Jul 09

Tat’s all, folks!

Is it just me, or is there an ever-increasing percentage of people sporting tattoos? Is there also  
Bibby2
a  simultaneous increase in the percentage of available skin being devoted to tats? I sure think so.

I believe I reached the tat’s tipping point this past Sunday when I spied one on the calf muscle of my good friend and cycling partner, Greg Drury (publisher of The Holmes Report). Justifiably proud of having completed six triathlons, Greg’s right calf is now adorned with a bright red ‘tri’ logo. Man, I thought, if ‘they’ got Greg Drury to sport a tat, they’ve got everyone. Don’t ask me who they are, but they’ve won nonetheless.

I’m not a big fan of tats. I especially hate the over-the-top tats that seem to run amok on the torsos of NFL and NBA players. Some players have their kids’ names tattooed on their biceps. That’s cute. Others feature verses from the Bible (hoping, perhaps, that God will let them make that three-point shot at the buzzer?). And, some have those Japanese and Chinese letters on them. They look very cool, but what’s the point if no one understands what they say or mean?

If I were going to sacrifice my skin permanently, I think I’d charge money for it. In fact, if the price were right, I’d consider adorning my calves, biceps and triceps with any number of hip, but environmentally-sensitive, sponsor logos. I like Mammoth outdoor gear, so that would be one. I wear Saucony running shoes, so their logo would make the cut. And, I’d also want the world to know I’m a man of discerning tastes, so I’d go with a Zegna or Armani icon on, say, my wrist.

Tats are a personal image and reputation statement. But, I’m not sure exactly what statement is being made. Is a tattoo nothing more than a plaintiff cry for attention? Is it a must-have fashion accessory that, unlike a watch, can’t be taken off every night? Or, is it a peer pressure kind of thing? (i.e. “If Lindsay and Heather have tats on their shoulders, then I have to have one on mine. So there.”).

All this tat thinking has me thinking. If it were trendy at the time, would Lincoln have had a tat? My guess is he’d have gone with the opening line of the Gettysburg Address and put it on one of his biceps. The rail splitter had to have been cut. I’ll bet Napoleon would have had multiple tats. He did have a Napoleonic complex, after all. And, my guess is Winston Churchill would have had that big, fat cigar permanently tattooed on his neck.

If and when I do decide to follow Greg Drury’s lead and get a tattoo, I know what it will be and where it will go: it’ll be the Peppercom logo and it’ll be right smack on the small of my back. And, yes, it will be a plaintive cry for attention. Tat’s all, folks.

Sep 28

Woeful Willie’s wobbling wards

Everytime my wife sees Mets Manager Willie Randolph’s sorrowful countenance on TV she asks, ‘Why isRandolph
that guy always so bummed out?’

You’d be bummed, I tell her, if you were managing what will most likely be the worst collapse in major league baseball history. Randolph’s reeling regulars have seen the bottom fall out of their once-promising season. And, today, they find themselves in a tie for first place with the gritty Phillies, and only three games left in the season.

The verbal and non-verbal behavior of these mediocre Mets tells the tale. Shoulders are slumped, heads are hung, eyes diverted. You can almost sense the Mets players want to be done with this nightmare and back home in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico or wherever else most call home.

I’ve worked at several organizations that found themselves in similar, if somewhat slower, declines. The Mets’ collective behavior reminds me of those days where it was cover your ass, point the finger and hope that some miracle will occur to turn things around.

Alas, miracles only occur when the leadership is strong, visionary and inspiring. What my former agencies needed then and what the Mets need now is what England had in those dark days of September 1940: Winston Churchill.

Sadly, though, Willie’s no Winston. And these Mets are done. Paraphrasing the great Churchill’s most inspiring line: ‘Never have so many owed so little to so few.’ Mets fans and players alike deserve a manager who can inspire and stand strong in the darkest hours. What we have, instead, is a guy who has already mentally packed up his tent and gone home.