OMG! They’re coming back…

Pandemonium broke out in our house this morning.  My poor husband was wondering what all the commotion was about.  Last night, Tommy Hobson (AKA: Shout) posted on his Twitter account that the Fresh Beat Band would have a major announcement on Tuesday morning at 7am.  So while I was making Lauren’s lunch for school, I had the iPad out checking Twitter for the big announcement.  At 7:03am, Tommy Hobson posts that the Fresh Beat Band are doing a Fall Tour.  OMG! Of course, I dropped what I was doing to see if they were coming back to the Bay Area.  After scrolling through 3 pages of dates, there it is.  FBB is coming to San Jose and San Francisco.  Whoo hooo.  Lauren and I started to dance and yell out.

Ever since we went to the concert in Cupertino in February, Lauren has been asking almost on a daily basis, when are the Fresh Beats coming back and can we go see them.  I even went so far and looked into tickets for shows in Orlando knowing we could visit the grandparents.  But as many parents have found out, Fresh Beat Band tickets are hard to come by.  I have read several articles that even the creators of the show; Scott Kraft and Nadine van der Velde had a hard time getting tickets.  I figured we were just lucky that we got to see the show in the first place.  But now they are coming back.  Whoo Hoo!

I had a bit of a dilemma. The weekend the Fresh Beat are going to be back in the Bay Area in November, is also the weekend of The Formula One Grand Prix of the USA in Austin, TX.  I am a huge F1 fan and have been trying to convince my husband to get tickets and have us go for my birthday.  Now would I have to choose between F1 and Fresh Beats?  Talking to my husband, he let me know that we are NOT going to Austin for the Grand Prix so now I didn’t need to choose.

For parents, like me who will be burning up the internet trying to get tickets when they go on sale, here are some things you should know.  Here is a link to my revue of February’s concert in Cupertino. The VIP tickets are well worth the price.  You are seated in the first 10 rows of the venue.  You then get to attend an after party where there is cool stuff to do and nice snacks.  The Fresh Beat Dancers come out and teach an 8-16 count of “Great Day” to the kids (and parents.)  The Fresh Beats then come out where they do a meet and greet with each kid.  You get to also take a picture with them.  You also get a really cool poster.  There are no autographs.  So keep that in mind, if you are doing the VIP experience.

I have let Lauren know there is no guarantee that I am going to get tickets when they go on sale.  I will be competing with the thousands of other parents trying to do the same.  I just hope we do.  It’s not just Lauren who really wants to see them again.  I do too.

 

Fresh Beat Band Concert Review

Marina, Shout, Lauren, Kiki and Twist

My daughter is a huge Fresh Beat Band fan. If you are not sure who they are, check out Nickelodeon or Nick Jr sometime. They are a pop band that does a kid show. The good thing about the show is that they don’t talk down to kids and give them a real love for music. I have become a fan of them myself.

When I heard the Fresh Beats were going on tour, I knew I had to get tickets. So in November, I logged into Ticketmaster, forked over $240 for two VIP tickets. It is a lot of money but I knew it would be an experience that my little one would never forget.

The concert was Friday at the Flint Center in Cupertino. We arrived about 45 minutes before the start of the concert. I spent another $60 for two t-shirts and a glow wand. (Mommy can’t say no!) We had to stand in line for our VIP package wristband. The VIP package gave us posters, laminated VIP cards and the opportunity to meet the band and get a picture after the concert. Once we got our wrist bands, it was off to our seats. FRONT ROW!!! We sat in the very front row just right of center. I was worried when I got the tickets that we would be too close to the stage for Lauren to see anything. Not the case. There was at least five feet from our seats to the stage. Plenty of room for all the little ones to get up and dance.

The concert was supposed to start at 6:30pm but the Fresh Beats didn’t take the stage till about 6:45p. Plenty of time for all the little ones to work themselves into a frenzy. The curtain opened and the opening theme song with no lyrics started. The stage was minimal. Just the band’s instruments set up on a riser toward the back of the stage, giving plenty of room to dance in front. The band came out and sang the opening theme song from the show. They looked amazing.

