« Archives in April, 2012


In ancient Chinese rituals, straw dogs were used as offerings to the gods. During the ritual, they were treated with the utmost reverence. When it was over and they were no longer needed, they were trampled on and tossed aside.

It was in that spirit that my partners in the ad agency asked me to relocate to London in the spring of 1992.

Ours was one of America’s largest independent advertising agencies, despite being co-headquartered in Detroit and Baltimore—two cities not exactly synonymous with the lore of “Mad Men.” We did, however, boast a London office through which we serviced the agency’s largest single client and one of the world’s truly global clients—British Petroleum. That we even had an account like BP was a tribute to the agency’s creativity and tenacity, as well as a perfect reflection of its unorthodoxy.
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Gemini Magazine, May 2012

Senior year in college. The final hurrah before the hard slog of adulthood. The last taste of campus celebrity. The fleeting perception of being a big shot. The hard reality of taking a cheap shot.

“Get in shape, Don,” Rutgers hard-nosed offensive coordinator grumbled disapprovingly, his steel-capped cleats clanking the macadam walkway leading into the locker room, me sitting on a bench outside the door wheezing my ass off and threatening to barf…again.

We had just finished the first practice session of Rutgers football summer camp—two weeks of two-a-days in New Jersey’s late August hell.  The days ahead promised to give new meaning to the description I had once heard of “a football practice”…a period of intense boredom punctuated by moments of acute fear. The author of those words was presumably equating fear to the physical aspects of a game that demands the repetitive collisions of large bodies intent on doing damage to one another. Honestly, that part never bothered me as much as the psychological challenges of becoming a “starter,” and remaining one. That said, and what with my having been Rutgers starting fullback for the past two seasons, one would think I would have arrived at my final summer camp in the best shape of my life. Clearly, I did not. And so began my last year in football…one year too late, as it turned out!
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