Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘football’ Category

Where is Socks the Puppet?

leave a comment »

Are you ready for the Super Bowl LI??

Here’s a little sumpin’ sumpin’ from CBSSports, 51 things you need to know about about the Patriots v. Falcons in Houston.

I’m really looking forward to that part where NFL Commish Roger Goddell has to hand over that trophy to the Patriot’s QB Tom Brady.

“Tom, I don’t want to let the gas out of this, your record fifth Superbowl win!”

Oh, I’m sorry, did I skip right over that part where New England crushes the Falcons??! : ) My apologies, Falcon fans!

Actually, I don’t have a dog in this particular hunt — my Cowboys got left behind by the Packers and I’ve tried to never look back.

Looking forward instead, I am particularly interested in the Super Bowl TV commercials, as always. They seem so quaint these days, considering we just got our first Twitter president.

Forbes is reporting that budgets for Super Bowl spots have reached a new high, with the average production cost reaching north of $1M and companies spending an average of $5M for a 30-second time slot.

One sec, let me consult my good friend, IBM Watson…yeah…okay…okay, wow….thank you, Watson…so Watson says that comes out to $166,666 per second.

Watson also wanted you to know that 30 seconds is 3e+10 nanoseconds.

With that backdrop, here’s a few sneak previews of what to expect on Sunday, with my Turbo Rating (in parens) and pithy comment:

2017 Kia Niro | “Hero’s Journey” Starring Melissa McCarthy (B) — Melissa goes wild in the wild for the eco-firendly Kia Niro.

The Internet Wants You | GoDaddy Big Game Commercial (D) — Oh boy. Hardly the controversy we’ve come to expect from the Big Go Daddy on Super Bowl Sunday.

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster Commercial “Easy Driver” – Directed by The Coen Brothers (B+) — Hello there, Peter Fonda! Nice ride, and
a smooth spot directed by none other than the Coen Brothers.

Wendy’s 2017 Fresh Beef Commercial “Cold Storage” (C-) — The only thing this spot has going for it is Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice.” Dare I say it, but “where’s the beef?” Wendy’s would be better off keeping this on ice!

Budweiser 2017 Super Bowl Commercial | “Born The Hard Way” (B) — It may seem to be about the origin myth behind Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser founding fathers, but what it really seems to be is a political screed against our new president’s immigration policies. I’ll only say this: We’re a long way from Spuds McKenzie and the “Wassssup!?” bros!

Written by turbotodd

February 2, 2017 at 9:29 am

Super Triple Discount Double Check

leave a comment »

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Don’t get me started on the weekend’s football games.

As a longtime Dallas Cowboys fan, I’ve become accustomed to getting my heart broken in the postseason over these past 20 long years.

And while I’m very proud of our rookie lead team this year, I do have some sour grapes over Dallas spiking the ball so prematurely there at the end.

You can never…EVER…under any circustances…underestimate the abilities of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Super triple discount double check, game over.

Congrats to the Packers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots, and the Atlanta Falcons. I have a feeling we could be seeing a Pack/Pats SuperBowl in H-town, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

Now, on to the world of technology for a moment.

Recode is reporting that Walmart is broadening the roles of two of is key executives and giving them new oversight in the company’s U.S. e-commerce website and its retail stores.

Jeremy King, who was previously the chief technology officer of Walmart e-commerce operations in the US, will now oversee technology teams for Walmart’s physical stores in addition to its online stores.

Similarly, Tony Rogers, who was previously CMO for Walmart U.S. stores, will now also serve as head of marketing for Walmart.com and Jet.com.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement “We were starting to see our store as an e-commerce team solving many of the same problems and now we can remove what might have been become more duplication in the future. I know change isn’t always easy. But I’m certain that our future success is partially dependent on becoming more of a technology company in our stores and clubs and everyone everywhere else the customer sees us.”

I don’t expect this will be the last major retailer to make such moves, and in fact, could start a trend.

Written by turbotodd

January 16, 2017 at 9:08 am

Posted in 2017, ecommerce, football, NFL, retail

Adios, Yahoo!

leave a comment »

I missed that seemingly glorious NCAA championship football game last evening, being the cord cutter I am.

Why you don’t put a national championship game on the broadcast network instead of ESPN…well, I know why, but I refuse to be held hostage.

The recap I saw clearly showed it was quite the remarkable game. Congrats, Clemson, on ending your 35-year title drought.

Meanwhile, back at the SEC ranch, there was a sneaky 8-K filing which indicated after the Verizon sale closes, that Yahoo!’s remaining business would be renamed Altaba, Inc., and that CEO Marissa Mayer and Yahoo! co-founder David Filo would be resigning from the board.

