Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Naked male insecurity really leaves me cold..." or Welcome to Modern Times Cowboys

The other day I watched (as I'm sure many of you did) as a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader (Melissa Kellerman) got pummeled by a football player. I thought it was hilarious, handled well and reminded me of being a cheerleader many years ago getting knocked over by basketballs and players alike. 

I sighed, I laughed, I moved on to more stuffing and pumpkin pie...and, then I saw this:

Click on image to be taken to link
My journalism teacher nose smelled a story and did a little research, in fact the Twitter feed that Chase refers to no longer exist, my blogger brain responded...first I posted this onto my Twitter feed, I did the same for my Facebook account and I emailed it to a couple of friends.

I think that Mr. Chase brings up a couple of points that should definitely be addressed, especially when it comes to the use of social media.

1] Timing is everything.
To get a good news story, you really must be in tune to the way the world works, and that means you must be on Twitter and that means you must use social media sites to your advantage. Minneapolis journalist Jason DeRusha (@DeRushaJ) talked about this in a break-out session I attended at the JEA/NSPA Fall Convention in Minneapolis (#hsjMN) last week. His story was about the fact that WCCO got an exclusive interview with family all from a simple question he tweeted about an unidentified hit and run victim. 

In today's world journalist don't have to do much research to find a story, they just have to be plugged in and willing to communicate. I mean look, somebody took a screenshot of Kellerman's tweets and it just took the proper eye and the proper angle to make this into a story. She still gets her 15 minutes and The Cowboys image takes a beating; I hear it's already taken several and could have used the positive spin.

2] In this day and age you can't really silence anyone.
Jerry Jones and others in charge of The Cowboys. "Welcome to modern times." Forcing someone to delete and/or not be allowed to do [fill in the blank] just makes someone else pick up the torch. It takes something small and innocuous and turns it into a rally cry and a cause that can be seen and heard by millions forever. As Chase says, "This should have been a win-win for everyone involved. Witten looked chivalrous when he helped up Kellerman, she became endearing with her laughter and positive attitude. Both the franchise and the cheerleaders looked good after this. Now, only Kellerman does."

And, just look at what the Twitter collective is saying #MelissaRae or @MelissaRae to read all of them. My favorite being "She did nothing wrong...FREE ", 23 more Tweets about this girl, popped up as I typed this.

3] Today's media frowns upon hypocrisy.
I've been looking all over the Dallas Cowboys and Cheerleader sites trying to find where it says that Cheerleaders can't have social media accounts. I found some interesting rules about how they store our information, a rule about drinking in uniform that I still find amusing, and some interesting facts about Melissa Kellerman, but no rules about social media. Chase points out, "Do the Cowboys believe cheerleaders are only to be seen, not heard? Hardly. The team allows cameras to record cheerleader auditions for a reality show on CMT. It's alright when the team controls the message but not when a cheerleader begins to get a following and has the stage to herself?"

OK, so I'm not sure how Darren Rovell got wind of the account being deleted in the first place, and, even if Kellerman leaked the story herself, I'm not sure I care. It's a story that needs to be heard. I just hope that this four year Cowboy cheerleader stills makes the cut if she tries out for a 5th season.


Oh, and the quote in the title of this post comes from "The Cutting Edge", one of my favorite movies of all time. It's the New Year's Eve part where Doug and Hale are subtly fighting over Kate by puffing up, trying to prove who's better at what. Watch that scene closely, while it seems the fiance, Hale, wins, as he's the one who leaves with the girl. It's the guy quietly laughing, who gets her in the end. I think there's a lesson there...

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