As you know, football is fast approaching, and we've been super busy with a lot of football projects. This year, we've been able to do a lot of concepts we haven't done before, and the results have been awesome. I can't wait for all of you to be able to see the epicness we've been churning out.  

Speaking of epic and football, NFL Films/HBO's Hard Knocks started back up last week, following the Houston Texans. I'm always amazed at what they put together in such a short turnaround. I mean sure, it's relatively easy to get amazing footage when you have 5-6 camera crews and a plethora of robotic camera set ups, but sifting through the ~350 hours of weekly footage to create a 1 hour episode is incredible. Last week's episode was full of getting to know certain players, the basic culture that Head Coach Bill O'Brien has established and great practice footage, including a look at the fight that took place during their joint practice with Washington [giving me even more reason to hate our NFC East rivals; Go Cowboys]. While I didn't love the overall pace and stringing together of storylines, I still greatly enjoyed the episode and can't wait for a new one tomorrow.

Today I begin Year Seven at Old Hat. I researched gifts for one's six-year anniversary and I look forward to all of the candy AND iron I'm supposed to get. In Harry Potter terms, I should expect some serious stuff to go down. I should also expect a lot more hugs. So that's good. 

Here are seven predictions for Year Seven:

1)     GIFs - lots of them. Like these:

 
 
 
 
2)     Several late nights at the office

3)     A lot of jamming.

4)     Misunderstandings

5)     More GIFs

6)     A lot of coffee

7)     Some really amazing projects that I love being a part of

The plan when I walked into work this morning was to compile a list of new releases from our music library for the virtual stack of football intros and commercials piling up on my desk. That plan however, (like most plans) got temporarily derailed when I realized it was Thursday and I needed to blog. Seeing how I've got music on the brain I might as well roll with it. I'm currently complementing my morning coffee with Spotify's Your Morning Coffee playlist. It's probably a good thing I'm not listening to their Beat Down Your Morning list because I'm not sure which beverage best complements that music. I don't recognize 95% of the songs or artists, but it's a good break from my standard list of hits from past decades. Don't worry Phil, I'll listen to you a little later. 

This playlist reminds me a lot of the I Am Sam soundtrack. That album is comprised entirely of cover versions of songs by The Beatles. This soundtrack was one of my go-tos during those late night study sessions in the college library. I have fond memories of those nights because I would find an empty corner in the library, chill to my favorite soundtrack cd's (i didn't get my first iPod until 2006) and study study study. I once taught myself trigonometry during one of those sessions, but I'm not sure how truly effective that was in the long run as all of my trigometry powers are now buried deep within my brain. I apologize for going off on a tangent.

I think my love for movie soundtracks originated with long car rides to Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore listening to my parents' movie instrumentals cassette (in addition to Neil Diamond, The Doors, and Whitney Houston). I remember jamming out to the Ghostbusters soundtrack before running in a track meet in the 2nd grade. When I was 10 I fell in love with Hans Zimmer and the A League of Their Own album. And of course there were all of the movies my older brothers loved that were scored by THE Mr. John Williams. One Christmas I put the Apollo 13 soundtrack on my list. I mean, it should really be no surprise that I won the Norwegian Cruise "Name That Movie Tune" in February. Guys, I got a mug and a koozie.

I'm not sure if this proves anything other than I was a nerdy kid who grew into a nerdy lady.

Here's a list of some of my favorite soundtracks (a lot of 90s movies in this list):

 

(fyi, thomas newman is the shiz...that's how the kids talk about movie composers, right?)

 

 

(James Horner loved this oooohing lady and the bagpipes, RIP James)

In my last blog, I talked about all of the places I've traveled so far this summer.  Guess what?!  It's time to add another place to the list - Champaign, Illinois.

Tomorrow, Dustin, Stevie, and I are heading to Champaign for a football video shoot.  Since I went to college only 40 minutes down the highway, I have been there before, but this is the first time we will be there with U of I as a client!

We are super excited and always love going to new campuses.  I know our capture and video team have some awesome concepts in mind, and I cannot wait to see how this video will look when it's done.

Be on the look out for some behind the scenes photos this week!

In the meantime, here's a look at some football materials we've created for the Illini this season:

Poster

Schedule Card

Really all of the work Old Hat does is eye candy. Our goal with every single project is to help make our clients look good, real good. Our stellar video team has been doing a great job helping our clients enhance their own broadcast and video projects by incorporating our graphics package work into their projects. Here's some examples of what we've been able to create for Duke, Marist and UMASS.

