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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Boston Celtics 2007 Home Opener

Holy freaking smokes, the Boston Celtics are finally back! Realizing that we're only one game into the regular season, it's nice to see the Boston Three Party aka the Big Three aka the New Big Three aka the Troika aka the GAP Band aka GPA 3.0 aka the PGA Tour aka Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce doing well so far.

That said, I'd like to talk a little bit about the media spectacle and experience that was the Boston Celtics 2007 Home Opener which included:

  • a four-hour pre-game block party;
  • rally towels sponsored by Aquafina and Rite Aid;
  • officially naming the famous Celtics court the Red Auerbach Parquet Floor;
  • at least four costume changes for the Boston Celtics Dancers;
  • a video montage of the World Championship run of the Boston Red Sox;
  • a surprise visit by Sox owner John Henry, Sox President Larry Lucchino, Sox players Clay Buchholz, Manny DelCarmen, Jacoby Ellsbury, Tim Wakefield, and the World Series trophy;
  • frequent jumbotron views of New England Patriots Laurence Maroney, Lonie Paxton, Junior Seau, Adalius Thomas, Wes Welker, Vince Wilfork, and team owner Bob Kraft;
  • constant booing of Gilbert Arenas (see really ill-advised blog entry by Gilbert Arenas;
  • national coverage on ESPN;
  • a Blue Man Group half-time show;
  • the familiar American Band Stand video montage starring "Gino"; and
  • most importantly a high-energy sellout crowd of 18,600+ Kool Aid-drunk Celtics fans (me included).

IT... WAS... AWESOME! We won and won big. I would've been elated had the Celtics just beaten the Wizards after Arenas' "guaranteed win" comments. However, I was beyond bliss because the whole experience was so amazing. Heck, the basketball game itself was probably only 60% of the experience. And while it should all really just be about the basketball, I suppose I should thank the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls for pushing us in a direction where attending a professional sporting event includes so much more entertainment.

Topics: Boston Celtics, dancers, dance team, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, opening night, Red Sox, World Series, trophy, New England Patriots, and NBA.

posted by silinx | 10:16:00 AM | 0 comments

Friday, November 03, 2006

Wishing the press release a happy 100th birthday

Search Engine Watch posted an article earlier this week about the 100th birthday of the press release. As Search Engine Watch recounts the story:

On October 28, 1906, at least 50 people lost their lives when a three-car train of the Pennsylvania Railroad's newly equipped electric service jumped a trestle at Atlantic City, NJ, and plunged into the Thoroughfare creek.

That afternoon, Ivy Lee, who some consider to be the father of modern PR, created the first press release. The Pennsylvania Railroad was one of his clients. Following the accident, Lee not only convinced the railroad to distribute a public statement, he also convinced them to provide a special train to get reporters to the scene of the accident.

The New York Times was so impressed with this innovative approach to corporate communications that it printed the first press release—verbatim—on Oct. 30, 1906 as a "Statement from the Road." In the weeks that followed, both newspapers and public officials effusively praised Pennsylvania Railroad for its openness and honesty.

Now, a week past the actual birthdate, I got to thinking of my first experience with a press release. I was one week into a great learning experience at a dotcom, which eventually fell as so many others did. Something marginally newsworthy came up and our internal PR folks were putting together a release about whatever it was we were excited about.

The funniest thing I remember about the release was that our PR folks were creating quotes that our CEO had "said". For some reason, in my naivety, I'd always assumed that quotes in press releases were actually thought of, processed, and spoken by whomoever they were attibuted. It was genuinely hysterical to see someone go through the process of getting approved from someone to publish something that they'd supposedly said.

Oh well, it just makes it interesting to think about what media logically drives us to out of self-imposed necessity.

posted by silinx | 11:45:00 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The culture of "Han shot first"

Han shot first

This week, I started reading the newest Star Wars novel (yes, I'm a geek and extremely proud of it), Betrayal by Aaron Allston. It may very well be the best Star Wars novel in quite a while. While the most recent entries by Timothy Zahn and Karen Traviss were both fantastic, they just don't feel as Star Wars-y as Betrayal. But, what's guaranteed Allston's latest novel a place in my nerdy heart is a cheeky little reference to "Han shot first". (If you read the book, you can't miss it.)

I'm sure most of you are aware that "Han shot first" refers to the scene from the original Star Wars movie in which Han Solo non-chalantly guns down alien bounty hunter Greedo at a seedy cantina in Mos Eisley (on the planet Tatooine with binary suns, of course). George Lucas later destroyed the essence of the scene when he unveiled the special edition of Star Wars in which he CGIed Greedo shooting first to give the impression that Solo was only killing Greedo in self-defense. Of all the changes he made, it was this one that seemed to outrage fans the most.

