Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog

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October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!!

Filed under: Dear Diary,Holidays — Karen @ 9:03 pm

Happy Halloween!  I always have enjoyed Halloween– my two favorite holidays are Christmas and Halloween.  There is nothing like giving out treats and seeing the smile that it puts on people! :) 

I made some Halloween bags full of treats for the throwers– nothing too bad! :)  A little of something of each– and since I was a former thrower– I knew that anything that was chocolate was always good!  I also made something as well– the amazing mudbars!  I haven’t made them in a while and I was in a baking mood, so I made them for the track team.  They are easy to make, and here is the recipe!

So in closing, have a safe and wonderful Halloween– and have plenty of chocolate– there is always time to work it off tomorrow. :)

No.. this is not MY costume– but something that my Mom had wanted me to be ever since I was a little girl. Hmmmm– I am not sure if this will happen anytime soon! :D


October 29, 2006

Ben Roesthlisberger Case: Health Risk vs. Playing Football / Where to draw the line

Filed under: Crisis Management,News,Public Relations,Sports — Karen @ 11:54 am

Ben Roethlisberger year has been pretty tough so far.  Sure, he got to be on the Super Bowl team and get a BIG championship team– but he has had to overcome serious injuries.  Roethlisberger got into a terrible motorcycle accident earlier this year and this past week suffered a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons.  Well, you would think that he might say that he would take some time off to recover– but the team doctors have cleared him to play today.

Steelers Quarterback Ben Roesthlisberger

I would say that the Steelers and Roethlisberger are taking a huge risk and this could lead to a potential crisis.  What if something else happens to Roethlisberger– and he isn’t able to play again because of it?  How would the NFL and the Steelers communicate this to their fans and other audiences?  They would have to explain their actions and reasons for putting a man that had a recent concussion out to play.

It seems that the team doctors are trying to do “miracles” to just get the players on the field today, but they are not thinking about what this would mean to their future health.  It seems that both athletes and team doctors today are only thinking about the present, and not the future.  You would think that they would want to grow old to see their children grow up and still be able to walk and breath on their own.  But these athletes also want to go out and play–even if they are not physically able to– so what do you do?

There are many things that I will miss about being a track and field athlete:  the meets, working out, traveling, and throwing– but there is something that I won’t miss, and that is dealing with team doctors.  I was lucky at USC where we had a good medical team, but I wasn’t so lucky when I was at the University of Florida.  During my time at Florida, I was diagnosed as having a “degenerative disc” in my lower back.  Yeah, it was pretty painful — there were times where I could barely walk, and sitting in class was torture. 

was the cure that the doctors offered me?  Well, they said surgery–but they didn’t know if it would actually help me, or put me on every medication known to man, including Vioxx.  Of course, I had to quote from a Tobey Keith song:  “She not only said no… she said HELL no!”  Today we know the effects of Vioxx, and I am so glad that I didn’t take it, even though I was one of the only throwers on the team that wasn’t on any medication. 

And what happened?  I haven’t had a back problem in two years, and it was due to losing some weight and working on my core strength– and all without taking any medications. :)  So my opinion is about the Roethlisberger case is simple:  be careful, and be aware of the risks that you are taking that could impact your future.

October 25, 2006

Karen Update: Where has the semester gone? Time does Fly!

Filed under: Dear Diary,Public Relations — Karen @ 7:55 am

Hi everyone, :)

Wow, it’s been a while since I have written!  Things have gotten pretty busy for me– it’s that time of the semester.  All of my classes are getting ready for our final papers and projects, which we start presenting in a couple of weeks.  It seems like this semester has gone by faster than others! :)  I guess when you are busy, time does fly!

I also will be registering for classes next week, and I have made my decision about where I am going for my International Internship.  I am very excited about it– and I will let you all know soon! :)  Also, I’ve been working a lot with the track and field team.  I have a whole new appreciation for what the coaches and staff do for all of the track athletes– they really work hard!  :)  It’s been a lot of fun, and I am learning a lot in the process.

Well, off to workout!  The stairmaster is calling (I have to say that is the most HORRIBLE machine that was ever invented, but it does the job!)  Have a great day! :)

Best Wishes,


“Smudgegate”: Baseball’s Latest Drama in the World Series

Filed under: Crisis Management,News,Public Relations,Sports — Karen @ 7:49 am

The World Series has started, and it seems that things were going normal until a few days ago. I was watching one of the TVs at the Galen Center (where all the athletes eat on the USC Campus) while having dinner, and I saw this special on one of the news channels about the pitcher from the Detriot Tigers. 

