A Sloan-Less Thursday Rundown

Hola mis amigos! It is everyone’s favorite Don’t Blink weekly blog post…the Thursday Rundown. Despite my joke earlier in the week that I would not be writing an entry today, I have five topics ready to go.

The Trendy Meme – Last week, the #IfYouDontLoveMeAtMy meme was trending on Twitter. This is how it works: You post two photos, one where you look like hell and another where you look decent. You then stagger your text so that the words if you don’t love me at my hovers over your “worst” photo and the words then you don’t deserve me at my hovers over your “best” photo. In essence, the words and the photos combine to state If you don’t love me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best. Of course, I had to tweet out my own! It is a good thing Sidney didn’t meet me my junior year of high school because I honestly don’t know if she would have loved me with my hideous long hair.

This is my version of the #IfYouDontLoveMeAtMy meme.

Losing Keys – I had another maddening episode of losing an important item yesterday. I got into work on Wednesday morning and had a bunch of different things to do. In the middle of it all, I realized I was missing my keys. With the knowledge that my keys were definitely in the building I work in, I frantically tried to find them. Just as my student-worker was about to drive me to my off-campus meeting, I looked in my office garbage can and found them. During my rush to get things done, I must have accidentally swiped my keys off my desk and into the trash. Thank you, St. Anthony!! Also, thank you to Judy, Tad, and Scott for trying to help me find them.

I dropped my keys by accident into my office garbage can.

Roseanne – At Sidney’s urging, I finally got around to catching an episode of the “Roseanne” re-boot on Tuesday night. After watching this week’s new episode, I went back and watched the premiere. I was not a regular “Roseanne” watcher when the original series was on the air so I didn’t have any strong nostalgic ties. I think the new version is pretty funny but it definitely didn’t reduce me to laughing fits on the floor. I did find Roseanne herself to be pretty humorous. I think she plays a character (or is it even a character?) that we can all look at and say “Hey, I know someone just like that!” I have a feeling that “Roseanne” will follow the same road that “Fuller House” did: the first episode was hilarious and nostalgic but it went progressively downhill from there. I think a single reunion show is the way to go over a complete re-boot season.

The new Roseanne is decent….it isn’t the best thing in the world, though.

Pelicans Game – Sadly, Sidney and I didn’t attend one Myrtle Beach Pelicans game during the 2017 season. Committed to not doing the same thing in 2018, we attended the team’s second game of the season this past Friday. It was the first Minor League Baseball game I had ever attended in April. However, despite the Pelicans losing 10-0, it was just as fun as going to one in July. My dad came with us and we enjoyed boiled peanuts, beer, Italian sausages, and ice cream! We hope to go to a couple more games in the coming months.

After a hiatus of an entire season, it was great to get back to the ballpark and watch the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Blockers – On Saturday afternoon, Sidney and I went to our first movie at the theater since we saw Girls Trip in August. The film we saw this time around, “Blockers,” was much better. In my advanced age, I don’t get too excited about watching movies that deal with the exploits of high school girls but I found this one to be funny and creative. Because of adult content, I don’t want to get into the plot of “Blockers” but know that it deals with three high school girls and three parents (one parent for each girl). John Cena plays the dad of one of the girls and he is a terrible actor but he will make you appreciate what a giant human being he is. Although you can wait until the movie hits a streaming service or DVD to watch it, we sure enjoyed it.

“Blockers” was better than what I thought it was going to be.

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I feel awful. I didn’t mention Sloan once in this entire Rundown. Don’t worry, she is doing great! I will give a more detailed update in next week’s post. Don’t Blink.

Wrigley, Hot Dogs, Glasses, Cookie Dough, Wedding

Thanks for coming back each and every Thursday! As you know, it is the designated day for the rundown. Five topics coming at you right now…

Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field – In last night’s post I mentioned how I went and saw our local minor league baseball team play on Tuesday night. Sidney and I got selected as the Cheerwine Fans of the Game but that wasn’t the coolest part of the evening. This past season, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans changed parent clubs from the Texas Rangers to the Chicago Cubs. In an ode to their major league affiliate, the Pelicans built a mini Wrigley Field replica out on the third base concourse. As Wrigley is a ballpark I have not had the fortune of visiting, I made sure to get a photo inside the next best thing.

