February 2, 2010

Alan Hahn, writes about the NBA for NY- Newsday and had this to say about the NBA and Nike’s adds.

“Just after David Stern announced that Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton would be suspended for the rest of the season for their gun play in the locker room, a new print ad campaign by Nike went into circulation. It included the game’s two biggest stars, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, on opposite pages with the slogan “Prepare for Combat.”
The ad includes a line from Bryant that reads, “I’ll do whatever it takes to win games. I don’t leave anything in the chamber.”
Needless to say, the league isn’t pleased. NBA spokesman Tim Frank told The Associated Press on Friday that the ad is “inappropriate.”
The Brady Campaign, which is the nation’s largest non-partisan organization in the effort to prevent gun violence, also spoke out Saturday, calling the ad
“off-message and badly timed.”
“We need to drop the gun glorification in pro basketball, and that especially applies to million-dollar ad campaigns,” Brady Campaign president Paul Helmke said.
To be fair, the ad was done well before the Arenas/Crittenton controversy. In a statement, Nike said the Bryant quote “was intended to illustrate his all-out
play and commitment on the basketball court. It is a commonly used reference for shooting the basketball and no offense was intended.”
Bryant told reporters Friday that in the wake of the Arenas/Crittenton controversy, he agrees it is a bad time to release the ad. James seemed more annoyed with the league’s criticism. He told reporters Friday that Bryant’s line in the ad has “nothing, zero, to do with guns. At all. Zero.”
(James, of course, still might have been smarting from the $25,000 fine the league slapped him with Thursday for kicking <when I saw the film, it sure looked as though he threw it> a water bottle.)
Is the league being oversensitive? The game inherently involves references to guns from the very act of scoring the basketball. Does this mean the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout also needs to be renamed before All-Star Weekend in Dallas?
It should be noted that the Nike ad was not received well in Cleveland, but for much different reasons. City officials rejected a proposal by Nike to replace
LeBron’s trademark 10-story “Witness” mural outside Quicken Loans Arena with the “Prepare for Combat” look, which has James shirtless and his skin
depicting the texture of Nike’s new training apparel.
According to various reports, the city officials would prefer a more positive image that does not make reference to “combat” while American soldiers are
involved in real fighting overseas.
Also, they were not happy that the new ad does not include James in a Cavaliers jersey. (Caution! Inevitable 2010 reference ahead!)
In New York, the ad clearly isn’t an issue. In Nike’s billboard on 34th Street and 7th Avenue, right outside Madison Square Garden, LeBron’s “combat” ad is displayed prominently. The fact that he’s shirtless acts like a subliminal reminder that he’s available.”

I admire Tom Robinson for his willingness to play Wii. He described a harrowing experience and his sustained injuries on
“I like to think I’m a gamer. You know, a guy with some pluck, a little bulldog spirit in the cut-throat world of Scrabble, Hearts or Stratego, where the winners rule the card table and the losing losers wallow in their miserable Loserville.
But oooh-Wii, I am so not a gamer.
You know those guys who can take a whatchamacallit full of complicated push-buttons and launch a dozen grenades in “Call of Duty” before the other guy’s even activated his thingy?
I’m that other guy. An e-failure. A Guitar zero. The Anti-Madden. Not pleased about it. Not proud of it. Just the way it is. And the fallout hurts.
Give you an example. First time I tried Nintendo’s Wii Sports at a party a while back, they loaded up a skiing game. I said to myself, “Hey, I ski for real.
What’s the house record for this slalom?”
So, near the end of my first run, after I’d missed every gate by going around them instead of through them because I got confused, the hostess blurted, “Are you trying to miss them?”
Well, actually, you see, I guess so because, uh, the gates, ah, I thought I was supposed to…
Oy, enough yammering… except I didn’t quit while I was behind. Tried the ski jumping; sank like a rock. Tried the baseball; whiffed, pretty much.
After the laughter, what remained was a psychic beatdown. A pride-busting blow that vaguely resonated, although it wasn’t til my second Wii-try that the pain centralized.
Did you know in Wii boxing, you’re actually not supposed to hoist left hooks from your shoe tops or throw jabs like you want to remove teeth or collapse,
chest heaving, after three abbreviated “rounds?”
Did you know all you really need to do to get your ghost boxer to box is flick your stupid wrist?
For some reason, my brother-in-law during my Christmas visit failed to tell me this. Or else he told me and I didn’t hear because I was too eager to grab the two controllers and knock my sweet daughter into next week.
Naturally, uber-gamer that I am, I bobbed and weaved and threw a thousand air punches at the flat-screen – “Take that, and that, and that!” – until at last her soundly throttled Mii-person couldn’t get off the Wii-deck.
And I couldn’t lift my aching right arm.
For the next two weeks, I cursed the pitiful rotator cuff I was sure I’d shredded. Figured first would be the MRI, then the surgery, then the slow, annoying rehab. Figured I was done for spring training, coach, and was no lock to be back by Labor Day.
But as I slowly, and blessedly, recovered sans scalpel – to where the shoulder now only feels tweaked instead of ravaged – I also guessed I wasn’t alone in my Wii-zealotry. (OOOFFF)
Sure enough, the Web is lousy with reports of Wii sports-induced injuries from dopes like me who forget it’s all just a mindless amusement.
Repetitive-motion injuries and assorted traumas – some from getting conked with flying controllers – have folks trundling into medical offices across the land.
They seek relief not for honestly earned tennis elbows but for the video-induced kind, about which we the people should be ashamed.
Last spring, sports-medicine specialist Dr. Brian Halpern, a former assistant team physician for the New York Mets, told the New York Times that the theory of Wii-gaming is great. Not great, Halpern said, “is that you get lost in that and are overloading areas that you haven’t worked out in a long time, if ever.”
Point painfully taken.
And now that I have a Wii of my own – what, I look like I’ve got an ounce of sense? – I swear on a bottle of Advil I will not Wii-bowl myself into a sling
pursuing a virtual perfect game, or try to match my tennis-shark son ace for ace.
Even gamers have to know when the game is up.”


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