NFL mecca in South Beach

With the NFL Super Bowl to take place this Sunday, I have found myself in Miami the past 2 days at an industry conference. Below are the run-ins of football celebrities that I've spotted (but quite frankly - only approached one or two).

On the plane ride down -- Mike "Greeney" Greenberg from Mike and Mike in the morning. (He seemed a lot taller than I would have figured. I had him pegged at 5'7 - but he appeared over 6 feet)

Last night, we dined in the same restaurant as Edgerrin James. (Note - it was dark - but I'd like to state for the record that my step-mom told me she thought he was good looking). Cue picture of Mr. Edgerrin James...

I also saw Michael Irvin walking on the street yesterday.

Now onto what seemed to be a football telecaster orgy.... I dined at one of my favorite restaurants in the world tonight -- Joe's Stone Crab. Anyhow - here is the all-star case of who sat within 10 feet of me (literally). Although they didn't sit at the same table. It was broken into ESPN and HBO Sports tables...

- Chris Berman (wearing the most wrinkled khaki pants I've ever seen)
- Tom Jackson (he was big)
- Dan Marino (most popular guy in the place)
- Chris Collinsworth (walked with a pretty noticeable limp - but it planning on golfing tomorrow)
- Chris Carter (seemed to be the most friendly and smiling of the bunch)
- Peter King (In my Felch voice - "oh dear friend ... did you read MMQB?")
- Hank Goldberg (now HE walked with a horrible limp. He must have been mourning Barbaro's passing)
- Fat Joe (Random - I know - but no joke - Dan Marino gave him the biggest smile and hug that he gave anyone else in the place)

As much as I love the NFL and as much as I watch these guys on a regular basis - I truly didn't have the desire to approach them. Beyond empathizing with their desire to eat in peace - I just didn't have anything that important or memorable to say to any of them. Saying something just to tell people that I said something seems like amateur hour to me. So instead of saying anything to them .... I just came home and blogged about it. ;)


Enron and Gift Cards

I know I'm not alone as a Malcolm Gladwell fan. He's one of my favorite thought-provoking journalists and author of The Tipping Point and Blink. Although he was quite late to the game - I've been happy that he occassional blogs....

I subscribe to his RSS Feed - which turned me on to his article in this months New Yorker about the Enron case. He goes off on some tangents - especially at the end - but I thought what was at the heart of his message was interesting. In short (and I'm really para-phrasing), what the Enron dumb-asses did was wrong, unethical, and hurtful without question - however - the legality of their charges were a bit in the grey area. The Enron business model was one set on futures - which created an enormous unclarity around actual real-time revenue status. Once a few journalists from the Wall Street Journal started picking up on this -- the shit storm started. Before the shit-storm started, however, there were signs that the business model was sketch, but no one picked up on it....

Anyway - when I was reading this - I thought about an industry I'm familar with which is Retail. The whole "futures" market got me thinking about how Retailers treat gift cards.

U.S. shoppers bought gift cards in grocery stores, department stores, online stores and just about every other store and shopping center this holiday season, spending a record $27.8 billion on the plastic presents, according to the National Retail Federation.

By mid-January, though, their recipients had redeemed fewer than half - 37.3 percent.

So here's my question - How do retailers account for this?? Do we have potential accounting contraversy around retailers in years to come as gift cards become more popular??


Happy Birthday Syd!

I wanted to wish my neice, Syd Stern, a very Happy First Birthday. Of course she doesn't know it means - but - it still gives me an opportunity to show the world how cute she is.


Nick Satan

A lot of people have asked me this week how I feel about Nick Saban leaving the Dolphins. Rather than go off on a tangent - I'll direct you to Dan Le Batards piece - which pretty much represents exactly how I feel.

In terms of who I hope replaces the guy .... I'm leaning toward Jim Mora Jr. right now. To be honest, though, I fully expecting the Dolphins to hire Mike Shula or something like that...