Friday, October 26, 2007

World Series Week, PR 101 and what NASA doesn't want us to know

World Series Time in Denver.
Forget about team salaries, batting averages, ERA’s and all the statistical stuff baseball fans love. It’s the ROX and the SOX. Two teams at the top of their game. And now they play in the World Series; one of the most special events in all of sports. Have you noticed that the truly great series were the ones with the great moments? Remember Kirk Gibson’s home run back in 1988? Or how about Reggie Jackson’s 3-homers in one game against the Dodgers in ’77? And one of the true classics has to be Bob Gibson’s 3 complete-game wins in the ’67 series. I hope the ’07 series brings even more.

The series, so far.
Game 1: Boston 13-Colorado 1. What happened? Josh Beckett. His fastball worked. So did his curve ball. He struck out 9 in 7 innings allowing 6 hits and just 1 run scored. “We got outplayed,” said Rockies Manager Clint Hurdle. Every Red Sox starter except Mike Lowell drove in at least one run.

Game 2: Boston 2-Colorado 1. What happened? Not much. 2 runs and 22 strike-outs in 2 games doesn’t cut it. The finisher was when Matt Holliday was picked off at 1st in the 8th inning with Todd Helton at the plate.

Game 3: There will be a game 3. And a game 4. I guarantee you that two losses in Boston won’t diminish the Rockies fans. Coors Field will be packed, it will be loud and it will be a sea of purple. It’s the World Series. I was lucky enough to get a ticket through a friend and I’ll be there, cheering as loud as I can.

Roctober Crash of ’07.
Not all went well in the long week leading up to the series for the Rockies. The team chose to sell series tickets on-line only. The first day the system crashed and fans literally marched on Coors Field. The next day things worked, sort of, but there were a lot of disappointed fans who simply couldn’t even get to the Rockies website, and became even un-happier when they heard others were able to log in multiple times to get tickets. The Rockies blamed “outside and malicious attempt” by some un-known hacker or company for the crash. Late this week the FBI announced it was investigating. Malicious and the Internet are two words you hear more and more these days. It will be interesting to see what the FBI finds out.

Rockies PR did get pretty testy with local media and lost some goodwill. Sometimes it’s best to simply say you did the best you could, mistakes were made, and that you’re sorry and will do better next time. Fan who did get tickets of course, have no complaints. And you won’t believe what tickets are going for on eBay. Ouch!

California Fires.
I doubt many fans in the San Diego area are thinking about baseball. The worst wildfires in history have displaced over a million people. The scope of the fires and devastation is overwhelming. I love the San Diego area and especially the people there. They’re going through a very tough time and it’s good to see the nation stepping up to help. One of the best stories I’ve heard so far is about a local Rockies fan that wasn’t able to get series tickets. She’s donating the money she budgeted instead to relief effort. You can help too. Visit the Red Cross at No one does a better job than those fine folks. And the people in California really need our help.

One last sports story.
New England Patriots versus the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, November 4. ‘Nuff said!

Scarlett O’Hara to head NASA?
Just after Rhett Butler ditched her, Scarlett O’Hara said she’d “worry about it tomorrow.” Well, she has nothing on NASA who just completed a detailed study on air traffic safety. You didn’t hear about it because NASA tried to bury the bad news which included far more near-misses, both in the air and on the ground, than anyone anticipated. There were also a lot more aerial blunders reporters by thousands of pilots surveyed. But NASA tried to bury the results, ordering the research contractor to purge records of their computers. Thankfully the Associated Press got wind of all this, filed some timely Freedom of Information Reports and now we’re finding out the facts.

Memo to NASA: You’re a public agency. We pay your bills. You owe us an explanation. Not only about the research, but why you chose to bury the information.

Even more stupid Congress tricks. Granted, the debate in Washington these days has sunk to historic levels. But things are getting out of hand. Here’s what USA TODAY reported about a recent speech by Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif.

“He has added another item to our catalogue of the sort of discourse that now defines so much of American politics.

Stark took to the House floor yesterday to speak in favor of overriding President Bush's veto of legislation that would have expanded a children's health insurance program. He somehow veered into Iraq, saying that young Americans are getting their "heads blown off for the president's amusement."

"The truth is, Bush just likes to blow things up in Iraq, in the United States and in Congress," Stark says.”

Shameful? You bet. Stark, finally, apologized. Too little too late. We face serious issues. We need serious people solving them.

The Washington, DC think tank, The Urban Institute, reports muggings are up 7%. And it thinks it knows the reason: iPods. Seems like folks zoned out listening to tunes are easily identifiable by the white ear buds. And iPods are extremely easy for crooks to fence or re-sell. Crooks wipe the drives clean, re-box them and sell them. So enjoy your music but keep an eye peeled. And when buying an iPod, shop with a brand name retailer. This way you don’t contribute to the problem.

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