Famous Last Words: A Business Proposition
Living in Stamford, Conn., for 20 years with no professional teams nearby, my wife, Peggy, and I were not sports fans. When we moved to Philadelphia in 1992, we became rabid Eagles fans and never miss a game—on television, since (1) tickets are expensive and (2) I have lousy eyesight and thus trouble following the action at a distance.
The last time the Direct Marketing Association’s annual conference was held in New Orleans, I was hurrying to a list company party when I ran into a guy wearing a simply splendid Philadelphia Eagles green and white logo pendant on the end of a chain of green and white Mardi Gras beads. Unlike the wonderfully garish Cheesehead hats of the Green Bay Packers or the goofy green wigs and make-up that Eagles fans often wear to games, this was a low-key and elegant sign that this guy was an Eagles fan. It would look good on a sweatshirt, with a business suit or—for the audacious fun—with white tie and tails. I asked him where he got this marvelous thing, and he directed me to a souvenir shop on (where else?) Bourbon Street. Only a short distance out of my way, the shop was a treasure trove of sports logo pendants—every professional NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL team, plus the logos of 55 colleges and universities from University of Alabama and Arizona State to Wake Forest and University of Wisconsin. Also available, football helmet pendants with the team logos.
I immediately bought eight Eagles pendants and, as I ran into the members of Target Marketing’s entourage at different parties, I’d drape one around the neck of a colleague. I tend to do that. One boozy night years ago at John’s Grill in San Francisco I discovered that few of the young staffers from the office had ever seen “The Maltese Falcon,” so I bought the last three full-size falcon replicas and gave them out, with the proviso that the recipients rent this great film.