Geez, that’s it? An 8-K filing with the SEC?!!

No fireworks. No goodbye drinks.

Shouldn’t we at least have a wake or a funeral or something?

For those of us who were early inhabitants of cyberspace, it’s easy to forget that in the mid 90s, Yahoo! was the phone book of the Internet. You wanted to know how to find a web site, you went to Yahoo!

There was no Google. Google didn’t even exist.

I know, mind blowing, right? Put that in in your millennial pipe and smoke it.

As to the name change, here’s what Mashable had to say:

Think of it this way: Years ago, someone planted a seed and called it “Yahoo Inc.” It grew into a big ol’ tree with some fruit hanging off of it. Verizon comes along with a basket and says, “Hey, I want to buy that fruit.” It can take all that fruit, including a really nice-looking tidbit that is the Yahoo brand, but the tree is still called Yahoo Inc. So, the farmer goes to the, uh, Securities and Exchange Commission (just roll with us) and says, “Hey, I’m selling all of my fruit to Verizon, and they can bake it into a new pie called Yahoo, but I need to change the name of this tree to Altaba. Cool?”
– via Mashable

Here’s hoping that Verizon’s new fruit basket doesn’t rot!

Written by turbotodd

January 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

Live At IBM Pulse 2013: NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning On “Getting Back To Zero”

leave a comment »

NFL quarterback Peyton Manning explains to the IBM Pulse 2013 audience in Las Vegas the importance of effective decision making in football and in life.

NFL quarterback Peyton Manning explains to the IBM Pulse 2013 audience in Las Vegas the importance of effective decision making, in football and in life.

Peyton Manning has earned his way into NFL history, playing for the Indianapolis Colts for 14 seasons before making his way west to the Denver Broncos, where he had to learn a completely new playbook and offense.

The backstory: After undergoing extensive neck surgery in May 2011, he was forced to miss the entire 2011 season with the Colts and was released in March 2012, at which point he visited with and worked out with several NFL teams during a two-week period before settling on the Broncos.

Along the way, Manning developed his own personal playbook for cultivating leadership and effective decision making, the points of which he shared in the IBM Pulse 2013 day three general session.

The four-time MVP quarterback hit the stage running, explaining he’d just returned from a USO tour overseas where he’d been visiting the troops. He began by explaining that he “hope what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, because I don’t need the Ravens and Patriots to hear some of what I’m telling you today.”

Manning then segued into his key theme, the art and science of decision making and “how quality decision making leads to resilience.”

Manning explained to the gathered Pulse audience that “people make decisions every day,” but that there are those who “make good decisions habitually,” and acknowledging that “it’s easier to practice a skill when the heat is off and when there’s nothing important on the line.”

But unlike most people, Manning explained, “my decision making is instantly judged by 80,000 fans in the stadium and millions on Twitter” — and that he wouldn’t have it any other way.

In fact, Manning explained, “I savor being on the front line,” and that “you can’t wait for someone else to make or execute the plan — you have to be willing to take the risk, even when you have doubts.”

“If not you,” Manning queried, “ then who?”

The key, he went on to explain, is that you make key decisions without hestitation and no stutters, because “when you demonstrate 100% confidence, your team will follow.”

Manning acknowledged that he’s become known for “making audibles,” calling plays ad hoc once his team is lined up in reaction to “something I’ve noticed on the field.”

Manning claimed that his teammates have to trust those instant, snap decisions, and “that if they hear it in my voice that I believe in my decision, that they’ll believe in it, too.  They’ll run better and they’ll block better.”

But to get to that level of confidence, Manning explained, it requires an enormous amount of preparation.  Days of practice, of watching and analyzing game and practice film on his iPad, talking with his teammates.

“Usually there is no one right answer,” Manning conveyed, “but you can’t build decisions on hope. You need a strong and more stable foundation, and thorough preparation is absolutely essential.”

Every week, Manning said, “I gather every piece of relevant information about my opponent, and I study every tendency a defense has. I know exactly what coverage to expect and how to counter it.”

But once on the field, he simply “blots out both the spotlight and the noise and then just decides. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. I can eliminate options before the ball is even snapped.  That allows me to take more calculated risks more confidently.”

Because at the end of the day…or perhaps more appropriately, at the end of the fourth quarter, “If you’re the boss or the quarterback, that’s what you’re paid to do.”

And even with all that preparation, Manning acknowledged, “it’s important to recognize that you can thoroughly prepare and still be hit by a thunderbolt.”

“Some decisions in life,” Manning explained “just aren’t yours to make.”

Manning explained his own decision making philosophy as “getting back to zero.”

