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Sunday, May 4, 2008

I Couldn't Help But Notice Your Product Hasn't Been Endorsed By Anyone Yet

My specially designed Tiger Woods TAG Heuer watch read 11:45 a.m. yesterday when I got back from the practice range. After washing up and shaving with my favorite Tiger Woods Gillette Champions razor and getting in a few rounds of EA Sports' Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08, I picked up the copy of Golf Digest on my coffee table—the one with my ad for TLC Laser Eye Centers. What caught my attention, however, was an advertisement on the adjoining page for your product, Pine-Sol.

Call me crazy, but it looks like you're lacking a big-time celebrity endorser. Yes, you have that sassy fat black woman who appears in commercials and print ads, but she's hardly a celebrity. I'm talking about someone with name recognition. Maybe even someone who's won, say, 64 professional golf tournaments, 13 major championships, and has been named PGA Tour Player of the Year nine times? Your lady may be funny, but is she the most marketable athlete in the world with a supermodel wife, a new baby girl, millions in the bank, multiracial appeal, and a great goddamn smile?

No.

Even now, I just can't stop thinking about how foolish you've been for never approaching me about endorsing Pine-Sol. Is it the money that concerns you? Because let me tell you something: When you are dealing with a Tiger Woods endorsement, money should be the last thing on your mind. What you should be thinking is how, with my face on every container, we are going to move more Pine-Sol than you ever thought possible.

Look, when you get Tiger Woods, you're getting Tiger Woods—the guy who made it cool for kids to want to play golf, for Christ's sake.

Bottom line, you need me, and I'm ready to break into the domestic-products arena. Despite my work with Accenture, many people still think of me as cold and calculated. A couple of Pine-Sol ads where my mom shows me how easy it is to clean my bathroom ("Oh Mom, you're embarrassing me!"—you know, that kind of crap) and we're all set.

But if you don't move on this fast, tomorrow I'm all over the TV with my new Tiger Woods–strength Lysol Wipes. Think about it.

Plain and simple, I would do an excellent job endorsing Pine-Sol. You know it, I know it, the makers of the all-new Gatorade Tiger most certainly know it. A high quality, all-purpose cleaner such as Pine-Sol deserves an endorser who is an ultra competitor—someone who will go to the mat for you no matter what. No way I'm going to half-ass it like Roger Federer or David Beckham would.

See, Tiger Woods likes to get his hands dirty. As your front man, I would work day and night with your scientists to create an all-purpose cleaning formula worthy of the Tiger Woods name. We'll call it "Tiger-Sol" and it will come in a variety of pleasing scents, including Tiger-Berry, Tiger-Apple, Tiger-Peach, Lemon-Tiger—you get the picture. And when Tiger-Sol hits stores, those other bush-league cleaners will have no business even being on the same shelves, let alone trying to make the same bathroom sink sparkle.

I can do it all. Humorous commercials where I'm putting for the U.S. Open championship in my bathtub and I notice there's grime between my ball and the drain that will force the putt off-line. How do I get rid of the grime? Pine-Sol. I sink the putt, the gallery in my bathroom goes crazy, I do one of my signature fist pumps, and you just sold 3 million bottles of Pine-Sol.

Then we move into more artsy commercials where I'm hitting golf balls in slow motion in the rain and my voice-over comes in and says, "Pine-Sol." And for prime-time TV, we'll do one of those mass-appeal commercials where I clean a kitchen with Asian, white, and black kids. We all laugh and start splashing each other, and I get hit on the cheek with a big wad of soap suds. I make my upset face and there's a pause, because all the kids think I'm going to get angry, but I don't. I laugh it off because I'm Tiger Woods and America loves me.

Within a week you'll have kids demanding their parents buy Pine-Sol because Tiger Woods just made cleaning the house awesome. They'll associate your product with 400-yard drives, and being handsome, fit, and effortlessly charming. Then they're hooked on Pine-Sol from the age of 5 until the day they die.

In the end, this is all very simple. Basically, what you have to ask yourself, Pine-Sol, is do you want to make half a billion dollars today or not? That's it. And if there's still any doubt in your mind, think about this: If I've convinced an entire populace that I drive a fucking Buick, I can sure as shit sell a bottle of Pine-Sol.

