Tag Archive: USA Today


“For the American generation which has grown up since the downfall of the USSR, socialism is no longer the boo word it once was.” The Economist, Feb. 16, 2019

The youngest of all Millennials were gestating in 1980.

Reagan called upon Gorbachev to “Tear Down This Wall” in 1987.

The Berlin Wall came tumbling down in 1989.

The Soviet Union collapsed under its sheer weight in 1991.

The last of the Millennials arrived in the millennial year, 2000.

The largely overlooked question: How many Millennials personally remember the USSR?

Alas, the answer is very, very few.

Only the oldest Millennials may have any memory of the Wall coming down when they were nine or the Soviet Union imploding without a shot being fired when they were 11.

For the vast majority of Millennials including all of the younger members of the Y-Generation, none of them remember the USSR and most of all, its authoritarian brand (being charitable) of socialism/communism.

To top it off, they are thus easily impressionable for exploitation by politicians, entertainers and academics who absolutely adore all things Karl Marx including some wearing red star hats and sporting Che Guevara t-shirts and posters.

Instead of “We the people” and liberty, it’s “Dictatorship of the Proletariat.”

When someone says government can provide a whole cavalcade of goodies – government-paid health insurance, college, jobs — for free, including Universal Basic Income (UBI) for those “unwilling” to work … don’t you just know there will be Big Brother Orwellian strings attached?

Back From The USSR

“I’m back in the U.S.S.R.
You don’t know how lucky you are boy
Back in the U.S.S.R. (Yeah)”
– Lennon (Not Lenin) & McCartney

For Almost DailyBrett, a 1981 two-week trip to Leonid Brezhnev’s “Evil Empire” was an eye-opening, life-changing journey.

Kevin in Moscow – 1981

The flood-lit Wunder of Red Square (Красная площадь) in Moscow, the Swan Lake performance of the Bolshoi, the splendor of the Czar’s winter and summer palaces in St. Petersburg (Leningrad at the time) are all must see for any student of history and politics, let alone art.

Your author has placed a return-venture to modern-day Russia on his Bucket List, particularly what has changed and unfortunately what has remained the same (tyranny).

It’s safe to say that Russia has transformed itself after attempted Glasnost and Perestroika into an authoritarian oligarchical capitalist state with widespread corruption.

You can take the Vladimir Putin out of the KGB, but you can’t the KGB out of Vladimir Putin.

Looking back to your author’s trip to the Soviet Union, there were the wonders of Russia. There was also the socialist/communist police state reality of the USSR.

There were the jammed horrible motor coaches,

There were the lines for food and the basics of life.

There were well-stocked Beriozka or “little birch” stores, which accepted all currencies except for Russian rubles. It must suck to be you, Ivan and Tanya.

There were the tiny little cars with lawn-mower engines for the fortunate few (10 years wait), while Zil limousines carried Communist big shots to their exclusive dachas.

The Most Equal Of The Equals

“In an ideal socialist society, “the people” own the means of production. Everyone’s basic needs are met. Leaders are elected democratically. When implemented, however, human nature intervenes. Powerful elites take charge.” – Alex Berezow. USA Today Board of Contributors

Bummer.

There is so much discussion about the haves and the have-nots of American society.

There are cries for social justice: Translated some all-powerful state entity must level the playing field.

The question, which remains: Did socialist/communist USSR really even the score for everyone?

Whattya think AOC? How’s Venezuela working out? Is history repeating itself?

Even more to the point: Do Millennials in their lack of deep direct knowledge/remembrance of the USSR appreciate the stark dark truth of government provided socialism?

Karl Marx may be turning over in his grave but sorry to say, his idea did not work, and will not work regardless of the nation. Too many people want to achieve, and to do better for themselves and their families.

And yet there is hope for Millennials, and proof that many have not consumed the red cool aid.

It’s called Buy Low Sell High, and that beautifully simple concept applies to Millennials too.

