Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mid-week musings...and an early college football prediction

- This weekend's Big 12 play begins tonight as Nebraska travels to Manhattan, KS to play Kansas State--a match-up of two undefeated teams. Nebraska struggled in their last outing and new QB Taylor Martinez looked like--well--a new QB. I anticipate that Nebraska's vaunted defense will be able to successfully manage KSU's run-based offense, thus forcing the Wildcats into too many throwing situations. The line here is 10.5--I think Kansas State plays tough but falls to NU by 13.

- We wrote in this space months ago about some of the recent, questionable branding decisions made by major companies, notably Pepsi and their lineup of beverage brands. Now, Gap is getting into the act. The retailer has ditched the iconic blue box logo for a new, fairly radical redesign which makes me ask the question "why?" Gap's sales may be faltering but the brand identity of the retailer, across its 1,200 stores in the U.S. plus more in Europe and Asia, is iconic. A subtle redesign? Maybe. A major overhaul? No.

- Newscaster Soledad O'Brien will undergo knee surgery after being thrown from a horse this past Sunday. O'Brien was horseback riding with her two daughters when the horse apparently got spooked and threw the journalist. It does make one wonder if creatures with legs were meant to be ridden.

- Is Brent Musberger an authority on steroids? The broadcaster, part of the lead college football announcing team for ESPN and ABC, was speaking to a group of University of Montana students (Musberger lives in Montana) and told them that while steroids have no place in high school athletics, they could be used by professionals with proper care and with a doctor's advice. Really? I've been a critic of Musberger's announcing abilities of late, particularly on college basketball, but this statement is out of line given the impact that steroids have had across the world of sports.

- Toni Braxton is filing for bankruptcy...again. The singer, who has sold over 40 million albums in her career, reportedly owes up to $50 million.

- As good as The Sopranos was on HBO, is there a television show, in recent memory, which engenders the debate, analysis and overall watercooler discussion of Mad Men? Season four of this show has been very eventful and I'm constantly encountering those who want to talk over the exploits of Don, Peggy, Joan, Roger and Betty.

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