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Showing posts from June, 2010

John Cleese Rants: Soccer vs Football

For all the World Cup haters out there, watch this piece from Monty Python's John Cleese, and his Euro-centric views on American football. While I disagree with Mr. Cleese about denigrating the sport of American football, I agree with the idea that soccer players get to think for themselves.

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The Voting for the Inn-Bedded Resorter -- We Made History, Sort Of

I am 1 of 5 finalists for the Inn-Bedded Resorter contest organized by The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. The winner gets to spend 2 months at the resort, serving as their social media manager. We get to enjoy all the amenities of the resort, as long as we're reporting back, via social media, to the rest of the world about the great time we have.

Dixville Notch and The Balsams are actually famous, because it's the location of the very first vote cast in each presidential primary election. It's the kickoff location of decades of presidential politics. In fact, the box that is pictured below is the very box they use for those votes. And they cast our votes in it. It was quite an honor to have my name placed in a presidential ballot box. (Oh God, I hope someone put my name in there!)

But, don't feel like you had to be there to vote. You can actually VOTE FOR ME right now. Just click the link back there (or click this one, I'm not picky), an…

My Video for the Inn-Bedded Resorter Contest at The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in New Hampshire

For those of you who have been following my efforts for the last few days, you know I am part of Inn-Bedded Resorter contest at The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire. We had to put together a video stating why we want to be the Resorter.

I didn't get to do one until I actually got to the Resort, so I made it at 7:30 in the morning, before breakfast. The place is gorgeous, and I would love to spend 2 months there telling you all about it.

For me to get there though, I need you to vote for me. Please just take 30 seconds to vote. Click the link, follow the instructions, and you'll be done.

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Zero Tolerance Takes On The Army, Loses

Zero Tolerance Takes On The Army, Loses
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

It was a simple assignment for 8-year-old David Morales: make a hat for the day his second-grade class would meet their pen pals from another school.

So the Providence, Rhode Island 2nd grader wanted to be patriotic and decorate a camouflage hat, complete with an American flag and little green Army men attached to it. He had befriended a neighbor who was in the Army, so he wanted to honor the military with his hat choice.

This is when you all go "awww."

And then you go "booooo!" because David's mom, Christan, received a call from David's teacher, who said the hat wasn't appropriate, because it was in direct violation of the school district's zero tolerance weapons policy.

Why? Because the little green Army men had little green Army guns. Guns that couldn't do any harm, even if you pointed it at someone and went "pew! pew! pew!"

According to the school&#…

I need your vote for the Inn-Bedded Resorter contest at The Balsams

Big announcement: I'm 1 of 5 finalists of the Inn-Bedded Resorter national competition. I'm in NH right now. Go to and vote for me.If I win, I will spend 2 months at The Balsams in northern New Hampshire, being their social media guy. So, stop by the site, and vote for me.These are a couple of my competitors: Martin Earley (red-headed kid) is a musician from Maine, and Nacie Carson is a peofessional development specialist from Boston. Melissa McCart (not pictured) is on her way, as is Elizabeth Oehlschlaeger.We're having a great time getting to know each other and secretly plotting each other's downfall. Er, I mean, trying to learn about the resort.
See and download the full gallery on posterous Posted via email from Erik Deckers

I Met Mike Tomlin, Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers

A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to travel to Pittsburgh, PA with my good friend, Darrin Gray, who works for Family First.FF is the organization that puts on the All Pro Dad and All Star Dad events around different NFL and MLB cities. And All Pro Dad is the fatherhood initiative that former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy started with the Colts' offensive coordinator, Clyde Christensen. Darrin and I traveled from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh for the All Pro Dad Steelers Father & Kids Experience, and I had a chance to help out with media relations, and some of the different ongoing events. I was also the self-appointed social media guy, tweeting the bejeezus out of the entire event. (Family First has a real social media guy who does an awesome job, but he wasn't there, and most of you know what a Twitter slut I am anyway, so what was I supposed to do?!) When I was growing up in Muncie, IN, you were given two choices for football teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the Pitt…

Dad's Night Out at Indiana Fever Game

It was our first Indiana Fever game of the year, and we scored some sweet tickets from my friend and fellow Ball State University alum, Julie Graue, who is also the Fever's VP of Basketball Operations (official motto: "I'm kind of a big deal around here.")