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/02/14/millennial-socialism

https://www.economist.com/briefing/2019/02/14/millennial-socialists-want-to-shake-up-the-economy-and-save-the-climate

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/02/21/cnn-thinks-socialism-cool-my-grandparents-ussr-would-disagree/349830002/

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/millennials-communism-sounds-pretty-chill-2017-11-01

“When the war was over, the men and women who had been involved … joined in joyous and short-lived celebrations, then immediately began the task of rebuilding their lives and the world they wanted … They married in record numbers and gave birth to another distinctive generation, the Baby Boomers. They stayed true to their values of personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith.” – Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, The Greatest Generation 

“Tom Brokaw once wrote a book about the greatest generation, those brave people who survived the depression and fought in World War II. Unfortunately that great generation spawned a generation of narcissists: the baby boomers.” – Huffington Post blogger Gene Marks

The Baby Boomers are inevitably moving day-by-day toward the ash heap of recorded history … and not a moment too soon.woodstock

USA Today last week reported for the first time ever, the number of Millennials exceeds the population of Baby Boomers by an 83.1 million to 75.4 million count, according to the 2014 U.S. Census.

Poor Millennials and X-Gens. They will be the first generations in American history to have a worse standard of living than the preceding generation … that would be the Baby Boomers.

Many Millennials are going to college, graduating with oppressive student loan debt or for the lucky few, no debt, and settling for a job that once did not require a degree, and pays $10,000 less now than it did in the 1980s.

“Will that be a latte, cappuccino or mocha, sir (or madam)?”

And as a result of this economic dilemma, many Millennials particularly those saddled with an average of $40,000 in college loan debt, are being forced to … yes, move back into a parent’s or parents’ home.

Where will the “Hello Kitty” poster go?millennials

Can Millennials buy a house, even with near-record, low-interest rates averaging 4.19 percent this week? The author of Almost DailyBrett remembers buying his first house for $120,000 in Sacramento in 1984 at a 30-year fixed rate of 14.25 percent, paying two points for the privilege. Two years later, your blogger refinanced the loan down to 10.25 percent, once again paying two points.

Do you think Millennials can find any house in California for $120,000 that will not come with meth- lab neighbors, who will soon be auditioning for The Jerry Springer Show?

Brokaw wrote about “personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith” in describing the virtues of the Silent Generation, born between 1925-1945, which stared down the Global Depression and won World War II on two theatres of combat.

Do you think anyone would ascribe any of these Silent Generation virtues – personal responsibility, duty, honor and faith — to the hedonistic Baby Boomers? Seems like a silly question.

The Entitlement Generation 

“The selfishness that has been a hallmark of the Boomers will continue right up to the very end, as they force millions of younger Americans to devote an inordinate amount of time and resources to their care, bankrupting the Social Security system in the process. In their old age, the Boomers will actually take as much from the next generation as they did from the previous one, which fought WW II.” – The Onion, January 20, 1999

“But you know nowadays
It’s the old man,
He’s got all the money
And a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
I said nothing” — The Who, Young Man Blues

If it feels good; do it.

Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.

Almost DailyBrett refrains for the most part in making absolute predictions, but will do so in this case:

Someone, someday will write an epic tome glorying the “Me, Me, Me” generation, and will attempt to be the Tom Brokaw of the Baby Boomers. It will be a pathetic effort that will nonetheless be coffee-table book lucrative because there will be some in the born-between-1946-1964 crowd, who will want to desperately justify their sorry existence on the planet.

They will point to the end of the Vietnam War. They will direct attention to the campaign for the equal rights for women. They will wax nostalgic about the civil rights marches. There are already plenty of revisionist Oliver Stone movies that make these very same points.

But weren’t all of these crusades … sorry bad word with religious overtones for some Baby Boomers … weren’t all of these movements mounted back in the 1960s? What have you done for us since then? Legalized marijuana?

The same-sex marriage victory? That achievement must be shared with Millennials and X-Gens.

Baby Boomers burned the flag, staged Woodstock and Altamont, the latter came with Hells Angels and bloody pool cues. Many against-the-war-in-Vietnam types still don’t like America very much,  bitching and moaning, while not even considering moving anywhere else.

