Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Roger Goodell Is The Toothpaste, And RiceGate Is the Tube

So with nothing else going on today in Blogfrica -- sorry, restaurant manager with a thirst for 15 fame-filled minutes, a poor tip from a disgruntled patron doesn't really cut the PR mustard, even when the patron can buy and sell you from his NFL stardom -- the world went full court press on the Rice Fiasco today.

And, well, I suspect we're about 12 to 24 hours away from satiation on this, assuming no one else gets thrown under the bus, and Roger Goodell isn't getting thrown under the bus, folks. He;s survived scab refs and stiffed old men with brain damage and Junior Seau and SaintsGate and so on, and so on. He's the tool of the NFL owners, and if those rich old white men can't stir themselves enough to stop Daniel Snyder from costing them money with his slur nickname, they certainly won't stir themselves enough to run him off from a 2-day media firestorm.

But here's the difference between this imbroglio and past ones: social media. And it's going to have a really long tail.

Tangent: Two days ago, I got an ice bucket challenge from one of my fantasy league mates. I had been aware of the movement for weeks -- I do advertising for a living, and monitor a lot of newsletters for ideas, trends and memes -- and I kept expecting to get a challenge, but wasn't going to spur things out on my own. It's an incredibly busy time with a lot of balls in the air right now, and it took a challenge to get me to pull the trigger and make it happen.

Now, in terms of social memes? Ice is so last month. It's more or less played out, you don't see it getting celeb treatment any more, and it will probably fade off in another couple of weeks.

That is, on the coasts.

In the heartlands and suburbs and rest of Murica? It's going to echo for the rest of 2014, then bump again when it's warm outside, or someone does one that gets viral all over again, and rattle on and on and on. Because it's one to one, daisy chaining through social networks, and independent of media.

The same thing really seems to be happening with Ricegate.

Not the examination of domestic abuse, or any actual interest in Rice or his ill-fated spouse. No, the heat will be on the league, and Goodell, and the continued disbelief that any professional organization could go from two games to lifetime simply because a video that confirmed what everyone knew had happened had happened...

Casual people know Roger Goodell for only one thing now. He's the guy that enables football players who beat women.

And if they don't find something else to talk about, or decide to start picketing? Well, that makes its own sauce. Especially once the more regrettable fans of the league decided to start placing sammich orders.

I don't know if that makes anyone turn off the games, or gives an advertiser some weak knees. I don't know if anyone uses this to call off a Super Bowl party, oppose the next public stadium heist, or make the public demand how on Earth the NFL is a non-profit organization with a commissioner that makes $30 million dollars.

But I do know this.

The NFL is paying an awful lot of money to employ a man as its public face...

Who can not now, and will not ever, help its PR.

Ever again.

Because, well, that's just how badly the toothpaste has been ripped out of the tube.

By a guy they can tell to leave.

Or just make.

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