“We have seconds to pick ourselves up off the field after we’ve been hit and immediately focus on what’s ahead. You can’t dwell on what just happened, because if you do, your head just won’t be in the game.”

Manning then channeled that great American writer, Ernest Hemingway: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.”

After his injuries in 2011, Manning related that “I’ve learned to savior what resilience can do for people.” His first pass after his rehabilitation “went literally about ten feet,” and he explained “it’s hard for most people to understand the magnitude of changes and the elasticity needed” after such an ordeal.

He had to take his rehab slowly, that the healing had to “happen at its own pace. And no matter how painful it was, I had to accept that.”

Once he arrived in Denver, he explained, he also had “to get my team to trust that I could lead the Broncos. I was now one of them and I was going to put the work into making us a winner.”

Despite taking a brutal hit during a preseason game that year, he bounced up for more. “Resilience was the reward for more meticulous preparation and strategic decision making.”

Written by turbotodd

March 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm

My Kingdom For A Horse! (Or A Dodge Ram Truck)

leave a comment »

Perhaps the Super Bowl should have blackouts more often.

I thought I was going to fall asleep near the end of the first half, though Beyonce and her friends most assuredly would have awakened me from my slumber at halftime.

I don’t think she lip-synched that performance, and neither, it seems, did Ravens quarterback and MVP Joe Flacco, who actually threw for less yardage than San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick, some 287 of them. But Flacco’s passes garnered a little bit more accuracy and a couple more touchdowns, so it will be he who rides with Mickey and Minnie in the parade at DisneyWorld this time around.

As for the SuperBowl of advertising, well, let’s just say it was a year filled with fair to middling entries, some strong, most anemic, several childish but sometimes fun.

With many of the ads, I got the feeling I was watching the Mike Judge SuperBowl Advertising Film Festival, with a little bit of Sundance throw in for good measure.

For my money — and in the end, that IS what advertising is all about, getting you to spend your money — the Ram truck ad featuring the still life images of farmers and ranchers, underlined by the voice of heartland radio commentator Paul Harvey, walked away with the gold.

Sure, the Tide “Miracle Stain” spot was funnier and more entertaining, and Anheuser-Busch’s “Budweiser Brotherhood” spot may have tickled your sentimental bone a little more, but the Ram spot really hit home. It associated the promises of the product with a broad sweep of American experience — more gut feel than emotion, with images from a remix of Ansel Adams and Norman Rockwell, but unapologetically so, backed by the plainspoken Harvey explaining why “God made a farmer.”

Of course, all those stories have very little lasting power when compared to Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet, the royal dynasty that endured to the end of the Late Middle Ages, and for whom Shakespeare had cry, “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.”

Turns out Richard could have used a shovel instead, as his remains were recently discovered underneath a parking lot in the English midlands city of Leicester.

What’s even more fascinating, DNA evidence linked with modern ancestors proves the genetic link.

It also turns out that Richard’s body did, in fact, have the historically anticipated hole in his head after all, having been struck by a medieval halberd (think pole ax), along with a scoliated spine.

According to The New York Time’s story, the University of Leicester plans to rebury Richard’s bones in the Leicester Anglican cathedral, and that the reburial will likely take place as part of a memorial service honoring Richard as an English king sometime early next year.

Not to worry about those Tower of London plots where he schemed to have his nephews killed way back when. That’s water under the bridge!

Wait a minute, you might be saying to yourself, how in the world did they find Richard beneath a parking lot in Leicester in the first place?

Ground penetrating radar, of course! This is a technology blog after all — why else would I be bringing up Shakespeare and King Richard!?

In any case, truth in this case is definitely stranger than fiction, and the fiction was pretty strange to start.

As for millions of American football fans around the world lamenting the end of the NFL season, King Richard via William Shakespeare anticipated our frustration in the opening soliloquy of his play Richard III and summed it up quite succinctly: “Now is the winter of our discontent!”

Written by turbotodd

February 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Let The Games Begin

leave a comment »

What a Friday.

The London Summer Olympic games are set to officially kick off with tonight’s opening ceremony. In the U.S., it actually starts at 4 PM EST, so get those DVRs ready to record.

I’ve been perusing the NBCOlympics.com Web site to try and get a better lay of the land, and I have to say, it’s a little overwhelming trying to figure out what to watch, what with all the social and livestreaming capabilities and endless broadcast coverage.

On the other hand, there’s a little something for just about everyone (and for me, that means soccer!)

London, I wish you all the best and will be watching from afar. Much as I love you, boy am I glad I’m not there trying to fight the crowds in person.