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Aikman, Cannon, Holtz head for College Football Hall of Fame

NEW YORK (AP) -- Lou Holtz, Billy Cannon and Troy Aikman were among 15 former players and coaches elected Thursday to the College Football Hall of Fame.

"When I first heard I was going into the Hall of Fame, I went "Wow! Wow! How'd this happen?" Holtz said during a National Football Foundation news conference.

Holtz coached six schools to 249 victories in a career that spanned more than 35 years. He won a national title with Notre Dame in 1988.

Cannon played tailback and defensive back for LSU from 1957-59, winning the Heisman Trophy his senior year. This is the second time he's been elected to the Hall of Fame. In the early 1980s, he was voted in -- but the invitation was rescinded after he was arrested on federal counterfeiting charges.

Cannon pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison in 1983. He served 21/2. He's been working as a dentist at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola for the past 13 years.

Cannon told The Associated Press in a phone interview Thursday he was "tickled and happy" to be voted into the Hall again.

The other 11 players chosen by the NFF's selection committee were Virginia offensive tackle Jim Dombrowski; Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald; Florida linebacker Wilber Marshall; Washington State running back Ruben Mayes; Arizona State guard Randall McDaniel; Syracuse quarterback Don McPherson; Wyoming tight end Jay Novacek; Texas Tech split end Dave Parks; Florida State nose guard Ron Simmons; Oklahoma State running back Thurman Thomas, and Army quarterback Arnold Tucker.

Aikman started his college career at Oklahoma, then transferred to UCLA. After two stellar seasons (1987-88) with the Bruins, he was drafted first overall by the Dallas Cowboys.

Fitzgerald was a two-time winner of the Bednarik Award as the national defensive player of the year in 1995-96 and is entering his third season as coach at Northwestern.

"This will be the highest honor I can ever have awarded to me," Fitzgerald said at the news conference.

McPherson was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1987 to Notre Dame receiver Tim Brown.

"The game of football has given me more than I have given it," McPherson said.

John Cooper, who went 192-84-6 with Tulsa, Arizona State and Ohio State, was the other coach selected for induction.

The latest class will be inducted at the NFF banquet in New York in December and enshrined in the summer of 2009 at the Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Celtics rout Hawks in Game 7 to set up matchup with Cavs

BOSTON (AP) -- Kevin Garnett took a behind-the-back pass from Paul Pierce, slammed in the dunk to make the lead three dozen points and then slashed his hand across his throat to signal what the Atlanta Hawks already knew. "It's over," he told the crowd. The game. The series. The surprising little scare Atlanta put into the NBA's best.

Garnett had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Pierce scored 22 points, and the Celtics turned back the pesky Hawks with a 99-65 victory Sunday in Game 7 of their playoff series to advance to the second round.

Next up: LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game 1 is Tuesday night.

"They're a group that's defending Eastern Conference champs," Garnett said. "To do anything, you've got to go through them. "It's good that we have home-court advantage. I think it should be a good series."

The Celtics started the celebration early, holding the Hawks to 10 points in the second quarter and doubling their 18-point halftime lead in the third.

The fans yelled "We want Cleveland!"

The public address announcer explained how to buy tickets for the second round.

And, in the background, the new Boston Garden shook with Gladys Knight and the Pips singing that the Hawks were "Leaving on a Midnight Train" to Georgia.

"I wish we could have played all of our games in Atlanta," said coach Mike Woodson, whose team won all three home games but never came close to stealing one in Boston. "Nobody thought we had an opportunity to even win a game in this series. We battled them right to the end. We just didn't have it today."

Rajon Rondo, who missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the Game 6 loss that forced the series back to Boston, had 10 points and six assists, taking his lumps on a key play. Kendrick Perkins had 10 points and 10 rebounds before joining the rest of the starters on the bench in the formality of a fourth quarter, just like the Celtics did for much of the regular season.

Boston went 66-16 for the league's best record - 29 games better than the young Hawks team that earned the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The home-court advantage proved pivotal against an upstart team that fed off its own crowd but wilted on the road, losing four times by a total of 101 points.

"I really had no doubt in my mind how we were going to come out," Pierce said. "You kind of saw it from the guys after Game 6 on the plane, there wasn't a lot of talking. We knew that we let a couple of games get away in Atlanta and I knew we were just going to take care of business."

