Tag Archive: NFL


“Marcus Mariota told NFL it is ‘important to him, personally and culturally,’ to be in Hawaii to celebrate the next step in life. No draft for him.” – ESECPN Draft Analyst Adam SchefterMarcus Mariota

There is no joy associated in being picked last for kick ball.

There are permanent scars for some not being asked to junior prom – if you don’t believe Almost DailyBrett, just ask former Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

And then there is the spectacle of the celebrated college football stud, the ultimate BMOC, sitting in a nouveau riche suit bought by his sleaze-ball agent, waiting hours upon hours for his name to be called … and ESECPN cameras covering every nanosecond of the agony.

Does this scenario sound familiar Johnny “Rehab” Manziel? Surely, the home state Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t pass on the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M with their 16th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft?

Oops! They did exactly that.

Finally, the Cleveland Browns rescued Johnny with its first-round selection in the 22nd position, ending the sordid spectacle of Manziel being passed up by almost two-dozen teams. In basketball, two teams forever regretted passing on Michael Jordan. Considering that Manziel just emerged from rehab, one can postulate that Cleveland is regretting awarding him with a four-year pact at $8.3 million; $7.55 million guaranteed and a $4.38 million signing bonus.manziel1

Remember storming out of Radio City Music Hall at the 2013 NFL Draft, Geno Smith? Your agent confidently projected you would be picked in the first round. Hmmm? Turned out it was the next night, Round 2, pick #39 overall, before your name was mercifully called by the New York Jets.

The good news, Geno: You were picked by the New York Jets. The bad news, Geno: You were picked by the New York Jets.ginosmith

Why Be There?

Let’s ask the obvious football public relations/reputation management/personal branding question right here and now: Why even show up for the first round, let alone be present for any of the NFL draft?

Do you (e.g., football hero) really need a picture taken of yourself in another new ball cap, a jersey with #1, with the NFL commissioner? Isn’t what you really want, is a contract with as many guaranteed dollars as possible to play a violent game for four years or maybe longer?

Maybe 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is making a smart public relations move for once by so far deciding to not attend the NFL Draft festivities, even though he may be tempted by his agent to venture to Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre this coming Thursday.

The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota from Oregon, will not be in Chicago. Instead, he will be home in Hawaii with dad, Toa Mariota, and mom, Alana Deppe-Mariota, and his family and friends. Mahalo!mariotaparents

Yes, the author of Almost DailyBrett is a tad biased when it comes to the joys of Oregon football. Having dispensed with that obligatory consumer warning, it is still a great personal and PR move for Marcus to stay away from the draft.

Besides where would you rather be: Hawaii or Chicago?

Character Matters

After the notorious antics of the last two Heisman Trophy winners, Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston, Mariota is refreshingly boring with his refusal to take any glory upon himself and ALWAYS thinking of his teammates.

Who can forget Mariota breaking down in front of mom and dad, his coaches, and all the past Heisman winners as he accepted the most hallowed trophy in college football? Some wonder whether Mariota is too nice to play in the NFL. The question in some respects is an indictment of the league with its warm-and-cuddly owners, such as Jerry Jones.

When and where to will Marcus be drafted on Thursday? San Diego? Tennessee? Cleveland (bye, bye Johnny no good(e)?) New York Jets? Philadelphia? Some days it seems that Mariota’s draft stock is up and some days it seems that it is down.

Where is Marcus in the mock drafts? It changes from day-to-day. Seems remarkably similar to rolling tracking polling for political campaigns going down to the wire.

These questions all point back to the wisdom and the genuineness of Marcus watching the draft back home in Hawaii with mom, dad, siblings and friends.

If it turns out to take a little longer than expected (who really understands the vagaries of NFL scouting?) at least he will not look like Johnny Manziel or Geno Smith waiting for someone, anyone to draft him.

And that includes the New York Jets.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25130998/report-marcus-mariota-will-not-attend-nfl-draft

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25149193/26-players-to-attend-2015-nfl-draft-no-jameis-winston-marcus-mariota

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Manziel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geno_Smith

http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Heisman_Trophy_winners

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000350347/article/2014-nfl-draft-firstround-signing-tracker

 

 

 

 

 

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The omnipotent NCAA is being dragged through the legal muck, kicking and screaming …

The mental image of former University of Washington president/now NCAA chief Mark Emmert wiping mud off his lapel brings a wide smile to the author of Almost DailyBrett.

emmert1

 

The time has finally come for the NCAA and/or the Big Five Conferences to wake up and smell the espresso.

