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Posts Tagged ‘Golf’

It started as whispers, but lately we’ve heard more and more about the “R” word.

Recovery of the economy.

Economists are starting to down play the recession and clearly chatter from our D.C. representatives is all about a turning point as retail sales beat forecasts and for the first time in 10 years 160K jobs were created in the month of March.  However, the unemployment rate remains steady at 9.7% nationally and it really looks like the pace of growth won’t drive rapid improvement in the labor market.

And speaking of job growth, Harley-Davidson has taken some of the oxygen out any recovery in Milwaukee.  According to the Biz Journal the motor company filed a mass layoff notice this week with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development informing the agency that it was undergoing a permanent reduction in force and will lay off 94 employees at its distribution center in Franklin beginning June 7.  Unemployment remains steady at 8.7% in Wisconsin.  This news was not unexpected as the motor company announced more than a year ago that it was closing the distribution center as part of a major reduction in operations, with a third-party company picking up parts, accessories and general merchandise distribution.

Clearly the labor market distress remains high and I’m not making light of hard working folks difficulties.   But, if it’s any consolation – plus the fact that this week Tiger returned to the Masters, launched a new 3D PGA Online Game and Nike’s greedy geniu$ made us feel CREEPY for the multimillionaire after rolling out a new ad featuring his dead father’s voice – Wisconsin is ranked among the top states for its ratio of golfers to courses and during this most distressful time, might I suggest a round of golf to reduce stress?  Better yet, maybe you could snag a 4-some in the middle of the day with Mr. Keith Wandell (H-D CEO) who according to a number of press reports is an avid golfer and discuss etiquette or share tips!

Photo courtesy of GoGo Caddy and H-D.


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“What a long, strange trip it’s been,” said the infamous Jerry Garcia.

And how true that statement is after tuning in to the “news briefing” by Tiger Woods yesterday.  The whole controlled and sterile event with a so-called heartfelt speech was bizzare.

The new American sport is apologizing.

Maybe it should be an Olympic event?!  You barely have to offend before some nitwit demands you whip out a confession admitting your crime, talk about rehab or therapy and express regret.  Huh?  Have you ever stopped to think maybe the person meant to do it.  Maybe they’re just not like you and I?

As if athletes are not jocks doing it for personal glory.  And cash!  That’s the real story (money), but we don’t want to admit it to ourselves.

And how about that Buddhist comment?  It’s the first time we’ve heard about his “lifelong” teachings.  And why is it we never hear about them when the athlete is on top, but they make up a major part of every “victim’s” apology speech when they hit bottom.

Tiger cheated on his wife and family.  Why is this even on TV?  His actions had no impact on the actual results of the golf events he participated in.  I don’t think he owes anyone an apology other than his wife, family and friends.  I could care less if his apology and confession were sincere or not.  It won’t change if and when I play golf.  So, the Great Apology, a speech about how a man had been living a lie and a dishonest life expects people to take him on his word that everything he says is true – now.

Quoting the Accenture ad… “Opportunity isn’t always obvious”…  It would seem prudent for the soon-to-be single Tiger to collaborate with Harley-Davidson.  And I mean this as no disrespect to Harley.  Go to commercial:  Cue opening to George Thorogood playing “Bad to the Bone” as the camera pans across a leggy brunette to his face as he looks back with that pouty-lipped look he does, then there is an Elvis snarl…while revving the throttle…another Elvis snarl as the bagger burns out.  Cue announcer as Tiger smiles and says “Screw It, Let’s Ride”…

Personally this whole greedy geniu$ event had me believing in him less today than I did yesterday, but it’s his life.

Photo courtesy of PRX Radio

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Nike Clothing Exit -- Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi

Nike Exit -- Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi

According to miss-placed sources the Nike endorsement scouts have frantically been working to strike deals with high profile Scottish “residents” for a new line of casual wear.

The new ad campaign titled “Compassionate Wear: For Those Making A Fast Exit” pitches a 30-second TV commercial that depicts an ailing individual who is released from a “solitary village” in tourism clothing; (white) running shellsuit, prominent black-on-white “Swoosh” baseball cap, and walking trainers.  This new “Compassionate Wear” campaign was first rolled out last week with celeb Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi,  the terrorist who killed 270 (most who were Americans) in the 1988 Pan Am flight over Lockerbie Scotland and was recently returned to a hero’s welcome in Libya after only serving 8 years of a life sentence.  His compassionate release by Mr. MacAskill was due to “so-called” final stages of prostate cancer and having less than 3 months to live.

According to my Nike sources who never attended the unveiling, the new “Compassionate Wear” clothing line needed to send a powerful association message of being “FAST” even as relaxed tourism casual wear.  Ideas by Nike marketing were bullets, airplanes, camera flashes, really fast dogs, and other athletes who walked counterclockwise to turn back time.  In fact, the marketing rep reportedly said the words “fast” and “really fast” more than 72 times per minute.  They also described the use of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in some of the upcoming commercials to leave burn-out tire marks on the road with tiny flames coming out of them. Fire equals fast…  Other concepts bantered around was something about an exploding stopwatch which was clearly ill-conceived as they were caught off guard by the obvious bomber correlation.

Boycott Motorcycle Scotland

Boycott Motorcycle Scotland

All humor aside — although completely implausible and actually quite offensive, I’m sure Nike wasn’t satisfied with a direct link to the Scottish judicial system and the Lockerbie bomber.  What?  The same company that aggressively fights any sweat shop image worry about poisoned relations due to the Lockerbie bombers high profile release in their logo?   Right!  Would love to have read that letter from Mr. Phil Knight.

The release was wholly wrong and my suggestion is to boycott Scotland.  Tourism and whisky are two of the major economic ties to Scotland.  Each year more than 340,000 Americans visit Scotland – one out of every five – and in aggregate spend more than $425M per year.  Don’t motorcycle Scotland, read Robert Burns poetry, download music or golf the pristine courses.  And don’t purchase their whiskey.  There is a group called “Boycott Scotland” or you can email Mr. MacAskill HERE to directly voice your concerns/outrage.

I don’t know if the absence of Americans on their golf courses will have any impact on the economy, but making noise which reflects the public sentiment has shown in a number of instances to make a difference.

Photo courtesy of Danny Lawson, AFP/Getty.  Full Disclosure: I’m Irish, have no sources at Nike and Pendleton Whiskey is my new friend.

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