Notes on Quotes
As someone who has been in and around the media for more than 20 years, I have a special appreciation (and affinity) for a good quote. You know the ones–maybe it's the perfect analogy, a witty metaphor or some well-chosen words laced with emotion. These are the quotes we look to uncover in Notes on Quotes. And with that . . . a look now at five recent, noteworthy quotes:
5. "I believe everybody deserves an Etch-A-Sketch opportunity and an opportunity to start a new chapter."
Is there any better metaphor for a redo than an Etch-A-Sketch? As you may recall, back in 2012 the phrase gained fame thanks to a foot-in-mouth comment from Mitt Romney's senior campaign advisor - who basically admitted that he might be flip-flopping on some of his earlier political positions. ("I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes," the campaign manager said. "It's almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.") Now the metaphor is back - and in a much more uplifting way. Jonathan Martin was the offensive guard who quit the Miami Dolphins this past season after allegedly being bullied by his teammates. He is once again in the league thanks to his former college coach at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh, who coaches the 49ers. "I believe everybody deserves an Etch-A-Sketch opportunity and an opportunity to start a new chapter," he said. Harbaugh and the NFL are both hoping this time the Etch-A-Sketch produces a much prettier picture.
4. "With the benefit of hindsight, we are investigating whether, if different judgments had been made, the outcome may have been different."
Sometimes it's interesting to isolate a single word in a quote. In this case it's this one: hindsight. This statement was issued by Target after it was reported that they didn't pursue credible alerts that would have helped them thwart what turned out to be the great holiday credit card raid that impacted some 40 million customers. It's hard not to hear the word "hindsight" without thinking of the phrase "hindsight is twenty-twenty" and that's essentially the takeaway the Target team wants to hammer home. In other words, what may be obvious now wasn't so clear at the time. What's also not clear is whether the public, regulators and others will buy that explanation. But, the team at Target has been getting props from most observers who say they are tackling the problem head on and doing their best to mitigate the impact of the event. Short of a time machine (maybe the one thing Target doesn't sell) to go back and change things I think that's the best they can do.
3. "That's great news! Especially since we all know that drug dealers' and terrorists' first choice for financing is rolled coins!"
Quite often you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. JP Morgan recently took steps to avoid being associated with risky transactions by requiring that individuals who are looking to deposit cash in a personal bank account be listed on the account and show identification. While the regulators and good governance types would likely applaud the move, certain customers weren't so understanding. One Twitter user complained that the bank asked him for identification to deposit $5.50 worth of rolled coins. His response: "That's great news! Especially since we all know that drug dealers' and terrorists' first choice for financing is rolled coins!" (No word on why he didn't just take the $5.50 in cash.)
2. "I wanted to be a psychologist or work at a mental hospital, but this deal process is like working in one."
As far as courtships go, it was pretty dysfunctional. Jos A. Bank is smaller than Men's Warehouse, but about six months ago they boldly came out and said they wanted to buy their larger clothing competitor (minnow swallows whale). Men's Warehouse responded by saying they wanted to buy Jos A. Bank instead (whale whacks minnow with its tail). After much animosity, a deal between the two was finally consummated. Both companies' stock prices went up and all the senior executives are likely to do okay. Robert Wildrick, the chairman of Jos A. Bank, studied psychology in college, during the thick of the deal he delivered this winner to the WSJ: "I wanted to be a psychologist or work at a mental hospital, but this deal process is like working in one."
1. "They knew I kind of don't have it all up here [in the head]. There are some loose ends and they accept that."
Not sure what is more impressive with regard to this one - that an athlete turned down more money to stay in his comfort zone, or that he was so self aware that he knew he needed to be in his comfort zone. Jacoby Jones is a 29-year-old explosive receiver for the Baltimore Ravens (he scored a couple of amazing touchdowns in Super Bowl XLVII). As a free agent this off-season, he could have generated significant interest from other teams, but in the middle of his visit with the NY Giants he pulled a U-turn and headed back to Baltimore. "Honestly, when I was up in New York, I was walking around and I think I came to my senses really. It wasn't about money. It was the fact that this is probably the one place that would let me be myself, the city, the state, the organization, the coaches. They knew I kind of don't have it all up here [in the head]. There are some loose ends and they accept that." When asked how much money he left on the table, Jones capped it off with another good quote. "I don't know," he smiled, "I'm not good at math." Have a good one? Please share it with us on Twitter (@RussellASherman | @ProsekPR), Facebook or by via email at UnboxedThoughts@prosek.com.