Sunday night marked our last home-cooked family dinner before the Arizona Wildcats season kicks off. Our daughter Charli was tasked with helping momma and dad — yes, Chuck can cook — make our traditional tortilla soup and cornbread.
Like many of you, our conversation centered around the important life and career of U.S. Sen. John McCain. The mood was laden with heavy hearts — and also joy — as our memories of Sen. McCain stretched over three decades.
Chuck reminisced about my 20-year-old giddy voice when I called him in Green Bay, where he was playing for the Packers, to tell him that I was starting my first gig working as an intern for the honorable senator. I feel blessed to have learned so much in his office, and proud that I married a guy who shares the same principles of integrity as our Sen. McCain did. At a young age, both men gave me the courage to follow my dreams while remembering to always make a positive difference in this world. Rest in peace, Sen. McCain.
In the biz
From Ohio State to LSU, Maryland, Louisville, Wisconsin and more, it’s been a busy month for brand clean-up in college athletics. This week, I was commiserating with a nationally recognized journalist as one of my clients was getting hammered by inaccuracies written by an online influencer piping in on the case.
My professional friend simply reminded me, “Our story is accurate — but because of Google, it isn’t trending anymore.” Sadly, he was right. Think about it: When you want to know something about someone, what do you do? You Google them. Whoever’s headline pops up first on Google is perceived to be keeper of the facts, and it doesn’t matter who penned the article. Thus, many legitimate stories are getting pushed to the bottom of searches and the person with the “clickbait” headline is at the top of the page. In a court of law, there is the presumption of innocence; in the court of public opinion, however, an uniformed mob mentality online is more and more in control of coaches and executives’ careers. Not everyone is guilty, but in the high-dollar sports world of sponsorships, advertisers and donors, it may not matter anymore. Employers must take into account how their program, franchise or school could potentially be dragged across the internet superhighway if they continue to employ or hire anyone with a reputation that has imploded online. It’s critical that sports stakeholders understand how to defend their reputations in real-time to balance the narrative. As of right now, many of them are getting crushed: Google 100, Accused 0.
Keep it local
Being a Tucson-raised girl, I try to support our local economy and the incredible people who spend their lives pouring back into our city. NYPD Pizza, located at 1521 N. Wilmot Road, was founded by former Arizona football player Mark Fontana, who decided to make Tucson his home after college. Smart move! Made fresh and in house every day, check it out if you’re craving a delicious, gooey slice. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Have a local business you want spotlighted? I would love to check it out. The yummy eatery was recommended to us by our friends, Melissa and John Fina. John played left tackle for the UA and with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.
Does it seem like your athlete is addicted to their phone or social media? Well, maybe they are. A study at the UCLA brain mapping center used fMRI scanners to look at the teenage brain on social media and what they found was certain regions of the brain — including the brain’s reward circuitry, which is particularly sensitive during adolescence — was getting lit up by social media engagement as if they were eating chocolate or winning the lottery. Who wouldn’t want to keep logging on? The good news is that you’re not crazy; the bad news is that our young people are subconsciously getting addicted. As a working mom of a 13-year-old, I understand there are many positive and negative aspects surrounding social media. The answer is not to kick them off platforms or devices, but to teach them healthy boundaries and safeguards surrounding screen time. Our kids’ brains are not fully developed; thus, it is a great first step to set reasonable and respectful rules and perhaps accountability contracts for kids when they get any device and subsequently hop onto social media.
Have questions about social media do’s and don’ts? Ping me at teamsm2.com.
I have to say it’s been fun to watch UA president Robert C. Robbins go grassroots on-campus. I honestly don’t ever remember a university president across the country being as accessible with students, faculty and staff as the current prez at Arizona. From hanging out in the student-sections at sporting events to helping moms and dads during move-in week and rolling his sleeves up to support faculty and staff, Dr. Robbins — or “Bobby,” as he’s asked Tucsonans to call him — has inadvertently become the heart and soul of the leadership on campus.