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans built a Wrigley Field Replica on the concourse on the third base side of Pelicans Stadium.

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans built a Wrigley Field Replica on the concourse on the third base side of Pelicans Stadium.

I Love Hot Dogs – Today is National Hot Dog Day and although I am not celebrating it with the food, I can proudly say that I love hot dogs. For me, Hot Dog Heaven is outside of Safeco Field in Seattle. Before Mariner games, vendors line the main street to the ballpark and grill every version of a hot dog that you can think of. The hot dog scene there beats the scene at all the other MLB parks I have visited. I am also a big fan of Costco hot dogs. However, nothing will quite beat the dog I inhaled (partially) three years ago at Northern Quest Casino in Spokane. Called “The Big Dog,” that picture below is what the mammoth thing looked like the second it was presented to me at our table.

This is me with The Big Dog at Northern Quest Casino in Spokane during the summer of 2012.

This is me with The Big Dog at Northern Quest Casino in Spokane during the summer of 2012.

Teal Shaded Summer Alumni Style – Yesterday we sent out 60 pairs of customized sunglasses to our alumni around the country. Whereas when I did this promotion with our students I had them take photos showcasing their summer vacation, the alumni version is a little different. I have asked our past CCU graduates to take the glasses with them to work, put them on, and take a photo while in their professional environment. Besides the traditional workplaces, I have sent glasses to people who are working at Nickledeon, Pinehurst Resort, and various aquariums. I can’t wait for the images to start rolling in.

I sent 60 pairs of these out yesterday.

I sent 60 pairs of these out yesterday.

Cookie Dough – I had fun writing about my concept for a cookie dough dessert shop last week. If I ever do open such a place, I already found a cookie dough that I will have to make sure we sell. Media Services staffer David Russell brought me in a sample of actual cookie dough today! He promised that it was the real deal. Sure enough, when I tasted it I couldn’t believe how good it was. Unlike any cookie dough I had ever tried before, it had a delicious carmel flavor that was textured just right. Thanks, David!

I enjoyed some terrific cookie dough in my office today.

I enjoyed some terrific cookie dough in my office today.

Wedding Update #3 – It is official! Sidney and I were granted our first choice for our wedding date. On June 11, 2016, we will become a married couple. This past Friday, the pastoral associate at St. Andrew called me with the good news. We can’t wait!

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So ends another Thursday Rundown. Thank you for your readership and I will connect back with all of you soon. Don’t Blink.

Offers That People Refuse

Yesterday evening, Sidney and I went out to the ballpark to watch our local minor league baseball team, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. After indulging in $2 craft beers on the stadium’s concourse, we went to our seats. The second we sat down I saw a young guy take notice of us and immediately start walking our way. He was in uniform so at first I thought he was an usher who was going to check our tickets. Turned out he was part of the marketing crew.

“Hey guys, would you like to be our Cheerwine Fans of the Game? We upgrade your seats, give you Cheerwine gear, and put you on the video board,” the probably 19 or 20-year-old nervously stammered.

Sure! We stood up, grabbed our boiled peanuts and beer, and followed the kid to the first row behind the third base dugout. With us seated, he went and got us Cheerwine hats, cozies, and wrist bands. Oh yes, he also brought us each a tall cup of the beverage itself. In our new seats, the guy sat down right next to us so we wouldn’t miss our “big moment” on the video board. While we waited for the first inning to end (at which time the cameras would be on us), the kid chatted us up. He explained how it was a big night for him because he had been moved off of the 50/50 raffle team and given the chance to help lead the promotional efforts for that game.

Sid and I enjoying the Myrtle Beach Pelicans game from our upgraded seats.

Sid and I enjoying the Myrtle Beach Pelicans game from our upgraded seats.

After a long first inning in which the Pelicans scored five runs, it was finally time for us to wave at the camera. For 15 seconds we stared at the designated spot and smiled. Because I am a mindful marketer, I made sure to wear my Cheerwine hat and feature my beverage as much as possible during the cameo. After we got the thumbs up from the camera guy I turned to Sidney and said let’s go back to our seats.