How much of an impact did this have? Check out these links:

How does this relate to the blog? Well, the power of the internet as a media outlet helped fans convince Georgie to release the non-Special Edition version of the original Star Wars trilogy this coming September. Granted, most assumed that George would eventually release the original trilogy and that he was just waiting for a time when he needed a few extra million dollars. However, it was a very real possibility that George was actually stubborn enough stand behind his bastardized recreation. I'd like to think that the aggregated voice of hardcore Star Wars fans, particularly on the Internet from sources like TheForce.net, was the straw that broke the bantha's back in this case.

[Note: I actually started this post weeks ago and have since completely lost train of thought on where I was going with this. As such, if the previous couple of sentence appear to have been tacked on with mynock spit, it's because they were. For the record, I finished Aaron Allston's Betrayal about two days after I started this post.]

Topic: Star Wars, Han shot first, original Star Wars trilogy, DVD, DVDs, special edition.

posted by silinx | 6:26:00 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, July 01, 2006

More Boston Celtics dance team and Alison Preston coverage

Unknown candidate for the Boston Celtics dance team

Well then, my unassuming little blog managed to get "Farked" a couple weeks ago which resulted in more than 63,000 clicks to the site over the course of two days. I had absolutely no idea how much interest and DEBATE the topic of Boston Celtics dance team auditions would generate. (Granted the debate was mostly about how hot the girls were or weren't and not about the tradition and legacy of the Boston Celtics.)

Boston Hearld staff photo illustration of what a Boston Celtics dancer might eventually look like While I have no intentions of turning this blog into a "hey, look at the boobies" blog, I'd like to return to this topic for one more post, if for no other reason than to thank the Fark.com audience for their attention with more pictures. However, that the Boston Celtics holding auditions for cheerleaders would generate so much traffic and more than 450 comments is enough motivation in and of itself as a clear indicator of how the public reacts to media and how media caters to the public. I'm speaking as much about myself as I am about Fark or any other internet media outlet.

Anyhow, on the surface, it would appear that dance team candidates #254 (Alison Preston) and #95 (unknown) have become something of web-micro-celebrities for a couple of days. It really is kind of amazing when you think about it. But looking through the Fark thread and doing a little independent research, I suppose it would be fair to say that Alison Preston was already somewhat known in the media, as evidenced by the following links:

Alison Preston aside (and to the right in a picture from Playboy), the Boston media is giving the whole Boston-Celtics-getting-a-dance-team thing a fair amount of attention even amidst all the 2006 NBA draft activity and trade rumors involving Allen Iverson. The Boston Globe even recently published an interview with hard hitting questions like "How about all that hoochie dancing?" But you really can't blame them for an article like that as it's a slow news day of holiday weekend.

In any event, for those of you interested in additional Celtics dance team coverage:

Point of this post? Well, I supposed it's something to do with how we'll latch on to the most trivial things and attempt to devour all that we can about any topic (including the Boston Celtics dance team and Alison Preston) and that by the amount of "nourishment" out there, it's clear that there are plenty of sources willing to cater to you (and me), err... including me.

Topics: Boston Celtics, dancers, dance team, cheerleaders, auditions, Alison Preston, Fark, Playboy, #254, #95, and NBA.

posted by silinx | 9:20:00 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Superman Returns is super magnificent (review)

Superman Returns Why is it that you could probably ask a random selection of people from any country what Superman's weakness is and nine out of ten of them would be able to answer "Kryptonite"? Well, obviously because Superman has become a pop culture icon with enough clout to have Nicolas Cage name his son Kal-El (Superman's real name), to have Shaquille O'Neal tattoo the Superman 'S' emblem on his arm, and to have Jerry Seinfeld include a Superman reference in many (every?) episodes of his sitcom.

When someone like Superman achieves such an elevated iconic stature that people willing scar their bodies (or their children) with references to him, he runs the risk of jumping the shark or simply not living up to the expectations that we've grown accustomed to. This was my fear when I walked into a preview showing of Superman Returns earlier today. I shouldn't have feared because Bryan Singer knows how to make a "real" superhero movie yet remain true to the essence of the source material.

Superman Returns paid rightful and glorious homage to the original Christopher Reeve Superman movie and to the comics. Singer has even stated in interviews that he specifically tried to translate many of the most memorable Superman images from the comics to film. He succeeded. Furthermore, he created a masterpiece that potentially outshines any other superhero movie ever made.

I don't want to give to much away, but here are something to take note of:

  • Fantastic use of John Williams' original Superman music.
  • Ridiculously good casting... Brandon Routh as Superman makes Christian Bale as Batman akin to pounding a pot roast peg through square hole.
  • Brilliantly nostalgic beginnings and endings.
  • Subtle ties to the original Superman movie like Lois Lane's smoking habit. (I swear the last time I saw Superman, Margot Kidder was lighting up a cigarette every 15 seconds.)
  • Genuinely character driven with great action.

Somehow, Bryan Singer's Superman Returns made Superman more real to me now than the original when I was four years old. The more I think about it, the more I can't recommend it enough.