The concert was good. Now to be a bit critical, the band was singing to taped tracks and sometimes they were lip syncing. Can’t blame them too much for the lip syncing. They spent the whole concert dancing. They played a good selection of songs from the CD, talked to the crowd. They did take a 15 minute intermission. This was good for my little one, since she danced nonstop for the first half of the show. The second half of the show was the big hits for them, like Rock Star, Here We Go and then of course they closed the show with their signature show closing song, Great Day.

Lauren danced the whole time. The band was very interactive with the crowd. She was able to shake hands with Kiki and Twist.

After the show was over, the parents who forked over the big bucks for VIP tickets were ushered into a patio area. All the parents were handed a letter tickets which they would call out for you to line up to get your picture taken with the band. It was very organized and assured the worried parents and kids that everyone would get a turn. They had water and snacks set out which were quickly grabbed up. There was a little play area with a floor piano and a tunnel structure for the kids to crawl around in. There were two craft areas, for kids to create their own silver “rock” stars to take home. There was a dress up area where you could try on rock star outfits, play blowup guitars and bang on some bongo drums. There was a DJ spinning Fresh Beat tunes if you hadn’t gotten enough of them at the concert. At the back of the patio area, they had a nice backdrop for the band to pose for pictures.

Once everyone was in, the Fresh Beat Dancers (who are amazing) came out and taught a little bit of the Great Day dance. Kids and parents joined in. Then the big event, out came the Fresh Beat Band. The DJ then called out the first letter to line up for pictures. Parents be warned if you are going, no autographs, and you will have to take the picture yourself. They do not allow staff to do it. They do allow enough time to the children to talk with the band then a picture.

We were one of the last groups to line up for pictures and were second to last in line. I was worried that the band was going to be tired by the time we got there but I was so wrong. Each band member greeted Lauren like she was a long lost friend. Lots of hugs and smiles. They asked her questions and engaged her into a whole conversation. Thank god, I remember to bring my video camera and had it rolling. They even spoke to me. Saying they saw me grooving along and singing (which I was.) Kiki got up and gave me a hug. It was just the sweetest experience ever. Lauren just glowed and I couldn’t stop smiling. We got an amazing picture to capture the moment. We left the picture area and stuck around to see the band leave. They got up and waved to people. Lauren remembered that she wanted to tell Kiki about learning to play the guitar. She ran back, passed the security line and right up to Kiki who got down to Lauren’s level and listen so intently to what she was saying. She looked genuinely touched that Lauren is learning guitar because of her. She gave her the biggest hug. Lauren floated for the rest of the night. In her words, “BEST NIGHT EVER!!” I agree. I had a really good time and was impressed on how compassionate and wonderful the band was with every child they came through the line.

The only downfall to this whole experience is now Lauren is going to expect every concert to be this wonderful. Front row, meet the band, get hugs and general love from the band. Not sure anyone is ever going to top that. So thank you, Kiki, Marina, Twist, Shout and the amazing dancers for giving my daughter and me a night that we will never forget. It was a Great Day!

On the hunt…

After taking some months off and dipping into the savings account, I have started to look for work again. It’s not going to be easy. I have been voluntarily out of work for almost a year. I loved not working. I finally got to bond with my daughter. Something I barely had time for when I was working 50 hours a week. My family as a whole is in a much better place but it’s time for Mommy to go back to work. Besides needing the money, I need to feel like I can contribute again. Doing stuff for my family is great and rewarding but there is something about doing the same thing at a job.