Student-athletes are soon going to be paid, totally and completely ending the romantic, but unrealistic notion they are dedicated amateurs only playing football, basketball, baseball, track, Parcheesi etc. for the love of the game and the greater good and glory of their respective university.

Those days are over.

Questions remain: How are athletes going to be paid, and what about Title IX?

The NCAA is Appealing (e.g., buying time)

Earlier this month, federal Judge Claudia Wilken found the NCAA was colluding to restrain trade. Predictably, the NCAA billable-hour attorneys are appealing. Good luck.

The NCAA also recently granted special autonomy to 62 schools, who comprise the Big Five conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC), setting in motion conceivably a more powerful successor to the NCAA. It will be a sad day when judge, jury and executioner NCAA is finally laid to rest (okay, not really).

The real issue is the NFL and NBA exploits the colleges as their no-cost to them, minor leagues (e.g. no Durham Bulls, no Toledo Mud Hens). The NFL draws more than $8 billion in total revenue, and pays its players nearly $4 billion. The NBA attracts more than $4 billion and distributes half of that amount to its players. The universities of the NCAA generate $10 billion in revenue (donations, tickets, merchandise etc.) and provide tuition, room and board to its players.

That’s all folks.

The argument is the players (e.g., football in particular) are risking injury and schools are selling their likenesses in video games and jerseys, so why shouldn’t they have a cut of the action?emmert3

The purists, who are trying to stem the inevitable tide, claim that these athletes are receiving a free-college education and that means something when you factor in the cost of college, particularly private schools (e.g., Stanford, USC). Almost DailyBrett must ask the question: Why is it appropriate to provide scholarships and stipends for noted academic types and not athletic contributors?

Fully Paid Out-of-State Tuition/Stipend

Four years ago this week, a moving van arrived on my street in Eugene, Oregon.

Yours truly was being offered a fellowship by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Translated: UO was waiving out-of-state tuition, providing family health care and paying a monthly stipend for little ole me to pursue my master’s degree in Communication and Society. In return, I served as a teaching assistant for five quarters.

Now let’s ask the question: Why can’t student-athletes, who provide services to the university above-and-beyond regular students, be offered stipends?

The Economist suggested increasing financial aid to cover the full cost of attendance for student-athletes; guaranteeing scholarships for as long as players need to graduate (e.g., six years is reasonable); paying for all sports-related medical expenses; and letting athletes sign their own marketing deals.

emmert2

Serving as a student manager for the University of Oregon and University of Southern California, I know first-hand that football teams are paramilitary organizations. Allowing the best players to sign their own marketing deals (e.g., stud quarterbacks, running backs, wideouts) would end up creating cliques and would divide teams between the haves (skill positions) and have-nots (linemen).

The more equitable solution would be to follow the suggestions outlined by the stately Economist  (e.g., cover full costs, guaranteed scholarships, paying for medical expenses) and the equivalent of academic stipends for all student-athletes, hailing from the major genders (e.g., satisfying Title IX).

The University of Oregon announced last week that it was picking up the costs of insurance premiums for the families of four football players, who chose to stay in school and postponed NFL paydays. The risk of injury is the same in both the college and pro games.

The payment of insurance premiums is just a start to compensation of athletes.

If teaching assistants on fellowships are making extraordinary contributions to a given university, there are logical reasons to offer the same to student-athletes for their role in expanding the brand and encouraging the best and the brightest to attend great universities.

http://www.goducks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=209610114&DB_OEM_ID=500

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21612156-americas-exploitative-college-sports-system-can-be-mended-not-ended-justice-jocks

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21612160-pressure-grows-let-student-athletes-share-fruits-their-own-labours-players-0

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/judge-jury-and-executioner/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/ncaa-board-of-directors-approves-autonomy-for-big-5-conference-schools/2014/08/07/807882b4-1e58-11e4-ab7b-696c295ddfd1_story.html

 

 

 

NFL Commish Roger Goodell is concerned that extra points (five misses out of 1,200 kicks this past season) are just too damn predictable. He is floating a trial balloon to eliminate the PAT.

PAT

He is also considering allowing players to have access to “medicinal” marijuana.

How about providing cannabis brownies to the snapper, holder and kicker before any and all PATs?

Wouldn’t that help solve the problem of point-after-touchdown 99-percent-plus predictability?

Just a thought.

Yep, I am mature enough to remember Zenon Andrusyshyn.

The name conjures up someone wanted in the former Yugoslavia? The reality is worse that that. He actually was the place kicker for UCLA.

