Traditionally, I don’t turn my full attention toward the New York Yankees until the NBA has awarded its newest champion. But recently, it’s been difficult to ignore the franchise’s morbid spring training reports — injuries on top of injuries, aging players, free agency distractions. It’s just all bad, and also enough for me to break my own rule. Since I’m listening and am officially not looking forward to the upcoming season, I decided to torture myself further by reading Grantland’s peice, “The End of the Yankees’ Evil Empire”. Whether you love or hate the Yankees, it’s worth your time because it’s a thorough take on the Yankees of the past, present, and future. Yankees fans, read it because it’ll help you face reality. If you’re still in glass half full mode, do yourself a favor and lower your expectations. Trust me on this one. And Yankees haters, you should read it because I have no doubt you’ll find pleasure in reading about the impending demise of a dynasty.
Last month, a franchise synonymous with winning scored another victory. The New York Yankees won a court ruling against a company that had attempted to register the phrase “Baseballs Evil Empire.” The Yankees may not have appreciated it when Red Sox president Larry Lucchino first used the term to describe them in 2002, but if anyone was going to make money off the phrase, damn it, it was going to be them. Even if it means, as written in the judges’ decision, “The record shows that there is only one Evil Empire in baseball and it is the New York Yankees.”
Defending your brand is Business 101, but in this case, I’m not sure the Yankees should be so quick to embrace the trademark. It’s not simply that the Evil Empire was, you know, evil; I think the Yankees made their peace with that a long time ago. Maybe the Steinbrenner family made the mistake of watching the Star Wars saga in numerical order, and gave up after Episode III — and let’s be honest, most of us would have done the same thing — but if they did, they would have missed the fact that (spoiler alert) the Evil Empire lost in the end.
Whether you’re Team Sherman or Team Bayless, it doesn’t matter. There are absolutely no redeeming qualities about what took place during the exchange between Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and ESPN First Take host Skip Bayless. None. They both have a reputation for being sensationalist, behavior that I find desperate and pathetic. I’ve never been a fan of tearing people down to prop yourself up, and that’s exactly what both Bayless and Sherman are known to do — from Sherman’s twitter beef with Darrelle Revis, to Bayless’s emasculating nickname for Chris Bosh. Neither of them deserve a pass or praise.
The person that came out of this whole thing looking like a don was Skip’s co-host, Stephen A. Smith. As Sherman berated Bayless with insults, Smith was surprisingly speechless; proving he is capable of existing on a level other than 10. Who knew?!!
In the States, Nike is known for some of the greatest commercials ever. And based on the ad below, it seems their greatness transcends continents. But, of course it does. You don’t become a dominant brand like Nike by lacking consistency. Check out the brilliant spot about a young aspiring Asian hoopstar imagining what success looks like. The spot, which features Kobe Bryant, Yi Jianlian, and a Kendrick Lamar track, will air in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.
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