Monday, March 30, 2009

Tiger Freaking Woods

Golf Schmolf. I am talking Tiger Woods. He is not simply the sport's greatest player, he is the greatest player in sports.

Tiger Freaking Woods.

After nearly a year of being unable to watch a single golf tournament, Tiger finally returned to the game and I returned to the TV. And though his first two performances were something less than spectacular, I kept coming back. Because I knew. It was just a matter of time.

So great is his ability. So great is his passion. So great is his focus. It absolutely captures the imagination and shakes the awe out of everyone watching.

Tiger Freaking Woods. You don't have to like him. You don't even have to like golf. But you must admire the beauty of what this young man does time and time again. He is a role model for any human who wishes to make something of his or her life. The perfect combination of grit and determination, careful study and hard work. Practice and more practice. Focus and fire.

Tiger Freaking Woods. You don't have to like him, but I do. Damn, I love Tiger. I love to see him grimace when he doesn't achieve what he sets out to achieve. And I love to see him smile and fist-pump when he puts it all together.

If there is a better athlete - a more consistent, disciplined and accomplished athlete – please tell me who he or she is. In the meantime, I only have eyes for Tiger Freaking Woods.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Rogue by any Other Name

Talk about your tangled web of deception...

So I receive my morning copy of MediaPost's Online Media Daily. The lead story is "Nissan's Agency Details Online Branding Success" . The story is written by Laurie Sullivan. Here is the e-newsletter teaser:

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Nissan has been experimenting in digital advertising and promotions for years, according to Kristi Vandenbosch, president at Tequila USA, one of the automaker's ad agencies. Vandenbosch kicked off the OMMA Global Hollywood conference on Tuesday with a case study of the Nissan Rogue campaign as well as the launch of the Nissan 370Z, which had practically a zero budget.

Really? Practically zero? How come I doubted that very, very seriously?

So I link to the full story. Guess what? No freaking explanation about the budget. Shocking, right? Keep in mind that the headline says: Nissan Agency DETAILS Online Branding Success. So where are the details of the zero budget? Because in this economy, we all want to know what you can do with zero budget.

They created a SERIES of viral videos and a video game (working with Electronic Arts) and somehow it involved sponsorship for Heroes (the TV show). All of which - apparently - required a "zero budget".

But wait, there's more:

Nissan and Tequila worked with Electronic Arts to unveil the car in a video game. They also produced a series of episodic videos that were the backstory of one of the characters in the game. Six films were distributed on and other channels such as YouTube.

Tequila also took the Z car on tour across the country, stopping at car clubs along the way to allow them to experience the new 370Z for the first time. A deal with Sports Illustrated put the car in the magazine for pittance. The videos have been seen more than 800,000 times in the last few weeks. Apps for Apple's iPhone also aimed to lure gamers to the car.


According to Merriam-Webster, a rogue is "a dishonest or worthless person [scoundrel]." Well, at least that part of the story rings true.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Are We Stimulated Yet?

Somewhere between stimulating and bailing is an abyss that we should not enter.

Two and a half days after the search began for four missing men in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Coast Guard came to the sobering conclusion it was time to end the search.

"We're extremely confident that if there are any survivors on the surface of the water that we would have found them," Coast Guard Captain Timothy Close said at a news conference.

No one wanted to give up.  And some family members and friends are still out there looking for their loved ones.  But there are simply times when it makes sense to abandon hope and accept the inevitable.

Unless you are a giant corporation like GM.

After blowing through $13 billion like it was nose candy, GM is letting the nation know that it may be shutting its doors.  Either the $13 billion was not enough stimulation or it was just a game that corporate America plays with government money.

If they are incapable of figuring out the global marketplace and unwilling to make the necessary changes to produce products that the world is willing to buy, then perhaps it is time to abandon the effort.  GM can blame the economy all day long.  They can blame whoever they want.  But at the end of the day, they are responsible for the position they are in.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post:  What ever happened to personal responsibility?
That jerkoff Madoff, as one prime example, defrauded investors to the tune of $50 billion, and he has the audacity to make demands on the courts to keep $69 million for himself, claiming these assets are in his wife's name.

Flaunting a similar attitude, GM chief operating officer Fritz Henderson recently told BBC News: "governments should step in immediately to ensure GM Europe does not run out of money by April or May."

My dad used to have a couple of sayings for situations like this.  One was: You made the mess, you clean it up.  As always, dad was right.