Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nike was made in Phil Knight’s image and Knight’s image is Satan if Satan was an impossibly arrogant, socially inept dork.

In response to the child abuse indictment, Nike has dumped Adrian Peterson. Asked to comment, sexual-assault -charged Nike athletes, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Ben Roethlisberger, Kobe Bryant and assault- charged Ray Rice, declined.

Said Nike of the dumping of Adrian Peterson: 

"Sure, we'll underpay children to make our shoes, but that is where we draw the line." 

Nike, making shoes and hypocritical statements since 1971.

Remind us again, Lex, why you relish the heaping abuse you give Nike?

Because they are hypocrites and tools. Hypocrites and tools, all.
It goes back to college. 
At UC Santa Barbara, circa 1978, there were world class decathletes training there who had full sponsorships from Adidas or Puma. The Puma and Adidas reps would come around from time to time to kiss these athlete’s butts. However, they were impossibly arrogant and snotty to us lowly college athletes.
Then the Nike guy finally came around and gave all of us free crap and he promised to love us forever and never be two-faced and snotty like the Adidas and Puma guys. Nike was only seven years old at the time. 
Then I left for New York right when Nike started climbing in the shoe world and what happened? According to my track sources back at Santa Barbara, the Nike rep became ten times snottier than the Puma and Adidas guys ever were.
Not to go into the whole story, but I did get to spend three days at the Nike campus - circa 1993 - interviewing for a job in track marketing I was never going to get. By the second day, the feel of the corporate culture was becoming obvious. 

And it was not pretty.
When you first go to Nike, all you can do is be wildly impressed by the facilities. Gorgeous, Japanese/Frank Lloyd Wright-style  buildings, a lake in the middle, beyond state-of-the-art facilities including a travel agency, a gym, spa, weight room, saunas and an incredible bar and grill. You see the gym and soccer field all the time in Nike commercials.
Then you start to slowly notice the corporate mentality. The Nike corporate mentality encompasses all the nasty and negative qualities of over-competitiveness. 

When I first went to Nike, I thought it would be a lot of people like me. A bunch of humorous, ex-jocks who like to work out, have fun and love sports. 
No. Oh, hell no.
Practically the entire place is infested with those weekend-warrior-like cyclists, the ones who shave their legs and ride three across and give the finger to cars for passing too close. And vegans. Lots and lots of vegans. 

The whole Nike vibe reminded me of those rabid Orange County soccer moms. They smile at you, but you somehow just know, if you got in their way, they would cut out your still-beating heart and show it to you.

(Riddle: How can you tell the difference between a male and female Nike employee? The males are the ones who shave their legs) 

Though they may be serious about fitness, these were, both men and women, nerd-dorks masquerading as Alpha-dog jocks. Truth is, the jocks picked on them in high school and they secretly hate the jocks they now represent. As a result, the Nike employees were competitive to a fault, paranoid, ruthless, back-stabbing, humorless and downright surly and scary geeks. Man, they are geeks. 

Although I never met him, that is also the exact description I heard over and over of Phil Knight, the CEO. The company, Nike, was made in Knight’s image and Knight’s image is Satan if Satan was an impossibly arrogant, socially inept dork.

But I did interview with Knight's top assistant, her name rhymed with Shenya Shalmer. To say this women was scary is to say ISIS is cranky. Combine a furious Rosie O'Donnell with a pit bull - sans the lipstick and charm - and you have an inkling. Better yet, remember Kathy Bates character, Annie, in "Misery"? 


One of the top executives at Nike was funny and nice, and he confided to me Nike has a committee that takes Phil Knight's recommendations and, they don't just ignore them, they do the exact opposite, usually to spectacular results.  Ala George Costanza. 

Let us not forget Phil Knight was the marketing genius who went public in his unyielding support of Penn State's Joe Paterno. 

So when I see pompous commercials and hypocritical statements from Nike, I know the attitude of “We are the chosen few who are here to save mankind” is what is propelling it. The truth? The only two constants with Nike are greed and money. 

Make no mistake about it, Nike, made in the image of Phil Knight, is a company comprised of vicious and arrogant skinny little rodents who eat their own. Alive. 

Plus it is fun to poop on the swoosh. Come on, say it, poop on the swoosh. Poop on the Swoosh is my new punk band. 

But I still use their shoes. Their shoes are awesome. 
That is now the going rate to shut my pie hole, Nike. You best pay up. This blog reaches dozens of people a week.