Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sweet PR move, Obama

Quick thoughts on last night’s MLB All-Star Game:
  • The game lasted 2 hours, 31 minutes – the fastest since 1988 – and the fans deserved it. After suffering through the meticulously long HR Derby on Monday, I only had about 2.5 hours to give before I turned on baseball.
  • Due to Rockies success in the 2008 All-Star Game, I was fully expecting Brad Hawpe and Jason Marquis to show up big – and Hawpe almost delivered. With the game tied 3-3 in the seventh inning, Hawpe launched a homerun ball deep into left-center field, only to have it thieved by Carl Crawford’s leaping, over-the-fence grab. … It’s OK, Brad. We still love you.
  • Congrats, AL squad. The AL is 12-0-1 in All-Star games since 1996. More ammunition for Sports Guy Bill Simmons to bash the National League… great.
Finally, let’s talk about the throw that never was: President Obama’s ceremonial first pitch.

Let’s be honest, there was a lot riding on this pitch. Americans put a lot of stock into our leaders’ athletic ability - and deservedly so. I’m still convinced this photo had more to do with the 2004 Presidential Election than Ohio ever did. Moreover, President Bush’s iconic first pitch after 9/11 brought this country together and made us all proud to have ‘W’ at the helm (if only for a moment).

That’s why I resolutely believed that Obama must deliver a clear-cut strike to calm our country out of this recession (hyperbole-pending). To add to the mounting pressure, it seems like nobody has thrown a strike in these situations since Bush. How was America going to react if Barack conjured famed first-pitch fool Marky Mark?!

Fortunately, some FOX executive avoided the situation all together by not showing the pitch. OK, that’s not exactly fair. They aired the pitch from a snail’s-eye view, making it nearly impossible to gauge Obama’s arm strength or pitch location

Like the rest of my liberal brethren, I’d love to place all the blame on Rupert Murdoch and FOX. But… I think Obama’s staff may have had something to do with the imperfect camera angle.

It’s basic PR: control the message. From that camera angle, any dreadful pitch (short of a 2000 Rick Ankiel toss) would have looked serviceable.

So, we are stuck with this, and it is probably for the best. Had President Obama gone Trent Edwards last night, the fate of the Free World would undeniably be in danger. Well done, Obama PR team, you sidestepped major disaster.

No comments:

Post a Comment