 

Another year and another successful NACMA in the books for us. We had a great time catching up with current clients and connecting with potential new clients. Overall, the trip was a blast and here are the top nine things we learned:

 

1. Stuckey's is an American Tradition - Anyone ever heard of Stuckey's? It's a chain of gas stations that I thought had gone the way of the dodo bird. There used to be multiple Stuckey's locations dotting I-35 in Oklahoma but I haven't seen one in years. As luck would have it, there's one right outside Pensacola, FL and we stopped there TWICE on this trip. Stuckey's is a great place to stop if you want really cheaply made chachkis, ugly t-shirts, alligator claw back-scratchers, etc. We decided to pick up surprises for all the staff that couldn't make the trip with us. See below.

 

2. The back seat of a Suburban is not meant for adults - Six adults in one suburban in a 45 hour (total) road trip is tough. Josie and Hannah are the smallest so we forced them into the third seat for a good portion of the trip. I gave them a hard time for complaining about it but the fact of the matter is, that seat wasn't meant for adults. Holli and I rode back there for a while on the way down there and then started the trip back with a solid 6 hours back there. It was not enjoyable. Here's a photo of me and Holli asleep in the back while everyone else is enjoying their spacious seating.

 

3. There's Only One Place Left in the World That Still Allows Smoking Indoors... And We Had Our Party There - For all of our clients that are chain-smokers, I'm sure you were delighted to see that the bar we chose for our party allowed smoking. For all of you that DON'T want lung cancer, I'm sure the cloud of smoke was a bit of a shock when you arrive. On the upside, the bar's vending machine DID offer condoms. So we had that going for us... which was nice.

 

4. Make Sure to Bring $1.25 to Pensacola Beach - Pensacola Beach is a pretty nice beach. Crowded... but the sand is white and the water is clear. But if you have any desire to walk out on the pier, you better have some cash with you. Pensacola must be very proud of their pier as they charge $1.25 to walk on it. It's like a toll road for your feet. We walked over to it but hadn't brought any methods of payment with us so we opted out of the walk on the pier. Oh well.

 

5. The Lighting is Better in the Suburban than in My Shower - So apparently sunlight through the back windows of a Suburband does a better job of showing missed spots on shaven legs than the lighting in my shower at home. Holli noticed a few spots on the drive out there that she had missed so she hollered at whoever was in the front seat to fetch her the razor she keeps in the glove compartment for this very reason. I'm thinking about installing a shower in the Suburban so she can kill two birds with one stone from here on out.

 

6. 500 Square Feet is a LOT of Awesomeness - The past few years, we've had a 20 x 20 foot booth space in the tradeshow. This year, we decided to go with a 10 x 40 foot space to mix it up a little. It was a little experiment. Well, due to a longer story than you care to hear, we expanded that to 10 x 50 feet. It was nice to have all that space but I think we'll go back down to 10 x 40 next year. 

 

7. Robert and I have Similar Tastes in Swimwear - I've known Robert a long time... since we were juniors in college, to be exact. And we've worked together for many years. So I know him pretty well. But I have to admit that I was surprised when we got ready to leave for the beach and discovered that our swimsuits were nearly identical. 

 

8. Just Like the Seminoles, My Diet Dr Pepper Record will Forever be Unconquered - FSU was the latest in my trek to have the record for the most Division 1 college campuses upon which a person has been photographed drinking a Diet Dr Pepper. This was number 26 for me.

 

9. People Would Rather See My Wife Hula Hoop than See Me Do ANYTHING - It all started as a joke. Last year we had a hula hoop at the booth because we wrapped a sign around it. Holli hula hooped with it, I video'd it, uploaded it to facebook and she became a hula hooping sensation. So I decided it would be funny to make this year's t-shirt giveaway an Old Hat University Hula Hooping Team t-shirt and to promote it, I'd have her hula hoop at landmarks all the way to Orlando AND at the booth. Well what I discovered is that videos of her hula hooping are far more popular than anything I've ever done on camera. So far, her videos have been viewed 3,201 times. The most popular was the one of her hula hooping with Nicole Imbrogno. You can view that on the Old Hat facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oldhat

 

That's all! See you next year!

 

So today is my two year anniversary at Old Hat Creative. Much like my very first blog, this one will touch on a few things. A lot has changed for me in the last few years, though it seems to be settling down with much of the change coming in the first few months of that stretch two years ago.