Way too many Baby Boomers made lifestyle choices, which contributed to a nearly four-times increase of former workers on disability from 2.8 million in 1981 to 8.5 million in 2011. Guess who is and who will be paying the bill for these Americans, most of whom will never work again?

The federal deficit was $2.8 trillion in 1989. Thanks mainly to the explosion of growing entitlements for Baby Boomers and some others; the red ink now stands at $18.1 trillion last month … another bi-product of the Baby Boomer generation.

Many Baby Boomers, including those who decried the “Military-Industrial Complex,” became very wealthy during the Internet boom (e.g. Yuppies), buying every McMansion in sight and driving up prices, until (you knew it had to happen) the Bubble burst, and their expensive cars were repossessed.

While markets were recovering, far too many Baby Boomers drove up their plastic debt, and then turned to real estate and refinanced to the max to keep up their spending habits until (once again: you knew it had to happen) … the real estate Bubble burst. Many were left with underwater mortgages … and simply walked away from their houses.

What was left for the Millennials, holding the bag? A rotten economy. Overpriced real estate, transforming the American Dream of home ownership into a pipe dream. Soaring tuition at colleges and universities and with it, $1.2 trillion in cumulative student loan debt.

And when they graduate? Part-time McJobs with no benefits for far too many. And you wonder why the Millennials are mad at the Baby Boomers?

Before going any further, the author of Almost DailyBrett has a confession to make: Yes, I was born in 1955, and am a card-carrying member of the Baby Boomer generation.dinosaur

Does it seem that I am rooting for my own personal demise as more Baby Boomers pass into the abyss every day? Well, no.

Am I embarrassed to be part of this selfish generation and wished it was different, far different? You bet ya.

Will Steven Spielberg, born 1946, serve as the executive director for “Baby Boomer World,” featuring out-of-control, carnivorous, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dinosaurs?

Be afraid, be very afraid.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/25/millennials-now-outnumber-boomers-census-says/29294241/

http://thoughtcatalog.com/matthew-primeau/2015/01/baby-boomers-ruined-the-world-for-millennials/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gene-marks/this-is-why-the-baby-boom_b_4441735.html

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a1451/worst-generation-0400/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jmaureenhenderson/2013/11/30/millennials-earn-less-than-their-parents-and-the-recession-isnt-to-blame/

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102410254

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/06/generational-decline

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2014/05/20/8-differences-between-boomers-and-millennials

http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work/

http://www.theonion.com/article/long-awaited-baby-boomer-die-off-to-begin-soon-exp-647

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/why-the-boomers-are-the-most-hated-generation/276368/

http://home.adelphi.edu/sbloch/deficits.html

Reportedly, a 36-year-old Rich Brooks was told there was no way he could win at Oregon, when he accepted a $32,000 per year, four-year contract to become head coach in 1977.richbrooks

There were no natural advantages at the counterculture oriented, liberal arts university located in a college town tucked away in a sparsely populated, rainy slice of America’s cul-de-sac, the Pacific Northwest. Brooks predecessor was 9-24 in three years.

The negative recruiters, who were steering studs to USC, UCLA and Washington, said that star high school recruits could not work on their game year around in Eugene; they would never win a championship; never play in a bowl game; never be seen on television; never play in a game that mattered …

And for the most part they were correct. Ground zero was the absolutely awful 0-0 “Toilet Bowl” tie against Oregon State in 1983. Thankfully, the game will go down in NCAA history as the last scoreless tie ever played.

Hmmm…the Ducks played in the last scoreless game and the first college football playoff game, dominating Florida State 59-20 and winning the Rose Bowl as well. What a difference three decades can make?

And according to USA Today, ESECPN and others, all the credit goes to Nike founder/super $19.9 billion alumnus Phil Knight.

unclephil

As we celebrate the legendary contributions of Phil and Penny Knight in terms of Oregon’s brand and facilities, let’s not forget the achievements of an Oregon State grad, Rich Brooks.

