Gus Johnson

Dear High-Powered Producers of Major Sporting Events,
I know there are a lot of experienced play-by-play commentators out there - but if you ask any male between the ages of 18-45, they will beg you to hire Gus Johnson to do the "big game" or any game he's available for that matter ... 

The guy just makes the fan viewing experience better and for some reason - a large portion of the games he works just seem to be exciting.  I put the over/under of Gus Johnson calls included in "One Shining Moment" this year at 5.  I'll take the over - and Gus only does a small portion of the games.

I had a few friends who watched that amazing Kansas State - Xavier game at a bar, and while we all agreed the game itself was unreal -- it was clear that those of us who had the "Gus Johnson audio track" enjoyed the game a little bit more than those without it.  (I could have done without Len Elmore, personally, but Gus

The guy is just exciting and appears to be a genuine fan.  Period.  I am not sure I can pinpoint the Gus Johnson "it" factor any better than that. 

So - again - if anyone reading this knows anyone involved in the hiring or play-by-play announces of major sports.... PLEASE convince them that Gus Johnson should be the top choice for any big game.  Fans will appreciate it - I promise.  Thank you.


Top TV Comedy Shows This Season

I've gotten a lot of random traffic (from Google) on my post of my top 20 TV Shows from the past 5 years.  Some people even left comments that because I like shows like How I Met Your Mother - I must be an idiot ...(which I've erased).. To each their own ....

As it's a common conversations with friends -  For those that haven't watched much TV this season -  I thought I'd list my top 5 TV "Must Try" Comedies from this season.  Quality comedies are rare these days - so I have a top 5 rather than a top 10 or top 20.

Again - this is my personal opinion.  I don't watch "The Office" or other type of uncomfortable-humor type-shows.  I definitely have an affinity towards NYC-30 somethings plot-lines (go figure).   No other factors are taken into account.

Top Five Comedies (2009/2010 season)
1. Modern Family - Seriously - if you don't watch this show and have time to watch TV - get on it right away!  There is not a single character (of the 12+) that are bad.  If there is anything you take away from this post - it's start watching Modern Family!
2. 30 Rock - Yes, it gets tons of awards for it's writing and acting - and it should.  It gets at least 2 belly laughs from me each episode.
3. How I Met Your Mother - Definitely it's worst of it's 5 (I think) seasons - but I'm so invested - and have such a deep understanding of the characters - that I still giggle at most of the jokes.
4. Rules of Engagement - Seriously - Puddy (Patrick Warburton) is one of the funnies characters on TV.  David Spade is even somewhat bearable.
5.  Entourage - Not sure this counts as "this season" - but I guess I don't watch enough comedies.  While some think this show has fallen off - I'm definitely sad the 22 minutes are over after every episode.


Local Retail Product Availability On Your Cell Phone

It's been a while since I promoted a Google product or service on my personal blog - so here goes .... Ans while this is something that may not be launched as a perfectly useful tool -- it is very exciting to foresee the future benefits.  (Plus - given that I've focused on retailers since I've been at Google - and have been talking to them about this for such a long time - it's increasingly cool to me, personally)

Anyway - today - Google launched the ability to see local product availability at a number of beta retail partners (like Sears, Best Buy, and Pottery Barn/Williams-Sonoma/West Elm) on smart phones.

So - as this blog post says, if you go to shopping.google.com on your i-Phone/Android device/etc you should be able to see if that 42-inch plasma or the canon elf in the color you want is a available at your local Best Buy.

I have a bunch of sporting goods clients and so I think a useful example is with sneakers.  I know I'm a size 12 Nike, but I also know that shoes/sneakers are sometimes just something that you need to see in person or try on .... So .... How useful would it be to know that the basketball sneaker in the color I want (because I researched online) is actually in stock in my size at the store 7 blocks away (rather than going there and rolling the dice).   Come se dice en Espanol .... "Time Saver!"

Again - it's very much a "beta Google product" - but assuming retailers are brave enough to invest in "what's next" and share their local inventory data with Google .... This could be a very very useful consumer advance in retail shopping....


6 Blog Posts Per Year?

It's been 2 months since I've posted anything on this blog.  I warned people when my daughter was born that I'd post less frequently, although I gotta say - I didn't think I'd average 6 measly posts per year ... Sorry!

There are a number of reasons why I haven't posted anything.  For starters - I love spending as much time as I can with Alexa and her smiling face.  When she's not awake - I'm trying to relax, spend time with my wife, catch up on TV, etc.  Sitting down to write blog posts hasn't made it's way to the priority list of how to spend my time.

Secondly, I've had my new role at Google for about 6 months now.  While I wouldn't consider myself overly important - I really have zero personal time at work.  In my past roles, a slow Friday afternoon here and there wasn't uncommon - but now - I can't think of the last time I was anything but nonstop in the office.

These two reasons are true - but - I think the heart of the problem is that I honestly think I am less creative than I was prior to my daughter being born.  Not that I would trade my daughter for creativity (or anything else for that matter), but before she was born - I'd randomly think of blog topics all of the time (ex. commuting to work or randomly during the day when I saw something happen).  Now, it's like my brain can't fit these types of thoughts into the rotation.

The first few months when sleep was rare - I blamed my creative fog on that.  Alexa sleeps through the night now - so what's my excuse?  I don't get into as deep of a sleep as I used to because I'm a little conditioned to be waiting to hear my daughter cry - but I'm still sleeping 7+ hours in a night - no less than I did pre-Alexa.

I've asked other fathers I know if they feel the same - and most just kind of laugh it off (as if they don't want to say "I don't know what you're talking about dude - but I feel bad saying that you're nuts because you are a new father - and that's cool." 

Anyway - if anyone has any insight into this creative fog please let me know. 

I very much enjoy sharing my opinions on this blog (not like anyone reads it anymore) and would like to continue it for a long time - but recognize that a mediocre posting 6 times a year just isn't going to cut it.