FOX NFL Town Hall #awnewyork

Learning from Michael Strahan

Who is Michael Strahan? NFL fans know who he is. My sister knows who he is. He’s a retired pro football player who has transitioned into a very successful career as a TV personality. He’s the charming gap-tooth smiling man from Good Morning America.

So now you know who he is.

This week I’ve had the good fortune to find myself in New York City attending SMX East, IAB MIXX and Advertising Week. During Advertising Week, I attended a session featuring Joe Buck (an NFL/FOX Sports broadcaster), Strahan and others from both the NFL and FOX.

They were discussing media and advertising when, all of a sudden, Buck asked a question about how the NFL cares about the health of their players. It was an out of place question considering the event. The lady representing the NFL spoke about how much the NFL (and their fans) care about the players and the health of the players. The answer was more shocking than the question.

I have no doubt that the NFL has “feelings” about the health of the players. The NFL continues to grow in popularity and economic strength. And this all happens as stars retire (forced to by injuries or otherwise) and new stars are “created”. But to ignore the huge elephant in the room (concussions and the related issue of head trauma – if you’ve been sleeping under a rock) was disrespectful to past and current players.

So I tweeted this:

I did not expect anyone to respond. I even realized that @joebuck was not the Joe Buck. But I wanted the panel to know that I noticed.

But Michael Strahan saw. And he responded. And we had a little Twitter discussion:

Michael Stahan

I think we’ve agreed to disagree. Which is cool. But I do appreciate that he took the time to have this little conversation with me.

Some quick lessons:

  • Don’t hide. We know you’ve seen the tweet. Respond.
  • Be courteous. Strahan was not rude in his response. And neither was I. We were both professional.
  • Don’t be afraid to criticize but be prepared to have a conversation.
  • Don’t let your ego get in the way. Strahan is a very popular media personality in the US. I’m not an NFL fan living in Canada with no media clout at all.