No Swooshes on the Uniforms

There is a reason the turf at Autzen Stadium is called, “Rich Brooks Field.”

During the course of his 18-year stint as Oregon’s head coach, the Ducks went 91-109-4 … not a record that would prompt anyone to write home to mumsy. Many alums were calling for Brooks scalp, when one year of mediocrity followed another in the early 1990s.

Oregon played in a relatively small (41,000 capacity at the time) noisy stadium, Spartan facilities, rarely on television, and had trouble competing against the USCs, UCLAs and most of all, the Washingtons of the conference.

And yet Rich Brooks hired the core group of coaches that started the Golden Era of Oregon football: Mike Bellotti, offensive coordinator; Nick Aliotti, defensive coordinator; Don Pellum, linebackers: Gary Campbell, running backs; Steve Greatwood, offensive line; and Jim Radcliffe, strength and conditioning.

In turn, they found gems in the rough … Danny O’Neil, Ricky Whittle, Cristin McLemore, Jeremy Asher, Rich Ruhl … and a redshirt freshman defensive back by the name of Kenny Wheaton as in, “Kenny Wheaton is going to score. Kenny Wheaton is going to score” that propelled the Oregon Ducks to their first Rose Bowl in 37 years in 1994.

The Oregon Ducks with traditional uniforms that mimicked the look of the Green Bay Packers with no swooshes to be found gave #No. 2 Penn State holly heck that day before falling 38-20. Even in defeat, it finally become cool to root for Oregon.

Goodbye Rich; Enter Phil

After winning national coach of the year awards, Rich Brooks was a hot commodity. He was hired by the St. Louis Rams for a contract far in excess of his $32,000 starting salary at Oregon.

What followed was the heralded conversation between “Uncle Phil” and Brooks’ successor, Mike Bellotti. What did Oregon need to compete? An indoor practice facility. The rest is history. Knight wrote the $10 million check that allows Oregon athletes to work on their game year round.

Since that time, Knight invested more than $300 million to the Oregon Athletic Department including $70 million for the football performance center, $60 million for the renovation and expansion of Autzen Stadium; $60 million for an academic center and $100 million for the basketball arena (e.g., the Matthew Knight Arena).

The Ducks in turn have revolutionized football, particularly under Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich as head coaches, and Scott Frost as offensive coordinator. Wearing the cool Nike uniform du jour, the Ducks run their spread offense at a warp-speed tempo and put up ridiculous amounts of points.

They still don’t out-recruit USC or UCLA, but they find their “guys” to fit into the system, and Almost DailyBrett knows the coolness factor helps attract the attention of studs that would never have considered the little school from the little state in the Pacific Northwest.

The bricks of the Berlin Wall of negative recruiting … lousy weather, subpar facilities, no bowls, no championships, no Heismans, no television … have all fallen by the wayside.

rich-brooks1

To be fair, we need to reflect on the guy that got it started, Rich Brooks. He will never be accused of being warm and fuzzy, and maybe that contributed to those who called for his firing in 1993-1994. He turned the Ducks around. It took a patient 18 years, but his perseverance was rewarded. He ushered in the Golden Era of Oregon Football.

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

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/pac12/2014/12/29/oregon-nike-phil-knight-college-football-playoff/21013009/

http://www.forbes.com/profile/phil-knight/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/rooting-for-oregon-before-it-was-cool/

 

 

“I don’t want to play in a Rose Bowl unless I’m playing for a national championship.” – Oregon wide receiver, Josh Huff

“It’s not a big deal at all … We already won a Rose Bowl, so I feel like it’s whatever.” – Oregon running back/receiver/athlete De’Anthony Thomas

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Wisconsin vs Oregon

The 100th Anniversary Rose Bowl … “Whatever”?

Former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington was shaking his head reflecting on DAT’s Rose Bowl whatever  dismissal during the latest installment of Comcast’s “Talking Ducks.”

Harrington grew up in Portland, Oregon dreaming of playing in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.

