Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday musings

- The countdown is on--less than 14 days until the new season of Mad Men on AMC.

- Now that the World Cup is over, we can only hope that FIFA will not be its usual stubborn self and ignore the travesty which was the officiating in this tournament. Even yesterday's final was marred by the number of yellow cards and the controversial "no call" on what the Dutch thought was a clear offsides on Spain's winning goal. Soccer's international governing body has to fix this problem prior to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

- The new "must have" ticket in Kansas City is one to the October 8 Miami Heat - Oklahoma City Thunder NBA exhibition game. Yes, that's the same Miami Heat which now features the King, D-Wade and Chris Bosh, along with former Kansas star and local favorite, Mario Chalmers. The Thunder will bring Big 12 Player-of-the-Year Kevin Durant, along with KU's Nick Collison and Cole Aldrich.

- Speaking of King James, it appears that a real life Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven's character on Entourage) had a lot to do with James' appearance on ESPN this past Thursday night. Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor, called "The Decision," an event which "pushed the needle on advertiser-content programming." The ESPN special featured Microsoft's Bing and the University of Phoenix as presenting sponsors, and also had McDonald's, State Farm and VitaminWater as advertisers. ESPN donated the time and agreed that all ad revenue would go the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Emanuel, and partner Mark Dowley, former vice chairman of McCann Erickson, brokered the deal with the network and advertisers. And, while many are howling about the blurring of the lines of journalistic integrity versus ratings, the event succeeded in pulling in big numbers--the special produced a stunning 7.3 rating in the top 56 TV markets. Which brings us all back to Emanuel, considered to be the basis for the Gold character on Entourage (and real-life brother of Presidential aide Rahm Emanuel)...he did all of this as head of the William Morris Endeavor agency, even though James is a client of rival Creative Artists Agency. No wonder LeBron looked so uncomfortable on camera during this program!

- Bob Sheppard, the long-time public address announcer for the New York Yankees, died this week at age 91. Sheppard's passing provides us this week's quote-of-the-week: Mickey Mantle once told Sheppard that he got goose bumps every time Sheppard introduced him in Yankee Stadium. Sheppard famously replied, "Mickey, so do I."

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