Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category
I was having an e-mail discussion with my buddy Chappy Wednesday morning. Chappy lives in Boston, and if you regularly read this blog you know I’ve lived there as well, so our discussion inevitably ended up on the Massachusetts Senate results. We discussed a few different aspects of the race, which eventually led to Keith Olbermann’s comments following the outcome, a win by Republican Scott Brown.
When discussing Olbermann’s editorial, our exchange went into whether Olbermann poses a PR problem for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. If you remember, it wasn’t too long ago that Goodell had some harsh words for Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh was attempting to become a minority owner with a group looking to buy the St. Louis Rams. The basis of Goodell’s objection to Limbaugh being part of the NFL was that “divisive comments” have no place in the NFL.
What does this have to do with Keith Olbermann? For those that don’t know, besides having his own show on MSNBC, Olbermann also co-hosts NBC’s Football Night in America, the NFL’s primetime Sunday night showcase each week.
There’s no question Goodell was under pressure to respond to criticism, whether right or wrong, about Limbaugh’s bid to become an owner. But, by entering the Limbaugh debate so strongly, did Goodell open himself up to answering what exactly is divisive language, from a political perspective, according to the NFL? It’s not out of the realm that reporters, or political groups with an agenda for that matter, could call for Goodell to respond to whether Olbermann’s comments are “divisive”.
Now, this is a Sports PR/Marketing blog, not a political blog, so I’m not really interested in debating conservative/liberal or Limbaugh/Olbermann, at least not in this space.
The question is, did Goodell overplay his hand with Limbaugh, almost setting a precedent where he has to respond when anyone affiliated with the NFL enters political debate? Is it out of line to question Goodell about whether Olbermann is too “divisive” to co-host Football Night in America? Should the NFL just stay away from extreme political commentators/figures playing a visible role in the league?
What say you?
Disclaimer: I hope we can have a healthy debate in the comments section, sticking to the PR aspects of this topic. Any comments using crude language or attacking another poster will be deleted.
We’ve had a lot of focus lately on the PR side the last few posts, so with Thanksgiving on Thursday, I though we’d swing back to the straight sports side of things. Thanksgiving Day is pretty much strictly turkey and NFL, but the rest of the weekend has plenty of other options to keep you on the couch and out of the malls. To go along with a full slate of NFL games on Turkey Day, we have College Baskeball FeastWeek, big rivalry games in college football and to wrap up the sports weekend a marquee Monday Night Football match-up.
As usual the NFL kicks things off on Thursday afternoon. We have Green Bay at Detroit, Oakland at Dallas and the nightcap with the Giants traveling to Denver on the NFL network. Not the greatest lineup, but hey, its tradition and we love it.
FeastWeek in college basketball is also quickly becoming a tradition. The weekend includes a host of tournaments across the country with some of the top teams in college basketball getting early season tests. The lineup includes the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals and finals featuring Duke and UConn, the 76 Classic featuring Butler, West Virginia and Minnesota and the Old Spice Classic featuring Michigan, Xavier and Marquette.
The weekends slate of college football games includes some of the top teams in the country looking to avoid the late season slip-up against their main rivals. The top games include #1 Florida hosting Florida State, #2 Alabama heading to Auburn, #9 Pittsburgh traveling down Rt.70 to take on West Virginia and a nice mid-major match-up between #19 BYU and #21 Utah.
Last but not least we have a huge Monday Night Football game when the New England Patriots, the last team to undefeated during the regular season, travels to New Orleans to face the Saints, one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL.
Think you can keep up with that schedule while the rest of the suckers fight the crowds at the mall? So all I want to know now is, which Thanksgiving Weekend sports are you most excited to watch?
Update: Former Philadelphia Eagles employee Dan Leone will be chatting on espn.com at 3:00pm EST on Thursday, March 12.
Former Philadelphia Eagles employee Dan Leone grew up just down the street from Veterans Stadium, and has been a die-hard fan his entire life. When the Eagles built Lincoln Financial Field Leone figured he’d fill out an application and see if he could land a gig with his favorite team.
Fast forward 6 years and Leone is the west gate chief on game days, that is up until last week when the team let 13-year veteran, and fan-favorite Brian Dawkins sign with the Denver Broncos. What does Dawkins have to do with this? Well, Leone, like many Eagles fans, was furious Dawkins was leaving and posted on his Facebook page, “Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver…Damn Eagles R Retarded!!”
The Eagles subsequently fired Leone. Should Leone have better judgment, yes. Was his Facebook status update inappropriate for an employee? Of course. But, the Eagles going as far as firing him brings up a host of questions from a PR and really a business perspective in general.
Christy Hammond at Sportsprblog.com brings up a great point. In this day and age every company should supply their employees with social media policies. Many companies are behind the curve on this, but as sites like Facebook and especially Twitter are exploding, more and more people are sharing their thoughts on-line, and companies need to decide what is and isn’t acceptable. That also means employees need to be extra vigilant in what they’re posting.
But, that doesn’t mean that this unfortunate situation rests solely on Leone’s shoulders. The Eagles took a lapse in judgment from an employee and turned it into PR nightmare. I don’t know how many “Facebook friends” Leone has, but usually it’s in the range of 100-200. So the Eagles fired a passionate employee over an inappropriate post that maybe 200 people saw.
In turn they ensured millions more now know about the comment. The story, and Leone’s comment, have now been all over the Philadelphia media, ESPN and almost every major sports media outlet across the country.
An even larger issue is whether firing an employee over a Facebook post is a wise PR move considering the current economic conditions. People are losing jobs left and right, and Leone was just fired for his Facebook status! Will the Eagles see any backlash for being insensitive during these time? Maybe something they should have thought about before pulling the trigger on this decision.
So, my question to you, did the Eagles make a mountain out of a mole hill? And, do companies in the current economic climate need to be more careful from a PR perspective for the reasons they let employees go?