He was a low-trajectory, soccer-style kicker, who missed the critical extra point in one of the most celebrated USC vs. UCLA games of all time, won by the Trojans 21-20 in 1967 (Troy made all three of its extra points. Alas, UCLA only two of three. Ball game).

zenon

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that a successful conversion requires the teamwork of solid protection, an accurate snap, good hold with the laces pointed away and an accurate kick. These may be 99 percent automatic in the sterile world of professional football, but oftentimes they are an adventure in college football.

What’s the best thing about freshmen? When they become sophomores. This law applies to college kickers too.

Before we go into further analysis of the NFL’s proposed dropping of extra points, let’s remember The Law of Unintended Consequences. This rule very much may apply if the NFL follows through on its no PAT proposal (and player medicinal marijuana use as well).

When I first watched the professional game, the goal posts were at the front of the end zone. Seems goofy now, but that’s where they were placed. The colleges always positioned their goal posts in the back of the end zone.

There were no two-point conversions. That was left to the college game.

The NFL eventually moved the hash marks closer to the center of the field to encourage more … (yawn) … field goals.

Later the NFL came up with the notion of the coin flip to decide a tied game. If your team won the coin toss, your team elected to receive, moved the ball down the field and then kicked a field goal to win the game.  If the other team won the coin toss, it would elect to receive, move the ball and kick the field goal to win the game. That’s un-American. Both teams should have equal opportunity in overtime.

Almost DailyBrett is happy to report that goal posts are now in the back of the end zones in professional games. The NFL has, after much kicking and screaming, adopted the two-point conversion. The hash marks are still about six-inches apart from each other in the middle of the field.

Most of all, a field goal will not automatically decide a tied game without the other team having an opportunity to kick a field goal too…or maybe (gasp) even scoring a touchdown.

Where does The Law of Unintended Consequences come into play?

Goodell suggested that instead of PATs, a team scoring a touchdown would be awarded seven points. If a team wished to try for eight points, it could run what is now a two-point conversion play from the two-yard line…except it would now be a one-point conversion try. If it succeeded, the TD-scoring team would get eight points (same as now with the two-point try) and if it failed it would lose one point and end up with six points. Got it?

goodell

Why would teams risk two points (8-2=6) to score one point (7+1=8)? That only makes sense if a team is desperately behind.

Or is this just a Machiavellian plot by the No Fun League (NFL) to quietly abolish the two-point conversion?

Here are some suggestions to keep the extra point and to ensure that a two-point conversion (a very exciting play BTW) remains indeed a two-point conversion.

● Consider requiring teams to attempt extra points from the 25-yard line, making the PAT a 42-yard kick. In domes or sunny climes with little wind, this should be no problem for a pro kicker. In windy, cold Green Bay, Chicago, Pittsburgh in January, the PAT would be anything but automatic. In these cases, would it be better to go for two points from the two-yard line? This would bring more strategy into the PAT vs. two-point conversion decision.

● In college overtime games, teams can kick extra points only in the first two overtime sessions (when each team has an opportunity to play offense). After that, each team must attempt two-point conversions. The point is to break deadlocks relatively quickly, and add the excitement of whether a team will score or fail on the two-point conversion and thus win or lose the game all on one play.

Could professional football restrict the number of times that teams can kick extra points to the first two-or-three touchdowns, requiring two-point conversions attempts for the remainder of the game? That would solve the 99 percent PAT success-rate “problem.”

● The net result in restricting the number of extra points to the first two-or-three touchdowns, and then mandating two-point conversions most likely would be fewer NFL overtime games. And if that was the case, the league should allow the team that lost the coin flip one chance at the ball even if the other team scored a touchdown. We are talking equal opportunity and fairness here.

● Another possibility is simply requiring two-point conversion attempts after all touchdowns. These would turn out to be the toughest 72 inches in all of sport. Something tells me the NFLPA would not be real keen to this idea. Maybe the PAT is not all that bad.

Is the no PAT trial balloon a diabolical NFL attempt to do away with the two-point conversion? Almost DailyBrett certainly hopes not. Maybe medicinal marijuana brownies for the snapper, holder and kicker is not such a bad idea.

Heck, why not serve them to the entire offensive line?

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24415126/roger-goodell-nfl-considering-proposal-to-eliminate-extra-points

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/01/roger-goodell-nfl-extra-point/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2014/01/21/should-the-nfl-eliminate-the-extra-point-roger-goodell-says-its-possible/

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1933838-roger-goodell-says-nfl-would-consider-allowing-medical-marijuana-for-concussions

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unintended_consequences

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zenon_Andrusyshyn

“Sometimes the most obvious question is the question. In Enron’s case: How do you make money?” — Fortune Magazine Reporter Bethany McLean.

bethany-mcleanx140

The simple answer was Enron wasn’t making money; the company was losing money hand-over-fist.

