Monday, July 26, 2010

On Leah Siegel of ESPN, Dez Bryant, and Comic Con 2010

Blogging thoughts on Leah Siegel of ESPN and the Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant, and posting videos on Comic Con from San Diego International Airport.

Leah and her kids 
Leah Siegel of ESPN

Leah Siegel, is a Dallas-based producer for ESPN, and mother of three, sadly lost her battle with breast cancer Monday at the young age of 43. That news is particularly hard for me, because I will never forget the January 14th day my mother first informed me she had breast cancer.

And although she has survived, 2005 was a year that, between her breast cancer, and losing both my father and step father to prostate cancer in March and October respectively, I'd never cried so much in one year in my life. I hope, before I die, we find a cure for cancer. But for now, we morn the passing of Leah Siegel, who's plight generated an online following.

According to her husband Eric Loehr, writing on her blog, Leah died at 4:30 AM. Funeral service will be held at Friday, July 30th, 2 PM at Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home, 7405 Northwest Hwy Dallas, TX 75225.

Dallas Cowboy's Dez Bryant Is Terrell Owens?

Former Oklahoma State Wide Receiver, and Dallas Cowboys 1st Round Draft Pick Terrell Owens is being compared to former Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Terrell Owens, and for a really stupid reason: he will not carry Roy Williams pads!?

To that I saw, Roy Williams and the media need to grow up. No disrespect to the great Roy Williams, but he made this a really bone-headed story by running to reporters, who were eager to take it, and form it into another, drum-roll please, "BLACK MAN WON'T DANCE" tale. Want proof: they played the "Terrell Owens" card.

Oh brother.

That Roy Williams is black, which someone's going to blurt out with, as if that's significant here, is of no matter. According to ESPN, Williams said he carried pads, paid for dinners, and did other things NFL veterans asked him to do because he "didn't want to be that guy."

Roy Williams knows, and anyone else culturally honest enough to admit it will say, that being "that guy" means being a black guy who does not play by the rules set out for him by society. Thus, the "Terrell Owens" mention by the media.

It's an institutionally racist way of society reminding a black guy of his place, and aided by another black guy, in this case Roy Williams.

Considering that the Cowboys having won an NFL Championship since the '90s, maybe Dez Bryant's the guy the need. Roy Williams seems more worried about Dez Bryant being a black guy "who dances," rather than an NFL player who can help them win a ring.

Williams could have just talked to Dez Bryant privately about the issue, and not ran to the press. That was awful on Roy's part.

Dez, just play ball.

Comic Con 2010 is History

A sad Monday and not just for the news of Leah Siegel's passing, but for the end of Comic Con 2010. With the exception of the unfortunate stabbing incident, I've never seen so many happy people in one place in my life. Every day of the five days I was here, my days at the San Diego Convention Center started with seeing smiling people, young, middle-aged, old, and even toddlers. That was cool.

On the matter of the stabbing incident, I talked to David Glanzer, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations on Comic Con on video, here:


Briefly, Glanzer and San Diego Police Officer Sargeant Cecena both said that two friends got into an altercation and that the pen stabbing accident (more that than an assault) was "minor." It took 40 minutes to get the show back to normal that Saturday evening. Glanzer said he "could not remember anything that this happening at all" in the 41-year history of Comic Con. Part of the problem may be the sheer size of Comic Con.

Glanzer said they've outgrown the San Diego Convention Center, and even though they experimented with expanding events to the nearby hotels, they had to turn away 400 exhibitors. If an average booth cost is, say, $400, then Comic Con turned lost $400,000 because of lack of space at the San Diego Convention Center.

But fear not, Comic Con will be back in San Diego for 2011 and 2012; it's 2013 and beyond that's the issue.

Glanzer and the Comic Con staff will take a week off, but come next week they will be "right back at it" looking at proposals from Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Diego for the future.

Buffy The Musical closes Comic Con

One of the most fun events I attended (the other being not really an event, but the day spent with the Hatchet 2 cast and crew, and I've got a lot more to blog about for that) was the last one called Buffy The Musical.

Basically, an audience of about 3,000 or 4,000 people watched and sang along to Buffy The Musical's songs, using the subtitled lyrics as a guide. Some people knew the songs by heart. My favorite song was "Where do we go from here."

Did I sing? Yes. But then, that's what happens when you're a black guy who doesn't dance.

A really good question. But I'd like to thank Lila King and my friends at CNN iReport for giving me a cool Flip Video Camera Mino HD, specially designed for CNN, and a nice CNN hat.

Stay tuned.

2 can play @ Breitbart's editing game!

By now you've learned what great lengths Andrew Breitbart will go to editing video to make people, such as Shirley Sherrod, look as though they're for something they're against - hey, video clips don't lie, right?


Now the folks at MoveOn have released the perfect counterpoint: video of Breitbart talking about having cocktails with terrorists while disparaging the people you and I think of as normal.

Mr. Breitbart's remarks, excerpted from a presentation at February's Conservative Political Action Conference -- months before he deftly edited Ms. Sherrod to defame and discredit her -- are shocking, really.  

But don't take my word for it - go see for yourself!

Thomas Hayes
is an entrepreneur, Democratic Campaign Manager, journalist, and photographer who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.