Picks of the Week

Here are my quick picks for this week:

Book:  “The GM: A Football Life, a Final Season, and a Last Laugh” by Tom Callahan – The original subtitle for this book was “The Inside Story of a Dream Job and the Nightmares that Go With It,” but that was before the Giants shocked the football world and won Super Bowl XLII.  This book is a particularly interesting read in light of what the Giants have done the last two year.  The author write about Ernie Accorsi’s last year as the Giants GM, and touches on many different topics, including player evaluation, team dynamics, and how the game has changed over time.

Article:  “What the Rise of Southern Football Says About America” on WSJ.com – A very good article on the evolution of college football in the South, particularly for the SEC.  The author touches on many different contributing social and political factors.  Understanding these cultural elements are always important on the business side, so I believe this is a very relevant and useful article.

Teams:  Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners – I didn’t write anything this week about the Big 12/BCS controversy that sent the Sooners to the Big 12 Championship game over Texas, even though Texas beat OU head-to-head.  You can find PLENTY of articles arguing back and forth over who should be playing tonight and in the BCS Championship.  Either way, a series of computers has decided the fate of millions of college football dollars.  However upset Texas might be, the irony is that they should now root for the Sooners to win tonight, since OU playing in the BCS Championship will help all Big 12 schools financially.  (Update: I may have jumped the gun in suggested that Texas needs to root for OU. If OU loses, either Texas or USC will play Florida in the BCS Championship.)

Other:  NHL Winter Classic 2009Last year’s NHL Winter Classic was considered a complete success.  Great attendance, strong ratings, lots of publicity, and an entertaining game.  This year, the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks (two of the original six teams) will face off on New Years Day at Wrigley Field.  The NHL is putting a lot of weight behind this event – they’ve even created special throwback jerseys for the game which are selling well on the NHL Shop website.  The NHL might not have the same game-to-game interest that the other three leagues have, but they have created a unique, must-see regular season event, something that the other leagues have not done.

Do you have a good “pick of the week?” Use the Contact Us link at the top of the page and send me your picks!

2 thoughts on “Picks of the Week

  • December 7, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I actually was in the office of a sports executive that I deeply admire yesterday and he had The GM sitting out on a coffee table and for that reason, I ordered it on Amazon today! But I’m happy to hear you also got a lot out of it too.

    For those of us interested in Sports PR, we obviously aren’t going to be making personnel decisions but it is important to understand the pressures GMs face as well as why they make some of their decisions so we can do a better job on our end.

  • December 7, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Absolutely. While “The GM” is based around Ernie Accorsi and his role with the Giants, there is a lot of great information about the details of running a professional sports team that can apply across many different job functions. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the book!

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