prof. e.

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Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Supersize That!

Posted by prof e on February 5, 2017

wingsSuper Bowl LI is this afternoon and the hype is living up to expectations. I read earlier today that “experts” are predicting that Americans will eat 1.3 BILLION chicken wings today. (In case you were wondering, “1.3 billion chicken wings is enough for every man, woman and child in the United States to have four wings each”). It just so happens that the “experts” quoted are the National Chicken Council. Here’s their press release…the one that generated the news stories. As you can probably tell, this is all about promoting chicken wings. It’s not news, it’s advertising. And journalists and news outlets that carry the story are part of the problem facing real journalism.

And speaking of journalists, there will be approximately 5,000 of them covering the big game. Is that really necessary? I know what you’re thinking…I’m just jealous and wish my organization (fat chance) had sent me to Houston to report on the game and the many associated parties.

Of course I’ll be watching the advertisements. Every year there are a few good ads…ones that might even be worth the $$$ that keeps increasing every year. This year a 30-second spot will set the advertiser back a cool $5.5 million. Over the past half-century, total ad spending in the big game is approaching $5 billion. And while I don’t have hard data to support my claim, I think it’s fair to say that not all of those dollars were well spent. But there have been some great ads that have been worth every penny. Coke “Mean Joe Green”, Apple “1984” and Budweiser “Frogs” come to mind. (See them here.)

Okay, enough ranting. But before I close, I thought I’d revisit that whole chicken wing thing. PETA has, characteristically, found a way to make you feel guilty for indulging. Don’t click this link if you plan to enjoy some hot wings at your party…I warned you!



Posted in advertising, journalism, sports, tv | 10 Comments »

The Cubs and Indians Gave Us a Much-Needed Break

Posted by prof e on November 4, 2016

mlb-2000-ws-trophy-590The seven-game race for the MLB championship was a much-needed break from this year’s ugly race for President. Thankfully the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians gave us a welcome diversion from the bare-knuckle politics that have dominated the headlines in recent weeks. Winning a major-league championship is a big deal, and winning after a 108-year drought is even bigger.

So let’s take just a minute to reflect on the state of nation, and media, the last time the Cubs won the World Series (in 1908).

  1. Yellow journalism was still the norm…and the Spanish-American war had just ended 10 years earlier.
  2. The wild west was slowly being tamed. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in Bolivia just a few weeks after the Cubs won the World Series. And the State of Colorado had only been a state for 32 years.
  3. It was an election year, and William Howard Taft was running against William Jennings Bryan. Taft, the Republican, won. Women were allowed to vote in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, but not elsewhere.
  4. Human flight was taking off (pardon the pun). Wilbur Wright demonstrated his plane in Europe for the first time in 1908.
  5. Model T’s were available from the Ford Motor Company in any color you wanted, as long as you wanted black.
  6. Émile Cohl makes the first fully animated film, Fantasmagorie.
  7. Journalist Edward R. Murrow was born.



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