Friday, February 27, 2015

Cleveland Gets Taken For A Branding Ride

Vive Le Difference
I've spent my life in advertising. Mostly direct, but with a fair amount of branding work. And as this is a very soft science, the first rule is that you are better off not flying off half-cocked about someone's brand decisions. It's their baby, not yours, and if the baby is ugly, you aren't going to win a lot of friends or influence a lot of people by telling the parents that they should give their kid some sticks and weapons in the cradle, to prepare them for future professional opportunities. It's not that your kid is ugly; it's that they could be making better apparel choices. Etc.

And then there's what the Browns did and paid for, which is go to an NFL fan base and tell them that a slightly different color in their field of non-logo WTFery, and a font difference that matters only to the .1% of the populace who truly care about fonts... is meaningful and significant, and clearly something that requires new merch. Head on over to the store and get yours today, kids, before we go to the next Pantone color.

This is, in a nutshell, why people hate advertising and design professionals. And probably should. Because someone made real bank for the process involved and above. Someone worked through months (at least) of committee meetings, many other storyboards with many other possibilities, and probably much better work that was thrown out the window because it was too much from what they already have.

And then, when they finally all got to the point above, with the side work of a different look for the Dawg Pound (and, honestly, who would care?)... rather than just say, well, screw it, it's not worth the change... they pulled the trigger anyway. Mostly because they know that it will help sell more gear.

In the early days of the blog (and yes, the blog has had early days), we used to mock the idea of alternate jerseys, throwback jerseys, and how every team would eventually get to a new shirt every week. And like many moments of satire or parody, there was probably more truth to that work than the actual truth.

I fully expect some team, at some point, to change shirts at halftime, maybe to break the luck or because they wore black and it's hot out. Or for teams to have one outfit for the sidelines, and a lower one underneath, with tearaways like you get in the NBA. And for each club to wind up having a closet of options, all the better to hide the encroaching presence of ads.

Design is cheap.

Ownership is venal; they will do everything they can to get the spend to rise.

And for the folks who just have to look like athletes, more options will mean more spend, because those people are just there for the taking...

FTT Non-Sports: This Actually Happened Today

Because Snow Exists, I Am Right
On the floor of the United States Senate, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe (R-Of Course), pulled a snowball out of a ziplocked bag, then tossed it to a confederate, as part of his overall treatise that since it's cold outside, climate change is a myth.

No, seriously.

Never mind the numbers. Never mind the melting polar ice caps. Never mind the retreating glaciers, the barren ski slopes in actually wintry climates, the 140+ degree temps in Australian summer, the actual numbers from actual places.

You see, Jim Imhofe got himself a snowball.

And a certain percentage of our populace thinks that's all that's needed to be done, and that it's more likely that all of this has been a cruel hoax, rather than the sad man-made reality...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Top 10 takeaways from Derrick Rose's Latest Surgery

The Dark Future
10) There is no truth to the rumor that, to save time, doctors are putting in zippers instead of stitches this time

9) If you had February 25 in the pool, you win, and had the most optimistic entry

8) It's a torn meniscus, which other players have returned quickly from, but, um, that's clearly not going to happen here

7) Chicago only starts playing well when short-handed, so they are going to go on a run now

6) During this latest rehab, maybe Rose can work on his three-point shooting, or finding some sneaker that doesn't keep causing injury

5) This is clearly a delayed side effect of Rose playing for the national team, the single biggest knee-killer in the world today

4) That cotton-soft Eastern Conference garden path to the Finals that LeBron James enjoys every year just got a little more kitteny plush

3) It's a little mean to note that Chicago's 7-4 record without him, and Rose's 18/3/5 with 3.2 turnovers and sub 41% shooting percentage in 31 minutes a game, might be very replaceable

2) On the bright side, this will be Rose's third knee surgery, but he's going a very good job of balancing them between both knees

1) Given the number of injuries, one can forgive Rose, or Chicago Fan, for rethinking that whole Christianity thing

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Brief And Obvious Points About The Raiders Threatening To Relocate

Negotiations
They will do this, at some level or another, for the rest of the time that the franchise is in Oakland.

They will do this because there will always be more money in some other location than Oakland, especially as long as the NFL is leaving Los Angeles fallow. (See Clippers, LA, the sale thereof.)

There is no financial penalty to the Raiders for doing this.

There is no one in the Bay Area that makes the decision to go to a game, buy the merch, or tune in the telecast based on whether or not the organization has been petulant asshats.

This is because every NFL franchise is on a continuum of moral bankruptcy and degeneracy, and everyone knows that before they turn on the game, and they turn on the game anyway, because junkies are not picky.

In a better country and system, there would be relegation and promotion to prevent the wanton abuse of a fan base by repellent and incompetent ownership.

In a less better country and system, there would be regulation -- because every franchise is sucking public money in some fashion, and a concentrated federal and state action would attack Oakland's league partners, and use that leverage to coerce the Raiders out of extortion.

In an even less better country and system, taxpayers would rise up and vote out each and every political official that funnels taxpayer money to private and wildly profitable sports monopolies, to the point where people who run for office would no sooner be seen with athletes or owners than they would with pedophiles and reality television celebrities.

We live in none of these things, so please enjoy the continued do-se-do where the Raiders, Rams, Chargers and any other franchise with a financial itch to scratch tries to get to the cash register with the gun and the bandanna first.

No team needs the money, and neither do any of the ownership groups.

And if and when one of them breaks through and cashes in...

You will know just how corrupt and abhorrent the media is by those that choose to tell you how wonderful the new venue is, and how many people in Los Angeles are just so happy to have football again...

Monday, February 23, 2015

25 Awful Fantasy Baseball Team Names

Talk About Mudflaps
Need to offend people in your league, but lack the time or creativity required to get the kind of head shaking reaction and outright revulsion necessary for truly effective fantasy league performance? Let the experts at Five Tool Tool help you be all that you should not be. All names fit in the standard Yahoo fantasy name limit while avoiding obvious profanity. You are welcome! And we'll see you in hell.

Selig Swallowers

Wet Sharters

Balk Not Swallow

Pee Wee, Not Reese

Pine Tar Lube

The Stretch Position

Uncle's Slide Piece

Knuckle Curves

Cory Lidle Air

Curt's Other Sock

Ty Cobb's Beliefs

Playoff Beards

Mudflap Granted

Toeing The Rubber

Cards At Home

Mascot Annies

Ross Gload's Choad

Fungo Waxers

Can Of Cornhole

Sent Down

Switch Hitters

Bat Corkers

Cable Installers

Aardsma All Stars (this one requires an unfortunate trip to Urban Dictionary...)

Alex Rodriguez