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Who writes these lawyer commercials?

Memphis attorney Lang Wiseman has posted a roundup of clips to funny and, well, unique TV commercials for attorneys.

I don’t think Memphis has anything that comes close to the “California switchblade” or the guy who promises he’s the hammer and insurance companies are the nails.

You win a vacation – in Memphis

The Cheesecake Factory is in the midst of a contest – “The Great Glamburger Challenge” – in which members of the public are supposed to choose one of five choices for a new hamburger to add to the menu.

The creator of the winning burger wins a vacation in one of these locales: Sonoma, Calif.; Monterey, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Rogue River Valley, Ore.; Sante Fe, N.M.; and Memphis.

From South Africa to Memphis

TV viewers of Saturday’s World Cup heartbreaker between the U.S. and Ghana saw occasional shots of a crowd inside Cordova’s Flying Saucer, where U.S. goalie Tim Howard’s wife Laura was watching the match.

The Howards – here’s a recent overcoming-the odds NBC news profile of Tim – keep a home in Germantown. They might not have the same level of relative anonymity here anymore after the dramatic, emotional roller coaster ride the U.S. team took fans on during their spirited 2010 World Cup run.

It brought huge TV ratings, drew countless fans to social media sites like Twitter and a wave of enthusiasm that put the sport, briefly, front and center in the U.S.

The Meeting That Got Away

It appeared with no fanfare or advance notice.
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s public schedule is posted on the city’s website. And included under Friday’s events was a meeting with City Attorney Herman Morris and Bass Pro Shops CEO Jim Hagale. No time or place was listed.

After it was noticed by us and other media, the event vanished from the mayor’s public schedule some time Thursday.

Wharton then put out the word Friday morning that there would be no meeting. It was tweeted and posted on the mayor’s website.

“But note that June 30 still remains the deadline for this redevelopment project, as I announced to City Council several weeks ago,” he added. “We are excited about the progress that we have made and the prospects for a positive announcement. I’ll make an additional statement next week.”

Until recently, the mayor’s office didn’t list a public schedule for the mayor.

And meetings with business leaders looking to make a deal to move to Memphis have always been a sensitive topic usually done with no notice before, after or during a get together.

When the mayor’s office was on the second floor of City Hall, the same floor where the press room has been since the building opened in 1967 and remains today, reporters were known to sit on a bench outside the press room with a view of whoever was going into the mayor’s office.

Unless you were up on what your Fortune 500 executives looked like, you usually looked for a group of guys with brief cases and dark tailored suits. The one without a brief case was usually the head knocker whom you would try to get to identify himself on the way in and on the way out. It rarely worked as well as using the same tactics to cover the federal grand jury just one block over at the Federal Building.

If the city reaches a lease agreement that will bring Bass Pro Shops to The Pyramid expect a party. The long – longer than expected – public road to this still tentative deal began with a Feb. 2006 ceremonial unveiling involving fishing rods and reels. Willie Herenton was Memphis Mayor at the time.

His administration didn’t get an offer from Bass Pro Shops. It conducted a study to find the best use for The Pyramid and the group’s conclusion was an outdoor retailer – either Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s.
Downtown developer Henry Turley had already tried privately to float the Cabela’s scenario but found little support to move forward and moved on to other projects. The city approached Bass Pro Shops and the company was interested.

Wharton, who was then county mayor, was also there with a rod and reel. County government, at the time, was a co-owner. It has since sold its interest in The Pyramid after the city offered several million dollars to continue city funding of the Health Department for one more fiscal year.

At last report, Bass Pro Shops still intended to open The Pyramid, out of business since late 2004, in Nov. 2011. That’s an ambitious opening date given there will be some kind of seismic retrofitting involved in the reconfiguration of The Pyramid. Bass Pro Shops has insisted on it and the city will be paying for it as the landlord.

Time.com and Memphis Beat

Time Magazine’s TV blog “Tuned In” serves up the umpteenth review of “Memphis Beat,” TNT’s show about Memphis that assembled as many cliches about the city as it could think of and then ran off to Louisiana to put it all on film.

One thing I do like is how these reviews – and, really, the show – are almost a Rorschach Test of a person’s southern sensibilities. I’ve talked to people who want to give it chance, some who like the slightly off-kilter vibe, and some who think it’s got less depth than an early 90’s boy band.

Dansette

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