Oregon Versus Auburn

I loved football in college. I went to the University of Nebraska; there was no choice. You would be expelled if you didn’t love football. But to be honest, I stopped following it in the early eighties when it came to my attention that domestic violence calls escalate substantially during the games, peaking during the Super Bowl. Some are challenging that notion now, but in the mid-eighties, it was widely believed.

Our company does a lot of work with the Super Bowl, and I sent the Dallas team an e-mail about our social media options, saying, “Give me some data on the Super Bowl that we can provide our clients, not related to us, but to the Super Bowl, like where to get tickets, parking, parties, and the two teams that were chosen to play, so we can provide some real content.”

So the General Manager of Dallas took it to the VP of Sales and said, “What do I do with this? She doesn’t know the teams haven’t been decided yet and she thinks they ‘choose’ them?” Being the sensitive type, she looked at him, picked up the phone and called me. “Merser, it’s me. Are you stupid? They don’t choose the teams, they win a spot in playoffs and that hasn’t been decided yet.” I was on speaker phone and felt the need to regroup quickly. “Well, that doesn’t work for me. How do they expect us to market the damn thing? Call the NFL and tell them to get on it.” Then I hung up. I regrouped, man. I showed my firm grasp of the situation and how agile I am when I need to change my marketing approach.

Last night was the college football finals.  So, being the kind of person who recognizes weaknesses in herself, and always wanting to improve, I went across the street to watch it with some peeps from the office including the VP of Sales.

Well, surprise, surprise. I have a few comments.

1. What’s with the shoes? Are you serious? Aside from being anything but gold (which is the team color they were supposed to be mirroring), they left no room on the field for seeing anything else. Ok, so I get the Nike connection (apparently the CEO of Nike went to Oregon and has given millions to the team and they wear Nike stuff, often new each game). Well as someone who works in marketing, that’s a nightmare. Do you know how many calls their VP of Marketing gets from other teams? Hellloooo. But secondly, I thought college football was not supposed to go there with corporations. Whatever.

2. Tell the GD Tiger to stop with the bobbing head. It was driving me crazy. What happened to simple costumes?

3. The announcers are way overdressed. No one wears a three-piece suit to a football game. Get over yourself.

Now, on to the game, which I must admit, was very exciting. It really was, and I had forgotten how much more I like college football than professional football.

We did laugh a lot.

When we walked into the male-dominated Q’s on Wilshire Boulevard to watch the game, the guys at the next table asked us which team we were rooting for. Since I had no idea which teams were playing, and I was the one he was looking at, I answered, “Which team do you want us to root for? We are a versatile group.” Oregon it was—which was fine by me because they were, in fact, the underdogs.

When a guy got hurt on the first play, one of us said that the guy’s mother was yelling from the stands, “Get up! You are fine. I didn’t come all the way here to watch you get knocked out on the first play of the game. Suck it up!”

Here’s the thing. I had a great time. We placed side bets on where the next play was headed, up the middle, running it, long to the left, etc. We laughed. We texted others, and I’m in.

Now, regarding the Super Bowl. I still think they need to give me more time to market the teams. Plus, people need to book flights early and get good rates. I’m still going to write the NFL, but I’m also going to pick a team next year to make my own, buy a shirt and start watching. Biggest Loser or Monday Night Football. Hmm.