Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday "food for thought"-and "The LeBrons" commericals

Blazers and Mariners-Together or Not in their Personnel Philosophy
Earlier this week I wrote about Ron Artest and we did a few segments of Monday's show in regards to the troubled Pacer. While most fans here in Portland seem to want the "good guy" in the Blazers roster makeup, the numbers still show the team doesn't draw well with good guys who don't win. Not to say all so-called "good guys" can't win, but there is an interesting dynamic going on here in the Northwest.

While the Blazers have tried to change their "image" by purging their roster of the "bad" element (gone are Rider, Sheed, Bonzi, etc.) the MLB team three hours North was more than happy to go the opposite direction. Check out this comment from Mariners GM Bill Bavasi from the Seattle Times: The Mariners' clubhouse, Bavasi acknowledged, "probably just got a little more hectic. Which is good."

That is code for Carl Everett's signing will add a little piss and vinegar to the mix. Bad guy, YES. Bad guy to have on your team, from a public relations standpoint-YES. But this Mariner team has been known as being the "good guys" in baseball, and when winning, fine. But they haven't been winning, and attendance has been dropping, so desperate times make for.......the signing of Carl Everett. The Blazers meanwhile were winning with "bad guys" but the fans and media (me included) were complaining-so the purge began. Now both NW teams are going through tough times, but one, the Mariners, is pulling out all the stops to get better. The Blazers? Well, they signed a "bad guy" last year in Nick Van Exel who turned out to be, shockingly, a "bad guy" when he quite after Mo was fired. They signed "good guys" Juan Dixon and Steve Blake this year, and they are not good. Again, not all perceived "good guys" are bad players-see the guy wearing #34 for Seattle in the Rose Garden tonight. Just interesting how some teams (the Mariners in this case) are willing to take a chance on a guy with a bad reputation to possibly make the team better.

Remember Blazer fans, you wanted a team full of good guys, lower salaries (even though none of you had to foot the bill for those contracts-and ticket prices don't go down with a lower payroll) and said you would support that team in good times, or bad. Well the times are bad, the team is full of "good guys," and the support.....well it is not there. Maybe Bavasi, Whitsitt and others had the right idea after all.

Sonics-Is it coaching?
Must be. This team has it's top three scorers, and eight of it's top nine offensive leaders from last year's division-winning team, yet the record isn't good. I guess, despite what many wanted to say in the Emerald City, Nate was a difference maker on the bench. More on this later during the show from Mr. Stats himself, David Locke from 950 KJR in Seattle.

The Lebrons
Ever since my producer and Suke brought it up a few times on the air, I have received some e-mails questions regarding the new commericals with LeBron James. The answer is yes, it is my voice doing the play by play for the basketball highlights on the new series of Nike ads featuring LeBron James. To say it was a big honor and a thrill to make it through the audition process and be selected is an understatement. It is the second ad campagin for Nike and Wieden+Kennedy that I have been a part of, and I am amazed at the incredible creative process behind the scenes of such a project. The WK people are really the best in the business, and although I am very biased, I thought LeBron was funny as hell and very, very good in these spots. With these types of spots, it is as much about selling LeBron the personality as it is the shoes, and he did a great job of taking that next step in terms of being "the next big thing" in the NBA. Nobody will ever be Jordan again, but being LeBron isn't too bad either.

Thank you and goodbye.