Enron was hiding these massive losses from regulators, investors, suppliers, partners and most of all, its own massively investing-in-Enron-stock employees.

Still investors poured billions into Enron simply because the stock was going up big time. The majority had no idea about how Enron made money in its energy, bandwidth and weather (go figure) trading schemes and didn’t seem to care because the stock was skyrocketing. As Martha would say: “It (was) a good thing.” Yep, a good thing until the house of cards came tumbling down in a 2001 bankruptcy filing, crashing and burning.

What was that about how does a company makes money?

As we head into the next round of hysteria as yet a third social media provider goes IPO (Initial Public Offering), this one, Twitter, under the ticker, TWTR, one needs to contemplate Bethany McLean’s most obvious of all questions.

twitterjackdorsey

How does Twitter make money?

How does LinkedIn make money?

How does Facebook make money?

How does J.C. Penne’ make money? Hint: It doesn’t.

This simple question needs to be posed to and answered by all publicly traded companies, whether they play in the new economy or the old economy.

The need to quickly, credibility and confidently answer this question, preferably in a brief elevator pitch, solidifies the need for well-trained and highly skilled corporate public relations, investor relations, crisis communications, brand and reputation management practitioners.

Teaching upper-division public relations courses, I would flash images of corporate logos up on the screen and ask students how Company A or Company B makes money.

In our quick media world — whether by conventional or digital means — the millennial digital native generation, more than any other that preceded it, has been bombarded incessantly on all sides by brands.

After initial hesitations, the students were quickly and enthusiastically recalling what the brand means in term of how a company makes money, and even “positioning” companies in their respective market spaces (e.g., BMW vs. VW: Nordstrom vs. Macy’s; Southwest vs. United). Starbucks and McDonald’s both sell upscale coffee. They now both offer drive-through windows. They are the same. Right? Wrong.

As mentioned before in Almost DailyBrett, LinkedIn and Facebook are both social media outlets. To Wall Street they couldn’t be more different.

LinkedIn debuted at $45 in 2011 and now trades at $245.13.linkedin_logo_11

Facebook went public at $38 in 2012 and now trades at $51.01.

zuckerberg

LinkedIn has been able to easily answer the how it makes money question (e.g., monetizes social media) by pointing to “connections,” premium services, advertising and the fact that LinkedIn is the choice for recruiters, job hunters, network builders and those seeking business leads.

Facebook is finally starting to gain traction in the market after its disastrous NASDAQ IPO. The company has been plagued by how do “friends” correlate with the legal tender?

Will 140-character per tweet Twitter be the next LinkedIn, the next Facebook or just maybe the first Twitter in the eyes of Wall Street investors?

A CNBC report this week pointed to Twitter’s relationship with the hard-to-get National Football League and CBS in which video supplied by both will be available for tweets. Wall Street may very well see a ka-ching correlation with this deal.

The deal and others, plus the recently announced Twitter S-1 (e.g., company prospectus) may have a direct bearing on what will be the pricing and Wall Street response to the much-anticipated IPO.

As more companies pursue the IPO route, minus the ones that opt to rebuild in privacy (e.g., Dell), that means even more opportunities for skilled-and-trained corporate public relations, investor relations, crisis communications, brand-and-management protection pros.

Conservatively, there are more than 5,100 publicly traded companies on the two major exchanges, the NYSE Euronext and NASDAQ. There are thousands more on overseas exchange, such as Japan’s Nikkei, Hong Kong’s Hang Sang, Britain’s “Footsie” or FTSE, France’s CAC-40 and Germany’s DAX.

Each of these companies, most definitely those in America, has reporting requirements on an annualized and quarterly basis. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) mandates 10-Q quarterly earnings reports; 10-K annual reports to shareholders; 8-K unscheduled “material” information disclosure announcements; S-4 additional share purchases, an annual meeting with shareholders, and of course, an S-1 filing of a privately held company prospectus prior to an IPO.

All of these filings require on-target prose, delivered conventionally and digitally, employing text, audio and video. Who are these message builders? Who will train them? And where can they be found?

As long as a publicly traded company is in business, it must report. It must communicate. It has absolutely no choice.

Quite clearly, the demand for these highly skilled corporate PR and investor relations practitioners outstrips the supply. Maybe that’s why they are compensated at a PR segment high average of $117,233 annually.

Sounds like an upwards-to-the-right market for qualitative-and-quantitative PR/IR types.

