Some Ice Bergs are…. Dear Mr. Bubba

October11/ 2013

(1) A classic sports marketing story AND (2) BobLee tries to get his name in The N&O by sending Stoopid Suggestions to BubbaTheRealAD……

My all-time favorite sports marketing story….. from the early 80s.  Dallas TX had a minor-league hockey team – The Blackhawks – that played in a Dorton Arena-type facility.  This was long before Dallas got an NHL franchise.   The Blackhawks “struggled” to get even close to break-even as a viable business but the ownership was convinced they were oh-so-close to catching on with a growing Metroplex market.

EVERY year for 4-5 years, The Blackhawks would announce they “might fold”.   Every year when they announced that….. 5-6,000 loyal fans would pledge their undying love for “our Hawks”.   Letters to the editors of local papers, call-ins to what amounted to Talk Radio in the early 80s, “rallies” to support the Hawks….. blah blah blah.

“The Blackhawks Might Fold – HELP” was a seasonal tradition in Dallas media along with “Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be a busy travel day at DFW Airport.” And “It’s August in Dallas and It’s Hot”.

Well heck, 5-6,000 MUST SURELY represent the tip of an enormous iceberg of support for hockey in the Metroplex so the owners would commit funding for “one more season”.  Have you figured where this is going?

There were only 5-6,000 hockey fans in the Metroplex in 1981 and everyone of them pledged their support every year.   Alas, the Hawks owners needed 10-15,000 to break-even.  It was “an upside-down iceberg”.

Moral To Story:  Some icebergs are “just tips”.


McClatchy’s N&O and Charlotte Observer ran a stoopid story this week that was essentially “Unsolicited Stoopid Advice That Bubba Gets”.   The Public Information Act gives “media” access to emails that state-owned institutions receive.   You’ve probably heard about that access over the past three or so years.  Butch’s cell phone was NOT in this latest box o’stuff.  Maybe next time.

You may have also heard the newspapers business circa 2013 makes buggy whips and floppy discs seem like hot businesses to get into by comparison.  No fishwrappers struggle to fog a mirror any harder than the ones in Raleigh and Charlotte.

The McClatchy Corp owns failing newspapers across the country including the two in NC.  Every McClatchy employee under The Executive Editor level is permanently on a “hot seat” that makes Mack Brown’s seems like a block o’ ice.  A “hot business” would be supplying cardboard boxes for “carrying out personal property” to furloughed McClatchy employees.

A newsroom that, a decade or so ago, bustled with 50+ newshounds scrambling to “win a Pulitzer” or just meet deadlines; now has r26_18134921DamnYouDan Kane, RobRielleWho Christensen, Barry “Colonel” Saunders and two guys on sports that “take turns surfing monkey boards”.

All (except for Barry) worry each Friday that “the Turk” will ask them to turn-in their playbook and hand’em one of those personal property boxes.  Barry, being buddies with Bully Barber, has job security (wink, wink).

If you call to place an ad – and VERY FEW people do that any more…. you are “out-sourced” to a call-center in Mumbai that McClatchy shares with Iggy’s Delicatessian in Sea Girt New Jersey.  I tell you that in case Pendar asks what mustard you want on your ad.  Anyhooo…

So “whats left of The N&O” runs a non-story cobbled together from emails they obtained thru the Public Info Act.   It was oddball stuff that pin-headed nitwits have suggested to Bubba.  If you are asking “Bubba Who” you have wandered in here from . You are welcome to stay but we don’t offer subtitles.

It’s a stoopid non-story to be kind but represents about all three journo-wannabees sharing one computer can churn out these days.

I guess I should interject here that I, BobLee, in NO WAY BLAME The N&O or “the media in general” for the raining frogs, rivers of blood, hordes of locusts, and other assorted plaques that have descended upon UNC-CH over the past three years. Nor do I blame rival fan bases and their terminally obsessed factions.  Hating UNC-CH keeps them from hating whoever is their current AD.  They will eventually get around to that however.

