Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Paul Palmer Comic Book story

Time being as fleeting as it is, I didn't realize that 1986 was so long ago until I tried to find the Paul Palmer Comic book I lost.

It's the one the Temple SID department mailed to 1,050 Heisman Trophy voters back in 1986. I got a Heisman ballot because I was the Calkins' Newspapers college football writer that year and had stories on the sport regularly published in the Bucks County Courier Times, the Doylestown Intelligencer and the Burlington County Times.
The old comic book is somewhere, tattered I fear, in the middle of a whole bunch of Temple-related junk that I never really had a chance to categorize.
In those days, I was in the middle of apartment-hopping in Doylestown and just threw most of my stuff into my storage room.
It might be still there, but I can't find it. All I did was find a pretty well intact media guide from that year. You can see the cover photo and page two photo of Palmer in a post somewhere below this one entitled "Where's my Bernard Pierce comic book?"
Well, the Paul Palmer comic book story is relevant today because the campaign for the Heisman WITH POTENTIAL HEISMAN VOTERS is something, I believe, the university should be doing today.
Scott Walcoff, from the school's promotion department, is handling the back end of this campaign (for potential ticket-buyers) rather brilliantly with a Hunt of the Heisman billboard strategically placed at locations within a mile of Lincoln Financial Field.
The billboard states simply "Hunt for the Heisman" with the words below "you are 1 mile from history" and directs folks to owlstix.com for ticket information.
Support Temple Football Forever (and be the envy of the tailgate) by purchasing this simple bumper sticker, three inches high and 10 inches wide:

One low price ($20), two great ways to pay:
1) Any contribution of $20 or more via paypal (click over donate below) on or after July 6, 2010 will receive one. Please be sure to include address.
2) Mail $20 check and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
Mike Gibson
P.O. Box 243
Quakertown, PA 18951

First nine (9) contributions of $20 will not only receive that bumper sticker, but this one for free in honor of Bernard Pierce's Heisman campaign kickoff (also 3 inches high, 10 inches wide):

I am currently the only person in America to have that one on my bumper sticker. You can be one of 10. Allow two weeks for delivery. As always, thanks for supporting the only online site exclusively dedicated to Temple football.

Heady, smart, stuff.
Not enough, though, is being done from the front end, which, to me, is targeting the voters themselves.
That's where the comic book or something like it comes into play.
Back in 1986, Temple football information director Mike Kaine, working under SID Al Shrier, came up with the idea of mailing the comics with Paul Palmer on the cover and 16-pages of illustrated Paul Palmer information to the 1,050 voters.
"How much did it cost?" Kaine told a newspaper reporter back then. "I have no idea.
"It cost a lot, but the promotions department covered all the costs. We came up with the idea, wrote it, paid an illustrator and made the mailings. It was a significant investment."
It was critically acclaimed, too.
Last year, a Spokane (Wash.) newspaper called it one of the top five Heisman campaigns of all time, lumping it with a Vanderbilt quarterback's video that came with a bag of popcorn and Notre Dame's changing of the pronunciation of Joe "Theesman's" name to Joe Theisman (he spells it that way, but pronounces it the other) to rhyme with Heisman.
I could find only one negative comment on the campaign and that was a writer from the Los Angeles Times.
"What is Temple trying to do?" he wrote. "Insult our intelligence? We're writers. We can read."
He missed the point of the whole thing, which was to get Paul Palmer's name out there to the people who mattered the most, the Heisman voters.
Would that writer even mentioned Palmer's name if Temple didn't do something so eye-catching?
It doesn't have to be another comic book, but that wouldn't be a bad idea.
Scott Walcoff started this ball rolling with a terrific billboard campaign. Make modified bumper stickers out of those billboards and mail one to each of the 1,050 Heisman voters.
If cost is an issue, have the Owl Club raise the money.
Do something innovative.
Bernard Pierce deserves a Heisman launch that targets both fans and voters.