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SBD/June 12, 2013/People and Pop CulturePrint All
It is safe to say CHARLEY CASSERLY knows a thing or two about the NFL, having been a front office exec in the league for over two decades before tackling the TV world as an analyst with NFL Network. The former Redskins and Texans GM, who now doubles as a professor at George Mason Univ., spoke with THE DAILY about the heightened scrutiny on people in his former position, why it is so important to strive for versatility in one's career goals, and how he talks himself off the ledge when a certain baseball team has a rough outing.
Evolution of the GM office...
GMs are under more pressure and less patience is given to the position, and I think that’s all wrong. There are times when you’re going to go through tough periods, you’re going to go through rebuilding, and I think patience and understanding that not every decision is going to be perfect (is important). But the fact is, if you have a good plan and have good people, you’re going to succeed.
Technology's impact on the NFL...
I was on Competition Committee for a long time, and the thing we were concerned with was we wanted to limit what you could do during a game. Yes, you have all the technology available to you during the week, but it costs money. We didn't want to just open things up for that simple reason, it’s "STAR WARS," it’s an issue. To me, there was a financial end to that, and all of us felt the same, so that’s why we wanted to limit what technology could be used during the game.
It's a Hard Knock life...
I wouldn't be comfortable having them in a meeting when I’m talking about players and talking about personnel decisions or describing players. I think that’s something very private. I certainly wouldn't be comfortable with them in a room when I’m releasing a player. There’s a certain dignity the player has, and I think you try to respect it and keep it in that situation. I do know this: when we were in Houston and we opened with Dallas in 2002, they had "HARD KNOCKS." There were two or three things they said in there that we found as motivating tools for our football team. All of us, when we heard, said, “Hold on, now this is something our players have got to hear.” Did that play into us upsetting them? I don’t know, but that was part of the motivational tool.
Most of my time at work is spent thinking about...
I spend a lot of time watching tapes. And when I’m doing that, I’m kind of brainstorming to evaluate players, evaluating the different schemes that are being run. That jumps me to ideas to whatever we might be talking about for the segments of the shows that I have. So that spurs a lot of the ideas.
Best advice I've ever received...
It’s when I was in college, and I was going to coaching clinics because I wanted to coach, I had a high school coach give me this advice. He said, “Be able to do more than one thing.” And right off the bat I think I followed that all my life. When I was a general manager, I had a weekly television show, so what I always wanted to do at the end of my career was television and teach at a university. As a general manager, every year I would have a period for self improvement, where I would read some books, make some phone calls, and then I kept a binder summarizing the books, so then when I looked at getting into teaching -- I had academic qualifications.
First media I consume each day...
Sport-Scan, it’s a religion in the NFL. I read it every day. What it is, is for every city, every football article in every newspaper that city had is published. It’s subscription-based, every team in the NFL did it, and so I read that every day. That starts me off and it gives me what’s happening in every city every day, and they've also put in some different dot com articles that covers Yahoo, NFL.com, ESPN.com, CBSSports.com.
How I relax...
Go to the movies, love that, my wife and I. And going to (Nationals) baseball games. When they’re winning, it’s great. When they’re losing, I gotta say, "You know, I don’t work for the team, I have to take this differently." One of my hobbies is the baseball team here.
Beltway's best bites...
Clyde’s in Georgetown. Anybody you sit down with will find something they like. Also, McLean Family Restaurant in McLean, Virginia. It’s an old-fashion family diner, but there for a long time, great sandwiches, great breakfast. It’s an old kind of diner, everything imaginable is there. The food is good, the service is fast.
The Big Ten confirmed that Commissioner JIM DELANY received a contract extension in '11 that "takes him through June 30, 2018." The conference's Council of Presidents & Chancellors "approved the extension, but the conference never made a public announcement." Delany's extension means he will "guide the league through its next television contract negotiation." The Big Ten's current media agreements expire after the '16-17 athletics season, and the new TV deal could be Delany's "final major project as commissioner" (ESPN.com, 6/11).
