A little of this, a dash of that

I’ve been looking back at some of my recent blog posts. (That certainly didn’t take very long as my posting has taken a dramatic drop.) My apologies. From the subject matter, it looks like I’d prefer to be a sportswriter over a copywriter.

But that’s not true. I remain as passionate about the world of advertising and marketing communications as I was when I first got into this business.

I still love to create – ads, direct mail, videos, websites, posters – and at McCarthy I’ve had the opportunity to do all of the above and then some. It’s been a tremendous job, a great opportunity and I am extremely proud of the work our team has been creating. I just don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about that work in this setting.

So when it comes to advertising, that leaves me with generalities to discuss. And in general, I haven’t found too much recently that seems worth discussing.

I spent some time the other day going through the new Communication Arts Illustration Annual. I always like to check out the illustrations that are done for print ads. It’s so rare when I see a print ad I like – even more rare when it’s one that uses illustration.

Sad to say, there were no St. Louis finalists. That certainly doesn’t mean illustration isn’t still done here in this market – the recent ADDY-winning poster campaign for Eckert’s by Rodgers Townsend was beautifully done. But that’s become more the exception than the rule.

We just don’t see that much illustration done anymore – it’s become about as rare as a Jhonny Peralta base hit – oops, there’s that sportswriter thing again. Four of my last four posts were sports-related.

Why can’t I focus more on the Cardinals recent billboard campaign than their play on the field? Both are hard to read.

Why can’t I delve into what Nike is doing with their current golf advertising now that Tiger’s on the shelf? If anyone has seen Nike’s recent golf-related ads you can tell that this is a brand that’s in trouble. Then again, golf seems to be in trouble. When was the last time you played a new course in the St. Louis area? You can’t remember, can you? Because no one is opening new golf courses in this area – demand has peaked, play is down – maybe not as much as casino revenues have dropped – but that’s another story.

For another time.

You could say that this particular post has no point, no purpose and if you’ve read this far, you must feel cheated because there is no conclusion.

It just ends.





The curious case of DGB

Dorial Green-Beckham’s football career at the University of Missouri-Columbia came to an end this week as head coach Gary Pinkel severed ties with the former number one recruit in the nation.

When any college player is garnering more headlines for off-the-field antics versus on-the-field-heroics, something needs to be done.

The first time DGB got busted for smoking weed in the parking lot of Mizzou’s football stadium it was like, “Really? In the parking lot of the stadium?”

It seemed blatantly stupid.

His second arrest where he just so happened to be in the car with one of his buddies who just so happened to have a pound of smoke in the car it was like, “Okay. This guy is bad news and needs to be protected from his ‘friends’.”

He was never actually charged for anything, he was just an innocent bystander. But like they say, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

So last week we all heard that DGB had been indefinitely suspended by Coach Pinkel though the reasons why were not given at the time. Then came the news of his alleged breaking down the door to track down his girlfriend and pushing his girlfriend’s roommate down four steps at 2 in the morning. No charges were filed as the girlfriend’s friend declined to press charges.

But the police report that was filed was less than complimentary.

Coach Pinkel really didn’t have much of a choice. Because this recent news came on top of MU basketball player Zach Price who was dismissed earlier in the week by Coach Haith for ramming his car into his fellow teammates vehicle. Price had the distinction of being arrested twice in one day – and that was on top of the recent report about how the University mishandled the alleged sexual assault of swimmer Sasha Menu Courey.

Bad news comes in threes, right?

I’m sure Mizzou is hoping that’s an end to all of the off-the-field and off-the-court shenanigans.

So what will happen to DGB?

He’s not eligible for the 2014 NFL draft and won’t qualify for the supplemental draft, either. I don’t know if when you’re kicked off a team if you’re eligible to play the next season for whoever is willing to roll the dice – it doesn’t seem fair if that’s the case but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least. There are many colleges and universities that I’m sure would be more than willing to forgive and forget Dorial’s problems. After all, he wasn’t charged with anything this time or the last time and even the first time was just a misdemeanor.

If he wanted to, Dorial could bow out of the college scene for the year, work out with a bevy of personal trainers and prepare himself for the 2015 NFL draft where, even if he didn’t play a single down next year, he would probably still have a chance to be a first or second round pick if he performed well in the NFL camps.

And I imagine he would perform quite well – and missing the wear and tear of a season might not be such a bad thing, anyway.

I remember Bryan Burwell talking about DGB back when incident number two occurred and he was saying he needs to get far, far away from his current group of ‘friends’. Apparently, he has a few issues with himself as well and according to reports, he’s going to seek counseling to get things right.

I hope he does.

