Allow myself to introduce... myself!" This is perhaps the greatest greeting ever uttered. Of course it came from a fictitious character playing an over-the-top British Spy in a wacky comedy... but still.
Introductions speak volumes. A flimsy, limp-wristed handshake sends a certain message. A firm grip with solid, but not awkward, eye contact is preferred in America.
We can expand this beyond personal greetings into other areas and eventually sports.
Seinfeld rocked the ratings for NBC over the span of nine seasons. It anchored NBC's "Must See TV" Thursday night lineup during most of the 90s.
For years, NBC fired blanks trying to launch a sitcom off the heels of Seinfeld's success. The list of stinkers NBC trotted out in the 8:30pm time slot following Seinfeld is pitiful. Fired Up, anyone?
So as important as intros are, they cannot satisfy the masses if they rate high on the sucktitude scale. But each show had a significant advantage by following a monster hit.
Take a look at this list for a minute: Judge Judy, Dr. Phil, Access Hollywood and The Dr. Oz Show.
This is the motley list of lead-in shows each of our local newscasts use. What can we deduce from having each show as an intro or lead-in if you will? What kind of introduction do they provide?
Players' introductions set the mood in an arena. Remember those Michael Jordan Bulls teams? The intro was phenomenal. Many organizations across the nation copied the lighting and music, but none could replicate the product once the lights went on.
Forget about the Tulsa Drillers for a second and just think about baseball in general. The intros are methodical. Is it a coincidence the ensuing "action" follows suit?
How about a 10-0 introduction to the college football season? The Oklahoma State Cowboys rank second in the nation for passing offense and scoring offense.
When the BCS formula vaulted the Pokes to second in the rankings the ensuing pressure engulfed them.
Every red-blooded American, especially those in our state, was shocked and saddened by the tragic Oklahoma State plane crash last week. However, we need to try and separate the football team and the life event.
This is different from the Penn State saga. In Pennsylvania, the football regime was at fault for the scandalous events. In Stillwater, the football squad had no direct ties to the untimely death of those on board the plane. There was no direct correlation between the tragic event and the game Friday night.
So the excuse of the Cowboys losing because of the accident is just that, an excuse. Head Coach Mike Gundy once again failed to deliver on the biggest stage.
A fearless leader would have rallied the troops. The emotions should have been refocused on winning a big game for a university in need of something, anything positive.
This is why we love sports. The narrative of a Cowboys victory would not have cleansed the hurt from the plane crash, but it would have given solace to group of college students and faculty wondering "why us again."
The start of the game raised expectations. A 24-7 lead in the third quarter seemed insurmountable for a subpar Iowa State team looking for a reason to quit.
However Gundy's team played soft and careless. The quarterback tossed the ball around like a Thanksgiving Day backyard two-hand touch affair. Running backs totted the pigskin like a loaf of bread. Don't even mention the defensive effort or lack thereof.
The play calling was horrific. Only 18 rushing attempts in a game you are winning late is unacceptable. So much for the greatest Bedlam matchup of all time.
Local Meet and Greet
Have you met the 2011 Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team? There is a lot to like. Suffice it to say, they are pretty good. They once again have a balanced offensive attack. This team is missing just two key ingredients: A vociferous home crowd and a little more respect from the national media.
The University of Tulsa hosts C-USA rival Houston this Friday at 11am at Chapman Stadium. The last big crowd to witness TU in action at home was back in 2009 when highly ranked Boise State came to town.
Will a top-ten ranked Houston squad motivate the local fan base? Can an 8-3 Hurricane team illicit excitement and turn it into a big home crowd advantage the day after turkeys are devoured?
As far as the respect card goes, allow me to explain. Fans, players and coaches should not beg for respect. Wins are more important than pining for love. If you do your job the accolades will follow.
But let's face facts. The majority of the national media is blinded by jerseys and names.
Take a look at TU's schedule and record compared to Notre Dame's. Both hold identical 8-3 records. A year ago, Tulsa marched into South Bend, Ind. and upset the Irish. But voters have Notre Dame as a top-25 team and TU gets a few measly, sympathy votes.
Hater gonna hate.
And since this is a column about introductions and not endings.
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