Goodbye Peter Jennings

Another Monday work day draws to close, and with it a bit of random thought:

As you likely know by now, Peter Jennings has passed away at 67, losing his battle with lung cancer.  It’s really sad to lose someone, especially someone who has served as a major media figure throughout the last quarter of the 20th century.  With Jenning’s death, there are many significant notes.

Jenning’s death has essentially marked the end of the "Network TV News Era".  Being the last of the "Big 3" (with Rather and Brokaw) to leave the nightly news spot, the broadcast networks have relinquished their iconish figures of big media.  When the Big 3 ascended to their network thrones in the early 80’s, the world they brought news to was vastly different than the world we have today.  25 years ago there was no cable news conglomerates like CNN, CNBC/MSNBC, Fox News.  25 years ago there was essentially no talk radio (at least not to the level we are today with Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and Bill O’Reilly).  25 years ago there was no Internet (at least in the form that we know of it today).  25 years ago we didn’t have all of the media outlets dispensing information that we have today. Back in the early 80’s Jennings, Brokaw, Rather were it when it came to getting your TV News.  Sure people read the newspapers, but when it came down to Breaking News and the nightly 30-minute recaps we relied on the Big 3 Anchors to tell us what we needed to know.  These three wielded more power than I think we’ll ever realize – becoming the face of these networks.  Whenever a big story broke, or a large event was taking place – chances are that these three guys were there telling you about it.  It’s funny when you look at it today, but where do you get your news from?  Can you name the three people that are currently anchoring the nightly news on those networks?   Many of you already know Brian Williams, but it was mainly because the guy was groomed into the position over a carefully-planned period of four years.  And even with that Williams doesn’t have nearly the clout that Brokaw had.

My guess is that Dianne Sawyer will be sitting in the anchor seat for ABC Nightly News, but I don’t think there is any way she – or anyone for that matter – will replace the role the "Big 3" had in our society.


In happier news…  Fantasy Football is underway!   As I mentioned in a previous post, we were "gettin’ the league back together" for another year of Fantasy.  With all 12 roster spots filled, I went out and set up the league, and sent out the invitations for people to join!  Let the fun begin!

Now if you’re not into sports or have never played in any "fantasy" leagues then you may struggle in seeing the value of what we’re doing, as well as my excitement!  But there is so much to get excited about:

  • So much of it is based on healthy competition.  When I set up my team, I got to choose the team name.  I picked "Dhani’s Bow Tie"* and am now issuing a challenge to the rest of the league to come up with a name that’s more creative than mine.  My friend Matt may have me beat with "CUT THAT MEAT!"**.  But I love that you can find healthy rivalry in virtually any facet of the game
  • It promotes unity and camaraderie between a group of people who may otherwise have no reason to interact or even know each other.  While it’s always good to call your buddy up to see how they’re doing – now you have something to rustle them up about
  • It’s such a great way to get into the game.  The team closest to my heart are the Denver Broncos, but now my excitement can extend to the other 13-15 games during that weekend.  All of the sudden I’m rooting for a team to do well (or rooting against them), and I’m interested in the random games that are on.

Only 29 days 2 hours, 57 minutes and 5 seconds until our draft kicks off!  You bet I’m excited!

*"Dhani’s Bow Tie" is an obscure reference to one of my favorite players in the NFL – Philadelphia Eagles’ Linebacker Dhani Jones.  Dhani also has a company called "5 Star Bow ties", where we sells Bow Ties.  Whenever he does an interview or an appearance he is always very well dressed, complete with a 5 Star Bow tie  

** "CUT THAT MEAT!" refers to the MasterCard commercial where Payton Manning (Quarterback for the Indy Colts) is a fan of "typical" people.  In the commercial he’s in front of a deli counter chanting "CUT THAT MEAT!  CUT THAT MEAT!" to the worker.  Another awesome part in the commercial is when he’s hounding these accountants going to work "I can’t believe it, you’re on my Fantasy Accounting Team!", then a guy high-5’s him, and he just stands there shocked.  Hilarious commercial!