Monday, January 27, 2014

1284 Words We Dare Not Speak

A popular sports reality show soon makes its on appearance in East Rutherford New Jersey, a charming little borough in Bergen County the population of which rises by about 80-thousand on game days.

We would be in a bowl of super trouble if we mentioned the actual name of the event because the people who claim to own it guard it jealously. To make the point, they'd send over one of their lawyers -- probably the smallest one with the most expensive suit.  The smallest because it would take only three linebackers to surround him as bodyguards and who would glower menacingly at the trademark infringer.
Said lawyer would politely say he represented his “honor guard” and that its members would be rightly pleased if we were to cease and desist. Most anyone with at least one good eye probably would agree under those circumstances.

It's hard to use the phrase "intellectual property" and football in the same sentence... as it would be with any made for TV reality show. But that's what it is.

And there's no shortage of fans who will watch this thing on TV or even at Metlife Stadium.

You may notice that Metropolitan Life Insurance Company which owns the name "Metlife" doesn't send the lawyers running when someone uses the name without permission.

But sending a lawyer surrounded by Charlie Brown. Lucy, Linus and Snoopy wouldn't be nearly as intimidating as the linebackers.

Those trade name registrations eventually expire.  Hence it's no longer necessary to mention who owns the name "Kleenex" or the name "Aspirin." Same with Webster's Dictionary, Lanolin, Yo-Yo, Heroin and escalator.

But that you-know-what football game isn’t the only sports reality show to jealously guard its name, logo and place in -- speaking loosely -- history.

There also is a series of games to be played this winter in Sochi, Russia that doesn’t want its name bandied about.  This one we can actually name without fear that Vladimir Putin will make a personal appearance at our doorstep, brandish an AK-47 and remind us to watch out.

The olympic games are an even bigger television “event” than… that other thing.

And this year, gazillions of people will tune in to watch sports they never think about… curling, speed skating, luge, ice fishing and the polar bear swim.

Well, no.  That’s not quite right.  They’ll be watching to see whether some terrorist will attack as threatened.

NBC needs a ratings boost, and this is a sure fire way to get one. It’s like giving advance notice of a pending 58 car pileup on the New Jersey Turnpike.  A flash mob gathering in Fort Lee before there’s anything at which to rubberneck.


--Speaking of intellectual property, famed gunslinger George Zimmerman is in trouble with the law again. This time, he didn’t kill anyone… he only produced a painting of the state attorney general who unsuccessfully prosecuted him, Angela Corey.  The Associated Press says it’s a direct copy of one of its stock photos.

--Police in Altoona PA say they have “deconstructed” a bomb belonging to a teenager from Russia attending a local college. So far, we don’t know what if anything he was going to attack.  But sources say it was the K-Mart down the street.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them.
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© WJR 2014


The Spectator said...

You may recall China's unsuccessful bid for the Olympics. We were there in 1994 after China was rejected and ate in the Five Rings Restaurant. I'm don't remember if it had the Olympic ring symbol on it or not. But it did take credit cards.

The Spectator said...

As for Zimmerman's painting, don't forget that AP filed a lawsuit over the Obama graphic and settled out of court, supposedly in its favor.

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