What stood out to me most about our fan of the game experience wasn’t that we got free swag or that a stadium full of people saw us on the video board. What registered with me was something else that the young lad said to us prior to the third out in the first inning.

These were the Cheerwine hats we received...pretty nice if you ask me!

These were the Cheerwine hats we received…pretty nice if you ask me!

“You two were the very first people I asked to do this,” the Pelicans employee confessed, “I don’t know what I would have done if ya’ll said no.”

As someone who used to work in the sports marketing and promotions industry, I wanted to blurt out, “You would have turned right around and asked someone else!”

Working in the marketing and promotions business, I quickly learned that it is a person’s gut reaction to say “no” to just about everything. I remember working as an intern in the athletic department at the University of Montana and pitching the exact same promotion (different sponsor) to folks up in the nosebleeds who would DECLINE it. Premium courtside seats, free food, apparel, and arena recognition just wasn’t enough for them. Although I now know it really wasn’t about the compensation. In reality, people just don’t like to leave their comfort zone, both physically and mentally, even if it means a big improvement.

When I worked at Montana, especially during basketball games, you learned how sometimes it could be harder than you thought to get people to do promotions.

When I worked at Montana, especially during basketball games, you learned how sometimes it could be harder than you thought to get people to do promotions.

When you learn that a person’s first inclination is to say no, you simultaneously learn how to deal with rejection. Even though plenty of people say no to it, getting folks to agree to become fans of the game is by far one of the easier promotions to convince someone to do. Trust me, try to bait someone into doing an actual on-court or on-field promotion and see what I mean. My point is that the young man we dealt with yesterday will most likely get denied far more times than not.

Sure I could have been a jerk and declined his fan of the game offer or I could have replied back to his “I don’t know what I would have done” comment but there was really no need to. He will learn for himself very shortly. Besides, I love to help out any young and ambitious sports marketer. And, let’s just be honest here, I don’t have a comfort zone. If you are going to offer me free stuff, I am going to take it. Sidney and I had a very good time at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans game last night. Don’t Blink.

Using Charity as a Front

I have the utmost respect for charities, the people who run them, and the people of the community who generously raise money to give to them. Establishing funding for the folks and the causes that need it the most in society is a very important endeavor. It goes right to the heart of the age-old words that tell all of us to “serve the least of these.” So please excuse me if I politely disagree with the people who use the charity front to not really serve the downtrodden but rather to serve themselves.

Take for a quick example Lebron James. Four years ago he staged the most self-centered television special in history, The Decision. Everything leading up to the egofest and everything during the catastrophic special itself oozed of arrogance and superiority. However, in a failed attempt to try to spin what he was really doing and salvage his reputation he claimed that he was doing the show for charity. ESPN allowed the Lebron Camp to sell commercial spots during the special and some of those proceeds (as far as we know) went to a single charity of Lebron’s choice. What King James did was never once in the name of good will toward others.

But very recently two fresh examples have come up, coincidentally both in athletics as well.

My new hometown has a Minor League Baseball team (Single A) called the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. I have gone to a couple games and have had a splendid time, the organization does a great job. But I am skeptical of a stunt the general manager has planned for Thursday night. At the end of last week the front office challenged the GM to get a prostate exam during the seventh inning stretch of Thursday night’s game while singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” if something specific happened: The Facebook page of a young child battling brain cancer had to reach 10,000 likes. The hope was that increased Facebook likes would result in more donations for her care.

Of course such an outlandish proposition garnered national media attention and the Facebook page already has well over 10,000 likes. The GM will get a prostate exam on Thursday night. My problem? For one, the whole exam during the seventh inning is down right crude. Secondly, the effort seems much more focused on the Pelicans and the GM rather than the poor kid battling a terrible disease. Don’t get me wrong, I love what the Pelicans’ organization does as a whole but I think they could have obtained 10,000 likes for the Facebook page through different means.

(Side Note: I am all for doing outlandish, non-crude things to shamelessly promote yourself but you have to be honest about it. You need to admit that you are in it for yourself and you must not use a charity to try to put a different spin on it. I wrote about a glorious example of self-promotion eight months ago).