He took the Ducks to three consecutive bowl game wins: The Sun over Minnesota in 1999; the Holiday over Texas in 2000; and the Fiesta on New Year’s Day 2002 over Colorado. Three-for-three for “Captain Comeback,” but no Rose Bowl.

An awful Civil War game against Oregon State on a frigid November Saturday in 2000, and a nightmare fourth quarter against Stanford in October, 2001, kept Harrington out of Pasadena for the final two years of his college career. His ultimate dream was not realized, and it obviously still hurts to this day.

joeyharrington

Josh Huff and De’Anthony Thomas are good guys and their comments are understandable, considering that Stanford pretty much put the kibosh on Oregon competing for the national championship.

To some the Rose Bowl has become a consolation prize, largely because of the BCS. Similar sentiments are being heard in Columbus, Ohio, where an undefeated Ohio State team may be relegated to…the Rose Bowl.

“I don’t mind playing in the Rose Bowl, playing for the fans and my teammates,” Huff said. “But deep down I don’t wanna be a prep game for the national championship game.”

It hasn’t always been this way, and it really shouldn’t be this way.

Growing up I didn’t want to die without seeing the Rolling Stones live, and the Ducks in the Rose Bowl.

I achieved Satisfaction (even hearing the song played live three times), doing my best Jumpin’ Jack Flash with the Stones six times, proving that you can get what you want.

The first Oregon Rose Bowl in the modern era came in 1994 from an Oregon team forecasted to finish 10th in the Pacific 10 conference. Tears were rolling down collective faces as the band played “Mighty Oregon” on the floor of the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

There was no place else I was going to be on Planet Earth for those four hours on January 2, 1995 (Never on Sunday for the Tournament of Roses).

Since that time, the Ducks have been back to Pasadena twice, losing to Ohio State in the 2010 game and beating Wisconsin two years later. And now the Ducks sit on the precipice of their third trip to the Rose Bowl in five years.

oregonrosebowl

As Ronald Reagan would say, “Not bad, not bad at all.”

Almost DailyBrett generally refrains from making categorical, unequivocal statements but will state for the record that Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day is gorgeous on the most beautiful day of the year. The Los Angeles smog takes the day off. The skies are blue. The air is warm. The tailgate parties on Brookside Golf Course are rocking and rolling by 8:30 am, about five hours before kickoff.

My childhood home was literally next door in Glendale, The Bedroom of Los Angeles (dubbed out of the sheer boredom of the LA suburb, not for rampant sexual activity). You could almost hit the Rose Bowl with a rock from the balcony of my high school, St. Francis, in adjacent La Cañada.

I always dreamed of going to the Rose Bowl game.

My first time was as a junior manager for the USC Trojans, right on the sideline, on New Year’s Day 1977. We beat Michigan that day, 14-6. I still treasure my Rose Bowl ring and watch. Since that day, I have been to eight more Rose Bowls including the three aforementioned Oregon Rose Bowls.

As Gary Horowitz of USA Today wrote there was a time that Oregon even making the Rose Bowl would be relished, and not seen as the warm-up act before the headliner: The BSC National Championship Game.

Part of the reason for the lack of overall excitement by Oregon player’s lies in the fact that the program played in the “Natty” in 2011. That was the dream this year. The Bristol, Connecticut network Pharisees (e.g., former Florida QB Jesse Palmer or former Georgia LB David Pollack) at ES(SEC)PN have already discarded any chance of one loss Oregon playing in the Natty, so the Rose Bowl is now the realistic goal.

Keep in mind that five nationally ranked Pac-12 universities are still in the hunt for Pasadena on New Year’s Day: Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, USC and UCLA. The latter four do not see the Rose Bowl as a consolation prize.

The precious nature of the Rose Bowl is magnified if one makes a visit to Corvallis, Oregon, Berkeley, California or Tucson, Arizona. The Beavers have not been to the Rose Bowl since 1965 (48 years); the Cal Bears have been shut out of Pasadena since 1959 (54 years); and the Arizona Wildcats have never made it to Pasadena.