I really enjoyed being a journalist but did not like the journalist lifestyle. There is nothing better than breaking news, but as you know, breaking news happens 24/7 which means you are on call 24/7. I didn’t mind it at first but once I had a child it changed. I don’t want to explain to my daughter that I could not make her softball game because there was a triple homicide in Oakland that I had to stay at work for. Not great dinnertime conversation. When speaking to “up and coming journalists,” I tell them that being in journalism isn’t a job or career, but a lifestyle. You have to be willing to work odd hours, weekends and nights for little pay. Your family will never understand why you miss every holiday to work but it’s the nature of the business. It seems that I hit 35 and my love for the business was being trumped by my love for my family. Once I put my family first over my job, it was over for me in journalism. I am finding I am OK with that decision.

Now what do I do next. The logical place for me to go is PR. I did venture into PR back in the height of the dot-com craze. I did enjoy it and being able to work on a wide variety of clients. I think PR has changed since I was last working in it. When there were massive layoffs in journalism a couple of years back, lots of former journalist went into PR. Some succeeded while many others failed. I think many agencies are reluctant to hire a former journalist since they may have not had much success when they have done it in the past. It’s understandable. Journalists many times feel that PR is the dark side and don’t think very highly of PR people. Then they go into PR thinking they can do it so much better than everyone else and find out it’s a lot harder than it looks. So I am left in the quandary of applying for PR jobs and trying to convince an agency to take another chance on a former journalist.

I am not just applying for PR jobs. Being an assignment editor for so long, I know that I could make one heck of an administrative assistant. It’s almost exactly what I do as an assignment editor, minus the blaring police scanners and breaking news. It will be a big leap for a company but you never know.

The biggest hurdle for me is to convince someone to give a chance in a somewhat entry level position. If you look at my resume, I have over 20 years of experience. I think it scares some potential employers off. I might become bored in an entry level position. That is so not true. I want to start from the bottom and learn and work my way up. I have been doing TV news for so long that I need to learn something else.

So I am now updating my resume and trolling Craigslist, Indeed and LinkedIn hoping the right job will come along. So don’t be alarmed if my resume comes across your desk real soon. Take a chance and see what a former journalist has in her bag of tricks.

Where the hell I have been…

I stopped blogging a while back. Don’t exactly know why. Boredom, not finding the time or maybe the negative feedback I got from some so called friends about my “Facebook Friends” post. Whatever the reason, I really haven’t had much to say. I know me not having much to say is hard to believe but I really didn’t.
So what have I been doing with myself for the past few months? Well, first, I started to get my fat butt back into shape. I had a stern lecture from a doctor about my really high blood pressure (15/100) and being obese. Yes, I said it, I am obese. It wasn’t an easy thing for me to admit. In high school and college, I was the skinny girl all girls hated. I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain an ounce. Well, I hit 30, then had a kid at 36 and really stopped thinking about my body at all. I gained over 100 pounds! 100 Pounds!!!!! I weighed that in high school and now I was two times that weight, Ugh! I was a size 18 and had to settle for the clothes at Layne Bryant or what I could find in the Women’s section. I finally had enough. I didn’t want to be fat and I sure in hell didn’t want to die because my weight.
I got off the couch and first joined the YMCA. Due to my limitations with my bad ankle, I need to be in the pool. The Y was one of the few places that had an indoor pool. So I put my fat ass in a bathing suit (boy was that fun) and started taking water aerobics. After a couple of weeks of that, I lost four pounds. Next, I realized I needed to change the way I eat. So off to Weight Watchers. I did Weight Watchers around the time I got married without much luck. Thanks to technology, it is much easier to follow this time around.
Since October I have lost about 23 pounds. To my surprise, it was easier than I thought but I am also not working so I have the time to get to the gym. I have dropped about two dress sizes and now can buy some clothes in regular department stores. Trust me, if you have never shopped in plus sizes, there is not much of a selection. Most of it looks like it belongs on your grandma. So it’s nice to be able to buy some cute things.
I haven’t gotten rid of my old clothes. Part of me is afraid, I will get right back to where I was and the other part of me doesn’t want to waste money on new clothes since I do plan to lose more weight. So I am buying a few things to get by.
I am still struggling to get to the 25 pound mark. The holidays were tough and I wondered off the program a bit and grazed on everything in sight for about a week. Now I am back to try to lose another 20 pounds. My overall goal is to hit my target weight by my daughter’s birthday in June. It’s a long road but I need to do it, not only for me but for my family.
So that is what I have been doing. Oh yeah, I have started to job hunt again. But that is for another blog at another time.

