June 27, 2014
I’m doing something this weekend I haven’t done for a long time but used to do all the time. I’m going fishing! Bass fishing to be precise, on Clear Lake, CA which supposedly has the best bass fishing west of the Mississippi. I hired a guide and booked a cottage right on the lake. I’m pretty stoked.
When I was a boy I fished every chance I could, and was pretty damn good at it. For various reasons, as time went by I fished less and less, to the point where I pretty much hardly do it anymore.
Yet, my interest in the sport (okay, hobby) never waned. Late at night I still “trolled” the Internet looking for kickass footage of real people catching really big fish. My girls and I are “hooked” on Animal Planet’s River Monsters. I own a giant salt-water aquarium.
I love fishing. There is something magical pulling a creature up from the depths. You never know what you’ll catch! Well, mostly you do but in theory it could be anything: a lake record, a world record, Godzilla.
But it’s more than just that. It’s searching for the fish. Tempting it. Setting the hook. Fighting it. Holding it up by the lips. Taking the obligatory photo. Letting it go. Honestly, every aspect of fishing appeals to me. Nowadays, most freshwater fishing is predominantly catch and release. But I know how to clean and cook my catch and was pretty good at that too.
For obvious reasons, most Californian’s associate fishing with the Pacific Ocean. Yet, I much prefer freshwater angling. For one thing, when you fish on a lake or river you are responsible for your luck. Generally speaking, the opposite is true on saltwater. There, your boat’s captain does all the work, rigging and setting out the lines, even setting the hook. I’ve been on saltwater boats, where the guy just hands you a rod and tells you to reel in your fish. It’s fun but it’s not the same.
While I have a guide on Clear Lake, it will be up to me whether I can pull anything into the boat. In a way fishing is a bit like pitching new business. You give it your best shot and hope for the best. On the other hand, fishing is nothing like work –which is why the hell I’m going! Wish me luck. I’ll see you next week.
The righteous drum continues to beat louder, calling for the termination of the Washington Redskins nickname, which got a huge assist when the United States Patent Office rescinded trademark rights for the moniker, deeming it offensive to Native Americans. Recently, the above commercial ran during the NBA playoffs.
The name is offensive. Period.
Anyone who believes otherwise, consider if the Redskins played a game against a team called the Seattle Slant Eyes or Miami Wetbacks. Why we took so long coming to this painfully obvious conclusion is the only issue worth debating.
Perhaps the biggest grotesque is that Washington DC is literally where, once upon a time, the orders were given to marginalize, if not wipe out, Native Americans. Naming one’s biggest sporting franchise after a people our forefathers nearly crushed out of existence is sick.
And yet the team’s owner, Dan Snyder is steadfast in fighting the injunction and any other measures demanding the team change its name. Claiming the term Redskins is a “badge of honor,” Snyder is not backing down.
Eerie the similarities to what’s going on with the embattled, soon-to-be former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Holding on to old ideas like these have no place in the modern era.
I know the bar stool defense. Old timers rail at political correctness. They bellow: Where does it end? The Fighting Irish? Chief Wahoo? Maybe those do go away. So what? The University of Illinois got rid of their mascot, Chief Illiniwek in 2007, deeming it “hostile and abusive.” The games are still packed with fans. Life went on.
Not long ago, Jacksonville named their NFL team the Jaguars –an animal that is all but extinct in Florida. I think that’s kind of gross. Yet, I hadn’t thought about it until now. Maybe they don’t change the name but a dollar for every ticket goes to helping this endangered animal? New thinking comes from new ideas, even bad ones. New ideas rile people up. And that’s good.
But let’s get off the soapbox and into the boardroom.
Snyder is a businessman. Does he not see the huge financial upside in making a name change? All new jerseys symbolizing doing the right thing: like those wouldn’t sell. Please. As for all that old merch it would immediately become collectible. Moreover, can he not picture the marketing potential such a move would engender? Social media was made for an “event” like this. Fans could be solicited to help create a new moniker, or vote on one. Even if the selection process were contentious the freaking proverbial “conversation” would be radioactive.
I know a thing or two about popular culture and the influence young people have on it. New fans are not beholden to tradition, even when they should be. You can’t tell me the multitudes of young people, who voted for a black president (twice) and adore and follow the multicultural mainstream wouldn’t embrace a new look Washington football team.
Look around you, Mr. Snyder. Athletes are coming out of the closet. Pot is legal. More and more so is gay marriage. The world is moving on. Evolving. Adaptation is sound strategy. Making a name change transcends political correctness; it’s just good business.
My last post on advertising agency, Cramer-Krasselt parting ways with client, Panera Bread garnered more views in one day than any other in this blog’s history. On June 13, several thousand of you read my story about a frustrated agency CEO having reached his wit’s end with a client. He’d written a memo to his staff, which had been “leaked.” For the record, the story wasn’t my “get.” I’d learned about it from a piece in AdAge. I know from experience agencies seldom let go clients let alone provide messy details. The fact that I once had unpleasant dealings with this client made writing about it impossible to resist.
Given the boffo amount of readers the post attracted I guess I am glad I wrote my story. I “guess” because although I am grateful to anyone who reads my blog, I wish I received those numbers for my other less sensational stories. I get it though. There was more than a hint of gossipy revelation (leaked memo!) in the reporting and we all know that chum attracts fish.
Controversy sells. Duh.
Not surprisingly, the second most-read story I’ve ever written was on the controversial closing of the Chicago office of J Walter Thompson. This was big news in Adland, especially in my hometown Chicago. I knew a lot of the people involved and had almost worked there myself. It too was a tale soaked in chum.
Interestingly, the third most viewed piece was nothing like the first two; it was an essay I’d written on our tendency to “front” on Facebook. I’d been seeing a lot of shiny, happy faces on the platform and was curious to explore why. I loved that story but I know the reason why it got so many hits was only because WordPress chose to “freshly press” it, for which I am grateful.
There’s a brilliant episode of the Simpson’s where, in typically surreal fashion, Homer finds himself teaching a self-help class on marriage. He quickly learns in order to keep his class interested he must reveal intimate details about his love life. Much to his wife’s dismay the class quickly becomes the talk of the town. Things escalate. Despite Marge’s pleas, Homer finds it nearly impossible to stop gossiping about his marriage. The rush he gets from all the attention is too intoxicating. That is until everything blows up in his face.
Because I am mostly not a cartoon I cannot allow things to blow up in my face. Unlike Homer, I like my job. Therefore, I’m afraid most of my posts will continue to be about ad campaigns, consumerism and popular culture. But I am an addict and I did like seeing that massive spike in my dashboard. So you never know…