Sunday, February 22, 2009

Succumbing to the Power of Facebook

  • Uncle. My Facebook holdout ends after 98 days. Shawn Terrell made sense when he said, "Look how long you waited for HD, and now you're an addict who actually needs treatment". Then Chris Hassel forced my hand with the terrific job he's doing building two Facebook pages: "SoundOFF Nation" and "SoundOFF with Keith and Andy". The first is an interactive fan page with videos, behind the scenes pictures of cast & crew, viewer profiles, and more extras than a collector's edition DVD. The second site is a group page, which I don't completely understand yet. Both SoundOFF sites added more than a hundred members in their first weekends despite no publicity. Nice job, Chris. You can sleep when you're dead.
  • As for my personal Facebook page, I don't really know what I'm doing. I've added many pictures and re-connected with a lot of friends, classmates, and former co-workers. I definitely have room for improvement. My profile picture looks like it was taken at Glamour Shots, and my status update is usually something stupid like, "Keith is rearranging his sock drawer."
  • I'm still not sure what to do about friend requests from people I don't know. Recommendations?
  • It was in this blog while talking up Facebook's "Andy Fales is a God" that I jokingly mentioned "Keith Murphy Brushes His Teeth Daily" is stuck on one member, my mother. Well, someone took that title and had a little fun with it. Though my mom still hasn't joined, a few people have. And I've had a few laughs seeing where my head will turn up next.
  • Tim from Des Moines wonders what it will take for Todd Lickliter and Greg McDermott to start winning. The answer is simple: better players. Lickliter led Butler to the Sweet Sixteen. Mac took three UNI teams to the NCAA Tournament. You don't do those things if you can't coach. Really coach. However, you can't win in the Big Ten and Big 12 with MVC or Horizon League talent. The bigger question is, can these guys recruit? Early returns aren't good.
  • Has any team in the history of college basketball lost in the semifinals and been more celebrated than Drake's 1969 team? The answer is no, yet relative to Drake's history, the characters on that team, and the fact they nearly upset UCLA, it's understandable.
  • UNI won't make the Dance. Neither will anyone else. (men's tourney)
  • Iowa's new basketball uniforms look okay to me. At least they made the numbers smaller, and the names larger on the back so you can actually read them. Black on black is interesting for numbers on the away uniforms. The switch from white to gold at home is a "thumbs down" to many fans who have already emailed SoundOFF.
  • The one downside to getting HD is it's really hard to watch games that aren't in high def. The Cyclones on Cyclone Television Network and the Hawkeyes on Big Ten Network (Mediacom version) are a huge drop off in quality after watching college basketball on ESPN (in more ways than one).
  • Anyone else not getting KDSM, Fox 17, in HD this week? I miss seeing Simon Cowell's make-up.
  • State wrestling deserves its rep as the nation's best tournament. It's well run, exciting, and sold out when it counts most. I played four sports in high school, but I don't think in one calendar year I worked as hard, or endured as much pain, as wrestlers do in one season. Between cutting weight, when everyone else is living on junk food, and being nearly tortured in some holds on the mat, I have a lot of respect for these kids and the sacrifices they make. I don't have the data, but I'll bet former wrestlers do pretty well in life.
  • Big congrats to Ballard for absolute domination, and to Roosevelt for finally putting a Des Moines team in the top three.
  • Is there a more misleading stat than "announced attendance"? I've seen Chops, Hawks, and Cyclones games where the announced number was nearly double the people in the stands.
  • In this economy, niche sports need to be smart about marketing, and Iowa State showed how to do it with "Beauty and the Beast". Wrestling and gymnastics going on at the same time may be a gimmick, but it brought attention to sports that desperately need it.
  • Most 17-year olds can't focus for more than a few minutes at a time, unless they're playing video games. Shawn Johnson can focus for five hours at a time, which is why she could win "Dancing with the Stars". Marathon practice sessions are nothing new to Shawn. She also told me the dancing could help her win more gold in 2012, since the judges obviously favored artistry over tumbling in Beijing. I still think we all need to leave Shawn room to change her mind about the Olympics. Three and a half years is a long time, and a lot of work, from now.
  • Thank you Charles Barkley for showing the world how to apologize and actually appear as though you know you did something wrong, and you're really sorry. A-Rod, please note.
  • Frank Deford's story on HBO's Real Sports about the six year old golfer who's blind in one eye is one of the all-time inspiring tear-jerkers. Bryant Gumbel's report on the police shooting of an African-American baseball player in a small, mostly white Texas town was sports journalism at its near best---only Bryant's obvious emotions kept it from perfection, but Gumbel's only human to be outraged. It was outrageous.
  • If you haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire, you should. I know it sounds and looks to a lot of people like it couldn't be that good or that entertaining, but once you see it, you'll believe.
  • "Taking Chance" on HBO is incredibly moving, yet never manipulative. I cried. You will never hear the name of a fallen soldier again without thinking about the trip home.
  • Jenny, Colin and I went to see Ames High play at Hoover Friday night. Wherever Harrison Barnes and the undefeated Little Cyclones show up, it's THE event. Barnes' shot was off a tad, though he scored 28 points, but it's easy to see why he's one of the nation's top recruits. He's so smooth with and without the basketball. Hoover's Charles Zanders is a terrific coach, and it wasn't a surprise to see the Huskies gives the Clones all they could handle. Great game, and the gym was so packed, it felt like a sauna despite the 21 degree weather outside.
  • Thanks to a bit on SoundOFF a month ago, I'm now seen as a champion of the Snuggie. I have a confession to make... Snuggies suck. They're stupid, don't fit well, and thinner than Kate Bosworth. Sorry. The book light is nice though. No it's not.

