Our beloved Brew.

Our beloved Brew.
R.I.P. Big guy.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The NRA Releases It's Christmas Fantasy Wishlist

The NRA is a manufacturers' lobby group not a defender of Second Amendment rights of the American people. If you are a member of NRA you are contributing to the funding of the agenda of manufacturers, not your right to own guns.

In response to the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the NRA's only recommendation is to place armed guards in schools. Of course, this is their recommendation. To a man with a hammer, every problem is a nail. Consider it just a coincidence that their solution would sell more guns. Oddly, they made no mention of the irresponsible conduct of the shooter's mother who left weapons available to her deranged son. She went so far as to teach him how to shoot. The NRA, in its press conference listed nearly every condition known to man which they claim contributed to this tragedy but did they lay any blame on guns and irresponsible gun owners? No, that didn't come up. Did the NRA mention the readily available assault style weapons or magazines/clips that carry multiple cartridges? No, that didn't come up. Did the NRA mention stricter gun registration procedures or a process for keeping guns out of the hands of individuals known to have severe mental health issues? No, that was missing, too. How about focusing on gun storage issues? No, they didn't cover that, either. Did they suggest either guns or ammo should be taxed higher? Not hardly.

Here are a couple of ideas I've seen elsewhere and really like, but the NRA will definitely not like: Every gun owner should be required to carry insurance based on their personal risk factors. We do it for car ownership, we do it home ownership, why not guns? The insurance industry has proven to be really good at calculating premiums for policyholders based on risk assessment. If you want to own a gun you should be responsible for any consequences including the future illegal use of it.

The public isn't allowed to own live hand grenades, bazookas, or Browning Automatic Rifles, so why is it okay to own firearms that were designed for military uses? We should have two classes of firearms: limited capacity handguns and hunting weapons for public use and all others weapons such as assault style guns should be restricted to military and law enforcement use.

If bringing down the NRA and its unholy control of Congress and society requires us to engage in a democratic battle and possible reinterpretation of the Second Amendment to clarify the real intent of that right, I'm all for it. Bring it on. Let's have a good, old-fashion, bare knuckle public examination of what is in the best interest of the people. The Founding Fathers didn't have any idea technology would advance the lethal and mass killing capabilities we have today. Own your gun if it's important to you but nothing gives you the right to own ANY weapon of your choosing. A video making the rounds on the Internet shows a bystander who thwarted a possible violent event when he turned his gun on two would-be criminals. Despite the old codgers wild west display of rampant shooting that might have just as easily harmed a bystander, I am not opposed to carry and conceal laws. If wearing a gun makes you feel more secure, be my guest. Misuse it, and face the harshest penalties we would impose on any criminal doing the same.

Years ago, a family member of mine legally carried a handgun. To avoid possibly injuring himself or someone else as a result of an unintended discharge while traveling in his car, he used to tuck the gun, barrel first into the space between seat cushions. One day, while driving to visit his girl friend, a trip he's made countless times, a fellow ahead of him slammed on his brakes at a stop sign, jumped out of his car and before my relative could react, pointed a pistol in his face, angrily demanding to know why he was being followed.

In that moment, my relative didn't know if he was about to be shot by a total stranger for a weird misunderstanding or if he could withdraw his gun fast enough from the seat cushions to defend himself. He chose to try to calm down the individual and explain he was not following the guy. The angry motorist withdrew and the incident was over. From that day on, my relative has not carried a weapon, but keeps his guns locked in a gun safe. In the moment of truth, he realized he was as likely to die with or without the gun he had previously carried for his own protection.

Manufacturers are probably downright giddy in light of recent developments. President Obama gets reelected (Buy your guns now before he bans them!) and the slaughter of innocents at the hands of a sick person and his mother. With gun sales soaring, what a festive time it must be in the homes of gun manufacturers this Holiday Season. Merry Christmas NRA.

The battle lines have been drawn and I am hopeful in the new year, the NRA will be recognized as Public Enemy #1. I for one, know where I stand. If they don't want to support effective, responsible and meaningful gun legislation, we the people can bring them down the way Big Tobacco was pared back. Gun owners, like smokers, will learn to respect the rights of others, limit their infringement on the space and health of others and pay an appropriate price to enjoy the choices they make to live life as they choose.

Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 New Car Model For Sale - AcVoDoMaLe

Last night, while watching the WMAQ-TV (NBC) local news following the NFL Sunday Night Football telecast I saw something I'd never seen before. The entire ad segment was car ads. First there was an Acura ad, followed by a (rare) Volvo spot, then Dodge, Mazda and Lexus ads.

In the old days, if an ad for a product within the same category was to air in the same break "make goods" were offered and it usually meant at least a 2-1 ratio would be offered to make up for the error. I know that practice is no longer enforced as it was but five in a row seems bizarre. There is no way a consumer will remember the end of year offers that each promoted  unless they were specifically interested that particular car.

It seems the broadcast advertising industry, long in decline, has committed itself to a self destructive path of devaluing its own product by stringing together a series of competitive ads that will yield few, if any, results for the advertisers, thus diminishing the likelihood that more ads will be placed.

Had I not gone back via TiVo to review the order of the ads I would not have been able to recall how many ran or in what order. The low financing and lease offers all blurred together. Five ads, all a waste from my perspective. On second thought, since I TiVo almost everything I watch except live sporting events, I've gotten pretty good at flashing through ad segments altogether when I'm not studying specifically to gain perspective as a brand professional.

Add this experience to my reasons why I am glad I left advertising years ago.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Are Blue Cross And Blue Shield’s Childhood Obesity PSAs Smart Or Shaming?

Obesity advertising is causing a stir these days. A billboard campaign for a local hospital's surgery solutions suggests obesity is a disease, not a choice. A TV campaign of a few months ago caused a brief dust up when an on-screen child sat facing his mom and asked "Why am I fat?" Now a new campaign has hit the air waves from Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The above link was sent to me by a friend with whom I worked on a project for the Coalition to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) which is made up of the City of Chicago, Lurie's Childrens Hospital, and about 150 community organizations. My friend and I continue to discussed aspects of obesity, healthy food access, and related topics despite the fact that the project is over because his primary business has to do with innovative aspects of relationships between food, water and energy and the impact they have on our way of life.

Here's my take on the BCBS ads: If parents aren't role models what are they? In our culture, no one is ever at fault, no one is ever a loser, no one is ever responsible for their actions or those of their kids. Parents should be very much responsible for the actions of their kids up to a certain age, To some degree, we either become our parents or choose to be the complete opposite. Coming from an overweight (obese) parent, which I am, whose own kids are NOT overweight, I see how my eating and exercise habits have not been good examples for my children. They made better choices with regard to diet and exercise despite the poor example I set. On the other hand, I seldom drink, we only have alcohol available in the house when guests are over, my wife never drinks and yet both of our kids like to drink (and get drunk).
Personally, as a consumer, a parent and a fat guy, I am not the least bit offended by these ads nor do I consider them to be bullying, shaming, or inappropriate. They're just poorly made. In both spots, the acting is so bad and over the top that I find the actors to be unlikable. Both boys in the "guy" spot are whiny and less than talented actors. In the mom and daughter spot the woman's facial expressions and body movement are so forced, I am unmoved by her. Poor acting/directing killed what could have been effective ads. In other words, I get the message but I am not likely to take action. Ultimately, the duty of all advertising is to sell something/provoke action and I don't see that happening here. 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Just Say No to Presidential Debates

Here are five reasons I will not be watching any of the Presidential debates:
1. The candidates are so heavily scripted and rehearsed within strict, pat answers nothing of any significance will be revealed unless reason #2 is in play.
2. Like NASCAR events, most people watch hours of debates just to witness the crashes. The price/value relation just isn't there for me.
3. For days afterwards, the media will be slicing and dicing to inform us as to who won, why and how. The story will be unavoidable unless you live under a rock. Oh, wait, that would mean you'd be neighbors with an elected official of some stripe.
4. I voted for Obama last time, not that I believed one word of his rhetoric, but because I felt strongly we as a nation had to get past the "black man as president" issue. My view then, as it is now, was he would prove to be no significant change from what we've had for generations in the White House. His color proved to be a nonissue in his leadership or lack thereof, depending on your political leanings. Romney's being a Morman is just his flavor, which, like Obama, will have no bearing on the office. Listening to either of them spout their moral values is a waste of time and anyone who claims they found either candidate "more believable or presidential" through this staged charade probably also dedicates viewing hours to watching "Honey Boo Boo."
5. Outside of their fiscal views, I see little difference in either party. Every President, regardless of party, has contributed to the dire economic state and decline in the standard of living of the average American. Both parties took their turns at the wheel, embraced wars we had no business fighting, foreign and domestic policies that serve their cronies ahead of the people, and proved that regardless of who is in office, the debt gets deeper and "facts" (statistics) are presented to make it look the other side's fault. Obama (the multimillionaire) will tell us how evil the wealthy are and how he's fighting for the middle class. Romney will tell us that free enterprise and the ability to amass wealth is what creates jobs for the middle class.