That full credit goes to a smelly sack o’ sins of omission and commission committed by assorted / former representatives of said institution.  PERIOD.  None of whom have the integrity to ‘fess up.

Sooo the N&O runs this “non-news story” collection of  Dear Mr Bubba; I think you oughta…… emails.  Here’s the stoopid story – LINK.

BobLee, WHY are you helping The N&O with a Link?  Trust me, they ain’t gonna thank me when this is over.

That got me to thinking.   Is that all it takes to get media exposure to what’s left of N&O readership?   If so, I’m gonna write me an email to Mr. Bubba for their next “news story”.

Dear Mr BubbaTheRealAD:   I am The Truest Tru-Blue Tar Heel fan going way back to Choo Choo and “beating Wilt” and “the home run Ted Williams hit at Emerson Field in ’43 that landed on the Courthouse in Pittsboro”.   I truly do “bleed blue”.

I am sending you these suggestions because it will be cool to get my name in the paper plus I think my ideas are really boffo and will SAVE CAROLINA.  Did I mention I am a really big fan?  I think you oughta:

(1)    Get out of the ACC immediately and form a new conference of just “teams like us” and/or teams that we can beat that only recruit “good boys” like we usta recruit (like LT!).   There are NO teams “exactly like us” of course (hehehe) but I like beating nasty “community colleges” (hehehe) like Cow College and Dook so let them in.   OK?   If you can include Bijelo Polje we secure the vital Montenegro TV market…., Woo Hooo!  Don’t have to tell YOU how BIG that would be.
(2)    Please don’t recruit thugs, gangstas and/or people named Marvin, Greg or PJ UNLESS you can keep their shenanigans really quiet.   They embarrass me with my neighbors and a guy named Eugene I see in church each Sunday.
(3)    Tell Roy to stop acting so silly and ”be more like Dean was”.   I know NO ONE can really be like Dean was but tell Roy to try harder to be like that.  OK.
(4)    Tell Coach Fedora to stop screwing around with our sacred uniforms, please.  Snoop Dogg and Fifty Cent are not Tar Heel fans so what they like is not what me and my friends like.   I have a picture of Mr Albert Long throwing a jump pass in 1954 if you need a sample to go by.   Don’t use the leather helmet with no facemask though.
(5)   I hear some crazy faculty nuts want to change our name.  They say Tar Heels is offensive to people with plantar fascitis ??  Maybe we could change to the Carolina Redskins?  Ha Ha….. just kidding.  Tell those faculty nuts to SUCK AN EGG.
(6)    I knew a fella named Bubba from King’s Mountain back in the day.  Are you kin to him?
(7)    I sure do miss Woody.   He always “told it like it really was”.  Didn’t he??
(8)    What ever happened to Neil Fingleton?  Does Coach Guthridge still like to eat popcorn?  Please don’t let the Blackhawks fold.
(9)    Have you heard that joke about “Amphibious”?  Ha Ha.  Christian Laettner and JJ Riddick are very bad people.  Coach K IS Sa51D8R4NZ2HLtan and he cusses too much.
(10)  I have never read Look Homeward Angel but I love Andy Griffith …and Barney too.  Oh, and one more great idea: Change the name of anything on campus containing the word “Dickie”.  Don’t ask.  Just Do It as Phil Knight says.

Mr Bubba, is this email goofy enuff that The N&O might print it the next time they go thru your email trash?  If not, I can write an even goofier one.  Can I get “two freebies in the lower level” for these boffo suggestions?  Thank you in advance.

Go Heels,

PS:  Mr Bubba, why wasn’t Frau Yow’s email box gone thru by the N&O?  ….. Aren’t her responses to stoopid questions of interest to N&O readers? I’m interested but, of course, I’m not a regular N&O reader.


Access to correspondence to uncover possible malfeasance is investigative journalism.  That’s a good thing.

To then exploit that right to access correspondence at will simply to write a “Peeping Tom” article is desperation tabloid journalism and what one would expect from a failing enterprise like The N&O.

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