Would you call your Facebook friends your true friends?

One of the advantages or disadvantages to having time on your hands is that you evaluate your life. I have had a lot of time on my hands. I have been recovering from ankle surgery and have very limited mobility. So I have been spending way too much time stuck on a couch with nothing but an iPad and daytime TV to entertain me. Trust me, daytime TV is so bad and there are only so many games of Scrabble I can play on the iPad.

But I digress. I started to think about my life and the 40 years I have had on this lovely planet. One of the biggest issues is my circle is friends or lack thereof. Now I know this is going to really piss some people off, but hear me out. What makes a friend? With today’s technology, people are able to have lots of “friends” with all the social networking sites. I have 258 “friends” on Facebook but, are they really my friends?
I define a friend as someone you call up to shoot the shit, talk about your day, family and life but also a person that you want to call when something good or bad happens in your life. You know that your friend will be there for you. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook. I have been able to reconnect with people from my old neighborhood and high school and see what they are up to. I am also able to stay connected with former co-workers and their lives. But I am not sure I would call my “Facebook Friends” as friends but more acquaintances. I am not calling them up to chit chat or emailing them and I can’t remember the last time I went to lunch with one of them. It’s not like any of them are doing the same.

When it comes to friends, I am just very unlucky in that department. I have had friends over the years but due to circumstances that either I caused or they caused, we are no longer friends. You know the women who are attracted to men who are just not right for them, well, that is me when it comes to friends, especially women friends. I know that I can place some of the blame on myself. I am not the easiest person in the world to get along with (just ask my husband.) I am opinionated to a fault; I can be loud and sometimes lazy. Not traits that someone would not write down when they say what they are looking for in a friend. I have also made poor choices in where I lay my loyalty when it comes to friends. Over the years, I have lost childhood friends due to not being “cool” enough to be in there click. In high school, I had some really good friends but as the years went by, we just grew apart and out of touch. In college, I had some great friends but again, we grew apart. Now keep in mind you younger ones, email and the internet were not around at the time so staying in touch meant talking on the phone and write letters you actually had to mail.

After college, I drifted from groups of people but never really feeling like I was part of the group. I did eventually find one so called friend. She was older than me but we really seemed to get along. Looking back on it now, I realized how toxic the relationship was. She kept me around to do her dirty work and treat like crap. But I was so desperate for a friend that I looked past all of it. It wasn’t till another person emailed me a chatroom conversation that I realized how toxic it was. This so called friend was in a chatroom bashing me to anyone who would listen and telling them how stupid I was that I had no idea that she hated me so much. Wow! That really hurt. Sometimes women can be so mean.

Since then I have maybe had one other friend but that too ended. Not sure exactly why, she just stopped calling and emailing me and I would only hear from her when she needed something. I took this one especially hard. My poor husband had to listen to me cry and cry over it. I couldn’t understand why this person just dropped out of my life. I think losing a friend is almost as bad as a romantic relationship ending. It leaves you empty and very bitter. Since then I really can’t say I have any friends. I have a great family who I can call at any time and they will be there but can’t say the same for anyone outside the family.

Now I know my 258 “Facebook Friends” are going to take issue with this. I am not saying this to bash them. I am trying to evaluate if “friends” on Facebook really constitute being a true friend. It’s fun to see pictures of their kids and read their opinions on things. I enjoy finding out about their lives but when is the last time you really spent some quality time with your “Facebook friends?” I know I haven’t. Social media might be changing the definition of “friend.” I might just need to catch up with the times.

Stop taking advantage of job seekers

I have been on the job hunt for about two months now and it has been a frustrating process. I spend about half my day, trolling job posting websites, Craigslist and LinkedIn looking for a job. I have applied to over 25 companies. I have heard back from some, others I just get that nice automated response “thank you for applying.” I have had several interviews. Some have gone well and some not so well.