I doubt there's anyone left in America of voting age that is still undecided about how they intend to vote. If they exist and  use the debates to form their opinion I hope they get exactly the government they deserve.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I do not support Mitt Romney ads posted by Google on this blog

I have tried repeatedly to remove the banner ad for Mitt Romney on this page. I do not support Mitt Romney (nor do I support President Obama's campaign). Any ad you see on this blog is the result of Google's lame system choices.

As soon as I can get their system to stop malfunctioning and allow me access to the account settings, I will remove all ads. If that means moving my blog elsewhere, so be it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'll Be Watching HBO's 'The Newsroom' Reruns Instead of the Political Conventions

The presidential election is about two months away and I am very much an uncommitted voter, in the sense of supporting one candidate or the other. That is not to say I am undecided. My mind is made up. My vote will be cast, and in the opinion of many, it will be what is traditionally called, "wasted." And no, I won't be supporting the dreck that is the Tea Party.

Political conventions in America, like the major parties they represent, have degenerated into nothing more than corporately underwritten pep rallies for the faithful and schoolyard attacks on the opposition. It seems the highlight of each convention is when someone delivers an anonymous speech writer's well-crafted zinger toward the leaders and positions of the other party. All the mystery about who will be nominated was taken out of the process years ago through the primaries. The building of a party platform has become a game of smoke, mirrors and vanilla completely lacking in substantive detail.

Pundits and candidates alike will tell you this year's presidential election is a clear cut case of opposite views. I disagree. Determining what it will take to save Social Security, create meaningful jobs, right the economy, educate our young, protect our nation's true interests around the globe, address issues of immigration, health care, energy, the environment and myriad others so vital to America's future are completely bogged down in a broken and corrupt political system. The workings of a healthy Republic have given way to a two-party system that resembles a deformed, two-headed creature joined at the brain, heart and pocketbook.

While watching The Newsroom on HBO this week, I asked myself, "Why is it that real politicians don't stir my soul with compelling arguments in the way Jeff Daniel's character does when he delivers one of his fast-paced, anchor person rants?" Simply put, I believe today's politicians don't traffic in truth or meaningful solutions; they seek to spin every issue with an eye toward re-electability and they avoid true clarity on topics for fear their views will be used against them in some future opponent's ad clip. Their handlers, primarily interested in getting the next election "win" to keep their own business gravy train in motion, long ago lost their concern for anything but getting their propped-up, empty suit across the finish line in first place. I've met many of those handlers and in some cases they treat their candidates as puppets, viewing them as interchangeable, largely uninformed tools, who, left to their own devices, would self destruct without strict muzzles on about what, when and how to speak.

I will not invest one minute in following either political convention. The Democratic and Republican Parties have completely alienated me. Until there is a party that supports a 28th Amendment similar to the one that has been floating around FaceBook for years, a Congressional Convention, strict term limits, and the doing away with lobbyists on Capital Hill, I choose to "waste" my vote. In doing so, I believe I am doing my patriotic duty to contribute to the dismantling of a political system that can no longer be incrementally repaired. As the saying goes, "Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered." In a sense, the political hogs are in charge, and metaphorically speaking, experience tells us their days are numbered. As other disenfranchised Americans make the same choice I have, we temporarily leave the government and political process in the hands of the self serving, which History has proven leads to sometimes lengthy, painful, but much needed, and profound change.

President Obama has been a huge disappointment to me despite my optimism when he was elected. It seemed at the time that regardless of how he performed, the "genie was out of the bottle" and America would no longer limit its choices for the highest office in the land to rich, white men, lawyers.

