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Attention to Early Detail

February 4, 2007, millions of football fans watched the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears by a score of 29-17,  in Super Bowl XLI. I remember being happy that the Colts won; I was also happy to watch the game on TV.

The game was played in a constant rain downpour from start to finish. Those at the game are probably still trying to get dry.

Most of the articles that were later written about the game noted that the Colts, despite playing all their home games in a perfectly weather controlled dome; were less affected by the weather than the Bears. It was particularly noted that the Colts quarterback, Peyton Manning, was least impacted by the weather.

What fans didn’t know at the time, was the preparation of Manning leading up to that game. All week, meteorologists were predicting that there was a great potential for rain. So Manning and his center, Jeff Saturday, prepared for the rain. Every day after practice that week, leading up to the game; they would spend an extra 15 minutes together after practice.

Manning had asked the equipment manager to provide him with a bucket of water and several footballs. Then, Saturday would snap footballs that had been soaked in the bucket. That routine prepared Manning for that Super Bowl weather. The Bears quarterback could never seem to handle the ball; instead, he looked like he was chasing a greased pig. Manning looked like he was back in the home dome, because of that extra preparation.

This past couple of weeks has brought some unique cases into the Firm. The clients have significant injuries but the facts of the cases are a bit different from basic rear-end crashes. That means that we start looking around every corner for the facts.

When a case initially comes in the door, we begin working on it as though it is going to trial. For instance, one case involves a client that was hurt, because he fell over something at a truckstop gas station. (maybe someday I can get into the real juicy facts) So, we immediately needed investigation to determine all the facts about what caused the client to fall. That included pictures at the scene. One of the basic pieces of investigation included the investigator going to the scene and taking pictures. There he was with his camera, while employees and customers walked around in this busy area.  No one even asked him why he was taking dozens of pictures.

A lot of investigation has already now gone into that case. All before the other side even knows that we represent the client. Preparation now will probably make the difference in this case, two years from now. We don’t want to be caught by surprise by the facts of this case.

I figured this was a good picture to illustrate what happens if we get caught by surprise. Nothing good can happen!

 

For pic 0′ day, I am posting 3 pictures of Roxy, who is owned by Stacey. She was getting ready for a charity event with her “Joel Bieber apparel”.  Go Roxy!

       

 

Manning Injury Thoughts

 

     It’s Super Bowl week. It gives me a good excuse to write a football blog. Even better, a Peyton Manning/Colts blog. Why am I doing a Super Bowl blog involving the Colts and Manning? Do you have to rub it in?

     The video shows a 2006 game between the Colts and the Redskins. As Manning steps up in the pocket to deliver the ball, one defender grabs his legs while the other Redskins player (Phillip Daniel) grabs him around the neck and bends him back in a position that no human body should be bent. Even pulls his helmet off.

    

     If you look close at the video, as well as the captured pictures, you can see Peyton Manning holding his right arm up, like it’s bothering him. At that point, he gingerly walked off the field, while the Colts kicker went on to kick a field goal.

     Manning told the back-up quarterback, Jim Sorgi, to start warming up. He then began throwing a bit on the sideline to see how he was able to throw the football.

     At halftime, the Colts coach, Tony Dungy, asked Manning if he was OK. He said he was ready to go. He went out in the second half and threw three touchdowns to guide the Colts to victory. Later, it was learned that he had felt some tingling in his throwing arm, after the hit.

     Zooming ahead to the start of  2011 season, Manning announced that he was unable to throw the ball, despite all the preseason rehabilitation that he had been through. He consulted several doctors and ultimately went through a 3rd neck surgery. This time, it was a bone fusion.

     Manning has not played since that surgery and there are rumors swirling about his upcoming plans. Some say that his strength is only 60%; others believe that he will end up becoming a free agent, continue strengthening and ultimately play for a different team, than the Colts. I think that he will announce his retirement soon. (Boy I hope I’m wrong!)

     This week, Tony Dungy said on a radio show that since that 2006 hit in the video, that Peyton has not been totally healthy. He has “just played through it”. When you look at the video, it certainly isn’t hard to believe that this hit would cause the injury that required the surgeries. As a fan that has seen almost every play of Colts football, I can say that there has been no hit like that one.

     In car accident cases, many clients leave the scene and don’t initially get medical treatment.  In fact, some clients go days or weeks without going to the doctor. Ultimately, they may go to the doctor and find out that they have a muscle strain/tear or a disc injury. That diagnosis could even come weeks later.

     Clients in this circumstance usually report that they had continuing pain. They might have even thought that it would go away.  When the pain doesn’t resolve, that’s when they decide to go to the doctor.

     Defense attorneys always make a big deal about not getting immediate medical attention. In fact, like Manning telling Dungy he was OK, a client  may have declined treatment at the scene and advised the emergency team that they are fine. Ultimately, they may not be fine.

