Have you noticed that they’ll organize an athletic endeavor for just about anything these days?
People will bike, hike, walk, run, tap dance, swim, and skip to increase awareness of, or raise money for, any color-coded disease, cause or injustice.*
Back in October, the NFL played football solely to increase awareness of breast cancer. Forget the standings, the betting lines, or the salaries; October games were just to get people to “Think Pink.” And so we had pink cleats, pink towels, pink penalty flags, and a pink Jets logo on Rex Ryan’s sweater vest, which turned out to be the least of the Jets’ problems.
Well, first of all, what is all this business about increasing awareness? Is there someone not aware of breast cancer? I can understand increasing awareness of some obscure disease like whatever it is that makes Donald Trump’s hair look the way it does, but I think breast cancer has pretty much reached its saturation level when it comes to what marketers call “brand awareness.” Did anyone watching an NFL game in October think to themselves, “Breast cancer? What’s that?” Americans are probably more aware of Susan G. Komen than they are of Susan B. Anthony.**
And second, shouldn’t the NFL be playing to increase awareness of, oh, I don’t know, concussions? I mean, that’s something that could really use some awareness raising, especially since the retired NFL players affected it by it tend to be forgetful.
Recently there were yard signs around Stamford advertising a “Walk to End Suicide.” Now, this may sound cold, but if there was ever a problem that could be ended simply by yelling “DON’T DO THAT,” suicide is it. You want to walk to end depression? Yeah, well, maybe (although exercising makes me sad). But the only way you can walk to end suicide is if you walk away from bridges and sharp objects.
Think of it this way: you could walk to increase gun control measures, but it would be kind of pointless to walk to end murder.
I bring all this up because I’d like to suggest a walk to raise awareness of something that very few people are aware of: shrinkage. I don’t mean shrinkage in the Seinfeldian sense of that episode when George went swimming. I mean overall shrinkage in the sense of people getting shorter.
And by “people,” I mean me.
For my entire adult life, I’ve been 5′ 11″. That’s what it’s said on every driver’s license I’ve ever had, even the ones where I had hair. But at my physical last year I measured 5′ 10½” And this year, I measured 5′ 10.”
What’s down with that?
Were you aware that I’m getting shorter? Hah! That’s why we need to increase awareness!
So, come on, everyone, let’s walk to increase awareness of shrinking people.
I think we should do it on stilts.
See you soon.
*I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my rant about cause-awareness events. By no means did I intend to minimize the seriousness of the issues; I only meant to belittle the efforts to turn the issues into marketing campaigns. For demonstration purposes, I present the chart below, which is an abridged version of which colors have been assigned to which causes. I have no idea who makes these assignments, but I do have some questions:
- What if you are associated with two or more causes whose colors clash?
- Shouldn’t there be a law against diseases like colon cancer claiming rights to more than one color?
- If you have, say, prostate cancer and osteoporosis, can you just wear a light blue ribbon made out of lace?
- Why is the ribbon color for amber alert yellow?
- What happens if you’re trying to raise awareness for lung cancer and people think you’re a right-to-lifer instead?
- Shouldn’t Al Sharpton say something about black being the color for gang violence?
- Headaches need a color? Really?