Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm actually impressed

Nike has actually done the right thing, which gives me hope for American society and corporate ethics. You see, I was so incensed over the subject of my previous post that I contacted Nike. This was their response:

Hi Mike,

Nike is announcing today that it recognizes Arien O'Connell as a winner in last weekend’s Nike Women’s Marathon with the fastest chip time, completing the full race in 2:55:11. She shattered her previous time and achieved an amazing accomplishment.

Arien will receive the same recognition and prize, including a Tiffany bowl, the full marathon elite group winner received. Arien was unfortunately not immediately recognized as a race winner because she did not start the race with the elite running group, which is required by USATF standards. Because of their earlier start time, the runners in the elite group had no knowledge of the outstanding race Arien was running and could not adjust their strategies accordingly.

Learning from the unique experience in this year’s race, Nike has decided today to eliminate the elite running group from future Nike Women's Marathons. Next year, all runners will run in the same group and all will be eligible to win.

Nike has a proven track record of supporting athletes and we’re proud to be able to honor Arien and other athletes who surpass their goals and achieve great accomplishments.

Thank you for contacting Nike.


It's not often that the right thing is done by anyone. We should all celebrate this and commemerate it by making sure we do the right thing, and holding those accountable who don't.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You show up to race, you have the race of your life, you don't win when you're the fastest

Come on, Nike. Really you can do better. Really. Reminds me of the Howard Jones song "No One Is To Blame" where the line is "you're the fastet runner but you're not allowed to win".

Apparently, only the elite ever get to reap the benefits, no matter how undeserved.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Class Act

I'm a little late to the show on this one. Paul Lanier Newman has left the world, and I feel we've lost someone, something special and aren't aware of it yet. I've always liked Paul Newman. The first movie of his I remember seeing was The Sting. Most of his others followed.

Even in his less than popular movies, I always loved how Paul threw all he had into it. The characters he played were part of him somewhere, and you saw it. My father said once "any other actor could be half as talented and still be great", and it applied to to other facets of Paul's life.

Unless you've been under a rock since the precambrian era, you probably have heard of Newman's Own dressings and sauces. I remember the first time I heard about it, and the first commercials aired where I grew up. In fact, he did commercials for Nissan encouraging people to use seatbelts. The local Albany and NYC stations aired them all the time, and sometimes, Paul would be wearing the same thing in both.

The reason was that he was at Lime Rock Park raceway, a tough road racing track in northwest CT near Lakeville. Many commercials were shot between heats or after races. It was neat to see him in his driving suit with cars going by in the background.

The fact that Paul was racing cars made him cool to me, but the fact he won a national championship driving a supposedly obsolete Triumph TR6 and beat the new model TR7, well, that made him a hero to me. That's because my father raced a Triumph, and later on I raced them, too.

But the biggest thing that tells me the class Paul Newman had was the fact he never called attention to his achievements. When he won the national championship in 1977 he said "screw the Oscars, this is better", or something to that effect, depending on who you ask. How many of us truly know how many children and adults his programs have helped? What is the impact on society?

Paul Newman was like a black tux. Always classy, elegant, stylish. Quiet dignity. The world needs more like him.