And these three schools are not making it this year either.

If Bear Down Arizona or the Old Blues of Cal or the Beaver Nation ever makes it to Pasadena there will be tears shed in Tucson, (even) Berkeley or Corvallis.

No one would be dismissing the Rose Bowl as, “Whatever.”

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10011543/oregon-ducks-unhappy-prospect-rose-bowl-trip

http://bleacherreport.com/tb/dbMv4?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=oregon-ducks-football

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/pac12/2013/11/20/oregon-ducks-rose-bowl-pac-12-marcus-mariota/3659641/

http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2013/11/oregon_ducks_football_deanthon_8.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/lifelong-search-for-satisfaction/

Less is More

Wish more PR practitioners would follow this incredibly simple adage.

Couldn’t help but to be impressed by a Twitter post from Austin’s celebrated SXSW  by Eugene, Oregon PR pro Kelli Matthews. She wrote that the key to pitching with PowerPoint is 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30-point font minimum. Yep.

This is so friggin’ simple, but for so many it is so incredibly difficult. The main reason is that it requires discipline, a discipline that so many of us do not have.

Why is this important? The reason is the audience, in particular, your target audience. They are real, breathing, living human beings. They are here on this planet for just so long. Their attention span for what you have to present and advocate is just so long. They have been sitting in the same seat for just so long. The call of nature is coming. Their minds are starting to wonder. They are starting to text. Fumbling through their programs. And there you are, droning on. They are physically present but not mentally present. A good performer knows when it is time to leave the stage…and you are still talking.

When USA Today with its short, easy-to-read-and-comprehend stories was founded by Al Neuharth way back in 1982, the Fourth Estate elite immediately attacked it as “Journalism Lite.” To them, USA Today was less filling and didn’t taste great. What was great were cerebral 70-inch New York Times stories that included multiple jumps. Hope you have the time.

But that is the problem, people don’t have the time (except maybe for Sundays) to spread out the paper. Instead, we are a society on the move. We only have so much personal bandwidth.

Without knowing it, USA Today with its no-jump stories served as a forerunner to Facebook with its quick micro blogs or 140-character Twitter or the crawl at the bottom of the screen on CNBC, ESPN, Fox, CNN etc. We only have so much time, please give me my information now…and spare the details. I want to know what time it is, not how to build a clock.

Once as a trade association rep, I put out a RFP to four PR firms asking for them to pitch their services. The only catch was that I asked for the Ronald Reagan two-pager. That’s right, I wanted their pitch in two pages to see how they could crystalize their thinkng. “But what about our 70-page portfolio?” You would have thought that I was asking them to choose between burning at the stake or drowning. All four gathered themselves, responded with their two pagers, and one was selected. This can be done.

And yet, I would sit around later in my career at PR agency planning sessions where editing constituted adding slides to a presentation. Wait! We have 58 slides right now, and you want to add six more? About what? “Living in Color?” Our commitment to being swell people? How long is our meeting? What? An hour and 20 minutes and we have 64 slides…

Our rule of thumb at LSI Logic was two minutes per slide. If the event organizer was asking for 40 minutes of presentation by our CEO or one of our executives and 20 minutes of questions, well do the math. That would be 20 slides. If we were required to edit, then we would employ zero-based budgeting; if we add one, then one has to come out. And we were mindful about how much information was contained in each slide. A fire-hose approach does not work with PowerPoint.

And speaking of presentations, you need to get off to a good start with points that have the audience nodding in agreement with a speaker who projects with real enthusiasm and energy. Nothing bores an audience quicker than someone who stands behind a podium reading the text in a monotone voice. Instead strap on the lavaliere mike, walk around the stage, engage the audience, use the graphics as prompts (don’t read the graphics; the audience can do that for themselves).

And remember that most humans do not want to be lectured to. They want information and they want the opportunity to question authority. They want to engage in a conversation. Develop your message. Figure out how long it will take, really take, to deliver your core message. Think of it this way, say what you need to say not what you want to say. And then go out and say it.

