzi May Be The Best Facebook App Ever!

Facebook has made several cosmetic changes to its face in the last year leaving  many of its users as befuddled as the changes.  There have been so many, so frequently that Facebook is indistinguishable from one day to the next and has become the Jocelyn Wildenstein of social networks.

Jocelyn Wildenstein

While I continue to be a FB user as it endures its cyber cosmetic surgery, I visit less frequently (every couple of days) and eliminated access to most of the games and goofy applications.

One of the earliest “nose jobs” was the addition of the “Like” button. Now your “friends” are able to send you a virtual “thumbs up” to let you know they like your repartee or video without having to explain why with a comment.

But what do you do if you don’t like the the quip, video or news article posted? You have to post a comment about your disapproval or just pass over it and  suck your teeth in disfavor. There is no “Dislike” button right?

WRONG! Thanks to Thomas Moquet, you may now install an add-on feature called Facebook Dislike 0.2.1. It is a Firefox add-on so you must operate Firefox as your web browser to use the plugin and your friends must do the same. This nifty little gem works within the Facebook application and places the Anti-Fonzi in the row beneath the status update. See here on Mashable’s website.

So switch to Firefox (Firefox is not paying me for this endorsement) as your web browser, tell your friends to do the same and add the plugin. Warning, you will find out what your friends really think about your posts so you might need to build a virtual thick skin.

Don’t let the “thumbs down” get you down. They are your Facebook friends right? You can’t pick your family but you can pick your friends.

The Bottom Line, “Bottoms Up!” and The Buffalo Bills

images-2My father was was a diehard Buffalo Bills fan. He had season tickets at War Memorial Stadium, affectionately nicknamed”The Rock Pile” and when Rich Stadium (currently named Ralph Wilson Stadium) was built in Orchard Park my father continued with the tradition of being a season ticket holder.

My father would take my uncle, my mother’s brother to the games. My father was a metaphoric surrogate father to my uncle Naulbert; I was a baby so I was too young to accompany my dad to the games. I did not attend my first Buffalo Bills game until I was 22.

Since my family lived in Cold Spring, my father and my uncle would walk to The Rock Pile. After my Uncle Naulbert graduated high-school and left for college, my father began attending the games with his buddies that worked with him at Harrison Radiator. Eventually The Buffalo Bills moved to Rich Stadium. My father hated driving and refused to get a driver’s license so on game day he hitched a ride with one of his friends.

My father and his buddies would don seasonable game clothing, put together some light refreshments for the game and head to Orchard Park. Light refreshments dutifully prepared by my mother, consisted of informal and varietal fare. My mother would pack the boys a thermos of a hot toddy, a bag of hard candy, a bag of pretzels, a couple of sandwiches or fried chicken.

His buddies thought I was cute and would give me a dollar or some pocket change when I was palling around with my father on most days. However, I learned at an early age that on game day, grown-ass men reverted to prepubertal behavior at the thought of seeing the Buffalo Bills play. I was a cute yet an invisible little being who would not receive penny candy or piggy bank funds that day. Harumph!

Today The Buffalo News reported another story about the drunken debauchery of tailgaters, many of whom are Canadian fans, season ticket holders and consequently invaluable financial assets. Excessive drinking is obviously the problem. However, I think The Buffalo Bills value the franchise’s profit margin above the recreational and public safety value of its fans.

Although my father and his buddies were devout and enthusiastic fans, they were not hard-core tailgaters. Arriving at the stadium five hours before the game and getting sozzled by kickoff was not part of the pre-game ritual. I don’t want to begrudge anyone for being an avid Bills fan nor the Buffalo Bills from selling tickets but I think public enjoyment and public safety should be responsibility by the franchise as well as the fan base.

Several NFL franchises such as the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins and the Chicago Bears have reevaluated, rewritten and enforced a more stringent tailgating and fan behavior policy. The Buffalo Bills franchise is reluctant to adopt some of the changes which include franchise based intitiatives:

  • Prohibiting fans without tickets from entering stadium parking lots during the game.
  • Establishing designated spaces on the perimeter of parking lots for passenger vehicle tailgaters.
  • Limiting tailgating hours to 3 or less hours before kickoff.

The practices that David H. Wheat, The Buffalo Bills Sr. Vice President of Business outlines are not without merit but they are fan-based initiatives:

  • SMS alert capability to report violators of the Fan Code of Conduct( which is not clearly identified on The Buffalo Bills website).
  • Increased state police and sheriff DWI checkpoints.
  • Prohibiting beer sales after half-time.

What about employing franchise-based initiatives? Shouldn’t the franchise do more to strengthen the recreational value, improve the behavior standing and improve the public safety of their fans?

Hey executives, let Coach Dick Jauron and his staff devise a strategy to win some games. That is his responsibility.

When will you establish a Franchise Code of Conduct? That is your responsibility.

WDOO (What Does Obama Order)

I think C-Span needs remedial journalism classes. Apparently they have forgotten what is news and what is not. The 8:24 video below covers the President as he orders lunch and talks to patrons (with his mouth full I might add) at a Five Guys restaurant in Washington D. C.

I understand the fascination with President Obama. I’m fascinated too. However I could do without the lunch order coverage, especially 8:24 of it. Doesn’t C-Span have a video editor? Can’t the guy go for lunch just one day without America watching it on cable news? Sometimes I think C-Span hires Hollywood paparazzi, I swear!

How soon before we see coverage of the President making a midnight run to satisfy the First Lady’s PMS cravings?

Next time Mr. President, do yourself and us a favor. I know you like to get out everyonce in awhile but could you fax the lunch order next time? It’s quicker.