SBD/January 6, 2011/Media

Cavs Offer Announcing Job, House To Homeless YouTube Sensation

Cavs encouraging fans to visit team's new website dedicated to hiring Ted Williams

Columbus, Ohio, resident Ted Williams yesterday said that he “plans to take a gig with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which offered him full-time announcing work and a house,” according to a front-page piece by Joy & Saunders of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Williams “only days ago” was homeless and carried a sign that read he had a “God-given gift of voice.” A video of Williams uploaded to YouTube on Monday “has since attracted almost 8.5 million views and yielded for Williams numerous interview requests, as well as potential job offers” from MTV, ESPN and the NFL. Cavs Senior VP/Marketing Tracey Marek said that Williams’ “history of drug and alcohol abuse and theft doesn’t necessarily disqualify him for the opportunity” (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 1/6). Marek added that Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert, who also owns Quicken Loans, was “part of the committee that decided to extend the offer to Williams.” In Akron, Jason Lloyd notes part of the deal included “assisting with housing through Quicken Loans, although details of that are sketchy” (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 1/6). In Cleveland, Mary Schmitt Boyer notes the Cavs during last night’s home game against the Raptors “urged fans to visit their new Web site, WeWantTedWilliams.com, to send a note to Williams” (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/6). Williams this morning appeared on NBC's "Today" and said the Cavaliers "said they were going to give me LeBron's old house" ("Today," NBC, 1/6).

INTERNET SENSATION: FANHOUSE.com’s Pat McManamon wrote Williams' story “illustrates the surreal power of the Internet, and how one video of just more than a minute can capture national attention.” McManamon: “Consider the average person laid off from his job walking into the offices of the Cavs or NFL Films and asking for a job while also admitting to alcohol and drug abuse as well as a criminal record. The receptionist might call security.” But “everyone loves second chances” (FANHOUSE.com, 1/5).

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