He’s a gifted athlete.

In this day and age, we’ve come to accept people who have been acquitted of murder to continue making vicious tackles. We agree it’s okay for steroid abusing ballplayers to be awarded multi-million dollar contracts. DGB has seen all of that. He has expressed his public sympathy and admitted his wrong-doing. And I’m sure he’s now looking at what’s next.

Someone will pay for his services. Some college will welcome him with open arms.

He will thrive and probably end up being some Fathead poster hanging on the walls of tons of adoring fans.

I congratulate Coach Pinkel on doing the right thing. But Dorial will move on and re-surface somewhere.

I’m curious to see what happens next.


The Tiger-less Masters

Tomorrow morning will be the first time in 20 years that Tiger Woods isn’t teeing it up at the Masters.

Hard to believe, isn’t it? Tiger and the Masters just naturally go together but this year, he had to back out – literally – as his contortion-heavy golf swing may have finally caught up with his spinal column and now it’s been surgically repaired and a lengthy recovery period awaits him.

First lightning strikes down the legendary Eisenhower tree that kept even the longest hitting pros from cutting the dogleg on the 17th. And now Tiger’s bad back leaves Augusta National and the Masters lacking a guaranteed story line.

It will still be a great tournament. The patrons will still respectfully clap when appropriate. There will be some sort of drama. Somebody will be going for the par 5 in two and end up in Rae’s creek – a familiar spot that has sealed the fate of many a would-be green jacket wearing golfer. Rory or Bubba or Phil may do something stupid or something absolutely brilliant.

It’s hard for me to root for anyone as there just doesn’t seem to be any golf competitor quite like Tiger in his prime. He was so intense. So focused. So easy to hate for some – but to me, Tiger was always the guy who would not back down. Tiger almost always went for it. Pin in an impossible position? Fire at it. Stuck underneath a pine tree with a terrible lie? Wail away and somehow, land the ball on the green.

Sure I like a lot of golfers on the PGA tour but there’s no dominating presence when Tiger isn’t teeing it up.

I know he’s past his prime. He’s 38 years old. In this year’s Masters, 16 of the 97 players haven’t even turned 25 yet. There’s a new, up-and-coming group that is fearless – and so far, somewhat emotionless.

The tour needs another Tiger and I’m sure somewhere out there, one will soon come along. Some phenom who has been playing since he was old enough to walk. Some young upstart who will come out of nowhere and roll off two or three Majors in one year to get everyone’s attention. I can hardly wait.

When I was a kid, Jack Nicklaus was by far, my favorite golfer and I actually think it’s pretty cool that probably not even Tiger will ever break his record of 18 Majors. I can kind of remember a young Jack putting on the Masters jacket and an older Jack, donning one, knowing it would probably be the last time he ever got that opportunity.

I hope Tiger returns and gets at least one more.

But for now, I guess I’ll have to try and get fired up for Jordan Spieth.

Enjoy the tournament.


Don’t hand the Cardinals the Division pennant just yet

Fresh off today’s 1-0 win over the Redlegs, Redbird Nation was all aglow with the prospects for this upcoming baseball Cardinals season.

Just like four out of four ESPN bracketologists picked Michigan State to beat Louisville in the upcoming NCAA final, it’s a bit early to rush to judgment.

True, the Cardinals team on paper should easily win the Division, move on to the playoffs, knock off the Dodgers followed by whoever is next in line and move on to yet another World Series where they rightfully claim their 13th World Series title that eluded the team last year.

Keep in mind, though, there are still 161 more games to be played and we don’t have the Astros to kick around quite as much anymore.

Mike Shannon used to say (and perhaps he still does), that great teams need a bopper and a stopper. We’ve got a couple of stoppers, of that there is no doubt. The bopper part, I’m not totally convinced.

Maybe Matt Adams will step up and hit 25-30 home runs. Matt Holliday can probably be counted on for 20 more and maybe Torty, Yadi and a few others can make up for the rest. I hope so.

And I hope all of these golden arms can stay healthy throughout the season. That’s really the key to the Cardinals’ future success.

Our starting rotation is deep. So deep that Mr. Martinez found himself in the bullpen and it turns out that was a great spot for him to be on this opening day.

Motte hopefully will be back soon. Who knows, Jaime Garcia might even return. It’s a pitching staff that virtually any Major League team would gladly do a wholesales swap and be happy with the results.

But we’ve got a long way to go.

Best thing to do is enjoy the present and not look too far down the line.

Right now, we’re in a 3-way tie for first and the Cubbies are only a game back.

That’s probably as close as they’ll come all season.

Go Cardinals!