It’s Nike vs. Adidas in the World Cup Semis

originally appeared in TheStreet.com July 7, 2014

messi adidasThe World Cup semifinals are now set and in no surprise, Nike will be facing Adidas for world domination. Sort of.

Both matches feature the two companies going head to head for a spot in the finals on July 13. Nike will be on the field with Brazil when the host country takes on an Adidas kitted Germany. The other side of the bracket features Argentina versus the Swoosh-styled team from the Netherlands.

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What Free Agency Means for LeBron James, the Marketing Machine

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — To those who follow the NBA, LeBron James’ move to opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat to become a free agent wasn’t a surprise.

The move was redolent of James’ “Decision,” his much maligned announcement in the summer of 2010 that he was joining the Heat and leaving his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.

Although he took a big hit to what had been a relatively untarnished reputation, the move didn’t hurt James’ marketability, outside of Cleveland at least. Continue reading

AMC Takes a Gamble Prolonging Mad Men’s Season Finale

originally appeared in http://www.thestreet.com June 2, 2014

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — AMC’s Mad Men Mad-Men-1aired its mid-season finale last week to what was considered a “soft” 1.9 million viewers on May 25, during the Memorial Day Weekend. However, that number was in line with the ratings the Matthew Weiner-produced show has recorded during its seven-year run.

 When the key Live+3 ratings (measuring new views within three days of airing) were in, that number nearly doubled to 3.6 million viewers by the end of the week.

So does that mean AMC’s strategy of splitting seasons of its hit show is working? We won’t know until Mad Men finishes for real next year and the ratings come in.

What is known is people don’t watch TV the same way anymore.

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ESPN Makes Disney Very Happy, One Lebron James Story At a Time

originally published May 28, 2014 in http://www.thestreet.com

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY (TheStreet) — Before 1979, sports media was still in its dark ages. The world’s sporting games had their heroes and various and sundry sportswriters who depicted their exploits for newsprint, television and radio.

Joe Namath’s prediction that the upstart New York Jets would win Super Bowl III in 1969 and Reggie Jackson’s three-home run game in the 1977 World Series were examples of the modern athlete transcending daily life to create the mass market moment that stretched well beyond the playing field. And that was just in New York.

On TV, baseball and basketball had their game of the week while Sundays and Monday night belonged to football. Local newspapers recounted games and Sports Illustrated gave them all a glossy sheen on the national level. It all used to be so quaint.

ESPNThen in 1979, someone in Bristol, Conn got the crazy idea of packaging every sport and every region’s favorite ballteams into one made-for-Pay-TV package. And nothing in the business of sports, which really is sports, has been the same ever since.

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The Night Springsteen Played Uptown

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Three weeks ago, my pal Orlando sits down across from me at the Union Plaza Diner and tells me that he just won tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at the Apollo Theater and that if I play my cards right, I may have a shot of going. Needless to say, I bought breakfast that morning and kept my fingers crossed.

On May 9th, it all came together and there we were in sitting in the fourth row at the ‘True Temple of Soul’. I could bore you with tales of the free drinks, free appetizers, free t-shirts or the dozens of celebrities from movies, music, and sports world that were in attendance. But this story isn’t about all that.

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The Socio-Economics of Our Food Supply

Originally published April, 2014 at http://www.thedailymeal.com

Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that you’re a single parent. You’ve got $10 to feed three kids tonight, and you’ve only got 45 minutes to take care of that before you have to run out the door to get to your second job, the one that pays barely above minimum wage. What do you do?

Finding something to eat isn’t necessarily a challenge these days. Finding something to eat with nutritional value, particularly in impoverished areas around America, can be an entirely different matter altogether.

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The Morning After

 

Liberty State Park  (photo by James Fernandez)

Liberty State Park
(photo by James Fernandez)

No hum of the refrigerator, no rattle from the coffeepot.

Planes were grounded. I can only think of one other time when the skies where this quiet.

I guess church bells need electricity too.

These are just a couple sounds we lived without in many parts of the city after Sandy caused widespread power outages. Then there were the sounds we lived with. First there was the wind, which was all you could hear before the waters drowned the streets and the PATH. By 9:30 last Monday night, the city was dark. Later, the police and fire sirens began to wail…..read more here 

originally appeared Jersey City Independent on Nov. 5, 2012