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Saturday, October 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Marketing EWU’s red turf could be a bloody mess

John Blanchette believes “The Blood Stain” or “Blood Alley” would be fitting names for the Eastern Eagles’ new red turf. (Jesse Tinsley)
John Blanchette believes “The Blood Stain” or “Blood Alley” would be fitting names for the Eastern Eagles’ new red turf. (Jesse Tinsley)

Just me and the guy on the next barstool, finding something to complain about other than a pint going for 4 bucks:

Me: Worst. Contest. Ever.

Him: What’s that?

Me: Eastern’s new red football turf.

Him: It’s gonna be cool.

Me: Maybe. But the name is gonna be lame. Look at this – they’re running a contest on the EWU web site.

Him: Great idea.

Me: You haven’t seen the choices – look.

Him: “Inferno?” OK, that’s not so good. Sounds like an ’80s disco in the Valley.

Me: That may not be the worst of it. Keep reading.

Him: “Lava Pit?”

Me: Yes, right there at the base of Mount St. Cheney.

Him: There has to be something here. What’s wrong with “Red Zone?”

Me: Every football field already has a red zone, dummy. What are they going to call it when the Eagles get inside the 20?

Him: There’s “Big Red.”

Me: Gum? You’re going to name it after gum? It’s not like they can sell the naming rights – they already named it after the guy who paid for it.

Him: Hey, what about “Ring of Fire?”

Me: Is the pep band going to play Johnny Cash when the team runs onto the field?

Him: “Red Carpet?”

Me: Too inviting.

Him: “Red Sea?”

Me: Too Jewish.

Him: What’s really your problem with all of these?

Me: None of them have “blood” in the title!

Him: Really?

Me: It’s football! It’s tough! Blood and guts! You want visiting teams to think pain! You want to pander to rawest possible fan element!

Him: So you’d call it …

Me: “Blood Alley!” Or “The Blood Stain!”

Him: The Blood Stain? This is college football, not a hacker movie.

Me: That’s the whole problem. College football couldn’t be more corporate and antiseptic than it is now. This is a perfect opportunity to inject some life into it. Especially at Eastern. They could use a little myth-making out there, a little color. Plus there are all the possible slogans and marketing spin-offs.

Him: I don’t think I like where this is going.

Me: Tell me a schedule poster or a TV ad wouldn’t have impact if it said, “Eagles Football: There Will Be Blood!”

Him: Oh, no. And I supposed you’d call the season-ticket campaign…

Me: “The Blood Drive,” naturally.

Him: Here we go. And buying a single-game ticket would be…

Me: A “Blood Sample,” of course.

Him: I think you’ve gone blood simple.

Me: I’m telling you, the mileage Eastern could get out of this is endless. Just think of the lever this could be for increasing the level of participation by boosters.

Him: You mean “Blood donors,” right?

Me: Exactly.

Him: And the wad Michael Roos put down to buy this rug is “Blood Money?” But what about those who are reluctant to give?

Me: Well, they’ll be “Coughing Up Blood,” won’t they?

Him: Oh, please.

Me: And tailgating takes on a whole new appeal – another aspect to advertise and market. I can see it now – “Blood Thirsty? Wheel your Blood Mobile into Eastern’s tailgate haven and mix up a Bloody Mary.” And when they go to the concession stand, they can buy…

Him: A “Blood Sausage?”

Me: You’re bloody well right.

Him: Aren’t we straying quite a bit from Eastern’s own themes and traditions? They’re the Eagles, after all, not the Freddy Kruegers.

Me: Which reminds me – time to dump that “Swoop” mascot and get something to go with this rug. I’ve got it! “The Blood Hound!”

Him: I think you’re going a little overboard. Not that there aren’t possibilities. I mean, the first game on the…

Me: “Blood Stain?”

Him: …new turf is against Montana, right. Surely that could be billed as a “Blood Feud.”

Me: Absolutely. But why stop there? You know how the traffic always backs up almost all the way out to Betz road for the Griz game? Well, that’s the “Blood Clot.” Eastern fans screaming for victory will be consumed by “Blood Lust.” Griz fans will be “Spitting Blood.” The defensive line will apply “High Blood Pressure” to the Griz quarterback. The winner will have the inside track to the Big Sky championship and the “Throne of Blood.”

Him: Stop. Just stop.

Me: I’m just getting started. We’ll have “Blood Oaths.” The Eags will be “Blood Brothers.” Pre-game warm-ups will be their “Blood Ritual.” Central Washington will be the “Blood Relations.” Players who are academically ineligible will be guilty of “Blood Doping.”

Him: No more! Enough!

Me: Wow. That was almost “Blood Curdling.”

Him: You know, there’s one fear that every Eastern fan has with this new red rug – and that’s having it fade to pink in the sun. What then?

Me: No sweat. We’ll blame it on “Low Blood Sugar.”

Him: You know what you are?

Me: What?

Him: A “Blood Sucker.”

Me: Guilty.

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