My most frustrating aspect is that people take advantage that I am looking for work to use me for some free advice. Here is the scenario. In four different job interviews now, two with companies and two with PR agencies, I have been brought in on the disguise of an interview when all they really wanted to do was run PR pitches by me. They were asking my opinions on how the pitches were crafted and if I would change anything. Of course I offer up my suggestions and how I might tweak it. One company had me meet with five different people from their Marketing office to run all different type of pitches by me. I was there for over 3 ½ hours. I played ball and offered up my advice hoping it might lead to a job offer. The very next day, the company posted a news release with almost an exact duplicate word for word of what I suggested they do. At first I was proud they used my advice but after a couple weeks of not hearing from them, I started to feel used. Three weeks later, I received a call from the HR representative of said company saying they were going “another direction” and thanked me for my time. Boy, did I get used on that one.

I would be fine if that happened just once but I have had it happen at two other interviews. PR agencies who told me they were looking for account executives and then had me rework pitches and press releases that I see a week later being sent out. If you need help, I will come in on a freelance basis and charge $45 an hour. Both of those companies didn’t even have the courtesy to call me and tell me they were hiring me. They just don’t return my calls or emails.

My latest interview was a doosey. It was for a company looking to add someone to the PR team. I was told to be at the interview at 10am. I arrived at 9:45am to no one at the company. At first I thought, did I get the day and time wrong? Am I in the right place? I called my contact that set up the interview (she was a contract HR person who worked from her home.) She told me she confirmed the interview and they location but didn’t know why no one was at the office. She called me back 10 minutes later to say they were on the way and would be there soon. At 10:15am, the PR team arrives with Starbucks in hand. They never apologized for being late. The interview was your custom interview until I got a chance to ask questions. I always ask in an interview, what do you like about working here and what do you wish you could change. I am always surprised in the responses I get but I never expected what I got from this group. It turned into a 20 minute bitch fest on how much the company sucks and how they treat the PR team like crap. Here were three bitter people who hated their jobs and they were trying to sell me on coming to work for their company. No thank you. I ended the interview as fast as I could and got out of there. There is no way I want to work there.

I need a job. I want a job. I want to feel productive again. I am like thousands of people looking for work and it’s just a sad state that some companies will take advantage of people. Even sadder is that these people including myself really need a job and will put up with the BS that these companies are dealing out.

So I continue on with my search. I have signed up with a temp company hoping they can get me some temp work. Hope they come through soon. In the meantime, you can find me trolling Indeed and LinkedIn for jobs.

Best Show on TV Right Now

I have been at a loss on what to write about lately.  Since I am not working and not really doing much, it seems I don’t have much to talk about.  People who know me are laughing right now because it is very rare that I don’t have an opinion to offer.  Much of my life right now centers on finding a job, taking care of my family and watching a lot of TV.  So not to bore you with the details of the family life, let’s talk TV.

I am by nature a big TV watching.  Working in TV news for over 20 years, it is habit that I want to keep up with what is going on in the world.  I watch a lot of news both locally and national.   I also try to keep up on pop culture but watching other shows.  I watch American Idol, plan to watch The Voice.   I do it to stay updated and sometime watch other reality TV shows just so I know the names and faces.

My favorite show on TV right now is Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.  It’s on HBO and for me well worth the subscription price for the show.  It’s a news magazine show centered on sports.  Think “60 Minutes” but all about sports and they can swear.  Bryant Gumbel and his team of some of the best journalists out there, each month turn out good, thought provoking stories about the world of sports.  These are the stories you don’t see on ESPN and Comcast Sports.   Stories on NFL brain injuries, the use and possession of guns by pro-athletes, good in depth profiles on some of the top names in sports.  All of the stories are well written, well shot and balanced so that you always feel that both sides of the stories have been told.

