The NFL season opener is just days away and you know what that means – millions of American workers will spend company time managing their fantasy football teams.
An estimated 21.3 million workers are hooked on fantasy sports and they spend up to nine hours a week managing their make-believe teams, according to the outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., which spends a lot of time studying these kind of issues.
It’s about time somebody took a hard look at this time waster. All that lost work time is bad for the economy. Or is it?
Today’s surprise announcement that former UT basketball coach Bruce Pearl will be vice president of marketing for wholesale grocer H.T. Hackney, brings to mind Knoxville’s most famous grocery promoter of all time – Cas Walker.
Pearl is a born promoter, but it won’t be easy to match Walker’s flair for the unconventional.
Walker, a grocery store owner and former Knoxville mayor who made national news when Life Magazine published a photo of him preparing to punch a city councilman, would do anything to get shoppers in his stores. He threw coupons from airplanes, tossed live chickens from rooftops and once buried a man alive in the parking lot of a store on Chapman highway.
Walker set the bar high, but I’m confident Pearl is up to the promotional challenge. He should do well as Hackney’s marketing guru. But tossing chickens from Hackney headquarters doesn’t sound like a good idea. What should he do? Host a BBQ cookoff?
What promotions would you suggest for Hackney’s new VP?
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke today called on Congress and the President to take the lead in boosting the economy.
The chairman’s much anticipated message to Washington was clear: set aside short-term political interests and do something helpful for a change.
In a fit of optimisim, investors responded favorably. The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 were all up in afternoon trading.
The $4 trillion question is whether the pols will take Ben’s message to heart. Given the current tone of the presidential primary campaign, that seems unlikely. I hope I’m wrong and the pols can agree on a plan to light a fire under the economy.
Photo:Federal Reserve chairman Paul Bernanke, right, and Jean-Claude Trichet, of France, president of the European Central Bank, take a morning stroll on the veranda of the Jackson Lake Lodge, before the morning session of the Economic Policy Symposium at Jackson Hole in Moran, Wyo., Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Knoxville was included today in a Wall Street Journal report on cities with the highest average airfares. Probably not surprising to metro area business travelers.
Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport has the eighth highest average ticket price in the country, according to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation. It’s not the kind of publicity McGhee Tyson officials like, but spokeswoman Becky Huckabee said the No. 8 ranking represents improvement.
A year ago, Knoxville had the third-highest average airfare, according to the transportation bureau. She expects Knoxville to slide further down the rankings next year with “the addition of Frontier Airlines and US Airways lower prices to Washington, D.C.”
No car? Good luck getting to work in metro Knoxville. When it comes to connecting people without cars to job opportunities, Knoxville has one of the weakest public transit systems in the country, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution.
Of the 100 largest metros, Knoxville ranks 98 in coverage rate, or the percentage of households without a personal vehicle – zero-vehicle households – that have access to public transportation, Brookings reports.
Only Jackson, Miss. (99) and Greeneville, S.C. (100) rank lower in the think tank’s study.
Tennessee’s other large metros all rank higher than Knoxville. Memphis has the best coverage rate ranking at 62. Nashville is 94 and Chattanooga is 96.