Papa John's potty mouth
Is there any doubt left that the N-bomb is the most powerful word in our language?
For John Schnatter — the dude you know as the red-shirt-wearing, pizza-slinging spokesman for Papa John's Pizza — there is no debate.
Consider this timeline of events Wednesday:
Forbes reports that Schnatter drops N-bomb on a conference call (ironically, in a speech on how to avoid PR controversy, he pointed to KFC and Colonel Sanders using the N-word);
Papa John's stocks tumble on the news, causing the company to lose almost 5 percent of its value (roughly $90 million);
Schnatter steps down from the board of trustees at Louisville;
MLB distances itself from its official sponsor of next week's Home Run Derby;
Schnatter resigns as chairman of the board of the pizza chain he founded.
Who says words can never hurt you was dead wrong.
Fall out from falls
In the growing age of revenue streams for every sport, school, team and player, the fall out from P.R. debacles is a bigger and bigger deal.
First, we could very well be seeing the beginning of the end of the human spokesperson for national and international brands. (When Jared was revealed as a pedophile, it crushed Subway's image, and those effects can still be felt three-plus years later.)
Second, what about the connections beyond the businesses?
Schnatter controls the naming rights for Papa John's Stadium at Louisville for the next 23 years. That's an issue.
Will the MLB have to give money back to the pizza chain after pulling the connection that Papa John's was paying for?
Now, we have long had a belief that you should not build a statue of anyone until those folks are dead. That maximizes the chances of knowing all the dirt.
Enter the statue of Jerry Richardson, the founder and original owner of the Carolina Panthers who was forced to sell the team after repeated sexual harassment and improper interactions in the work place.
Part of the $2-plus-billion sale to David Tepper that was finalized earlier this week, the Panthers are contractually obligated to keep the statue of Richardson outside the stadium.
So there's that.
World Cup dream final dashed
Want to know the folks most upset with Croatia's late win over England in the World Cup semifinal Wednesday?
OK, it was England.
But a close second was the Fox Sports execs who had to feel like a country roughly the size of West Virginia with about the same population as Detroit was a monster kick to marbles. Talk about needing a World cup.
Fox knew the TV numbers for this World Cup were going to be off from four years and drastically below the levels and projections they pitched to advertisers. In fact Fox offered a 20 percent complimentary increase of ad time to sponsors in anticipation of short numbers.
The numbers were worse than expected, considering heading into the semifinals, ratings were down a whopping 35 percent in viewership and ratings from 2014. The averages for the first 60 matches was the lowest for a World Cup on English-language TV since 2006.
Now is a fair time to ask the pointed questions about the "soccer explosion" in this country. And to further drop the exclamation point on those of us who believe the big soccer numbers in World Cup viewing in this country was more about patriotism than soccer passion: If you take the big ratings of the U.S. matches from four years ago out of the equation, this year's tournament is still down 18 percent in ratings and 21 percent in viewership, according to Sports Media Watch, but is slightly up from 2010 in matches not involving the U.S.
Heck, in the quarterfinals — remember the U.S. did not make the quarters in 2010 and 2014 — this year's ratings are down 9 precent and average viewers down 12 percent.
Of course Fox has tried to spin that the numbers were somewhat comparable to 2010 as a big win, and there was a growing hope for a big finish, highlighted by the potential of an England-France final.
This and that
— Great stat of the day, and we mean great. Entering Bartolo Colon's start last night against Boston, the Red Sox coaching staff had 63 plate appearances against Colon and the Red Sox roster had 62 plate appearances against Colon.
— Why do people hate on Tim Tebow, and yes that's as much rhetorical as anything, but still? The Tebow angst is real. Dude went 1-for-4 with a double last night in the AA Eastern League all-star game.
— For those who follow poker, the hand that decided the final table was quite dramatic. One player was holding aces and called two players holding kings to sweep the pot and head to the final table as the chips leader.
— Very interesting story here from Meghan Mangrum on the UnifiEd and the support/nonsupport role in the Hamilton County school board race. The backlash of the influence of a controversial PAC being this strong — it's to the point that candidates are turning down donations and volunteer help from UnifiEd — is a great thing for the American political system, even if it's on a race as locally focused as our school board.
— Another summer day, another NFL player being accused of mistreating a woman. Marcell Dareus is being accused of sexual assault and giving a woman herpes. So there's that.
Who is the most beloved PED user? If we started with Bartolo Colon and David Ortiz, who else you got?
Who would be in on a British Open golf contest? Discuss.
This is National Pecan Pie Day. Two questions: One, pecan pie, friend or foe? Second, do you pronounce that PEE-can or peh-cahn, and shouldn't that be the trade out in today's world for tomato or toe-mah-tow?
As for today, July 12, let's explore.
Speaking of falls from grace, Bill Cosby's birthday is today. He is 81.
George Washington Carver was born on this day in 1864. Richard Simmons is 70 today.
On this day 61 years ago, the U.S. surgeon general connects smoking to lung cancer.
Curly of the Three Stooges was born own this day in 1909.
Rushmore of "Three" and be creative. (Remember the mailbag.)