Posts Tagged ‘press conference’

I can hear Ol’ Blue Eyes now, belting out “New York, New York.”

Enter Frank Sinatra’s Big Apple theme music… “Start spreading the news…”

Heck, if Frank Sinatra was alive, even he might have attended the Tim Tebow press conference announcing he had signed with the New York Jets, and greeted him with his own rendition of the song.

After all, contrary to critic belief, this was a press conference that was well-deserved and needed to be held for arguably the most mesmerizing athlete in the world.

Here’s why…

In 1994, Spring Training had never been like it was that year. Probably never has been since then.

The buzz was incredible, even outside of Sarasota, Florida.

No, it wasn’t because of the 1993 No. 1 draft pick Alex Rodriguez.

It was all because of someone who was headed to Double-A ball. Can you imagine that? Who in their right mind could draw 38 television cameras, and even more than that for print, for his first press conference as the member of an MLB-organization, despite being no better than a Single-A player, as it would turn out?

Not a team, not a new MLB coach and not the No. 1 draft choice from the previous draft.

Michael Jeffrey Jordan was going to try his hand as a baseball player, and held his first press conference at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., before hoards of media.

The press conference had nothing to do with talent on the field, ahem, limited talent. It had to do with the phenomenon, which on March 31, 1994, joined the Birmingham Barons, to play under then-manager Terry Francona.

Since when did a Double-A player deserve to receive this much attention? Even then-White Sox hitting coach Walt Hriniak thought it was a gimmick, revved up by Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

I really can’t remember how many others thought it might have been a gimmick, and berated Jordan for the decision to step on the diamond, but I don’t remember media outlets and personalities clamoring about the press conference to announce the decision, or introduce him as a Birmingham Baron.

It wasn’t the point, that the team held a press conference for a new player on its Double-A team. It was the point of what was about to happen to the city of Birmingham. It was too big a deal to ignore it, because of the stature of the person who was about to arrive, and increase revenue to the city, not to mention the Southern League and Major League Baseball.

Now, recently on ESPN’s First Take, outspoken Skip Bayless and boisterous guest Stephen A. Smith debated whether or not Tim Tebow was the ‘most polarizing athlete in history.’ My first thought before the two debated was Muhammad Ali. Bayless argued Tebow was; Smith debated Ali was ahead of him.

He’s that mesmerizing, no doubt about it. He could walk into any arena or venue, for any sport, and captivate an audience. Heck, in an effort for some last-ditch sales, Reebok quickly designed Jets jerseys donning the name ‘Tebow’ and the No. 15. I say “last-ditch” because Nike is about to release its design for its new NFL uniforms, as it now has the contract for all apparel.

Reebok knows what’s up. And quite frankly, if you’re arguing that a backup quarterback shouldn’t have a press conference for joining a team, then you should be barking about him having jerseys in masses.

Fact is, whether anyone likes it or not, this might have been the best marriage possible – Tebow and New York, the No. 1 sports market. Only 12 cities have teams from four major league sports, and New York is one of them. Of those 12, it ranks No. 1 in media market and it was the first of the 12 to host all four sports (NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL). And, the icing on the cake, it’s the ONLY city of the 12 that has two teams for each sport.

Now you bring in the No. 1 news story, the most-hyped up revelation in the NFL last season, arguably the best feel-good story in sports in years, and yeah, it calls for a press conference. I’d even go as far to say this one was warranted even more so than Jordan’s introductory press conference as a minor-league player in Double-A ball.

Tebow’s press conference was well-deserved. Not because he’s a quarterback, simply cause he’s coming to town, and is about to (enter Frank Sinatra music): “… make a brand new start of it, in old New York. (He’ll) find (he’s) A-Number 1, top of the list, king of the hill, A-Nummmberr 1. If (he) can make it there, (he’ll) make it anywhere.

“(Now), it up to you , New, York, Newww, Yorrrrk!”