The NBA Finals wrapped up last night with Golden State winning their first title in 40 years, finishing off one of the great seasons in NBA history. The Warriors are classy group with a likable cast including Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala and Steve Kerr. Kerr was one of my favorite Bulls back in the day (other than Michael and Scottie) and Kerr has enjoyed success at many of his career stops including playing, coaching or broadcasting. The Warriors also held off a spectacular series performance by one of the great players in history in LeBron James. I've been a LeBron fan for a long time but continue to be amazed / disappointed by all of the hate that's slung his way in spite of his on-court performance. Granted LeBron brings some of it on himself with actions like "The Decision" and "Not one, not two, not three, etc", but he is already one of the top 10 of all-time with several good years left. LeBron and MJ are often compared, many times unfairly because they are different types of players. Can't we be fans of both? I know I am. Jordan won four of his six titles in his 30s and LeBron, who just turned 30, already has two championships under his belt. Even though LeBron is just 2-4 in the Finals, that still holds up when compared to other legends such as Jerry West (1-8 Finals record), Wilt Chamberlain (2-5) or Karl Malone (0-3). Imagine what it would be like if Jordan, West or Chamberlain played in the social media era?

The New York Times reported yesterday that the St. Louis Cardinals were being investigated by the FBI for hacking the Houston Astros player evaluation computer database. We will see how this turns out, but the Internet has already had fun with this one and will call into question the accomplishments of the Cardinals over the last decade. I'm not condoning the hacking/cheating, but this has to be a lesson to create stronger passwords and don't re-use old ones. Especially if you're moving from one organization to a rival one!

Old Hat goes to 11 …. NACMAs. Another successful convention is wrapping up. A time to meet old friends and make some new ones. If you liked what you saw at NACMA or maybe weren't able to attend, check out the ways we use our experience and expertise to make you look good. Like Old Hat Sports Branding. Or court projection videos. Or Fanswers and Fangage. Maybe a print piece, large or small, is what you need. We will make you look good.

Did you hear? NACMA is next week. Although I won't be going, it's still exciting to me for a few reasons.

1.  The Old Hat booth that you should totally visit while you're there, is no longer set up in the office. I didn't mind it being set up at first, but then I hit my head on one of the many TVs, so Booth and I were not on good terms. However, one thing I did like about it this past week was that the curtains were up, and with Deb being out of town, it was like I had my own office or something.

2.  You're going to get to see things that I worked on! We'll have tons of our client work on display, including commercials, intros and even court projections. Prepare your eyeballs now. They haven't seen anything this cool EVER.

3.  Since you all are going to be having an awesome time at the Old Hat party down in Orlando with Zac and some of the other Old Hatters, we're going to have a huge rager back here at the office. But don't tell Zac. It's a secret.

I realized this morning that NACMA is less than three weeks away...and started to get a tiny bit stressed.

We still have lots to do! NACMA is a team effort around here, and nearly everyone in the office is contributing in some way. There's been hotel reservations, party invitations...trailer rentals and graphics environmental. A photo shoot and ordering loot. Booth construction and office obstruction. And I don't have enough brain power to think of more rhyming phrases. Instead, I'll turn my attention to checking more off our list. 

Old Hat Clients - make sure to watch your mail and email for more information soon!

 

Did you hear about the latest Jordan-v-LeBron debate? Public Policy Polling surveyed Americans about a number of sports-related topics, and one of the questions asked NBA fans if they thought Michael Jordan could beat LeBron James in a game of one-on-one today. "LeBron is favored in such a contest 54/34, though a plurality (48/41) of voters aged 30 to 45—those who grew up watching M.J.’s on-court brilliance—think the Charlotte Hornets owner could deliver one last performance worthy of his six Finals MVPs and dethrone King James."

Speaking as somebody in that 30-45 age range, I would without a doubt vote for Jordan. I don't care if it makes me sound like a clueless moron. I could make a long argument stating my case, but I don't see the point because Michael Jordan was, is and will always be the greatest in everything basketball (we'll temporarily forget that he's an NBA owner...). These are facts. I saw greatness. I don't care that he's 52-years-old. MJ is the best and if you disagree with me you're wrong. 

The poll also found that, "NBA fans hold a near-unanimous opinion that Jordan is the greatest player of all time over LeBron, 77/14."

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