Most recently, Real Sports dedicated a whole hour to the state of college sports.  Should college athletes be compensated besides an education for playing at a university? It was the best hour on TV.  They had a panel of sportswriters, college coaches and college athletic directors in a very heated discussion.  I was so caught up in the debate, I found myself yelling at the TV on several occasions.  The conclusion of the show was that college athletics are in big trouble and the NCAA needs to get with the times to change things.

Real Sports reminds me of the days of real journalism.  Stories about issues that people care about.  They are told in a fair and balanced way that both sides are told and it’s up to the viewer to decide which side they take.  Today many news shows and sports shows are so tabloid.  The motto is “Get it first, instead of Get it Right.”   How many reputations have to be destroyed because news management is more concerned on being first than getting the facts straight?

If you have HBO, I recommend setting up the DVR and watching it.  If you don’t get HBO, it is well worth the extra money a month to be able to watch the show. You can check out the website: http://www.hbo.com/real-sports-with-bryant-gumbel/index.html

Seven Weeks

It’s been seven weeks since I quit my job. Seven weeks to get back on track. I think I have accomplished a lot in those seven weeks. First, I am not so stressed out anymore. I have some stress that I might not find another job anytime soon, but not as stressed as I was.
I have started to lose some weight. When you become and mom and also work full-time, taking care of yourself becomes the last priority in your life. I put weight on but never seemed to find the time to work out or even eat better. Now I am using my Zumba program for the Kinect on Xbox and loving it. I am making better food choices and just over all feel better. I finally went to the doctor about my ankle pain and do rehab twice a week to fix the tendonitis I developed. I realize to be the best mom and wife I can be, I need to make myself a priority.

My relationship with my daughter has gotten better. When I had Lauren, I was working weekends at a TV station. I was home for four months after she was born before going back to work. I never felt that we really bonded like I have seen other parents with their kids. I know that my daughter has that bond with her Daddy but not so much with me. I was always working and never home to do things with her. Now I am. The whole family is doing things together, something we were really lacking. It’s made my relationship with my daughter better and my marriage stronger.

My daughter is finally sleeping!!!! This is a huge one. As I talked about in a previous post, she never slept through the night. By me being home, I have been able to fully dedicate myself to her and helping her sleep through the night. It was a long month of hits and misses but I think we have finally turned the corner. She has slept through the night for five straight nights. This is something she has NEVER done. I haven’t had this much sleep since she was born. I am going to keep encouraging her till we have a whole month of not getting up.

I have started my job hunt. I am ready to go back to work. I want to contribute again. I have put some feelers out about going back to TV without much luck. I know I am a good assignment editor but it seems that the TV stations do not need any desk people right now. TV will always be my first love but I also know that it may be time to move on.

I have applied for some PR jobs. Probably the most frustrating aspect is applying for these jobs are never knowing if your resume was ever seen by a human. Everything is automated and if you don’t have the key words the computer is looking for, your resume ends up in the trash before a human could even see it.
The other frustration is being turned down for being too experienced or not having enough. I have over 17 years of journalism experience and 2 years of PR experience. I am over qualified for entry level PR jobs and don’t have enough experience for management positions in PR. I would prefer to take an entry level job. Even though I have PR experience, so much has changed on how PR is done since I was in the business in 1999. I want the chance to learn and contribute to a company or agency. I hate when I do talk to someone about an opening that they tell me I might be bored with the job because I am overqualified. Sometimes, I think that is the nice way for them to say, we think you are too old.

I think the biggest thing that corporate and agency PR are overlooking is video. Companies need to have a good reel of b-roll they can offer up to journalists. Even print journalists are now doing some video for their publications website. I don’t know how many times in the past 2 years, I have booked a CEO of a company and then asked to you have any b-roll you can send over. I get one of two answers, no we don’t have any or yes but it’s not updated. Unacceptable. TV stations and publications are working with a minimal staff now a days and most of the time do not have the staff to send someone over to shoot some b-roll of the company. You will end up with a better story if you provide the journalist with all the possible elements they may need. This is where my expertise could help a company.

