Today’s I’ve Ben thinking….

1. Just in time for summer reruns – Mike Brown! I don’t even know what to say. Maybe Mike Brown got a bad rap when he was here. Maybe he really does improve a team’s defense to the point it’s a difference maker. Maybe he has learned a lot from his experiences since leaving Cleveland. Maybe he gives the Cavs a better chance to land LeBron in the summer of 2014. But man, did it make me cringe when I read that he was coming back. You know who didn’t cringe? Every Lenscrafter within a five mile radius of the Q.

2. One more blow to the head of Cable TV. While I think what we consider to be a problem these days (slow Internet, no wireless, limited DVR) I do find the DirectTV Genie commercials highly entertaining. Who doesn’t like/hate seeing that guy get sneezed on by his dentist?  And who doesn’t hate having to send that check off to the cable company every month? But there are a lot of alternatives quickly emerging and quickly improving that may force cable to reconsider its model if it wants to be around in five years.

The latest is Aero TV – check it out. You sign-up, they send you a freakishly small TV antenna that allows you to choose from a decent-but-still-somewhat-limited selection of channels and turn your computer into your TV. Simple as that. All for $13/month. Irritated because you can’t watch DVR’d programs in every room of your house? Just take the DVR’d program with you. Seriously, did I say five years? I meant three. I need to check this out. And now it looks like I can – it’s coming to Cleveland and you can preorder it on their site.

3. My new favorite NFL player works at Jimmy Johns during the offseason. Get this – Terrance Ganaway, the rarely used St. Louis running back who just finished his rookie year is working at Jimmy Johns during the offseason. I caught him on ESPN Radio’s Coach and Company talking about how he tweeted that he was bored and needed a job. So the local Jimmy Johns tweeted him back and offered him a job. Ganaway made $390k last year (appearing in three games – nice gig if you can get it) and now makes $7.50 an hour.

In the interview I heard he said it taught him the value of a dollar, seeing how hard people work for so little. He said he was humbled by their work ethic and it made him have even a great appreciation for fans who spend hard-earned money on games, team gear, etc. I think all NFL rookies should have to do this. Too often NFL players – all sports professionals actually – lose sight of how hard it is for the average fan to spring for tickets, beers, gear, etc. It was nice to just hear a player acknowledge this. Sometimes I think that’s all fans want. We know pro athletes live in a different world but have some respect for those who live in the real one.

4. Red Hook does it again with Audible Ale. Thanks to the AKHIA beer exchange I was introduced to a new beer from Red Hook called Audible Ale, inspired and developed with the Dan Patrick Show. Why? Because, as they say, it’s a quality, good tasting beer you can ‘crush without being sloppy by halftime’. And while I only crushed one and the Tribe was rained out, I have to agree that it is definitely a good tasting beer. Definitely check it out.

5. Finally, in case you missed it, you are worth $174 to facebook. I hate this stat – I don’t get it. As the article points out you will spend more with the brands you like in a year than what you’re worth. And the fact is, without interaction/engagement that number can have a much higher ceiling. On the flip side, losing you a consumer means much more to a brand (you choose to buy a different brand of car, for example).  And what about influence and word of mouth for those of us who are more opinionated? I would think the value of those fans would be much higher. So while I like that we are trying to assign a value, because, you know, EVERYthing has to be measured so narrowly today, there are some things that may be a little more complex to measure…or need a little more time to do so. I think social and specifically facebook is an example of that.