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Forrest Gump Marketing

Bill Gramatica was a kicker from Argentina who signed with the Arizona Cardinals as their field goal kicker. Unlike any other kicker in the NFL, including even his brother Martin, who did his own crazy kicking celebration; Bill would celebrate each successful kick like an absolute leaping wild man. It was almost as though he had never seen a football game before.

In 2001, he lined up for a kick in the first half, against the New York Giants. When it went successfully through the uprights, it gave his team the first score of the game. You would have thought that Bill G had just won the game. He jumped up in the air in a spastic celebration and came crashing to earth on his knee.

His successful kick and celebration caused him to tear his knee ligament. The injury placed him on the injured list for the rest of the year and then he was cut by the team. To this day, he is placed on every “wow that’s dumb” injury.

The football coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars decided to motivate his players to keep at it. So, he brought wood and an ax for a team activity to “keep chopping wood” or to remind them to just keep at it. One of the players got so excited that he swung and missed and chopped at his own leg. Because he was the kicker, it put him out for the rest of the season. Most couldn’t decide whether to blame it on the coach or the kicker.

If you google silly sports injuries or “most embarrassing injuries”, you will find such injuries as a soccer player who got injured when he dropped a bottle of salad dressing on his foot. Another broke his arm when reaching for the remote. One baseball player fell asleep under the tanning bed and was unable to play because of his “sunburn”.

In the movie “Forrest Gump”, Gump admittedly went through life with a slow mind. His mother taught him to work hard, despite his difficulty. So, he would always repeat her saying of “Stupid is as stupid does”.

Sometimes, I think that certain businesses think that we’re all a bunch of Forrest Gumps walking around. The way they advertise is baffling. For instance, I keep seeing the same car ad that tells me that you can basically “name your own price”. Then, in real small print, there are all kinds of exceptions. Basically, it lets them turn down any price you name, after they’ve gotten you to their lot. I had to rewind and stop to see that small print nonsense.

In Federal law, there’s protection for us that is called The Lanham Act. It protects us against false advertising.

The Department of Transportation just fined Spirit Airlines for false advertising. They were advertising $9 one-way fares. To find out if were are any additional fees, they required a potential consumer to click through at least 2 web pages to find out the other fees and charges that were added on the fare. Plus they didn’t list the additional charges in their print advertisements.

I get it that we are supposed to read the fine print. It just shouldn’t be like an Easter Egg hunt to find the real cost of things.

Recent transportation reports indicate that airlines added about 10.2 billion to their bottom lines by adding on fare and baggage charges. Starting January 24, 2012, air carriers will be required to include all government taxes and fees in their advertised fare totals. Maybe we can escape the hiding of the tax, tags or made up dealer freight and set-up. Boarding early or the special tiny luggage bin fee will probably be in sight. They don’t charge that now, do they?

The charges bother me; And, the marketing bothers me. As Forrest Gump said, “That’s about all I have to say about that”.

For pic o’ day, the above makes me feel like we could all use a bit of protection against fraud pricing.

Angry Danny Snyder

A Seinfeld episode in 2004 became “talked about” TV because the subject matter dealt with discrimination. It was known as the Anti-Dentite episode. Kramer accused Jerry of being a rabid anti-dentite. That’s someone who is discriminating against dentists. The script of the show included the following:

So you won’t believe what happened with Whatley today. It got back to him that I made this little dentist joke and he got all offended. Those people can be so touchy.
KRAMER: Those people, listen to yourself.
JERRY: What?
KRAMER: You think that dentists are so different from me and you? They came to this country just like everybody else, in search of a dream.
JERRY: Kramer, he’s just a dentist.
KRAMER: Yeah, and you’re an anti-dentite.

JERRY: I am not an anti-dentite!
KRAMER: You’re a rabid anti-dentite! Oh, it starts with a few jokes and some slurs. “Hey, denty!” Next thing you know you’re saying they should have their own schools.
JERRY: They do have their own schools!
KRAMER: Yeah!….

The reason behind the Seinfeld episode was obviously humor. However, it also was a message that not everything is done as an attack, with discrimination being the reason. Disagreement doesn’t have to be discrimination.

Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder would probably differ with that last statement. That’s because He has filed suit (copy of lawsuit) against the “Washington City Paper”, claiming that they defamed him and made anti-Semitic references, based on the picture above, that they included in the story.

Snyder filed suit for 2 million, plus damages, and claimed (story) that the drawing of the facial hair and horns, were an attack on his Jewish heritage, and that the story was “lies, half-truths, innuendo and anti-Semitic imagery (the picture) to smear, malign, defame and slander Snyder”.

The orginal article in the “Washington City Paper” (attached here), outlined many “hilarious or heinous deeds” (per the article) that they claim are things that occurred by the way that Snyder has conducted business in many of his dealings with the Redskins, and his other business.

As to these “deeds”, the newspaper says that “we believe that we have the facts right”. As to the photo, they say that it was meant to “resemble the type of scribbling that teenagers everywhere have been using to deface photos for years.”

The newspaper’s response to the lawsuit, set forth by editor Amy Austin, (Here) is too long for the blog, but also full of nuggets, like the original article.

Some of the allegations that are set forth in the original article that has brought the lawsuit, include Snyder selling peanuts at the stadium, that had a bankrupt airlines name on them. That’s not too serious, except that the airline, Independence Air, had been bankrupt for a year and peanuts are supposedly not to be kept in those containers, for more than 3 months.

Another, to give you a taste of the story, is the reaction of Health officials, when they learned that Snyder had been selling beer in the restrooms. Snyder allegedly sold 9/11 caps for profit, which amounted to a Redskin Hat with “commemorate September 11” on the side of the hat. No other team did that for profit or otherwise. It was also noted that Snyder had added a $4 “security surcharge” to the tickets, following the 9/11 attacks.

This Snyder lawsuit appears to be brought to make the newspaper spend a lot of money, to defend the case. I’m surprised that, in his probable vindictive motive,  Danny would be bringing all his business dealings to the courtroom. Plus, already, there are Snyder enemies who are raising a defense fund for the paper.

 Throughout this blog, my tone is questioning the reason to bring the lawsuit. Of course, I also have to question the venue, where Snyder filed this suit. It’s filed in New York and my guess is that, there probably aren’t a lot of Redskins’ fans in that area.

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