     The law that is applied in injury cases,  does allow the jury to use common sense and circumstantial evidence to determine the facts of the case. What is the cause of the injury?

       Isn’t it reasonable to believe that Manning suffered his career threatening injury in 2006.  Maybe other football events have aggravated it, but the real cause was having his neck and body bent like a pretzel.

     Well, the cause and effect is easy for me to see….. but, I have no defense lawyer in my DNA!

     And now, pic o’ day is having someone peeking over your shoulder.

A March Madness Trademark

      Shakespeare said,  “love is merely a madness, and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do.”

     I didn’t remember this exact quote but part of it came to mind when I read that the NCAA has now trademarked the term “March Madness”,  for its annual college basketball tournament, to the championship.

     A few years back, I remember going to a TV station to cut local spots that were to air during the Sunday afternoon, leading up to the Super Bowl. They immediately told me, in almost hushed tones, that I couldn’t use the term “Super Bowl” because it had been trademarked.

     Instead, I had to refer to “The Big Game” or “Sunday’s Pro Football Championship”.  I admittedly just didn’t get it. Instead of those quotes, I just wanted to say, “what in the world”.     Now that I see the trademark of “March Madness”, it makes me look at what it might mean. 

     There was a sports marketing company named Intersport, who had the original foresight to trademark the name. Last October, the NCAA paid Intersport a sum of 17.2 Million dollars for sole ownership of the trademark. Yep, you read that correctly.

     It just shows how big the money is in marketing, when it comes to sports. Plus, when the NCAA argues against students getting nothing but scholarships for playing, at least they can’t say that their argument is based in any financial logic.

     The NCAA looks at this purchase as an investment. To them, they will now collect royalties for the use of “”March Madness”. If someone is advertising the “March Madness slam dunk competition” or “The March Madness Video game”, they better get ready to get the check in the mail.

     This blog makes you want to put your thinking cap on. Instead of working harder, it’s a reminder that we need to just work smarter. How about sending me an idea that we can trademark and then sell. Maybe something like “Let’s Google that” or “Can you go Xerox this blog for me”. What ….. No, we’re too late?

     Well, I guess time will tell whether the NCAA is filled with men like those described by Shakespeare; Or,  are they sly like a fox. (hey?… no, guess that’s taken already) or strong like an ox. I could just keep em’ coming.

TV versus the Internet

     This week will be one of those “plates in the air” kind of weeks. Of course, I have always said that the practice of law is like having 5 baskets, 5 snakes and 4 lids. I didn’t make that up, but I can’t remember who did, to give them credit.

     Anyway, this week will also be a combination of law and marketing. Right now, I am working on a couple of scripts for upcoming law firm TV commercials. This Sunday, we will be on in our TV markets, with a Super Bowl ad. Right now, I am trying to decide if I should “whip up” an ad, just for the Super Bowl, or do one that will be used down the road.

     Most of the Super Bowl  ads are placed nationally. That’s why you see all those articles about the pricing of ads. And, of course, I always feel riveted to my chair at the commercial breaks. That’s some of the best viewing. It’s rare that the public does pay so much attention to TV ads. The local TV stations have 3 or 4 ads to sell in game. That’s where we try to get in.

     I titled this blog “TV versus the Internet” because that is really what has happened in marketing. I regularly hear lawyers complaining about how their TV advertising no longer generates business. For us, we have greatly reduced our TV ads over the last few years. That’s because the Internet has replaced a lot of what TV and yellow pages used to do. .

      The Internet has created a different buying experience. When I am contemplating a product or book to read, I look at the recommendations of others. Did they give the book 4 stars or not. It’s what Facebook is trying to capitalize on, in having your “friends” give a thumbs up or a thumbs down on a product. That will also probably have an impact on professional services.

     It won’t matter how many TV ads a lawyer or doctor might air, if there are a lot of online comments about the services that aren’t beneficial to the business. TV will be more for “top of mind awareness”. 

     The Internet has become the great equalizer and really returned us back to the days that people choose, based on recommendations. It’s a good thing because a 30 second advertisement on television really doesn’t tell you much about a business, except to introduce you to it.

     Well, that’s what’s on my mind. I wish you could give me an amazing TV ad idea. The Super Bowl is one time that you reach an audience all at once. Plus, it should pull big numbers; since Green Bay and Pittsburgh are playing.

     I want a close game; a lot of viewers; several ads that make me laugh and, I need a good idea for our firm. So, I’m pulling out a pen and pad and beginning to write. I have a cup of coffee next to me. Hopefully, if you are in one of our markets, you will see what comes to fruition. That assumes that the production will get it done  and on to the stations.

     That sounds like the same “five baskets” slogan too. I guess that’s the way life really is.

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