Topics: Superman, Superman Returns, movie review, Bryan Singer, Brandon Routh, superhero movie, pop culture icon, and reviews.

posted by silinx | 7:59:00 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Evangeline Lilly: From LiveLinks to Lost

It's pretty funny when someone gets famous and media addicts manage to dig up embarassing (but harmless) nuggets from their past. For instance, if you can get your hands on it, you ought to find a copy of the original version of Nine Inch Nails' "Pretty Hate Machine" (a bootleg often labelled "Purest Feeling") in which Trent Reznor comes across closer to a wussy-Depeche-Mode-wannabe than the angsty-goth-industrial-god that he eventually became.

On a slightly less drastic, but equally entertaining level, Lost star Evangeline Lilly (who plays Kate Austen on the runaway hit for ABC) also has a funny little then-and-now item that surfaced on the 'net in the last couple of months. Apparently, before Evangeline Lilly was stranded on a deserted island with an unlimited supply of revealing tank tops and cute little low rise pants that make her ass look absolutely fantastic, she did some commercials to help pay her way through college. What were these television ads for? "The best place to meet local singles."

Yep, that's right, she did a TV ad for a phone-based dating service that's probably one step above late-night 900-number "telephone entertainment" (read: phone sex) and potentially one step down from the uber-successful Match.com. Evangeline Lilly's past, at least based on this, is not very sordid or controversial... just entertaining (and even admirable, if you think about paying your own way through college).

It's amazing how quickly and efficiently Lost-fandom was able to unearth and distribute a relatively obscure tidbit like the LiveLinks commercial (though an interview with David Letterman probably helped things along). Between fansites, blogs, and YouTube, Evangeline Lilly didn't have a shot of keeping the 30 second television spot under wraps. So, you just think about that before you sign a contract for a hit TV show.

Topics: Evangeline Lilly, Lost, LiveLinks, phone sex, commercial, ad, advertisement, TV, television, date video, Kate Austen, Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor, bootleg, and Purest Feeling.

posted by silinx | 9:31:00 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Boston Celtics have... cheerleaders?

Boston Celtics dance team auditions

Strictly speaking, the Boston Celtics WILL have a DANCE TEAM (see Boston Herald and CNN), not cheerleaders. But for all intents and purposes, that the storied NBA franchise with more championships than any other professional basketball team will be adopting some cheerleader-type T&A intermission entertainment is as much a sign of the times as anything. Or is it?

The Dallas Cowboy and the (EWW!) Los Angeles Lakers practically had two separate forms of entertainment at all their games with the Cowgirls and Laker Girls respectively. And they've been riding that cheap-thrills-for-drunk-men-at-a-sporting-event train for decades. The other 29 teams in the NBA have followed suit and the legendary Boston Celtics were the last to give in. Or were they?

The Celtics (under the painfulpainfulPAINFUL guidance of Rick Pitino) began showcasing some sort of asinine make-noise-for-a-t-shirt "Spirit Squad" years ago. I'd be overwhelmingly glad to trade in what we currently have in exchange for cheerleaders or dancers or even belly dancers or pole dancers. Boston gave in ages ago but still somehow managed to maintain an air of too-good-for-that since we didn't go the Full Monty with a "dance team." Until now.

So, what we established is that we really sold out years ago and that selling out in the current sense really isn't THAT big a deal because we effectively sold out years ago, BUT if we really had stood our ground and hadn't hired that crapface (thanks StrongBad) Pitino back in 1996 or whatever it was, we could've actually claimed the horror of the über classy Boston Celtics creating a dance squad. Whew!

If all the other kids jumped off a building or ran into a brick wall, would you? In this case, yes I would. Why?

  • Well, all the other kids really are doing it and it's not like the other kids are snorting hand-fulls of cocaine. This really is harmless.
  • It makes some sense from a business standpoint (though I'm still trying to figure out what, but I'm sure it's there somewhere).
  • It will be entertaining either because it's entertaining or because it'll be fun to heckle or because nearly all drunk men love boobies.
  • The dancers will surely be more attractive than the men wielding the t-shirt bazookas and slingshots.
  • As much as Bostonians will deny that they like it, they do. Or rather, they will. It is a sign of the times and if we don't love it, our kids will or their kids will. Or they'll like whatever the other 29 teams evolve their dance teams into.

I suspect the Celtics dance team will never fill the seats of the Garden, err... Fleet Center... oh wait, Garden by themselves. It still comes down to the Celtics winning basketball games. But, it will bring us into line with what people expect. I love tradition and I love the Celtics. But to be honest, I'm more horrified that Ainge let the team wear white shoes (instead of black) than I am at having cheerleaders.

Alison Preston and others audition for the Boston Celtics dance team

Topics: Boston, Boston Celtics, cheerleaders, dance team, auditions, tradition, NBA, and boobies.

posted by silinx | 8:04:00 PM | 46 comments

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