And maybe you can do it in 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30-point type at a minimum. Deliver your message. Take questions. And then exit stage right to applause ringing in your ears.

Editor’s Note: I am proud to serve as Kelli Matthews’ teaching assistant for “Principles of PR”again this spring at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. I am also pleased to be one of her nearly 5,000 Twitter disciples.

http://twitter.com/#!/kmatthews

http://www.prosintraining.com

http://sxsw.com/

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

www.lsilogic.com

“Right now, it’s difficult to find many good reasons why the heading coaching position at Oregon would not be attractive. The school does lack tradition, but the Ducks have averaged 8.4 wins per season since 1994.” – Athlon Sports, “Coaching Jobs from First to Worst.” http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football

Make that 8.5 wins per season for Oregon since 1994 with potentially three more this year.

Chip Kelly’s job as Oregon’s head coach (he is 19-3 in his nearly two years at the helm) is rated as the 15th best gig in all of college football. In contrast, Notre Dame is ranked as the 12th ranked coaching destination and the main reason is the “T” word for tradition. http://www.goducks.com/

“Notre Dame has three unique advantages compared to almost every school in the country – a national following, its own television contract (signed through 2015 with NBC) and an unparalleled history that includes 11 consensus national titles and seven Heisman Trophy winners.” http://www.und.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/061908aaa.html

Holy Touchdown Jesus and Number One Moses that is friggin’ impressive until you start pulling down the recent numbers. In fact, Notre Dame defies the Almost DailyBrett Law of College Football: Tradition is Now.

bamaND

Do I dare infuriate Lou Holtz and Beano Cook by speaking ill of Notre Dame?

Will I be excommunicated by Rome?

Let’s just let the numbers do the talking.

Number One Oregon (10-0) has consistently out competed unranked Notre Dame (6-5 including a loss at home to Tulsa) over a span of the last 17 years and there is no doubt the Ducks with Darron Thomas and LaMichael James running the spread offense would blow the Fighting Irish off the field this year. According to the Jeff Sagarin ratings for USA Today, Oregon would be favored by 25 points, if the game was played in Eugene, and 19 points, if the contest was played in South Bend. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbt10.htm?loc=interstitialskip

But wait a minute…Notre Dame has won all these national titles…Quick when was the last time that Notre Dame was the best team in all the land (Hint, Reagan was president)? Wonder who is the number one team in the BCS rankings that came out tonight? Sorry Mr. Leprechaun, it is not you.

For the record, the last ND Heisman trophy winner was Tim Brown in 1987. Since that time, no member of the Irish has even sniffed the famous straight-arm. For Oregon, Joey Harrington and Dennis Dixon were serious candidates the last decade and James is expected to be at least invited as a finalist to the ceremony in New York in three weeks.

Let’s match up the two including this season in progress and going back to 1994:

Oregon is 145-62; Notre Dame is 120-84.

Oregon has been to 14 bowls and is 6-8 in these post-season contests (includes two Rose Bowls, one Fiesta Bowl, one Cotton Bowl and most likely either BCS championship game or the Rose Bowl this year). Notre Dame has been to 10 bowls and is 1-9 (interrupting a NCAA record nine straight bowl losses with a win in…the 2008 Hawaii Bowl).

Since 1994, Oregon has missed two bowls and recorded only one losing season. Notre Dame in this span has missed bowls six times and has recorded four losing seasons.

Oregon is on the cusp of winning its fourth outright Pac-10 title and fifth overall since 1994. The Ducks are second only to USC in Pac-10 titles, who dominated the conference from 2002 to 2008. Speaking of USC, who would the Trojans rather play, Notre Dame or Oregon? If you asked the Notre Dame and USC alums they would wax poetically about the “Greatest Intersectional Rivalry” in all the land. If you ask the USC players, they would grumble about the 100 points that Oregon has scored against them in the last two games.

DAT1

Since 1994 (they play this Saturday), Notre Dame has compiled a 4-11 record head-to-head against the Men of Troy, including losing the last eight. In contrast, Oregon is 8-5 against USC during this stretch including winning the last two and three out-of-the last four.

