Friday, April 28, 2023

Joe Namath's Hair

When I was a kid living in suburban New York, there was nobody cooler than Joe Namath, Super Bowl winning quarterback for the New York Jets.

They called him "Broadway Joe". He partied until dawn with celebrities. He sported fur coats. He wore white shoes when playing. White shoes. Nobody wore white shoes. Nobody else could pull it off. Joe Namath could.

Nobody was cooler than Joe Namath - white shoes, long hair & a fur coat

And he wore his hair long. This was when athletes had short hair and hippies had long hair.

A lot of us on our school teams had long hair, too.

To be like Joe Namath.

The first day of football practice, when the coach saw hair curling out of the back of helmets (carefully manipulated to look the way Joe Namath's hair curled out of his Jets helmet), he ordered those with offending hair to get haircuts or not bother coming back to practice.

I wasn't a football player. But I played lacrosse and the football coach also coached lacrosse. I had been dreaming of the spring when I would don my gear and become the heartthrob of every girl in school when they saw my Namath-like hair flowing out of my helmet.

Of course, I looked nothing like Namath and had none of his athletic ability. No celebrity friends. No fur coat either. My hair wasn't even the same color. 

It also outside the range of my raging teen-aged hormones to imagine that hair sticking out of a helmet would have absolutely no appeal to any female outside my fantasies.

None of that mattered when lacrosse season arrived.

The first day of practice, those of us with long hair were instructed to get haircuts by a coach who made it clear that he "didn't need hippies on his team and that we looked like girls." Coaches were different back then.

The next day, I was one of three without haircuts. The coach noticed and reiterated his edict.

The following day, I was the only one who hadn't visited a barbershop. I was channeling the rebelliousness of the day. Standing up to authority. Making my stand against the establishment. Giving the finger to authority. Burning the draft card I was still years away from being eligible for.

Unimpressed, the coach snarled at me that I had until Monday to get in line.

That Monday I stomped into the coach's office, slapped a large pile of hair on his desk and demanded, "Satisfied?"

He was momentarily stunned. Maybe by my boldness.  

Or maybe because he was relishing his power and the fruits of his bullying. 

Or perhaps he was just grossed out by the large clump of hair on his desk. 

"Fine," he said. "Suit up and get to your pre-practice laps."

I stomped out.

He couldn't see the wide grin on my face.

I hadn't gotten a haircut.

After seeing the football players get de-Namath-ized, I had saved all my hair from my haircuts from football season until lacrosse season. That was the hair I'd angrily presented to the coach.

That day when I hit the field I was Joe Namath. 

My hair curled gently from beneath my helmet and, along with the warm spring sun, I could feel the gazes of the adoring women. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Why I Blog

Scott Frothingham: Why I Blog

I’m paid to write for other people. 

The writing in my blog is for me … it’s inexpensive therapy and It’s a good way to:

Also, MY BLOG is a way to show clients that I write consistently and let them see recent examples beyond my portfolio, which is not updated as often.


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

View from a sidewalk café. Amsterdam. (Part 3)

People walking with determination. A purpose. Somewhere to be.

I’ve reached my destination. My only purpose to be where I am.

Amsterdam Cafe - Scott Frothingham

The banker is on vacation. The starched white shirt, part of his uniform for the past 50 years, has been replaced by a startlingly pink one. His companion, toting a large treasure-filled shopping bag from Lacoste is wearing fluorescent green. No doubt she selected her partner’s shirt.

They wear their fanny packs across their chests like bandoleros. Two urban commandos ready to deal with any cold Heinekens that offer resistance.

With each step, the bulldog’s tongue flops to the other side of its broad mouth like a slobber-coated pink metronome. Almost as if it’s attached to its front feet.

Her hair color doesn’t exist in the natural world. Her shirt matches it exactly. Exactly. Which came first? Did she buy a few dozen shirts so she could pull off the look every day?

The notes of a lone saxophone drift through the bustle of Dam Square. The haunting tune more suited to a dark alley in a 1940s film noir.

Twins. Petite blonds with perfectly matching faces. Upturned noses and an odd arch to their right eyebrows. In this flowing river of unique faces, it seems impossible that two humans could be such exact replicas of each other.

Going totally limp. The last resort for getting attention when whining and screaming fail. In a practiced move mom lets go of the hand and scoops up the boneless child. Moving the shrieks from knee level to ear level but not hindering forward progress.

It’s a witch’s broom with long grey sticks lashed to a wooden pole. It doesn’t look like something from this century or the last. Yet it’s standard issue for the workers in orange jump suits sweeping litter into the demanding brushes of the following street cleaning machine.

Crop top. Chiseled 6-pack. Enormous stroopwaffle disappearing in aggressive bites. Cheat day.

With white hair and grizzled jowls, this pair is far too old for the matching black caps embroidered with the lips/tongue logo. The Stones are for cool, rebellious youth like me. I’m probably the same age as these two ancients… not as old as Mick Jagger, though. My self-image is not aligned with the reality of my time spent on this planet.

He walks with a purposeful stride that makes the leather combat boots seem lighter than I assume they are. His kilt swings and his sporran bounces in coordination with his steps. “What does a Scot wear under his kilt?” Given the rough khaki fabric, I would suggest something soft and thick. Maybe cotton. To limit chafing and sporran bounce fatigue.

Next to me, a game of solitaire with well-worn playing cards keeps the smoking man’s attention away from the parade of life that has captured mine.


View from a sidewalk cafe. Amsterdam
Part 2

Friday, April 14, 2023

Bad Copywriting is Expensive

bad copy writing is expensive

Three quick reasons that bad copy writing is expensive both in time and money:

1. You invest to expose your message to the person most likely to buy your product or service. If the message is not properly written, that person does not buy, and you have wasted the investment you made to make that sale. And, since that person didn’t buy you won’t have a client that will be likely to make additional purchases from you (at a lower cost per sale).


2. When you realize your copy is not doing the job, you have to pay someone to redo it. An expense you wouldn’t have had if you’d paid for strong copy from the start.


3. The time you spent being represented by bad copy is time lost. Time that your company could have been growing and moving forward to reach critical goals.


Those 3 should be enough … and I didn’t even touch on the damage you’ve done to your brand.

The Parking Spot Next to the Front Door

“You could sell sawdust to a lumber mill,” said my boss as he threw his arm around Byron’s shoulders. The team applauded as Byron held up th...