Uh, in the meantime, following up on that last post about waiting for the bugs to get worked out to upgrade to Mountain Lion?…well, he says sheepishly, I admit it, I have no self-control…I dropped by $20 in the Apple virtual till last night, and after about a gazillion hour download, was able to effortlessly upgrade my MacBook Air with the new Apple OS.

So far, I’ve had no pains whatsoever, and I think my machine actually runs that much smoother and faster with the upgrade.

I’ll reserve full judgement until I’ve had the opportunity to take it for a few more times around the block, but so far so good, and I haven’t even begun to play with the new toys yet.

Facebook Foes

I’m looking forward to the Facebook integration, which is expected in a Mountain Lion later update this fall.  I expect Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg might be looking forward to it as well, for after yesterday’s post-earnings announcement beating that Facebook stock took, Z’s probably ready for any good news to come his way.

All this Facebook smack talk, particularly in the mass media on TV shows like “Morning Joe,” makes me wonder if there’s a hidden conspiracy afoot. Are broadcast media concerned about Facebook’s growth and stickiness because, perhaps, it’s starting to steal time spent watching their TV programs, and, thus, swiping $$$ away from their bottom lines?

Facebook revenues were up 32% year-over-year, an increase that would be perfectly reasonable in most any other business, but for social media growth expectations have become over-inflated. When a property like Facebook grows from 100 million to 800 million in a few short years, you can presume at some point the growth will slow.

On the other hand, by having a user base where over 500 million of those consumers come back daily on average, it seems to me that’s a place where plenty of marketers would want to be.

What cable channel, offers up 500 million pairs of eyeballs on a daily basis?

Oh well, perhaps it’s time to look for other diversions on this Olympic Friday.

Tablet THINK

How about this one?

To celebrate centuries of science and technology innovations, IBM has reinvented its award-winning 2011 THINK exhibit at New York City’s Lincoln Center as a free interactive app for iPad and Android tablets.

Geared to tech fans and educators, the IBM THINK exhibit app is an “innovation time machine” that shows how early tools have evolved into modern advances that create healthier populations, greener energy and safer, less congested cities.

It includes all kinds of cool stuff, including an interactive timeline that chronicles the simple act of measurement since prehistoric times, as well as various stories of progress on everything from space exploration to weather prediction.

You can find the iPad version here, and the Android version here.

Written by turbotodd

July 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Tiger Woods And La Roja

with one comment

Happy Monday.

For those of you in the northeast who endured those crazy storms, especially in and around the D.C. area, you have my utmost sympathies, particularly with the oppressive heat moving in as so many people were without power.

Someone who discovered some new power over the weekend was Tiger Woods, who won his own tournament, the AT&T Congressional, as he sidled by Bo Van Pelt in a tight finish cemented on the 18th and final hole.

Woods explained to folks in his post-round press conference, “I remember there was a time when people were saying I could never win again. That was, I think, what, six months ago?”

In the period since, Woods has won three times in his last seven starts, and with Sunday’s victory, passed Jack Nicklaus with 74 PGA Tour victories.

Sam Snead’s 82 career victories looms off in the distance as a next milestone.

In sporting news that most Americans were probably not conscious of unless they accidentally slipped into the ESPN channel zone, Spain (better known in Spanish parts as “La Roja,” the “Red”) routed Italy in the Euro 2012 Championship, 4-0.

La Roja’s David Silva had a brilliant header in the 14′, and Jordia Alba then took a brilliant through-ball from Xavi to go 2-0 at 41′ to make it 2-0 before the first half ended.

For much of the second half, Italy played a man down due to injury, leaving them woefully exposed and a victim to two more goals by the hungry La Roja soccer beast.

Though I’m not sure it would have mattered had Italy 11 players the full game.

Spain’s triangular passing and relentless ball movement, particularly down in Italy’s corner of the field, was just overwhelming, and it’s not for nothing pundits are raising the question whether or not this Spanish national team is the “best ever.”

Considering they’ve won three major championships in a row — the Euro in 2008 and 2012, and the World Cup in 2010 — it’s certainly a point worthy of discussion.

As for me, I’m not going to lie, I was rooting for Espana the entire tournament, so I was elated to see them win at the beautiful game once again, and congratulate all my amigos in Spain who I know appreciate all the good news they can muster at the moment!

Fear not, futbol fans, if you’re worried about going into soccer withdrawal, help from the five rings are on their way when the first Olympic Match between Great Britain and New Zealand kicks off on July 25th at the London Olympic Games, and the English Premiere League premieres Saturday, August 18th with the Wigan Athletics and the Chelsea “Blues” (minus Didier Drogba!)

Written by turbotodd

July 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

%d bloggers like this: