Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Party At Field Museum, Chicago (Ashton Kutcher Tip)

If you're in or visiting Chicago for Valentine's Day, are single, and are looking for a different V-Day experience, Ashton Kutcher @aplusk issued this tip on Twitter:

If you are single in Chicago and looking for something to do on VDay my friend is throwing an event

I clicked on the link and the page that follows communicates the makings of a cool, hip, dreamy Valentine's Day Chicago experience that cries for you to wear a black suit or for the women, a black cocktail dress.

Held at the historic Field Museum of Natural History - a heck of a place for a party - the All Need Love Festival is "to remind people that there is love in the world and that it is a universal," according to festival producer Juliette Marquis, as told to Trib Local. And celebrated Rabbi Yehuda Berg describes the All Need Love Festival as only he can:

Get Tickets Online

You have to get All Need Love Tickets online; they will not be sold at the door. Visit the website at for pricing and more information. You can also call Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006.


Quora Is Interesting; Self-Important Posters Make It Annoying

Quora's the rapidly growing question-and-answer web platform started by former Facebook executives Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, was a fun place to read and post questions and write and post answers. But of late, as Quora has grown in users (estimated to be about 150 percent for January 2011 alone), some of the posted entries exhibit an annoying self-important pseudo-intellectualism that has grown to such gargantuan proportions the whole of Quora's making sick.

There's no one post that sparked my move toward this view of Quora.  Well, OK, that's not true.  There was one that started off with the rather funny idea that "Social Media Experts" were those who had 25,000 followers, or some such garbage.  In reading the post, which I prefer not to link to or mention in detail, it was obvious the author was trying to say "I'm much better than those people."

Who cares!

As I commented at Quora, I always thought Twitterers like Ashton Kutcher, known as @aplusk with (as of this writing) 6.3 million Twitter followers, were the real social media experts, not someone with 25,000 or whatever followers.

But then the author used that idea to go off on some long-ass rationale of how they think these so-called "Social Media Experts" get to be that way; since I didn't except the initial premise, I thought the whole post was a joke.

But then, as more self-important posts and posters have emerged, and others on Quora have expressed the idea that they have to write "something profound" just to keep pace, my stomach's begun to churn to the point where my personal intestinal Defcon needle is pointed at "HURL!"

Now, it's just plain not fun to read Quora.  My expectations were that the Q and A style would be more helpful and supportive, like that of Linkedin.  But that's not the way Quora is turning.   More and more, we get posters who have to create a dialectic designed to make you think they're smart.

Personally, I could care less.  There's nothing wrong, and everything appealing, about admitting you don't know something and showing some degree of real curiosity.   That's what's so cool about the Sports topics section of Quora.

Sports is the one subject that has no experts, everyone has an opinion, and people who think they're "all that" are always humbled.   Maybe if I stay exclusively in the sports area of Quora, my personal intestinal Defcon needle will move back to normal and I can stop drinking Pepto Bismal.  

Paladinette Responds to 99er Death Threats: Bring it on Baby!

Today on Jobless Talk, Paladinette responded to recent death threats she received with a taunting: “Bring it on Baby!”

To begin her
Blog Talk Radio Show this week, Paladinette’s special Guest was none other that Mr. G (Gregg Rosen) fresh off his appearance in Washington, D.C. along side Rep. Lee & Rep. Scott to reintroduce the idea of adding 14 weeks to Tier 1 in an effort to help all Americans unemployed over 6 months - ESPECIALLY the UI Exhaustees.

Incase you missed it, CNN aired an interview with Gregg on Wed. Feb 9, 2011 and is well worth seeing.

After a very informative interview with Mr. Rosen, Paladinette took the rest of her abbreviated show today to rant against the “ignorant few” who actually sent her death threats via her social networking sites and personal email accounts.

Hear the complete rant on the video below, but the following are just some snippets - (the actual verbiage of the threats will not be published here but is included in the video)

My Show today is titled: Bring it on and IS NOT SUITABLE for anyone offended by strong language.

Usually I would not give idiots like this a second thought not to mention any air time - but in the light of recent tragic events like in Tucson AZ - I feel compelled to say this today as the offense has been most egregious and dumber than dirt!

NOTE to MORONS- it is not terribly bright or the smartest thing to do to threaten to kill someone from your personal FB Page or by email...... I mean exactly how many brain cells does it take to do something like that?

During Sunday's cacophony of idiocy Let me see, I was accused of being the only reason HR 6556 did not pass in December last year and that The American’s want to work act never came to a vote because of YES you guessed it ME - which would imply that I alone had the power to make those bills law to begin with...and NOTHING could be farther from the truth. I am just a lowly Unemployed US Citizen with a YouTube Channel, a BlogTalkRadio show and some moderately visible blogs.

To those who egged on the real psychos you are just as guilty as the law breakers who sent the death threats. I wonder if you are proud of yourselves. You are no better - in fact you are actually MUCH WORSE that the Limbutts and Becksters of the world because YOU have become the problem! Your thinking that you can relentlessly shout down the other voices who disagree with you is nothing more than BS bullying and if you had the capacity to feel such you should be ashamed of yourselves.

To those lazy cowards threatening me via internet - I say: BRING IT ON BABY - come find me and tell me to my face! Because I am a woman who can take care of herself and although it is illegal to hound someone with death threats - it is still quite legal to defend one’s self and I firmly believe in 2nd amendment self defense.

For every one of you (few vocal idiots) there are hundreds of thousands of good decent productive 99ers that I continue to fight for and there is NOT a DAMN THING YOU CAN Do about it!

99ers Aid Twitter Event February 15, 2011 8PM EST

On Tuesday February 15, 2011 at 8PM EST join us for #99erAID, a twitter chat designed to bring 99ers, 99er advocates, and journalists together to discuss the latest 99er news and strategy ideas for the growing, peaceful movement."

The event will be moderated by @99erAID (’s Jason Tabrys) and all who participate are asked to use the hash-tag #99erAID in their tweets.

The hope is to trend on Twitter of course but more important than that, to inform, inspire,discuss and strategize the means to have a real positive impact and influence real solutions to this growing problem.

Solutions like this H.R. 589 which now has over 60 Co-Sponsors. You must contact every Republican member of the House

ESPECIALLY: Speaker Boehner

Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy

and demand Speaker Boehner bring this to the floor immediately! Keep fighting as this IS a battle we CAN and MUST WIN!

Cal Athletics Cuts Two Sports - Chancellor: Donations Came Up Short

In a statement today, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau said that "Regrettably, in spite of the best efforts of a number of their key supporters, Men’s Baseball and Men’s Gymnastics fell far short of raising the necessary philanthropic support."

From sources, the "Save Cal Sports" effort netted just over $1 million in hard cash donations, versus over $11 million in pledged donations. That wasn't good enough to even come close to the total of $25 million needed and to sustain all of the five sports set for the chopping block, yet meet Title IX requirements, so Women's Gymnastics, Women's Lacrosse and Men's Rugby will remain.

But no Cal Baseball or Men's Gymnastics? Shocking.

Here's Chancellor Birgeneau's entire statement to the Cal Community, courtesy of the UC Berkeley News Center:

Dear Campus Community:

We are very pleased to announce today that Men’s Rugby, Women’s Gymnastics and Women’s Lacrosse will continue as Intercollegiate Varsity sports at Cal. Thanks to the efforts, commitment and generosity of our donors, we are able to retain these sports at the Varsity level while still meeting our goal of reducing annual support to Intercollegiate Athletics to $5 million or less by 2014.

The continuing financial challenges facing the University of California have led us to make a number of very difficult decisions, including planning to eliminate five Intercollegiate Athletics sports by the end of this academic year. Because of the strong response of team supporters, we agreed to keep open the possibility of reviewing this decision to the end of January 31, 2011, if additional philanthropy could be found to make the programs self-supporting over the long term. The requirements for continuation called for philanthropic commitments to ensure that the teams would be self-funding for seven to 10 years while a plan is built to secure long term funding that would fund expenses, both direct and indirect, in perpetuity. These commitments would be incremental to goals currently in place for the major campaign to retrofit Memorial Stadium.

A number of donors have come forward to help sustain the costs of Women’s Gymnastics and Women’s Lacrosse. These are net costs which take into account the difference in the number of scholarships required depending upon how Title IX is satisfied. By offering all of our women’s sports, we can meet the requirements of Title IX in a way that will allow the return of men’s sports, provided that the returned sports can cover all direct and indirect costs, including those of support programs and use of facilities. Rugby has raised significant funds providing a clear pathway to covering its own full costs as well as contributing to the stabilization of the women’s programs. In the best of Cal sports tradition, with this solution, we have a win for both our men and women student-athletes.

Regrettably, in spite of the best efforts of a number of their key supporters, Men’s Baseball and Men’s Gymnastics fell far short of raising the necessary philanthropic support. Accordingly, students and staff associated with these teams must now be allowed to move forward to make other plans as these teams will cease competition as intercollegiate Varsity sports for the university at the end of this academic year.

Robert J. Birgeneau

As you might guess, there's a lot of alumni buzz about this action.  More on that in the next blog post.  


With that, it's time to move forward.  The overall issue is the long-term decline in State of California support for U.C. Berkeley.   The Great Recession added to the problem, and forced this zero-sum decision that the Chancellor and the Athletic Director were forced to make.   

A lot of people, including me, have been critical of their decisions.  But frankly they didn't create the environment around the problem and I'm certain would love to be in a place where they didn't have to make the cuts that were done today.  

Still, GO BEARS!

Stay tuned. 

Oakland Zoo Names New Board Members Including Mark McClure

Just got this press release announcing the Oakland Zoo's new board members: Sebastian DiGrande, Daniel Boggan, Jr., Cassady Hudson, Mark McClure, Lora Tabor and Jim Wunderman. To them all, and to one of them, I say congratulations. To my friend amoung, them, Mark McClure (pictured in an Oakland Chamber photo), let me say not only congrats, but maybe this is a good time to get off the Ron Paul bandwagon, eh?

Just kidding, sorta.

But back to the Oakland Zoo.

The rep for the Board of the East Bay Zoological Society (EBZS) was good enough to send over full bios of all of the new board members, so here they are:

Jim Wunderman is the President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, a business-backed public policy organization. Since becoming CEO in 2004, Wunderman has significantly helped increase the council’s advocacy efforts. A couple of the accomplishments under his leadership include: expanding the reach of the Bay Area Council with the opening of its first overseas office in Shanghai, leading the coalition that passed SB 375, a comprehensive law that binds transportation and housing planning, and passing legislation to establish a statewide education data system, a crucial step in fixing education in California.

Prior to his work at the Bay Area Council, Wunderman’s career from 1984 to 2004 was split between both the private and public sectors. In addition to serving on the EBZS’s Foundation Board, Wunderman also serves on the boards of the Bridge Housing Corporation, Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, The Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Sierra Energy, and TMG Partners. Jim was a member of the Governor’s Adaptation Task Force and currently serves on the Transit Sustainability Project Steering Committee.

Sebastian DiGrande is a Partner and Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. DiGrande, who joined the group in 1996, is BGC Americas’ leader of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Practice. He partners with clients in all sectors and regions to address their most critical challenges. In 2009, he provided pro bono services to the Zoo.

Before joining BGC, DiGrande worked as a product manager and major account executive for GTE. He earned his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Daniel Boggan, Jr. most recently served as Chief of Staff for Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums in 2007. Prior to working for Mayor Dellums, Boggan assisted the municipal firm of Siebert, Branford & Shank Co. in business development from 2003 to 2006. He acted as Senior Vice President and COO for the NCAA from 1994 to 2003. He has also served as Vice Chancellor for Business Administration at the University of California, Berkeley and as Berkeley’s City Manager. Boggan is deeply committed to public service, and has served on the boards of many local and national organizations. He has been involved with the National Writing Project, the East Oakland Youth Development Foundation, the African American Experience Fund, the California Endowment, and is a lifetime member of both the NAACP and Black Coaches Association. In addition, Boggan serves on the board of directors for Clorox, Collective Brands, Inc. and Viad Corp. Boggan earned his BA at Albion College and his M.S.W. at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Cassady Hudson is a Senior Revenue and Royalty Analyst at Hands-On Mobile. She has been volunteering as a docent at the Oakland Zoo for the past ten years and recently completed two years as President of the Zoo’s Docent Council. She joins the EBZS as a Docent Representative. During her tenure as President of the Docent Council, Hudson has ensured council stayed within budget, mentored new docents, developed an annual docent evaluation program in compliance with Association of Zoos and Aquariums standards, and updated by-laws to improve tracking docent commitment.

Mark McClure is a partner at California Capital and Investment Group, a real estate brokerage and development firm based in Oakland, CA. He has worked on both residential and commercial development projects primarily in the City of Oakland.

Mark is proud to be a native Oaklander and has served the public both in appointed positions and on various public boards and community organizations of personal interest. His appointed positions include four years on the Oakland Planning Commission, which he chaired from 2004 to 2005. In September of 2005 Mark was appointed to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). Finally, He was appointed to the Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners in December of 2006 where he served as the First Vice-President until March of 2009.

Mark has also served on the Board of The Crucible, a non-profit educational collaboration of art, industry and community in West Oakland. Mark has supported Children's Fairyland by serving on their annual fundraising gala committee. Mark also served a member of the OakPAC Board, an organization that functions as the political action committee for the Oakland Chamber of Commerce. Additional, in February 2006, Mark was nominated to the Oakland 100 Club, a philanthropic organization that benefits the Oakland Boys and Girls Club. Currently Mark serves on the Board of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of the Oakland Police Foundation.

Lora Tabor joined the East Bay Zoological Society Board in June 2010. Ms. Tabor is the General Manager, Corporate & Services HR, for Chevron Corporation in San Ramon, where she provides Human Resources support to Chevron’s Executives and Corporate staffs. She also manages the Human Resources Development Program for Chevron world-wide. In 2006, she returned to the Bay Area headquarters after two years in Cape Town, South Africa where she served Chevron Corporation as the Manager, Internal Total Remuneration. In that capacity, Ms. Tabor managed a global team of professionals developing policies, processes and tools for world-wide use, and coordinated benefit and compensation plans for over 100 countries. Ms. Tabor began her career as a Production Engineer with Gulf Oil & Chevron USA.

Tabor takes an active role with her children in Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, and has coordinated the Chevron United Way Campaign. She holds a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and lives in Oakland with her husband and children.

If you're wondering how one becomes a board member, the Oakland Zoo's Development Director, Emma Lee Twitchell explains that "Individuals interested in joining the Board may contact the Zoo or a Board member directly, or be recommended by one of the Board members. The process then involves meeting with the Nominating Committee, which makes recommendations to the Executive Committee, then a final confirmation/vote by Board members. The Nominating Committee looks closely at diversity and other criteria to help fill any specific needs of the Zoo based on skills, experience, community representation, etc."

On Jerry Jones, The Super Bowl Ticket Issue, And Other NFL Notes

On Jerry Jones, The Super Bowl Ticket Issue, And Other NFL Notes: the “what do we do now that the seasons’s really over” edition:

By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Executive Editor-Football Reporters Online

So what are you supposed to do now that the season’s really over? Count the days to the Lockout? (18 after today)…It Didn’t take too long for the seating mess at the taj McJerry (Cowboys stadium) to boil over post super bowl. The Question is ”why “was it so important for Mr. Jerruh Jones to have the attendance record? To put it in one word: MONEY! I guess it’ll be awhile before he gets another SB there again, maybe SB 60,..if he is still running the team in 15 years, Jones should be glad that Roger Goodell came to his rescue by offering MOST of those effected a ticket to next years or any game of their choice, three times the face of those bleacher seats..Oh yeah,..Al Davis is 80’something,..Jerry wants that record too, Oldest living active owner….Give the UFL credit for making a smart move by keeping the franchises limited to sustainable cities and the number down to 5 teams until they figure out what happened in Florida. If the NFL has not solved it’s labor issues by August, the UFL might be the only game in town, since they moved upo the start of their season to the first weekend of that month.…Congrats to our pal Jim Fassel, who is now also the Team President of the Las Vegas Locos as well as Head Coach & GM….Congrats to Jay Gruden for getting the DC job in Cincy…Our Heart goes out to poor Demaryius Thomas, he was working out in Atlanta and tore his Achilles Tendon, he could be out up to 8 months….I tore mine in a pick up Basketball game in 1990 and it’s never been the same…Thomas’ Bronco receiving mate Eddie Royal also just had hip surgery, so maybe another wide out is in the Broncos’ cards for the draft…Or will new Head coach John Fox switch the team to the 4-3 defense and draft 2 or 3 “Stud” defenders?....With Oakland on the rise and drafting in the middle of the pack, could they be planning some moves besides giving DE Richard Seymour the Franchise tag?...One good move was for New Head Man Hue Jackson to Hire Ex-Raiders LB Greg Biekert as that unit’s coach. Biekert was a defensive assistant for the raiders last season and spent nine of his eleven season playing as a Raider linebacker….meanwhile that hapless franchise known as the San Deigo(super) Chargers have to deal with losing Darren Sproles, franchising Vince Jackson(which would make him happy because it would still be a raise) the continued mediocre play of Phillip Rivers and dropping the price on some 6000+ seats for the 2011 season….It’s ok if they stink next season, the folks in SD will just go surfing….My Dear late mother used to say if you can say anything nice don’t say anything, but it doesn’t mean you can’t think it…..So can you guess what I’m thinking about those Pats fans who are still whining about not being in the SB this year, and how they would have beaten the Packers(I doubt it) or any other NFC team(yeah,..ok)….Hey at least your coach got the Coach of the year award….someone get me some pepto…That award should have gone to the SB winning Coach Mike McCarthy…So what if Jets QB Mark Sanchez has poor judgement? The Girl is clearly a “serial Star-dater, as evidenced by her retaining a Los Angeles lawyer who’s writing nasty letters to Deadspin’s Editor…Sure “E.K.” we got ya covered…we know what your up to…..I‘ve been hearing some unsavory things about a certain College all-star game…but I think it’s wise to heed mother’s advice on that one, but I will say this,…how can you claim to be a scout and offer player management services at the same time?? I keep hearing about all these “NEW” pro football leagues starting up, but when we dug into one of the “supposed” new start-ups, they hadn’t even rented a facility to run a combine….shame on them for deceiving the poor unsuspecting players…I am hearing some good things coming out of Canada about a new tv network that’s hiring a certain football writer you all know for a segment each week…and last but not least, I found some vintage football cards in my collection, one of which will go to the lucky winner of a contest we did on a collectable’s radio show last week…

Between my trip to the combine and the Draft I have 2 speaking engagements, so I’ll have to brush up on my stand up so when I sit down they’ll be laughing so hard they will forget what I say….see you all next week.

Mubarak Stepping Down: Congrats Twitter, Facebook, YouTube & Blogs

That dramatic video was uploaded just minutes ago by AlJazeeraEnglish on YouTube and from a camcorder used just over an hour ago. Twitter's Top Trends list "Congrats Egypt" among the list as this is written. And again and again, Eqyptian protest groups were organized using the social network called Facebook as a base. And when that wasn't the case, the focal point was a blog, most notably, the Young Leaders Social Media Cafe.

The dramatic announcement that after three-decades of rule, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek (really a dictator more than what we think of when the title "President" is used) has stepped down and given way to a new, free Egypt, is both pleasing and shocking. It gives us pause and causes us to look back at what we've created: this giant and growing "digital mirror" on World industrial society. And we're asking ourselves "Do we like we see," and in many cases, we're saying "NO!"

The fall of a dictatorship in Egypt is perhaps the best example of our desire to change ourselves to date. But we can't ignore the impact of digital communications and social media: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, blogs on Blogger, Wordpress, and Tumblr (to name some of the platforms), and photo sharing sites like Flickr.

Wow, what a day.  What a time to be alive!

Mubarak Steps Down Giving Power to Military

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is stepping down after holding office for 30 years, and now all the power will be left in the hands of the military, reports ABC News.

The news of his resignation has made the Egyptians feel as though they are now free - which is quite odd, because if the military was given all the power of the government within the United States we would be not be singing the same tune. But ABC News reports:

"Men, women and children alike -- many with tears in their eyes -- flooded into Cairo's streets as the atmosphere turned from one of determination to pure ecstasy. People streamed into Tahrir Square dancing, honking their car horns and waving flags. Fireworks were later held in the square that has become the heart of the uprising."

The Christian Science Monitor reports that many people in Egypt trust that the military will "play a caretaker role and ensure a democratic transition."

Kraft, Mars, Nestle, Hershey - think before you buy that Valentine

The folks at are determined to to promote green and Fair Trade business practices and end corporate abuse -- to make you aware before you buy chocolate and without realizing you might be supporting a company that exploits children, for instance.
You can visit their website, or check out the chart (below) to compare the performance of brands you may or may not know. Of course, as chocolate buying peaks over the next few days...
"More than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold on February 14th, adding to the total 58 million pounds of chocolate to will be sold during the week of the most romantic holiday of the year.

Consumers are expected to purchase more than $345 million on chocolate treats for their beloveds." helps to understand just what the different certifications mean, and to do more than merely making deliberate choices. You can also spread the word, and communicate directly with companies such as Hershey to let them know you consider their business practices before you make your purchases.
"...every time a consumer purchases non-Fair Trade chocolate, they are putting money in the pockets of people who run a system based largely on forced child labor.

The U.S. State Department estimates more than 15,000 child slaves work on plantations in the Ivory Coast. Children are taken from their homes by traffickers for the very purpose of supporting the country's largest export crop: cocoa."

Here are some basic definitions, courtesy of

Organic certification does not include labor rights standards. The program does not address wages, prices to producers, or management of cooperatives. Organic means 100% of the ingredients of a product be certified organic to earn the label.

Fair Trade prohibits forced labor, child labor, and discrimination, and protects freedom of association and collective bargaining rights. Fair Trade certified farmers are guaranteed a "floor price" for their cocoa beans, as well as a social premium. Fair Trade producers are required to form democratic cooperatives.

The IMO Fair for Life certification guarantees that human rights are protected at all stages of production, with a strong focus on hired laborers, as they are often the most marginalized in the supply chain. Fair for Life guarantees that smallholder farmers receive fair payment and that workers enjoy good and fair working conditions. The Fair for Life system prevents forced and child labor and also includes detailed environmental criteria. Fair For Life certified products must use Fair Trade ingredients if available, and regardless, 50% of all ingredients must be Fair Trade in order for a product to bear the seal.

The Rainforest Alliance (RA) standards prohibit the use of forced labor, child labor, and discrimination. The right to organize on RA-certified farms is not a critical criteria. RA does not require buyers to pay a specific minimum floor price for cocoa beans. Only 30% of the primary ingredient needs to be certified in order to earn an RA label.

And what about Nestle's UTZ Certification? UTZ was founded by Guatemalan coffee producers and the Ahold Coffee Company in 1997 and launched a cocoa plan 10 years later; it prohibits forced labor, however no organizations with a specific expertise in labor rights are included on the Board of Directors. So, while it protects the right to organize and bargain collectively, the price is solely based on negotiations between the buyers and farmers. Paying the legal minimum wage is required only after the first year of certification.
Now, what label is on your chocolate?

Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, former Democratic Campaign Manager, strategist, journalist, and photographer who contributes regularly to a host of web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.
You can follow him as @kabiu on twitter.

Super Bowl XLV Ticket Fiasco: Bleachers Under Construction

, originally uploaded by DCVBphotos.

This photo shows the temporary seats installed at the 400 level of Cowboys Stadium that, in some cases, were not signed off by the Arlington Fire Marshall in time for Super Bowl XLV. The photo was taken by DCVBphotos on January 19th, and using an using an Apple iPhone 3G.

As you can see, the temporary seats are metal bleachers and were in the middle of being built. (Notice the back seat stand fence that was placed on the seat in the middle ground.) From experience in heading the Oakland bid for the 2005 Super Bowl that Jacksonville won, I can say they were really playing with some access issues with those seats.

First, the area that the seats were installed in is a corridor; thus the space between the bleacher seats and the blue permanent seats is really narrow. This is what Stu Guskind was referring to in my video interview.

You can see from the photo that each of the sections going down was "filled in" with these bleacher seats. I'd love to see a photo of what it looked like during the Super Bowl game. I'll bet it was chaotic for those people able to even get in the stadium to get to their seats.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a plan to compensate Super Bowl patrons who never got to their seats because the fire marshall didn't approve them. Click here for info on his plan.

Stay tuned.

NFL Commissioner's Super Bowl XLV Ticket Refund Plan Announced

The National Football League posted Commissioner Roger Goodell's plan to refund tickets purchased by attendees of Super Bowl XVL (where The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 35 to 21) within the NFL Media website.

If you recall, what was reported as 500, but really is a total of 2,000, Super Bowl Patrons were impacted by the Dallas Cowboys plan to break the Super Bowl attendance record by installing bleacher seats. The problem was the action was done at the last minute; the fire marshall had not signed off on the new seats.

One of the patron impacted was my friend Stewart Guskind. He shared his experience in this video:

Here's the NFL press release:


Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that approximately 2,000 fans in the temporary seating sections at Super Bowl XLV will receive a choice of either a refund of the face-value amount of their ticket or a free ticket to a future Super Bowl game of their choice. These 2,000 fans were significantly delayed in gaining pre-game access to their seats due to the problems with the installation of some of the temporary seats at Cowboys Stadium.

Once their Super Bowl XLV ticket is validated, these fans can choose to receive one of the following: 1) a refund of the face value of their ticket, OR 2) one free ticket to one Super Bowl game of their choice. Eligible fans, subject to appropriate review and verification, are those that held tickets in any of the following sections:

Sections 426A, 427A, 428A, 429A -- all rows and all seats

Section 425A -- Row 11 seats 22-33; Rows 12-18 seats 22-31; Rows 19-32 seats 22-33; Row 33 seats 22-36

Section 430A -- Row 11 seats 1-12; Rows 12-18 seats 3-12; Rows 19-33 seats 1-12

Fans who had tickets in any of those sections and rows should go to and enter the required ticket and other information. Fans should retain their tickets to help in the validation process.

The plan announced today is separate from the one announced on Tuesday by Commissioner Goodell to the approximately 400 fans that were denied a seat. Those 400 fans can choose one free ticket to next year's Super Bowl game plus a cash payment of $2,400 or one free ticket to any Super Bowl game plus round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations provided by the NFL. In the event of a work stoppage that impacts next year’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis, the fan would have a choice of one free ticket to the next Super Bowl.

NFL senior staff members so far have personally contacted 260 of the 400 fans to explain their options and how to confirm and fulfill their choice.

There were 13,000 temporary seats installed at Cowboys Stadium for Super Bowl XLV. The Arlington Fire Marshall inspected and cleared for use 11,740 of those seats.

Commissioner Goodell has initiated a complete review of the matter, including all seating and stadium entrance issues.

18 hours ago, Brian McCarthy of the NFL sent this tweet (@nflprguy) that has an email for fans to use:

NFLprguy Brian McCarthy
We've spoken to nearly 250 of 400 fans who didn't receive seats @ #sb45. Pls email if u haven't heard from us

Stay tuned.

Taylor Corley Playboy Pictures Gets VH1 Reality TV Show

Well, a month ago Taylor Corley was just your average Mississippi State Cheerleader who posed for Playboy Magazine. Then, bloggers who read Playboy took note of her college affiliation and started, you know, blogging. The result is Taylor Corley's quit not just the Mississippi State Cheerleader squad, but Mississippi State, got famous, and will have her own VH1 Reality Show called Girl Swagg.

But doesn't this all smack of the greatest hypocrisy? College Cheerleaders are basically showing it all, or most of it. Playboy models are showing it all, or most of it. So why is it that Taylor Corley has to make a decision between college and modeling, rather than the University itself making a little coin?

Think about it.

A really good cheerleader calendar and reality TV show effort could put money in the athletic coffers of programs around America. In the case of the Mississippi State Cheerleader squad, they'd have a star who posed for Playboy.

To take advantage of this, all of the cheerleaders below 18 would have to quit, just to be on the safe side. And those remaining would have to get parental consent to be involved. And the cheerleaders would get a cut of the money earned.

This is the logical thing to do, but America's puritan ethic is a hard deal to overcome. Still, no one can say it's not worth a try, in some way.
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Cal Athletics Cut Decision Never Had Thursday Deadline - Mogulof

The World of Cal Athletics - students, student-athletes, alumni, and fans - expected Thursday to be the day that we learned the fate of five Cal sports: baseball, rugby, and men’s and women’s gymnastics and women’s lacrosse.

It didn't happen.

Instead, UC Berkeley spokesperson UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof told the blog Berkeleyside not only that Thursday wasn't the date, but...

"I also need to state in no uncertain terms that the anonymously sourced stories claiming that the process has been completed and a final decision rendered are categorically false. If that was the case we would have had news to share today."


Ok, to briefly recap, last fall Cal Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and athletic director Sandy Barbour were expected to have some statement on the future of the sports on the hook, as well as what the impact of the Save Cal Sports effort, said to have raised between $12 million and $14 million of the $25 million needed.

Which at one point last year was $80 million.

From a systems standpoint, at a university where the systems approach was born, it's unfortunate to see a that such thinking has no role in decision-making.  Or to put it another way, and I ask this again, why isn't raising the $25 million the focal point for a University-led funding drive?

I still get the impression Cal doesn't really care to save the five sports beyond the hue and cry of the alumni who formed the "Save Cal Sports" movement.

Let's do some reverse engineering and take that effort out of the picture.  There would have been no advocate for the Cal sports in question within UC Berkeley and enough to fill the void the Save Cal Sports effort is itself filling.

The Chancellor needs to get on the phone and make some calls, not just the alums. Robert needs to start "The Chancellor's Fund," and not let a bunch of alums beat him. I'm sure Sandy's doing that herself, but Robert needs to do that too.

He can't be the person who's on the field when we win The Big Game...

But won't roll up his sleeves and get involved in building a champion by dialing for dollars.

We've got to see that Chancellor B's right in their, too.