Topps, 1959

Topps, 1959

Just before the Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game in Cincinnati last year, the MLB announced its selection of the four “living legends,” retired players whose careers stand out among the thousands of “boys of summer” who have played professional baseball.

Those four men – all heroes from my youth – were Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax and Johnny Bench. They took the field at Great American Ballpark to a rousing and well-deserved ovation. And since we had a pitcher and catcher on the field, it was fitting that the first pitch of the 86th Midsummer Classic be a Koufax to Bench connection.


I had the privilege of being there to demonstrate a new graphics product in development by one of our Be Media Savvy clients.  It tracks the range players run, the velocity of hits and the speed of pitches – then displays them on screen in real time.

Koufax’s first pitch was a perfect strike. It wasn’t part of the broadcast, but I was curious to see how much of an arm Koufax still has, so I recalled the data from the Doppler radar – 51.8mph. An 80-year-old with a lifetime of arthritis and arm ailments, and no warm-up tosses, still pitched a 50-mph fastball right down the middle with thousands of people present and 10 million more watching on TV!

The speed of a ceremonial first pitch typically doesn’t matter. In fact, most first pitches are pretty lousy athletic feats.

Thanks to our client, I had a little insider knowledge from the All-Star Game, and now you do, too.

In fact, if it weren’t for great clients, we would have never worked with President George W. Bush (43) and heard his tales of “9-11” and leading our nation on that fateful day.

2015-02-15 18.12.28

Yep, that’s “W” in the monitor. The Secret Service had strict rules on flash photography during the President’s appearance…not to mention it was impossible to get a “selfie” with him, so I had to improvise.

Client assignments meant trips to San Antonio, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Springfield (MA), Huntsville (AL), Asheville (NC), Albany (NY), and Washington, DC in 2015.

2015-04-07 17.51.24The work environment at PBS NewsHour in Washington, DC is like a research library.

I’ve been in newsrooms for nearly 30 years, and there’s always a cacophony of scanners, phones, monitors and people yelling to be heard above the din. Not so at PBS! There is a studious hush that is, in its own right, deafening.

I asked Gwen Ifill how long it took her to get used to it.

“About 10 years,” she replied with a laugh.

I also met a graphic artist at Newshour who vaguely remembers that his grandfather’s brother was a football coach at some college in Tennessee. Here’s to the next generation of Neylands who are making their own name. It was my pleasure to train you ahead of rolling out your new look. It was also a perfect project to refer to The Academy of Lower Thirds for advanced design implementation.

Another memorable training gig in 2015 was for the World Surf League in Santa Monica. The only regrettable thing about this assignment was that it was a virtual session. I didn’t actually get to hang out on a California beach, but I did finally dip my toe into training via the web. Lisa is still swooning over hearing their Aussie accents on speaker phone for a week.

The greatest satisfaction comes in taking a training client from “confused” to “enthused.” I really appreciate one person’s observation that they learned “not only what I wanted them to know, but also what they needed to know.”


Be Media Savvy supports a bevy of small business clients in addition to our television and corporate video accounts. We have the privilege of working with players in the marketing, healthcare and literary fields, too. We integrate digital marketing assets – WordPress, Leadpages, GoToWebinar, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Infusionsoft and other email service providers – and train our clients to create videos and marketing automations that generate more leads and convert more customers. We consider our customers’ successes to be a good day for us, too!

The year 2015 ended on a high note. Be Media Savvy provided support to every local affiliate in their coverage of high school football this fall…covered both the State Championships and East/West All-Star game in Cookeville, Tennessee…every home game for the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium…and preseason support for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.

Taylor adorable

Taylor Rose, age 1


Still, the best moment of the year has to be when your grandbaby starts talking and calls you “NAH!” (short for Granna) or “Pop-PAH!”

Thanks to all of our clients, family and friends for making 2015 memorable.

Happy New Year. Here’s wishing you a blessed 2016 !


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