Sully's Blog

Sports + Media + Politics + Entertainment + Business

The annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner was held Saturday night and while I can’t say I missed it after attending the last three years, I did check out the replays on and peruse the tsunami of tweets from the Washington Hilton.

President Obama delivered plenty of good one-liners (shrewdly relying, as President Bush did, on self-deprecation) and got big laughs when he opened with a bit about needing the teleprompter “to speak from the heart.” Later, when announcing his plans for the second 100 days, President Obama said, “I will learn to go off the prompter and Joe Biden will learn to stay on the prompter.”



President Obama’s Support Will Reassure IOC Voters

Over the weekend, the White House Counsel’s Office issued a waiver to allow Senior Presidential Adviser Valerie Jarrett to lead White House efforts in support of the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid. This is a good thing.

Chicago is competing with Madrid, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro for the right to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. The winner will be announced on October 2 in Copenhagen, where an appearance by President Obama could deliver the knockout punch (as Tony Blair’s did for London’s winning 2012 bid back in ’05). Whether the President appears live or on video, Chicago appears to be well positioned. It has mounted a strong bid that reportedly impressed the IOC evaluation team when it visited in April... +Continue Reading


Sports + Media + Politics + Entertainment + Business

Here in Washington, the week was dominated by the commemoration Wednesday of President Obama’s 100th day in office. White House communicators know to expect the unexpected at the most inopportune times and not even the 100th Day was safe from intrusion. Swine flu (which should have been called H1N1 from the beginning) with added fuel in the form of VP Biden’s ill-conceived comments on the Today show, and the ill-advised Air Force One/State of Liberty photo op authorized by the White House Military Office without the knowledge of the West Wing, were uninvited distractions and interference.

A few more observations, albeit without benefit of all the inside information I used to have:


I am in sensory overload mode – flipping back and forth between Mavericks-Spurs Game 4 on TNT and NFL

Draft coverage on ESPN…while also monitoring NFL Network coverage on… all this after seeing Monsters vs. Aliens 3D for the second time earlier in the day. is making lots of video available from its NFL Network coverage, including player interviews in the “Ready for Primetime Presented by KFC” segment in which Deion Sanders chats up the newly minted NFL draftees who are on site in New York.

Here are my quick observations regarding the very favorable impression made by the top picks in their first interviews as NFL players and how effectively they drove a message or told a personal story:

Humility & Gratitude // Stafford Quick on His... +Continue Reading


Our pro teams fire so many head coaches and managers — nearly 40 in the past year alone — they really should be better at it. Take the Oklahoma City Thunder. Last November, the NBA team fired coach P.J. Carlesimo following an embarrassing 25-point home loss to the New Orleans Hornets that dropped the club to 1-12. Management made the announcement after midnight and after the team had left town for a rematch in New Orleans the next night.

I understand general manager Sam Presti’s frustration. It was another in a run of listless performances, this time in front of a Friday night sellout crowd and a national ESPN audience. And getting run out of the Ford Center with such a woeful effort had to hurt more at the hands of the Hornets, the sweethearts of Oklahoma City following... +Continue Reading


LeBron James got the Steve Kroft treatment on CBS’ “60 Minutes” last night - and sailed through it as smoothly as he did the  Dallas Mavericks’ defense Sunday afternoon.

Here are the three reasons why I think  LeBron nailed it like a wide-open jumper… and the one time he dribbled it off his foot:

  • He showed humility:  ”I think team first,” he said.  ”I’m always thinking about how I can help my teammates get better.”  And when Kroft asked why he had never gotten in trouble, despite growing up in some of Akron’s toughest neighborhoods, James went with always reliable God and mom combo:  ”The man above and my mother just led me in the right direction, ”  James said, adding that his mom “gets all the credit in the world for making me the man who I am today.”
  • ... +Continue Reading


Help for the Twitter-Challenged…Chris Paul’s marketing rep on LeBron…USA Today gets best story ideas from bloggers…

Today I participated in the 6th Annual Sports Event Marketing Experience – a two-day conference sponsored by Georgetown and held this year at the Nationals Park Conference Center. Matt Winkler and his team from Georgetown once again assembled an impressive lineup of speakers. Here are a few highlights from an interesting day:

From the panel on The Changing Role of News and Social Media in Sports:

• Octagon’s* Jim DeLorenzo offered hope to all of us Twitter newbies who are trying to figure out how to manage the tsunami of information out there. He described Octagon’s Twackle (, which organizes... +Continue Reading


Here’s my take on the debate over whether President Obama should have gone on ESPN to fill out his NCAA tournament bracket and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. For the White House message team, there is great value in showing the President doing what the American people are doing at a given time of year – back to school, July 4th picnic, baseball opening day, etc.

At a time when millions of Americans have swiped work time to organize tournament office pools, do research, fill out their brackets and of course, watch games online until their boss walks in…it’s okay – even during the economic crisis – for the President to fill out a bracket. It connects him with lots of Americans – even if Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and fans of teams he didn’t pick – are not among them... +Continue Reading


Generally, A-Rod did very well under tough circumstances and as long as no contradicting information comes to light, he accomplished his goal of putting this behind him – at least in terms of legitimately being able to say he has addressed it and decline further questions on this topic. (The hot pursuit of the unnamed cousin I’m sure has already begun).

He answered the questions regarding the how, what and where details in a fairly satistfying way. He took more than 25 questions and generally was candid and open. His emotion about his teammates seemed genuine.

The Taylor Hooton Foundation partnership is smart and I’m sure, sincere. More details and emphasis on that would have been helpful.

Two points could have been made more effectively. When asked if it was... +Continue Reading


So no cabinet seat for the nominee to be new drug czar – Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske…helps that teen drug use dropped 25% under President Bush – but still odd given Mexico violence…Director John Walters had turned the office’s attention to teen abuse of prescription drugs…hopefully the new guy can maintain the progress and accomplishments of last eight years…

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