In practice, his primary goal appears to me to have done as little as possible in his first term that might ruffle feathers, with the exception of health care, while raising obscene sums of money for himself and his reelection.

Romney, the great corporate deal titan, having already generated obscene sums of money for himself, appears to be fixated on a more glamorous acquisition known as the White House.

Yes, it would be nice to think we can fix the mess in Washington by selecting and electing better candidates. That can't happen in a system as dysfunctional as we have. Disagree? Then tell me why the only people who can run for the highest office in the land are multimillionaires and billionaires. Why does it take war chests of billions of dollars to "get a message out" that reeks of the same, old, tired explanations of why "I'm better and he isn't." Why is it the Supreme Court, which itself could stand a new charter, saw fit to give corporations and special interests unlimited spending in political campaigns.

I find laughable that both major parties and the Tea Party are crying "Take Back Our Country!" The most significant decisions facing our country are now in the hands of those with the most currency to spread while the courts and the halls of Congress are signed, sealed and delivered to the highest bidder. Political parties are fueled by huge "investors" on all sides. Everyone is bent on controlling the White House and Congress. As it stands now, we have an Executive Branch and a Legislative Branch that have accomplished very little except to fund wars for the past two decades.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chevrolet Total Confidence (Lost) Pricing - Part II

Please, Chevrolet, just give up!

In a post last week, I trashed Chevy for it's smarmy ad campaign titled "Total Confidence Pricing." In particular, I was offended by the ad where a couple agrees to a whopping $350 discount from the MSRP of $18,500.

Earlier tonight, I saw the same ad but this version replaced the original placard with the pricing the couple present to the salesman, with a placard that has the campaign title on it. In other words, the visual doesn't even match the dialogue. Now when the male customer says "We're going to slide you a price" there isn't one on the placard he slides across the desk.

That's right, Chevy, viewers don't pay close enough attention to your ads that they would notice the switch. No doubt, the company has a rock solid explanation for the change. Like one of their cars, I'm not buying it.

Rather than abandon a pathetically misguided campaign and move on, Chevy has modified the ad and made itself look even more ridiculous.

So sad.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chobani: A First-hand Lesson In Brand Culture

Social media is a beautiful thing. It gives lunks like me a platform to express our views, even if we are not fully informed. Another beautiful aspect is it allows entities to monitor comments and references about their company or organization in real time and respond.

In my last two blog posts I cited what I believed to be good and bad ads during the Olympics. Nike was praised, Chevrolet and Chobani got brick bats. To my complete amazement, someone other than the usual small circle of my friends, clients and associates read the post. To my greater amazement, Amy Keefe, Community Coordinator for Chobani took the time to write me a very nice note inviting me to chat with her, provided her cell number, and most importantly, shared a link: http://chobani.com/community/blog/2012/08/a-cholympic-celebration/ to demonstrate that the company did indeed host an outdoor community viewing party similar to the one depicted in the ad I criticized as inauthentic. In the spirit of fairness, I felt it was important to post a new blog correcting an injustice before I have a chance to speak with Ms. Keefe, which I look forward to doing soon.

For the record, I still think the ad was off the mark relative to how I interpret the brand positioning, but my purpose here is not to rehash or defend my point of view. The most important thing here is to apologize. Chobani, please accept my most sincere public apology for attacking your authenticity.

In the original post I tried to make it clear I am a huge fan of Chobani Greek-style Yogurt. Equal to my passion for branding is my passion for food. What I put in my mouth matters. My disappointment in the messaging, when on such an enormous stage, seemed like such a tremendous lost opportunity and got the better of me. In hindsight, what I perceive as one misguided ad does not define a brand.  See, I was one of those guys who only bought yogurt when my local market offered volume discounts like "20 for $10!" The first time I tasted Chobani peach flavored yogurt I was hooked and decided I had to see if other flavors were as good. I have no idea what price I pay for a container. That's the point of branding! Loyalty that exists in the face of lower priced options while not the only measure, is certainly the first hurdle of true brand loyalty.

After receiving Ms. Keefe's email, my admiration for the company grew exponentially. The speed, manner and tone in which the company responded shows not only that it protects it's brand but that the people involved truly understand what it means to be a brand. Trolling the Internet for mentions of your brand and reviews of Olympic advertising shows a real commitment to listening to the marketplace and a brand savvy not to be denied.

