Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, September 09, 2021

displaced day
The NFL has been doing the Thursday Night Season Kickoff Extravaganza for a couple of years now. I should be used to it.

But I’m not.

And John Cotey agrees, for pretty much all the right reasons:

Pro football is the scroll, the scoring updates, the switch to another game where a touchdown has just been scored.

Pro football is the halftime show, Bradshaw lauding Brett Favre for his first two quarters, Jimmy Johnson criticizing time management, James Brown and Greg Gumbel whipping us around from game to game.

Pro football is the 1 p.m. game, followed by a 4 p.m. game…

We get none of that on a Thursday. There are no highlights to report, there’s nothing to analyze, nothing to build on. In many ways, these are very same elements that plagued Monday Night Football, which had lost its timeliness to a football-exhausted nation before the kickoff.

For Monday Night Football, it was a day too late.

For Thursday night football, it’s three days too soon.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/09/2021 08:43pm
Category: Football
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the skinny
A few months back, I considered a measly 26-page count for Life Magazine to be a harbinger for its imminent demise.

So what do I make of this week’s near-anorexic 14-page edition, plus the inside/outside covers? Guess.

Speaking of covers, it seems the Time Warner editorial staff couldn’t even get that right on this try. Apparently, there are two different covers for this week’s issue, both featuring one-half of the ensemble cast of “Grey’s Anatomy”. This is supposed to make this issue a collector’s item.

But. Life is available only as an insert in the daily newspaper. So you wanna tell me just how someone, even if s/he were so inclined, was supposed to conveniently get ahold of two separate versions of this insert? Does it call for rifling through multiple copies of the Friday newspaper, trying to find the cover amid other near-indistinguishable insert flyers? Pure stupidity.

Another strike against this idea: The very mention of two versions of the cover is fairly hidden on the cover, at least the one I’ve got in my hands. Doesn’t jump out at all.

At this point, I’m seriously thinking that this incarnation of Life is intended to fail. Perhaps Time Warner needs it to tank, in order to balance their arcane corporate ledgers.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/09/2021 08:31pm
Category: Publishing
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What is it about Sticks of Fire that inspires my comedy mojo?

Las month, it was the “how many Floridians does it take to screw in a light bulb” joke.

This month, Tommy’s invitation to name a hypothetical Tampa Bay NBA team inspired me thus, initially:

Back in the late ’80s, when the area was making a half-hearted run at an NBA franchise (that process culminated in the birth of the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, and probably indirectly, the Lightning as a consolation prize for TB), the name Tampa Bay ThunderBolts was tossed around.


Let’s just accelerate what will one day be standard practice: The NBA’s Tampa Bay Wal-Marters (of West-Central Florida and Surrounding Demographics). I can hear the arena chants now…

But I couldn’t stop there! With John serving as unwitting straight man,

You know, Tommy, this is sort of a relevant discussion with the BASEBALL team here in the Bay area too… The St. Pete Times reported that rechristening the team is an option that Stu Sternberg (the Faux Savior) was looking into.

I’m one who wants a franchise named the Thunder. I mean, come on! We got a Storm brewing, and where there is Lightning — soon after comes Thunder…

Conquistidors is too long but it’s another name I’ve liked for the region.

I launched right in (conveniently ignoring the baseball-basketball distinction):

Yes, a rechristening of the Devil Rays is a must, for obvious reasons: Aside from the losing tradition, the current moniker just rubs too many people the wrong way.

So, I propose: The Satan Rays. No more pussyfooting around, make that alliance with the dark forces explicit! (Hey, a deal with Lucifer is about what it’ll take to get that squad into the winning column…)

As for the hoops team, I can’t go with Thunder, precisely because the existing teams’ names argue against it. Imagine this scene from a hypothetical household in Pinellas County:

Wife: Honey, I thought you said you’d gotten tickets for the Lightning!
Husband: No, I clearly said “Thunder”! Totally different word, totally different sport!
Wife: Why would I say I wanted to go see a basketball game, don’t you know I hate basketball?!
Husband: You never listen to me!!
Husband: YOU SHREW!!

And divorce rates all over the Bay area would skyrocket, all because the franchise names are just too similar in concept, and thus confusing. You don’t really want that to happen, do you? Huh?

En fuego, dude. En fuego.

By the way: Conquistadors would be a fab name for a Tampa Bay major pro franchise (as the real deal spent plenty of time on the peninsula). And it worked for the ABA in San Diego — sorta. Too long? Just call them the Conqs/Conks!

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/09/2021 07:46pm
Category: Bloggin', Florida Livin', Sports
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not that there's anything wrong with thatOn a lunchtime visit to the grocery store, I came across a few copies of Men’s Vogue. (Kind of surprising, considering the general dearth of men’s magazines in downtown St. Pete.)

I went ahead and bought one. Thus establishing two things:

- I’m highly susceptible to pre-launch hype. Not a surprise for this media junkie.

- I’m gay. Now that one is a surprise.

I’ve barely looked through it so far. It’s certainly chock full of elite-scale ads, which is no surprise for a premiere issue like this. The real test comes in subsequent months.

I lent it to one of the associate art directors at work, because she was excited to see it (not completely in a good way — she’s chagrined that she wasn’t able to land a job at Conde months ago, when they were planning all these new title rollouts). She wasn’t too impressed with it, mainly because she couldn’t relate to the middle-aged male editorial thrust. I’ll have to ask her about the design and layouts; they look alright to me, but not spectacular.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/09/2021 07:05pm
Category: Publishing
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