Kenny Rogers

photo from ESPN.com

It seems that Kenny Rogers, the pitcher from the Detriot Tigers, had this “mystery smudge” on his throwing hand during Game 2 against the St. Louis Cardinals.  The umpires of the game asked Rogers to wipe off his hands and clean whatever was on his hands.  The series between the Tigers and the Cardinals are tied.  Tony La Russa, manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, talked about talking to the umpires of the game about Rogers’s smudge on his hand:

“I have a decision to make, and I decided that I was not going to be part of the BS where I was going to ask the umpire to go to the mound and undress the pitcher. Now, what was I going to do? I alerted him. I said, ‘I hope it gets fixed. If it doesn’t get fixed, then I’ll take the next step.'”

It seems that what the fans and other sports analysts are calling this “crisis” is “Smudgegate.”  Why?  Some are accusing Rogers of using pine tar on his hands to scruff the baseballs, which others consider to be cheating.  Some say that they actually say Rogers put on the pine tar on his hands.  What does Rogers say about this?  He said that it was mud, resin, spit, and dirt.  While watching this special on TV, they did compare the picture of before and after the incident– but to me, it didn’t look like dirt because it was really shinny and looked slick on his hand.  Trust me, I have seen my days with the mud and dirt with throwing the shot put– I loved those days when I was throwing with Dad in the mud after it had rained– I would sometimes lose my shot! :)

Sports should be fun, and when people try to get an extra advantage in the game, it’s hard to take if you are the person or team that is being affected by it.  It’s like competing with someone that is using steroids or other drugs– you feel cheated.  We should all have fun in the sports that we play in, and there are bigger and better things to do than talk about someone having a “smudge” on their hand.  Now people know what to look for in the future when Rogers does play against them. :)

October 16, 2006

HUGE Football Crisis in Miami: UM and FIU Football Players fighting on the Field

Filed under: Crisis Management,News,Public Relations,Sports — Karen @ 4:01 pm

I just have to say, that I wouldn’t want to be working for the Public Relations department at the Unversity of Miami right now.  Why do you ask?  Talk about a SERIOUS crisis on their hands– not only with the athletic department, but the university as well.  Well, if you got a chance to see the Miami versus Florida International University Game on Saturday, you would know why. 

University of Miami and Florida International University

Fight among FIU and Miami Football Players (Picture by Mark Serota / Getty Images)

As a result, there were 31 players from both teams that were suspended.  One of the players for Miami, sophomore Anthony Reddick, actually was swinging his helment around and trying to hit the FIU players with it.  After a few days, Miami finally announced that Reddick was suspended indefinitely.  Miami and the ACC announced the suspension of the Miami football players, including Reddick, and how some of football players that participated in the fight are being suspended for 1 game.  That’s right– ONE game! FIU was also making sure that those that participated in the fight were going to suffer the consequences.  FIU announced that it was suspending 16 players indefinetly and two off the team. 

This is a serious crisis for both schools.  Both football teams have suspended some of their players indefinitely and some for only a few games.  What message does this say to people?  With Miami, this is not the first time that this has even happened!  According to an ESPN.com article, there were other incidents with other teams including LSU and Louisville.  It seems that Miami has a history of this type of behavior.  Here is a quote from Head Football Coach Larry Coker:

“I do have a grip on this program,” Coker said. “Don’t ever doubt that. Don’t ever doubt that.”

Hmm– well, after this pattern in behavior, I really, really, REALLY don’t think that Coker does have control of the team.  Both Miami and FIU need to impose an “absolute zero-tolerance” rule for their teams.  This behavior is unacceptable, unprofessional, and disgraceful to all athletes in general.  No one, athlete or not, should ever do such a thing like these players did last Saturday.  In my opinion– Larry Coker needs to step down immediately because of this horrible incident.

Even though the president at Miami said that “no one’s job is at jeopardy”– well, there needs to be!!!! What messages are we sending here if no one gets fired for this type of behavior?  This all starts at the top– and if this kind of behavior has been going on for a long time, then people need to be fired.  This type of behavior is not acceptable at all– and Miami and FIU need to learn that very quick if they want to salvage their reputations. 

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