Anyone who reads my blog, visits my web site or has ever sat in on a workshop or speech of mine has heard me say, "A brand exists only in the mind of the audience. It is their property. No company owns a brand; it can only hope to influence the impression the audience holds." I've also stated repeatedly that branding is more about actions and behaviors than image management. Through Ms. Keefe's actions and behaviors, Chobani reinforced my positive impressions of the brand and helped erase both the misconceptions and disappointment I held about the brand. This experience is exactly the type that makes a brand great.

I said I would maintain a self-imposed boycott on Chobani products until I got over my disappointment. The ban is officially lifted! Tomorrow I will stop at my neighborhood market and grab a few containers of my favorite flavors. If you see me there, please try to understand the sheepish expression on my face. Yes, I'm passionate about what I put in my mouth, but I am also equally concerned about what comes out of it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nike Gets Olympic Ad Right While Chobani Has Cultural Stumble

Nike's contention that if you have a body, you're an athlete is at the heart of its brand and the longstanding "Just Do It." slogan. Those who study such things would tell you that the Nike vision statement is based on a concept along the lines of unleashing the athlete within each person. In that context, the newest ad featuring 12 year-old Nathan Sorrell is very consistent. Nathan is 5'-3" and weighs 200 pounds, which makes him something other than the ideal image of a great athlete.

The ad, "Find Your Greatness,"  opens with a shot down a long, boring, desolate highway with Nathan jogging in the distance, toward the camera. The Internet has been abuzz with comments since the ad first ran during the Olympics. Some people have expressed being inspired by the ad, others consider it demeaning and exploitative, while still others complain it tries to shame heavy kids into exercising.

Personally, as an overweight person, I was inspired not so much to lose weight but to do brand strategy at the standard this Nike ad achieves. My first words to my daughter, who was viewing the ad with me for the first time was, "Wow. Nike really understands how to execute to its brand position."

One aspect of the ad that I appreciated most is not only is Nathan moving, but so is the camera. In other words, the goal keeps moving as one progresses and achieves. Nathan's greatness is still ahead of him and not a single destination. Brilliant.

On the other hand, Chobani Greek-style yogurt ads were way off the mark for me. Let me start by saying I love the product and hate the ad. "Naturally powering the U.S. Olympic Team" is about as meaningless a slogan as might be created. Are we to believe the U.S. team is gaining some significant power from yogurt? To make matters worse, it presents its "naturally proud" to be a sponsor by suggesting that Chobani is somehow capable of cornering the use of the word "natural." They go further down this sappy road by suggesting they are a humble little company based in some rural, tight knit town where everyone turns out to watch the Olympics on an over sized, community, hand-built screen in a public setting. Hokey to the point it makes me want to gag.

It's not authentic, and it's not relevant, Chobani. What is it about your authentic brand position that the agency didn't feel was appropriate for the Olympics? Why spend all the money you did to run and ad that pretends to be acknowledging a hometown athlete when it was such a thinly disguised act of chest beating?

For what it's worth, I will be buying another brand of Greek-style yogurt for the foreseeable future until I can get over your self-serving, misguided and weak attempt to tug at America's heartstrings. I can just hear the creative people at the agency considering the ad. "As long as we work 'natural' in somewhere, the client will get it." Your agency got to spend a lot of money on an ad that was well below the standards of the product you produce and completely off strategy for the brand. But because you spent big bucks to run it so extensively, it created lots of name awareness and most importantly from the agency perspective, it will trigger lots of recall during the showing of their new business reel.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chevrolet Pricing Not for Everyone

In yet one more shabby  attempt by the automotive industry to convince the American public that there's no need to negotiate price at a dealership and accept "No Hassle" pricing, Chevrolet has introduced its latest ad campaign titled "Chevy Total Confidence Pricing." Excuse me if I find this message laughable.

Two TV ads are particularly offensive to me as a consumer and baffling to me as a brand strategist. The first ad features a couple who inform a salesperson they are "comfortable" paying the price written on a window placard. The salesman is thrilled to tell them that's the price everyone pays - a whopping $350 under the manufacturer's suggested retail price. With their offer accepted, the woman can't help but show her admiration for her partner's negotiating prowess with a "Nice job, baby!" Really? $350 on an $18,500 car is beyond pathetic as a discount percentage.