We were in section 17, row 5, directly across the court from the Fever's bench. Perfect view of the floor, and within earshot of some of the player's antics, including the giant thudding sound when Katie Douglas pushed over a Dream player, who fell over another player. It was like when you had a friend crawl behind someone, and you shoved the other person, only 3,000 people weren't cheering madly when you did it. We were close enough to hear the thud.
In other boxing action, #20 Briann January got popped in the face in the first quarter, sank 2 foul shots for her trouble, and then on a fast break, brought the ball home for a pimp slapping 2 points to show who's the boss. Nobody puts Baby in a corner, …

Why Don't Americans Like Soccer?

Why Don't Americans Like Soccer?Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

Now that the World Cup soccer championship is underway, I'm starting to realize which of my friends like soccer, and which of them are change-hating xenophobes who automatically mistrust anything invented outside the United States.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

The World Cup is a magical time for us soccer players, both current and former. I played soccer for 14 years, but I haven't played for nearly 17, but I still love watching "The Beautiful Game."

No other team sport has athletes who play with the speed and the grace of soccer players. When you see a top-notch player launch himself into the air, without regard for his own safety, connect with a ball traveling through the air at 50 miles an hour, and rocket it into the back of the net, you know you've just seen one of the most impressive athletic feats in all of sports. And there are only a few people in all the world who…

Rubber Stamps Contribute to Editorial Laziness

Rubber Stamps Contribute to Editorial LazinessErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 1997

Erik is out of the office this week, so we are firing up the way-back machine, and republishing a column from 1997. However, out of sympathy for our readers, we have edited and improved it. A lot. Like, "it would have been a whole lot easier if he had just written a new one" edited and improved.

We're extremely lazy as a society. Some experts have referred to my generation the "microwave generation." But that got too hard to say, so we just call ourselves "microwavers." And we're trying to find a way to shorten that.

We expect a quick resolutions to situations, and that most of our problems should be solved in less than 30 minutes with only two commercial interruptions. And now, many people wonder if our microwaves are too slow, and have taken to cooking food with a flash furnace.

But some of the things that people have invented to make our lives easy have…

Getting Ready to Speak at Skyline Indy's Get Sociable Event

The big day has arrived, and we are just now starting the Get Sociable lunch and learn. We're talking about social media and tradeshow marketing. I'm hoping to have video up later.Use the #skylineindy hashtag to communicate with us during our talk.Posted via email from Erik Deckers

Is Sportsmanship Lost on Pro Baseball?

Is Sportsmanship Lost on Pro Baseball?Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

"That was a great game," said Karl. "Man, I love baseball!" We had just finished watching the Cincinnati Reds trounce the Milwaukee Brewers at Rounders, a Welsh bar. It was our regular tradition to watch the Reds-Brewers match-ups in a bar named after the baseball-like game played in the United Kingdom.

We watched the ball players congratulate members of their own team on the game, but I noticed the players didn't do the same for the other team.

Whatever happened to sportsmanship? I asked Karl. Since when did professional athletes lose their sense of sportsmanship?

"They're not sportsmen," Karl said. "They're mercenaries. They're grown men playing a boys' game, trying to get as much money as they can for it. They're no longer playing it for the love of the game, they're playing it for the love of money."

The root of all evil, I said.


IZOD Indy Racing League Moving to a Multi-Engine Model for the 2012 Racing Season

A press release from the fine folks at the Indy Racing League:Basically, the ICONIC (Innovative, Open-Wheel, New, Industry-Relevant, Cost-Effective) Advisory Committee is throwing the doors wide open to any and all engine manufacturers for the 2012 season.

It looks like Honda is not going to be the default engine manufacturer for all Indy cars. They have been the sole engine provider for the last few years to the Indy Racing League. I don't know if the racing teams have always had the chance to choose different manufacturers, but they always chose Honda, or if Honda was the exclusive provider.

What this all means is that engine manufacturers are allowed to change the engine design, meeting the maximum possible specs, but be flexible enough to work on different types of tracks. It also means that teams will be allowed to choose any engine for their cars that they want.

Either way, this should be interesting for future races, as it will force/allow engine manufacturers to pull out all …

Getting ready for Social Media Tradeshow Marketing seminar

I'm at the Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel, doing some prep work for our seminar, ironing out the final details. That's Molly Worthington from the hotel (l), Lori Reitz, and Reggie Lyons from Skyline Indy.Posted via email from Erik Deckers