9 comments:

Katie said...

Hey Keith - Could you just have a standard reply message for unknown "friends" politely requesting a refresher on how you know each other? I wish Facebook would actually require people to answer a "how you know this person" question before submitting a friend request...

Speaking of the state wrestling tournament, have you ever read "Four Days to Glory" following two Iowa kids attempting to become 4-time state champs in 2005? Excellent read! I sent a note to the author after finishing it and was so impressed when he wrote back - class act.

Keith Murphy said...

Katie,

I have read "Four Days to Glory" and loved it. Highly recommended.

Keith

Anonymous said...

Howdy Keith,
As far as Facebook friend requests from people you don't know, you could do what I do. Leave them in Facebook purgatory. Don't accept them and don't regect them. Just leave them there and don't do anything with 'em.

Shawn said...

I don't understand why everyone is down on the Hawkeye basketball team. They have already won more games this year than last (13-19 last year) and they have a fair chance of finishing the season with an over .500 record. These guys play hard with not a lot to play for (no post-season is likely) and they are buying into the system. They will only get better as Lickliter gets more of his type of players. I'd say he has done quite well considering what he took over. The program is in far better shape than it was at anytime under Alford.
---
for those of you who think I'm crazy, look at Ferentz second year with the football team. I believe they won two of their last three games with nothing to play for and finished 3-9. They were building the foundation and were buying into the system. What happened the following year?? 11-1 and a trip to the BCS. I'm not saying that the bball team will be National Champs or even Big Ten champs next year but they will be in the Dance.

Dan said...

Keith,

You're a local celebrity so you will have people adding you left and right on Facebook. The same thing happens at all of the major colleges when students randomly add their favorite athletes as friends. Even if the closest they ever came to them was watching them from the upper deck in Jack Trice.

I would suggest that since you have such a huge fan base you add the people you do not know. If you are uncomfortable about it you can set up a "Limited Profile" and enable people you don't know to see only that.

This way you can hide all the pictures of you in a Snuggie.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Facebook Keith!! What do Shawn, Andy, and Chris do with their pages? I don't think you can leave your fans hanging when it comes to adding them as friends...but I wouldn't want a bunch of strangers looking at my personal info either. Maybe you guys need a WHO sports team page? It would still give you an opportunity to share info with fans, but keep your personal life seperate!

Kirk Diggler said...

I have a facebook page under the name Bang Long. I'm not kidding, look it up. And all are welcome as my friend.

Anonymous said...

And the Oscar for "Best Sports Reporter Dancing Like a Monkey for Money" goes to;

Chris Hassell

Anonymous said...

And the Oscar for "Fakest political Monkey" goes to;

Nancy Pelosi