I believe Chevy is diminishing its own brand by breaking the first rule of branding: Be authentic. This lack of authenticity is even more evident in a second commercial where a customer is told there is no need to haggle and questions the Chevy person by asking, "Don't you have to check with your manager?" To which the reply is, "I am the manager." Again, I ask, really? How likely is it that a sales manager is working on the showroom floor taking customers away from sales people who are almost all on commission? It's not only unlikely, it lacks authenticity. Why portray situations that won't match a customer's true experience?

The second rule of branding is: be relevant. Trying to convince people that a $350 savings off sticker price is a bargain when the model year end is rapidly approaching lacks relevance. You could walk into a dealership today and get many hundreds and perhaps thousands off with just a little haggling. Wait a month and they'll be discounting the same car by even more. Wouldn't a genuine sale that encourages customers to get an early-bird offer, a better selection and significant savings ahead of next month's crowd be more relevant?

The third rule of branding is: Be consistent. I've seen no less than three different core messages from Chevy during the Olympics. It seems they took out every commercial they have in the closet to air in this rotation. Another angle Chevrolet  is playing is the claim of confidence it has in its product by stating in a commercial that good companies stand behind their products. "If you're unhappy with your new Chevy for any reason, you can return it." Notice they emphasize new Chevy. For all the pride they have in their workmanship, they offer one of the worst warranties in the industry. Try to take back a Chevy product that is a few months old that is not performing up to your expectations and see how well they stand behind their quality.

Coincidentally, my family is in the market for a new car. Guess which manufacturer we won't be considering. Simply put, I don't have confidence in Chevy products based on their shallow commericals. To paraphrase another popular Chevrolet tag line, "Chevy (B.S.) runs deep."

Monday, July 23, 2012

The NCAA Got the Penn State Punishment Right.

As a brand strategist I see PSU as a dream assignment. I'd urge PSU not to focus on image repair, public relations or marketing at this stage. What the institution and the brand need most is leadership on campus that will take responsibility for changing the culture, instituting new practices of responsibility and accountability and tangible evidence that its values have been restored.

As I've said countless times, branding is about differentiating behaviors more than image management. For all the security and equity PSU thought it had in it's brand, this shameful incident proves emphatically my point that a brand exists solely in the mind of the beholder.

 For once, I agree with the NCAA (and the Big 10) on their discipline. By bringing Penn State football to its knees but not cutting off its legs shows wisdom for which the NCAA has not been previously known. While in our hearts, those of us who considered Joe Paterno to be a role model and now feel betrayed, might have liked to see the NCAA deal Penn State the football "death blow" for betraying all those raped boys, it isn't fair to indict every student, faculty member and staff person past, present and future, as a decision of that magnitude would. 

 In stripping the school of years of victories and athletic accomplishments it wipes out any claim that can be made to past glories and thus takes away the schools most sacred currency, it's reputation. By releasing the athletes who wish to leave and giving them immediate eligibity elsewhere, the NCAA puts the burden on those charged with rebuilding, as it should be, and not on the backs of innocent student athletes. Admittedly, out of loyalty, some will choose not to leave. But a significant number will leave and a greater number still will rethink their intention to come in the future. Maybe through the rebuilding process, the institution, the players and their supporters will learn to keep football and those who run it in check. 

Football should never have gotten bigger than PSU itself. Taking Penn State out of bowl consideration for four years will not only cost the school and the program potential dollars but will also deliver a message to current members of the team that the change that is necessary must begin with the attitudes of the current crop of heretofore privileged athletes and help to set a new example for those yet to enter the program. 

 Finally, the $60,000,000 fine will create a legitimate hardship on the institution on top of all the legal settlements it still faces with the victims. Football generated the lion's share (no pun intended) of the revenue supporting virtually all other Nittany Lions sports programs. With the crippling blows to football at PSU, it's likely every other sport on campus will feel the sting as well. In the end, you can always follow the money. In an effort to keep the gravy train going, people at PSU looked the other way, avoided doing anything, let alone the courageous thing, all to protect their piece of the pie. The NCAA did the right thing in changing the future size and shape of the pie for years to come.