Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Media Relations Coordinator? Nay, guru.

I feel like I had a pretty good day at work today. The days are always busy and long when one of the teams has a game (the Beavers were on game 4 of 7), but I felt like I was a good media relations coordinator today.

A writer from Portland's major paper, The Oregonian, had a reporter down to write a feature article on the Timbers for the sports section at the end of the week. That's great for us because the Timbers need the press. Then, only a few hours after that reporter left, another newspaper reporter called and wanted to do a Timbers feature for the end of the week as well. I was able to set him up with a great feature story idea, and he'll be down at the ballpark on Thursday to interview a player for it.

I'm also in a good mood because the Timbers media guide is just about finished, and we hope to have it ready by this Saturday night's game. That has been single largest project I've been working on since I got here, and I'll have been responsible for making sure every word on all 126 pages is correct. I can't wait to see it finished.

It's getting down to crunch time on getting kids signed up for the Beavers summer baseball camps, but I'm feeling very optimistic about a new wave of flyers and emails that went out recently. Hopefully we'll have a decent response rate.

Finally, I'm stoked that I have a bit of a queue of things to post on the Timbers website. Coming into this job, my big goal was to have daily content updates on the Timbers site. I have to say that I've failed in that so far, but hopefully no longer. I am able to post at least one article a day through Saturday and then should have a few things lined up for next week as well. I also have some ideas about really bringing the fans into things more, so hopefully there will be some developments on that front as well in the next few weeks.

Check out to see what I'm up to. I've been writing all the articles for the site since shortly after I started here, so updates are of my origin. Feel free to leave me feedback or comments on here as well. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Are You Nervous?

I have been a fan of the new-new wavers since I first heard The Killers back in mid-2004. I also really enjoyed The Bravery and the newest member of that niche, Rock Kills Kid.

Like most people, I got into them from their free song on iTunes. I ordered the CD and received it recently. I certainly was not disappointed in the purchase.

The music is definitely a throwback to the 80's, which for me is great. There is definitely a Smiths influence and some Duran Duran (particularly "Astronaut," Duran Duran's newest, sounds very similar).

The opening song, "Paralyzed", sets the mood of the album, which is that 80's guitar-and-synth theme, but then the middle of the album loses a bit of that. I personally found some of the songs in the center, such as "Back to Life" and "Run Like Hell" to be a bit of a letdown, but the great sound does pick up again toward the end of the album. I think that the last two songs especiallly, "I Need You" and "Raise Your Hands", are a fitting ending to the disc, particularly the last song.

If you are a fand of The Killers, The Bravery, The Smiths, Duran Duran or 24 Gone, you won't be too disappointed. It's a nice fresh sound when none of the above bands are coming out with anything new.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Y? Because it's good...

I know I've mentioned it before, but I feel as though it bears repeating. The graphic novel series "Y: The Last Man" is a thoroughly enjoyable read. And I came across it by accident.

I was just interested in trying out a few graphic novels back at IU since I hadn't really seen or read any before. I looked at the local Border's in Bloomington, but their selection was thin and over-priced (yes, I know, I am talking about Border's). I came across "Y" while browsing on Amazon and decided to give it a try. After all, reader reviews can't be wrong!

Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed the series. The plot is pretty simple, every male on the planet (animals and humans) dies suddenly except for one guy and his monkey. Nobody knows why, but I think that the depictions of the women are fairly accurate as far as depicting how women would react if that did indeed happen, but you'll have to read it to find out exactly what I mean.

The other thing that is a bit surprising and also enjoyable is that it is written for adults. There's profanity, graphic violence and partial nudity, but those aren't the reasons I enjoy it. I think it's good because it was written so that I, as a mature adult could enjoy it, not so kids and adults can enjoy it. There's no people flying around in tights and capes, just people reacting probably pretty similiarly to how they would act if this scenario ever did happen: with sentences containing 'f-bombs'.

I've just finished the sixth volume tonight, and I believe there is one more still out there that I haven't read yet. The exciting part is that it is still being made; Volume 7 just came out May 1.

So yeah, I'm still an immature little kid who likes reading comic books, but I'm enjoying the fact that at least that little kid can be following big-kid plotlines.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Canyon Comes Between...

I apologize for the long pause between posts, things here are busy as ever.

Both seasons are now underway, with the Timbers getting going last weekend. It was great to finally have soccer back in my life after a five-month drought. I was starting to wonder if the soccer season would ever get underway, but it has and I feel much better. The Timbers are improving every game, going from a loss in their first game of the season to a draw in the second to a win in the third. The atmosphere for the Timbers has the same feel as British soccer, so I'm very happy about that. And Timber Jim keeps the crowd going all the time; you really gotta see him to believe him.

In other soccer news, Southend won the league and with it, promotion to the second tier of English soccer. That means next season they will only be one step below Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea. I can't help but feel so proud to have been part of such a great and successful organization, on and off the pitch. I just hope it's the first of many such organizations that I work for. Southend had very comprehensive coverage of their final game of the season at Roots Hall, with all of the celebrations afterwards. Last year, I remember getting choked up watching team captain Kevin Maher lift the trophy and then the lads going ballistic after they won promotion last year, but after spending time and knowing those guys personally, it was very emotional for me to see the same thing again, but this time see it occurring at a place I called home. I didn't cry, but wow, I definitely learned how massive of an imprint my time with the Shrimpers has left on me. I do indeed hope I haven't seen the last of them. Perhaps a summertime exhbition in Portland could be worked out?

The Beavers and Timbers programs have now been printed and I'm especially proud of the Timbers program, since it was really under my control. It's such a great feeling of accomplishment to see something that you've spent so many hours on being sold at the program stand and read by fans before the game gets underway. The little response that I've gotten so far has been very positive, so that's of course encouraging.

I have one more major project to get off my plate, and that is the Timbers Media Guide (complete with artwork from Steve Cavins!). Hopefully once I get that done, I can focus on what I really wanted to do here: develop web content for the Timbers. My vision here was to be providing new content on a daily basis for the site, like player interviews, feature stories, manager's comments and match previews/reports. I haven't gotten off to a very good start but I feel like so much of my time is being pulled in other directions, so I'm just going to need to re-adjust my time management I suppose.

Briefly, in music, I've really gotten into this new band called Rock Kills Kid, whose debut album comes out on May 16. I think it's safe to say that if you're a fan of the new new wave type music, like The Killers and The Bravery, that you'd probably like this band. I've only heard four songs of theirs so far but have really enjoyed all of them. For those that didn't know, Napster is quasi-free now (you can listen to any song free five times, then you have to pay), so I have listened to entire albums on there and the four songs of Rock Kills Kid they have are definitely worth at least a free listen. Just something to keep in mind if that genre is your style.

Well, I should get to bed but I wanted to give you all an idea of what types of things I've been working on out here, and why I haven't been a better communicator. Hope all is well wherever you are.