Using marketing speak, NBC’s Dick Ebersol described Notre Dame as the “most storied brand in college sports.” Really? Does that mean NBC will televise more ND losses to Connecticut, Navy and Tulsa for the benefit rapidly aging subway alumni, who fondly remember John Huarte and Paul Hornung? That is east of the Hudson River thinking that reflects the proverbial East Coast bias.

Let’s face it Notre Dame has a Little Napoleon complex as epitomized by their pint-size mascot and their relatively quiet stadium. Oregon in comparison offers college football’s loudest and most intimidating venue, Autzen Stadium, and the one-and-only triple-threat mascot, the Duck. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&page=iZone091028

Yes, the push-up champion Duck can go by land, sea and air…Let’s see the sham(rock) Leprechaun pull off that feat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ve92hOixGo

What’s easier, attacking or explaining?

Ever hear the old saying that allegations make news, rebuttals don’t?

Do “nuances” lend themselves to 140-bite “tweets?”

If these truths are self-evident then who has the advantage: challengers or incumbents?

This week’s Economist analyzed how politicians around the world from Venezuela to Japan and from Greece to Chile are using Twitter social media tools to get out their messages to constituents and voters. By extension this also applies to those who aim to unseat them. In fact, the insurgents may have a clear advantage. http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=16056612

The trend toward quicker and faster political dialogue accelerated from radio fireside chats and televised presidential debates with the birth of “USA Today” in 1982. Fourth Estate purists ripped the new publication as “Journalism Lite” for its practice of synthesizing news down to easy-to-read-and-comprehend stories. The editors of USA Today laughed last as the format meets the needs of the populous with ever-shrinking attention spans to the tune of 1.8 million copies daily as of last March. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_Today.

Coupled with the introduction of “Journalism Lite” has been the growing reliance on the 20-second sound bite and the 30-second spot to move the opinions of an increasingly distracted and information-overloaded general public. This is particularly true in multiple-market, mass-media states such as California, New York, Texas, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, where retail politics are not possible and not even practical.

Political purists have long denigrated reducing complex policy choices, such as health care, immigration, national security, energy, to quick 20-second earned media sound bites or the reach and repetition of paid media 30-second radio and television spots. Even with the growing reliance on digital tools including the Internet and social media neither the 20-second bite nor the 30-second spot is going away anytime soon. http://newteevee.com/2010/02/08/advertisers-look-beyond-the-30-second-tv-spot/

Now add into the mix prominent social media sites including Facebook with its 400 million viewers, Twitter, 100 million, and LinkedIn, 65 million. The Economist concluded that: “As well as boosting the profile of individual politicians, Twitter may be better designed for campaigning and opposition than for governing. ‘We’ll change Washington’ is easy to fit into 140 characters. Explaining the messy and inevitable compromises of power is a lot harder.”

The Economist noted a January study by Fleishman Hillard, a Washington PR firm, http://fleishmanhillard.com/ that discovered that Republicans in the House of Representatives twittered more than five times as often as Democrats.

And which party is the out party? The Republicans. Who is playing offense and leading the fight against incumbents? The Republicans. Who are the incumbents that are playing defense having to explain the inevitable nuances of government and policy development? The Democrats.

Of course, the direct opposite was true back in 2006 as the incumbent Republicans were back on their collective heels against determined challengers, the Democrats. Certainly, Internet organizing was a significant factor in the Democrats taking over both houses of Congress that year and Barack Obama being elected president two years later.

Considering that LinkedIn.com was established in 2003, Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006, the 2010 campaign can effectively be seen as America’s first true social media electoral cycle. Whether the GOP uses these tools to their maximum advantage or whether the Democrats figure out how to employ social media to explain incumbent policies and rally their base will be analyzed in-depth following the November elections.

One thing is certain: Just as radio was harnessed to the advantage of FDR, and television for JFK and Ronald Reagan, we will soon learn who are the first big political winners of the social media age.

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