The second example comes from the NFL world. Chris Kluwe was a punter for the Minnesota Vikings. He ended up getting cut. Not going down without a fight, Kluwe accused the Vikings of discrimination because of his views on same-sex marriage and gay rights. The Vikings took the allegations seriously and launched an investigation. They issued a report, suspended a coach, and made a $10,000 donation to a LGBT charity. They did this even when most believed that the punter was cut for his playing performance rather than his views.

However the concessions didn’t satisfy Kluwe, who has enjoyed great publicity over the last months. Seeking to further his time in the spotlight he has filed a 10 million dollar lawsuit against the Vikings. He has stated that he will donate the money to LGBT charities. Come on. If you have followed this saga you know it is not about gay rights and it is not about charity…it is about Chris Kluwe. He will do anything to drag this episode on to maximize his time on the pedestal, even if it means trying to act like he is doing it for a noble cause.

We just need to be true with ourselves and others. If we are genuinely doing something for a charity that is cool but if we are using one to try to make our self-initiatives look better we need to re-evaluate. If you think about it, most people who contribute to charities want to keep it low key to begin with. Don’t Blink.

First Weekend in Myrtle Beach Down, First Full Week at CCU Coming Up

I find myself in a very content position right now. I am coming off a super nice first weekend in Myrtle Beach and I have a lot to look forward to this upcoming work week.

Let me start first with the weekend. As I mentioned in my last blog post, Saturday started well with a great workout, the completion of some housekeeping issues, and pool time. But it only got better from there. My new friend Veronica and I went out to a great restaurant in Garden City (a small town about 10 miles from Myrtle Beach). Called the Guflstream Café, it is a coveted local steak and seafood place that was built right on the beach. The two of us sat on the upper deck overlooking the water and boats. For dinner we had New York steak and delicious salmon. It is also worth noting that the mashed potatoes that came with the entrees were to die for.

It was a very enjoyable dinner at the Gulfstream Café (clockwise: The view from the deck, the restaurant sign, Veronica with her salmon dinner, my steak!).

It was a very enjoyable dinner at the Gulfstream Café (clockwise: The view from the deck, the restaurant sign, Veronica with her salmon dinner, my steak!).

On Sunday I started the day off right by going to church. As I search for a Catholic church this morning I went with Veronica to her church called New Spring. I feel it is always good to go outside your comfort zone every now and then. After the service I came back to my apartment and spent some more time at the pool. This time though a couple fellow residents introduced themselves to me so I got to meet some people who live at my complex. After I took a stroll on the beach I went to a place called Broadway at the Beach, an area in Myrtle Beach that is full of shops, food, and bars. Although I loved the atmosphere I didn’t achieve my mission of finding a Mother’s Day gift.

The pool at the Alexan Withers Preserve complex is awesome! Great layout and atmosphere.

The pool at the Alexan Withers Preserve complex is awesome! Great layout and atmosphere.

From Broadway at the Beach I went the few block to TicketReturn.com Field, the baseball stadium of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. As a Minor League Single A (long season) team I enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and my seat located in the shade behind home plate. I dominated a bag of peanuts and enjoyed the time by myself…in my opinion, a perfect way to cap off the weekend.

I had a nice relaxing time at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans game.

I had a nice relaxing time at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans game.

I am stoked to get back to work tomorrow! It is graduation week at Coastal Carolina University and I will have the opportunity to work hard and do as much as I can to generate excitement and buildup through our social media outlets. Graduation itself will take place on Saturday in Brooks Stadium, the home of the football team. There will also be festivities prior to the ceremony that I will get to cover as well, just additional chances for me to get my feet wet and connect with the CCU community.

I feel fortunate. I feel fortunate that the staff at Coastal Carolina University has welcomed me so warmly. I feel fortunate that I met someone like Veronica who has taken the time to hang out with me and serve as my “tour guide” so to speak (she hates that term). I feel fortunate that I have the support of my family almost 3,000 miles away. I am blessed. Have a great week everyone! Don’t Blink.