The skirmishes of the first six games boiled over with 9:09 left in the third quarter, with Boston already leading 51-28, when Rondo got the ball on a breakaway in the third quarter and had only Marvin Williams to beat.

The Hawks forward put an arm across his chest and took Rondo to the floor, where he lay for a few minutes while Celtics coaches and teammates checked on him. The officials immediately signaled a Flagrant 2 foul and, after reviewing the play, threw Williams out of the game.

"I saw it on TV and it did look pretty bad, so I can't argue that at all. I just want Rondo to know that I would never try to hurt him," said Williams, who called Rondo a friend since high school. "He knows the type of person I am. ... It was a physical series, but I have no bad blood with Rondo."

Boston coach Doc Rivers also vouched for Williams. "Two good kids playing hard," he said.

Woodson said it was just the latest in a series full of hard fouls, but he conceded that making the Celtics angry probably wasn't the best approach.

"This series has been so hard-fought, guys' bodies all over the floor," the Hawks coach said. "It probably did energize them some. But I don't think that was the difference in the ballgame. We struggled right from the start."

Rondo hit both free throws, the Celtics got the ball and Ray Allen, who hadn't made a basket since the first quarter, drained a 3-pointer to make it a 28-point game.

Then came showtime.

The Celtics brought out some fakes and behind-the-back passes straight out of the Harlem Globetrotters. Rondo found Garnett underneath for an emphatic dunk - and the menacing gesture that will surely earn Garnett a fine from the league office - with 3:05 left in the third.

A minute later, he got his payback, knocking Zaza Pachulia to the floor on a backcourt pick. Rivers, who earned his first playoff series coaching victory, took Garnett out of the game; he wasn't needed.

With 10:44 left in the game, Pierce and Rondo joined him on the bench. Pierce, who was fined for what the league called a "menacing gesture" in Game 3, was the only Celtics starter to play more than 30 minutes. Sub Leon Powe was the third-leading scorer, with 12 points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.

Notes:@ Williams, who was sore from a knee-on-knee collision with Pierce in Game 6, started. ... The Celtics are 18-5 in Game 7s, but they had not won one since beating Atlanta in the second round in 1988. Counting best-of-five and best-of-three series, Boston is 23-8 in deciding games. The Hawks franchise is 2-8 in seventh games and had not won one since 1961. They are 8-14 in decisive games overall. ... Allen was 2-for-11 in the first half, missing all four 3-pointers he tried. ... Atlanta scored 26 points in the first half, a record low for a Celtics opponent.

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

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Sources: Carlisle is front-runner for Mavs head coaching gig

Rick Carlisle wasn't just the first candidate to interview for the Dallas Mavericks' four-day-old coaching vacancy.

Carlisle has quickly established himself as the likely successor to Avery Johnson after being flown to Dallas for a second interview, according to NBA coaching sources.

"Things are going in a positive direction, but it's not going to be a quick deal," Donnie Nelson, the team's president of basketball operations, said Sunday, according to The Associated Press. "We've just got to be patient. We're both continuing to get information and looking forward to further dialogue."

Sources told ESPN.com that Carlisle met with Nelson on Thursday in Indianapolis and then traveled to Texas on Friday to meet directly with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. As part of Friday's agenda, sources said, Carlisle also had an introductory meeting with Mavs franchise forward Dirk Nowitzki.

Carlisle's NBA Career

A look at the professional coaching record of Rick Carlisle, who has reportedly emerged as the No. 1 candidate for the Mavericks head coaching job:

Regular Season
Year Team W-L Pct
2001-02 Pistons 50-32 .610
2002-03 Pistons 50-32 .610
2003-04 Pacers 61-21 .744
2004-05 Pacers 44-38 .537
2005-06 Pacers 41-41 .500
2006-07 Pacers 35-47 .427
Totals:
281-211 .571
Postseason
Year Team W-L Pct
2001-02 Pistons 4-6 .400
2002-03 Pistons 8-9 .471
2003-04 Pacers 10-6 .625
2004-05 Pacers 6-7 .462
2005-06 Pacers 2-4 .333
Totals:
30-32 .484

"We've had an extremely productive meeting with Rick," Nelson said Saturday. "He's got a wealth of basketball knowledge. We're very impressed with him, but the process is ongoing."