EXECS: The Univ. of Pittsburgh signed AD STEVE PEDERSON to a five-year contract extension through '18. Pederson has served in the role since '07 (POST-GAZETTE.com, 6/11)....The College Football Playoff named Orange Bowl Committee Events & Team Operations Dir LAILA BROCK Team Operations & Logistics Dir, ACC Football Operations & Event Management Dir ALLISON DOUGHTY Events & Hospitality Services Dir, and Univ. of Kansas Alumni Association Reunions, Affinity Programs & Academic Societies Dir NIKKI EPLEY Stadium & Game Operations Dir (CFP)....The Univ. of Kentucky named NCAA Managing Dir of Enforcement/Development & Investigations RACHEL NEWMAN BAKER Senior Associate AD/Compliance. Her departure is "yet another serious blow to the NCAA's reeling enforcement group" (ESPN.com, 6/11)....Bowling Green State Univ. named N.C. State Univ. Exec Senior Associate AD D. CHRISTOPHER KINGSTON AD (BGSU)....Southeastern Louisiana Univ. AD BART BELLAIRS has resigned (SLU)....Western Kentucky Univ. named THOMAS HARRIS Athletic Marketing Assistant Dir (WKU)....The Univ. of Denver named Associate AD/Student Support Services, Community Relations & Diversity CINDI NAGAI Senior Woman Administrator (Denver)....WWE promoted National Sales Dir BRIAN MADDOX to VP/Global Digital Sales. He will report to Global Head/Sales & Partnerships MICHAEL PINE. Maddox previously was MSG Media Digital Ad Sales Dir for MSG Interactive and Fuse (WWE)....Former USGA Exec Dir DAVID FAY will assist the Rhode Island-based Button Hole Short Course & Teaching Center BOD as a special adviser (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 6/12).
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Pro Football HOFers LYNN SWANN, KELLEN WINSLOW and STEVE LARGENT yesterday started an initiative that would "allow the U.S. Mint to sell gold and silver commemorative coins whose sales would benefit" the HOF. The plan, sponsored by U.S. Reps. JIM RENACCI (R-Ohio) and BOB GIBBS (R-Ohio), as well as U.S. Sens. ROB PORTMAN (R-Ohio) and JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.), would "fund renovations at the Canton museum and construction of a new building" (CLEVELAND.com, 6/11).
GUY ON A BUFFALO: The Hockey HOF announced that Sabres TV color commentator HARRY NEALE will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster, and longtime Flyers beat writer JAY GREENBERG will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism (NHL). Neale will become the "third Sabres broadcaster to have a plaque" in the HOF, joining RICK JEANNERET and TED DARLING. Neale's longtime "Hockey Night In Canada" partner BOB COLE won the award in '96. Neale said, "It was a humbling moment to be in a group as celebrity-filled as the Foster Hewitt Award" (BUFFALO NEWS, 6/12).
SEMINOLE MOMENT: Florida State Univ. interim AD VANESSA FUCHS' "long-term goal is to become a Division I conference commissioner." She is currently "just the seventh female" D-I AD. When FSU President ERIC BARRON's search committee picks candidates to replace former AD RANDY SPETMAN, Fuchs "believes the athletics department's top administrators will be part of the process." But whether she will be one of the candidates "remains to be seen" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 6/11).
NAMES: Nike on Monday hosted the first of two "demo days for its Nike+Accelerator program." About 770 people "filled an auditorium in the Tiger Woods Center." Nike CEO MARK PARKER was in attendance, as 10 "start-up companies pitched their business plans to the audience" (OREGONLIVE.com, 6/10)....The Minnesota Broadcasting HOF named Twins TV announcer DICK BREMER and Minneapolis-based WCCO-CBS sports broadcaster MARK ROSEN to its '13 class (TWINCITIES.com, 6/11)....MULTICHANNEL NEWS profiled ESPN Exec VP/Affiliate Sales & Marketing DAVID PRESCHLACK as part of the publication's Vanguard Awards. Also, ESPN Exec VP/Sales & Marketing SEAN BRATCHES was named to its 46th annual "Cable Pioneers Class" (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 6/10 issue)....The Predators yesterday presented a $131,000 check to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt Univ. The team has raised more than $700,000 for the hospital and its programs over the last five years (Predators)....The World Series of Poker invited Lakers G KOBE BRYANT via Twitter “to play in a tribute” to late Lakers Owner JERRY BUSS. Buss, who “passed away Feb. 18, was an avid poker player and WSOP supporter” (LATIMES.com, 6/11)....Elevator mechanic DONALD WHITE yesterday was killed in an accident at the Levi’s Stadium construction site. Authorities said that White was “found dead in an elevator shaft" at about 6:50am PT. A preliminary investigation determined that White was “standing on a ladder in the shaft when he was hit by an elevator counterweight.” The shaft is a “permanent part of the stadium, not a temporary one for construction” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/12).
LEAVING A LEGACY: In K.C., Blair Kerkhoff notes Missouri State Univ. last night held an event to honor the life of late John Q. Hammons Hotels Chair & CEO JOHN HAMMONS, who died last month at the age of 94. A case can be made that Hammons "has been to Missouri State what Nike founder PHIL KNIGHT is to Oregon, or T. BOONE PICKENS -- who called Hammons a friend -- to Oklahoma State." Hammons' $30M contribution helped build the 11,000-seat JQH Arena (K.C. STAR, 6/12).