Letters, Jan. 26, 2009

Published on .

Think Fox's BCS is bad? Try it in Spanish

RE: "Revoke Fox's BCS Contract Before a Brand Gets Damaged" (Adages, AA, Jan. 12). I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate you writing about the farce that is the BCS on Fox. I just don't understand how they can have Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis and Kenny Albert and Moose Johnston on the call. Do they know anything about college football? Do they watch it the entire year like the rest of us? Couldn't they hire someone away from ESPN to do this? Fortunately their contract is up soon enough.

What I really want to tell you is that you have no idea how much worse it is if you have to listen to the Spanish broadcast of football on Fox or ESPN Deportes. Save for Alvaro Martin and Raúl Alegre, who do NFL on ESPN, all the other commentators are absolute idiots. They know absolutely nothing about the game, they know nothing about the history of the rivalries or the players, and somehow they end up talking about everything else except what's happening on the screen. At one point during the Fiesta Bowl, they were talking about the Alamo simply because Texas was playing. These announcers are plain and simply stealing their employers' money. Fortunately for me, I was able to bootleg a DirecTV box from Puerto Rico and I get the regular U.S. feed. Yet, if you want to go to a bar or restaurant to watch the games and have to use the regular cable provider in Panama, you will undoubtedly get the feed in Spanish, an absolute crock.

Who do I need to call at Fox and ESPN to complain and let them know how these announcers are absolutely butchering my beloved game? I would quit my advertising job in a second just for a tryout to be the new announcer, as there is no doubt in my mind that I could walk into the studio with 12 tequila shots in me and still do a better job.

Alvaro Alfaro
Panama City, Panama

Santa Claus, others have Facebook gripes

RE: Craig Daitch's "What I Learned When Facebook Disabled My Account" (AdAge.com, Jan. 19). Wired Magazine blogged about my experience with Facebook late last year. My legal name is Santa Claus, and I'm a Christian Monk and advocate for millions of vulnerable children in dire circumstances.

At first, Facebook refused to let me open my account with my legal name. Then it changed its mind. Within several weeks, I had 5,000 "friends." A Facebook administrator blocked my account, then advised me of Facebook's 5,000 friend limit. Now there are almost 9,000 potential "friends" whose friend requests are pending. Facebook says that there is no way for me to access and respond to those requests, or to refer those members to my Facebook group, "Santa's Nice List." So, thousands of Facebook members are, essentially, in limbo, believing that I have ignored them (for months).

The Facebook administrator I've spoken with was considerate and tried to be helpful; however, he has been unable to resolve some technical issues. One would think that Facebook (or any other social-networking host) would enjoy having Santa Claus as a member and would find a way to capitalize on it. It's an enjoyable site; however, it, like almost everything and everyone else (including me), has its shortcomings. Blessings to all.

Santa Claus
Incline, Nev.

I know so many people who post to Facebook and MySpace and other such sites. I don't see why if what you have to say is so important you didn't choose to create a real website that you would then have absolute control over? The telltale sign that Facebook is a fascist institution is their terms and conditions page, which clearly states that they retain absolute rights to and control over any and all information, images, video and other things posted to their servers in perpetuity.

Oops, guess a lot of you missed that one.

The only reason to use Facebook or any of these free services is to promote your own sites or blogs, where you can control the content and its usage.

I mean seriously: GoDaddy web hosting, $4.99 a month; Wordpress, free; MSQL, free; PHP, free; Hotscripts.com, free; Flashkit.com, free. It's not like this stuff is hard.

Or you can be lazy, use someone else's free service and be subject to their whims.

James Sullivan
New York


Ad Age's Annual 2009, in its introduction to Marketer Profiles (Dec. 29, 2008, P. 18), said, "... DraftFCB got Miller Lite, beating incumbent Bartle Bogle Hegarty." DraftFCB actually won a Miller Lite assignment, not the entire account. Also in the Annual, the main phone number for marketing-services agency G2 should have been listed as (212) 546-2222.
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