Shannon Paul, Social Media Maven, Named new Head Coach of Detroit Lions

shannon-paulIn a startling move that has taken the blogsphere by storm, Shannon Paul, Chief Social Media Goddess of the Detroit Red Wings, has just been named head coach of the floundering Detroit Lions football franchise.

William Clay Ford, owner of the team and descendant of iconic Henry Ford, decided on Ms. Paul after witnessing the spectacular success of Scott Monty, recently-appointed social media guru of Ford Motor Company.

“Scott single-handedly kept us from from bankruptcy, from taking the poison pill of federal bailout money; and he also crowd-designed all of our new hybird vehicles right from his blog-thingie. He Twitterized us out of a death spiral by creative use of these new-fangled socialized media gadgets. I figured if one social medium expert could turn around Ford, surely another could take on the greater challenge of making the Lions competitive.”

It was also revealed that Ms. Paul was found after being “friended” on Facebook by unnamed Lions front-office staff, who also vetted her qualifications using Google and StumbleUpon.

Ms. Paul wasted no time assembling a top-notch support staff, including hiring Geoff Livingston, renowned for offensive prowess, and luring away “Big” Jim Connolly as head of trackbacks. Gary Vaynerchuk will be leaving the Wine Library to be Chief Sideline Libation Engineer, as part of his training for eventually taking over the NY Jets. Connie Reece has agreed to come on board as chief archivist for the Lions Championship Museum, currently housed in a corner of Ken Burbary‘s closet. She also began immediate negotiations with fans and the UAW, both groups of which had threatened a permanent boycott of the Lions.

Local Detroit blogger Karen Swim was initially non-commital about the news, having been bypassed in favor of her cross-town rival Ms. Paul, until being unexpectedly named head coach of the Detroit Pistons. “My goodness!” said Ms. Swim, “I figured I might have a shot at the Tigers, but the Pistons have actually won a few things! That’s a slam dunk FTW on you, Paul Shannon!”

“What I’m really looking forward to is the upcoming blogger draft,” exclaimed Ms. Paul. “We’re going for 140 top characters! I’ve had my eye on some serious talent, like “PR” Sarah Evans for Eighthback,  Jason Falls for Tight End or Wide Receiver (depends on Twit2fit progress off-season), and Barefoot Exec for Punter. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re losing Steve Olenski to the Colts, who traded Peyton Manning and two FriendFeed accounts to be named later to get him.”

Reaction around the NFL was mixed. Apparently, Chris Brogan has been approached by the startup Boston Pirates franchise to serve as their new head of operations, but he replied with 15 Reasons Never to Hire a Freshly-Shorn Blogger. The New York Jets are in secret discussions with 5-year veteran blogger Paul Chaney, who is robo-twittering negotiation progress from Brett Favre’s living room.

Meanwhile, Guy Kawasaki, who first broke the news on Truemors, capitalized on the trend by launching SocMedCoaches.Alltop.com, a news item promptly re-tweeted by 21,544 of his devoted disciples.

The ROI of hiring social media mavens for positions of leadership with sports teams is yet unproven, as is the ROI for just about anything social media related. Your mileage may vary. However, we have it on good authority that those with the most followers are the most important and authoritative, and so should provide the best bang-for-the-blog when making hiring decisions.

Oh, and I have to mention Ann Handley, of course. Just because…

Happy 2009 to all!

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ABC, ESPN Sue Each Other for “Inane Infringement”

The traditional media world erupted into an “intellectual property food fight” today as sports network ESPN sued ABC for apparent infringement of its trade secrets.

Allegedly, a low-level staffer in ABC Sports hacked into the ESPN “dumbotron” sports figure interview teleprompter and made off with ESPN’s proprietary inane-answer algorithm for providing idiotic and vacuous answers for sports stars to use.

“We started hearing ‘our’ answers being given by important sports figures like Eli Manning, Alex Rodriguez, and even Elizabeth Cuthbert” (2005 Division IV-B Women’s Squash champion), according to ESPN President George Bodenheimer. “In fact, just last week, (former coach) Mike Shanahan said his team was going to ‘take it one game at a time,’ and that the season for the Denver Broncos was ‘one game long at this point.’ That ‘one game’ thingie is ours, and so is the phrase, ‘our best offense is a great offense’ which ABC shamelessly ripped off in an interview with (former) Detroit Lions coach Rod Marinelli last week.”

Chris BermanIn retaliation, ABC Sports counter-sued ESPN, claiming that its pool of shallow and purposeless interview questions was compromised through a devious plot by Chris Berman. “As much as I respect Chris, I just know he fed his fellow professional sportscasters our secret bank of questions such as, ‘How do you feel about winning against your former team today?’ and ‘What was it like out there?’” fumed George Bodenheimer, head of ABC Sports. “When that ditzy blonde chick asked LeBron, ‘Is winning against an inferior/superior opponent like (blank) a great feeling?’ it was a dead giveaway that they’d ripped us off big time.”

ABC lawyer Sam Berkowitz summed up the determination of the network to vanquish its rival by stating, “It’s all or nothing out there right now. We’re going to sue our hearts out and leave it all on the docket. This is our time, this is our courthouse, and we’re going to win it in the trenches. It’s going to be a team effort, and we’re going to take it to the next level.”

Mr. Bodenheimer appeared momentarily stunned in an interview when he was informed that ABC actually owns ESPN, and that he heads up both networks. “Heck, it’s a game of endurance, you know, and the best network is always the one that knows its opponent well. How do I feel about suing myself, and taking down 2 head coaches in the crossfire? Well, we got outplayed and outcoached out there. We’re just going to come back and sue another network next week. And…hey, that teleprompter’s out! Ummm…er…ah…no further comment…”

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