Multiple sources close to the process have described Carlisle as the Mavs' clear-cut No. 1 candidate, indicating that contract negotiations are already under way. It's also believed that Carlisle intends to bring two recent NBA head coaches to Dallas as assistants on his staff -- Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts -- but one team source insisted: "Nothing is done with anyone."

"I've had two great visits with Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson over the last couple of days," Carlisle told the Dallas Morning News. "This obviously is an impressive organization."

Cuban could not immediately be reached for comment.

ESPN.com reported Thursday that Nelson was Cuban's first choice to replace Johnson, but club sources say Nelson does not want to leave his personnel post and Cuban will not try to force Nelson to reconsider. In an interview Thursday with ESPN Radio's Dallas affiliate [KESN 103.3 FM], Nelson did not dispute the idea that the job would already be his if he wanted it but also insisted, "I think there's better candidates out there."

But Carlisle is the only one of five candidates on the Mavericks' A-list who is definitely available. And it appears Cuban is not inclined to wait to see if head coach Mike D'Antoni can extricate himself from Phoenix as expected or if Detroit elects to part company with Flip Saunders.

The only other name currently on Cuban's radar is Jeff Van Gundy, who, like Carlisle, has been working as an ESPN analyst this season. But Van Gundy insisted again Friday that he's "not interested in coaching anywhere [next season] due to family reasons." Van Gundy added that Dallas has not contacted him, although it is well known Cuban is a Van Gundy fan and vice versa.

If Carlisle does strike a deal with Cuban, questions will inevitably be raised about his coaching style and demeanor, which critics are bound to liken to the conservative, demanding Johnson. But Carlisle, 48, would also appear to offer the best blend of offensive and defensive pedigree after posting a record of 281-211 (.571) in stints at Detroit and Indiana. Mavericks management -- and Nowitzki -- have described that as a priority in recent days.

After serving as an offensive coordinator of sorts for Larry Bird with the Indiana Pacers during Bird's strong three-season stint as Pacers coach from 1997-98 through 1999-2000 -- which included a trip to the 2000 NBA Finals -- Carlisle won NBA Coach of the Year honors in his first season in Detroit in 2001-02. He posted consecutive 50-32 records before the Pistons replaced him with Larry Brown. Carlisle moved to the Pacers and went 61-21 in his first season before losing in the conference finals to Brown during Detroit's 2004 championship run. He then guided the Pacers to two more playoff bids in spite of seemingly constant off-court turmoil and injury which followed Indiana's infamous brawl in Detroit in November 2004.

Carlisle has also interviewed with the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks. The meeting with the Knicks and new team president Donnie Walsh -- Carlisle's former Indiana boss -- happened this week as well, according to a Friday report by the New York Post's Peter Vecsey. In Saturday's editions, Vecsey reported that Carlisle has already agreed to terms with the Mavericks, which Dallas disputes.

Ex-Knicks guard Mark Jackson, also an ESPN analyst, remains the consensus favorite to land the Knicks' job. Jackson has likewise interviewed with Chicago, but Johnson is expected to be summoned for interviews by both the Knicks and Bulls. ESPN.com also reported Friday that Chicago is the most likely landing spot for D'Antoni if he and the Suns do part ways.

Back in Dallas, this is the first time Cuban -- for all of his perceived volatility -- has fired a coach and the first time he's considering external candidates.

Cuban inherited Don Nelson as a coach when he assumed ownership control of the Mavs in January 2000 and ultimately gave Nelson two contract extensions after they hit it off in those first few months together. Cuban then targeted Johnson as Nelson's replacement when Johnson was still a player and assistant coach, repeatedly observing Johnson's ability to lead and motivate from his daily seat in close proximity to the Dallas bench. Don Nelson, furthermore, asked out more than he was pushed out in March 2005.

Yet it looks as though Cuban is prepared to move quicker than anyone expected, even though giving such a big job to someone he knows well -- as he generally likes to do in his businesses -- would only be possible this time if Donnie Nelson changed his mind and asked for his clipboard back.

Although he was once a hot-shot coaching prospect before his full-time move to the front office when Johnson took over as head coach, Nelson insists that's not an option.

"My job is to get the best guy that we can get out there," Donnie Nelson said in his radio interview. "I'm on the list. I'm just the last guy and hopefully it doesn't get to that. ... I'm saying we'd have to get through a very, very long list in order for [Donnie Nelson to coach the team] and don't look for it to happen."

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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