Full-Disclosure Note: The editor of Almost DailyBrett at various times owned shares of both LinkedIn and Facebook, only to subsequently sell the stocks. He fully anticipates as a mere retail investor being a late arrival to the upcoming Twitter IPO, if only to follow TWTR on a daily basis…Thank God he never bought into Enron.

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131003191330-270738-with-twitter-s-ipo-5-key-things-you-need-to-understand-about-the-social-ad-revolution

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2013/10/03/twitter-reveals-long-awaited-ipo-plans-253m-revenue-in-first-half-of-2013/

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/10/03/twitter-discloses-its-i-p-o-plans/?_r=0

LeBron is heading to the Lakers.

lebron

The deal is not imminent, but based upon the pattern of the last four decades, one knows it’s inevitable.

Wilt was shipped to the Lakers. Kareem was “traded” to LA for Junior Bridgeman…Junior Who?

Magic joined Kareem in Los Angeles. Kobe ended up with the Lakers. Ditto for Shaq.

Was it Kobe’s team or Shaq’s team? Kobe’s team.

Next up was Dwight. He was going to Brooklyn…nah…He went to the Lakers.

And soon enough it will be (count on it), LeBron.

Did you notice that surnames are not necessary for this discussion?

Growing up in the turbulent 1960s/1970s in LaLaLand, Sunday night was the roller derby Los Angeles Thunderbirds live from the Olympic Auditorium with Dick Lane at the microphone on KTLA (Channel 5). For many, his voice was just as recognizable as Vin Scully with the Todgers and Chick Hearn with the Lakers.

What was curious was the Thunderbirds never went on the road and they always miraculously won at the end against the likes of the New York Bombers, the Detroit Devils and the Oklahoma Outlaws.

thunderbirds

It seemed as if Roller Derby wanted the Thunderbirds to always win, which drew pleased eyeballs from the second largest media market in the country. Guess some habits never die or never will be permitted to die.

Before the opening of the “Fabulous Forum” on Manchester and Prairie in Inglewood in 1967, the National Hockey League (NHL) was composed of a half-dozen teams.

Today, they are quaintly referred to as the “Original Six.”

Officially, the National Basketball Association now has 30 teams, five teams each in six divisions.

In reality, the NBA has six teams: Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, the Flavor of the Year (e.g., Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs) and of course…The Franchise, The Los Angeles Lakers.

There are always was and always will be The Lakers…and some big eastern seaboard teams. Everyone else is playing the role of the Washington Generals…err…Washington Wizards.

Could the Green Bay Packers ever exist in the NBA?

The whole notion of a small community banding together to buy essentially worthless stock in its team, and supporting the heck out of them in below-freezing temps, is unimaginable to the NBA.

The Packers winning the Super Bowl over the small-market Pittsburgh Steelers is not what one associates with the NBA. The association glorifies its stars playing for the big-metropolitan-area teams, particularly the anointed one that wears purple and gold in Los Angeles.

The conclusion here is the NFL is strong and confident enough to embrace its small markets, and can even celebrate when two of its smaller franchises contest each other in the Super Bowl.

A bucket-list must for virtually all sports fans is a trip to Lambeau Field (“The Frozen Tundra”) preferably in September or October. Will there ever be fans making pilgrimages to the home of the New Orleans Pelicans or another franchise that serves as mere canon-fodder for the Lakers?

Seems silly to even ask the question.

Is Almost DailyBrett openly suggesting that the NBA is Roller Derby or World Wresting Entertainment (WWE) in drag? Is the fix on? Of course not.

Didn’t NBA Commissioner David Stern prevent Chris Paul from being basically awarded from the destitute New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans to the Lakers? True. He ended up with another LA team, the Clippers.

lakers

There were no such Stern und Drang heroics when it came to Dwight joining Kobe. And when it is time for Kobe to move into the broadcast booth, will The Franchise be left without a first-name only star? The NBA cannot permit that. Dan Patrick will not permit it. Colin Cowherd will not permit it. Jim Rome will not permit it. The LA media market will not permit it.

Write this down: LeBron is heading to the Lakers. The Blazers, Warriors, Suns, Cavaliers, Pelicans will endure season-after-season of deep-down knowing that they never can effectively compete against The Lakers.

It’s just another season in the six-team National Basketball Association.

http://www.latbirds.net/

http://t.foxsports.msn.com/nba/kobe-thinks-he-was-hurt-intentionally-%e2%80%94-again

http://www.danpatrick.com/

http://espn.go.com/espnradio/show?showId=theherd

http://jimrome.com/

http://www.nba.com/

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