So I drudge on. I spend my days checking LinkedIn, Indeed and Craigslist for jobs, hoping that I will find something soon. It will happen.

Lottery Fever!

Lottery fever is happening. Mega Millions is at $312 million and Super Lotto is at $17 million. I play the lottery on occasion. Most I have ever won was $1000 on Lotto when I was in college. When the numbers get as high as they are this week, it’s very tempting to play. I know my chances are winning are less than getting hit by lightning, but a girl can dream.

What if I won…? What would I do with all that money? First, I wouldn’t have to look for a job anymore or ever again. That would be nice. Pay off all the bills and finally buy a house. Dreams that only money can buy.

But money can bring problems to. As Biggie said, “Mo Money, Mo Problem.” First you have to deal with the onslaught of media. It’s a great story for the media, instant millionaire. I have been the person telling the reporter go out and find out who won all that money. Of course, once your name is out there, every person you ever knew, or wanted to know will start calling looking for a hand out. You have to isolate yourself. You can elect for your name not to be released by the lottery, but in this day of Twitter and Facebook, it is really hard to keep something like that a secret for long.

You would also have to invest that money wisely. Statistics show that over 1/3 of people who win the lottery will file for bankruptcy. It also shows, that divorce rate among those who win is higher than the national average. Those are sad odds. People also don’t understand the tax situation for winning. First, you are not winning that lump sum. First you have to choose, whether to take payments from the state which will equal out to the lump sum over 20 years or opt for the one time lump sum payment which is about half of the advertised winnings. Once you have figured that out, you have taxes to pay. The federal government and state both take their cut, so now you have less than half of the payout left. So really you maybe end up with 1/8 or 1/16th of the advertised winnings.
With all that said, it’s would nice problems to have. Some money is better than no money.

So best of luck to everyone today. I will be buying my tickets too. A girl’s gotta dream.

March Madness

It’s March Madness time. Time when normal TV goes away (except for American Idol and Survivor) and NCAA College hoops dominates the airwaves. I am not a big basketball fan but I love March Madness. There is something about it that sucks me in. I think it has to do with the possibility of some underdog small school beating out a juggernaut power house school. There is one every year. Who doesn’t love a good underdog story, except maybe the team who gets beat by the Cinderella team.

As an alum and fan of Fresno State, I know what it’s like to be one of the Cinderella teams. In 2008, Fresno State came out of nowhere and won the National Championship for baseball. No one thought the Dogs had a chance in hell but they did it. It was awesome. I watched the game and screamed like a crazy woman when they won. I even watched the victory parade in Fresno on my laptop.

I wish college football would get with the times and start a playoff system. The BCS rankings leave no room for a sleeper of a team to win a National Championship. God forbid non-BCS schools like Boise State or Fresno to ever be considered in the top 4. I know that there are Billions of dollars at stake with all the bowl games but who really cares about CareCare, Bubba’s HotWings Bowl. The names are getting worse every year. It would be nice if they took the Top 30 teams in the nation determined by the AP, USA Today College Coach poll and the BCS mockery of a computer program combined and let them play. Last two standing play for the National Championship on New Year’s Day. No more college football after New Year’s Day. I liked it when I was nursing a hangover to settle in and watch the championship on New Year’s Day. Bring it back.

The NCAA has a real opportunity this year to get unbelievable TV ratings and generate real interest in college football. It will probably be the only thing in town while the NFL lockout grinds on. If you start a true playoff system like they use in College Basketball and baseball, the ratings, sponsorships and cash will pour in. People want to watch an underdog team like Princeton, Pacifica or Fresno State beat a juggernaut like Alabama or LSU. Look at the ratings of Boise State games. People want to see the little guys win. Go Cinderella Teams!!!

On a side note, the Fresno State Women’s hoops team won the WAC Championship and take on North Carolina on Saturday in the Women’s Tourney. Here to hoping another Cinderella team winning! Go Dogs!

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