In response to last week’s editorial, I heard through the grapevine something along these lines, “There he goes again – suggesting that Mammoth Lakes Tourism (MLT) should operate with less money. He doesn’t like MLT. He doesn’t think MLT does a good job.”
Wouldn’t it be great if you could mandate that people not skim things looking for words or phrases that support a preconceived idea?
The problem isn’t with MLT not doing a good enough job. The problem is that we’ve done too good a job, and have thrown so many resources at marketing that it’s created auxiliary problems (housing, et. al.).
So I’d like to make a sports analogy.
We are the Cleveland Browns of ski towns.
The Cleveland Browns, after years of mediocrity, came into the 2019-2020 as a popular, contrarian pick to win the Super Bowl. They had a young, brash quarterback named Baker Mayfield who seemed to spend the entire offseason making advertisements. They traded for Odell Beckham Jr., the most talented wide receiver in the league. They had a #1 overall draft pick anchoring the defensive line, a stud running back …
They had talent. Particularly talent at high-visibility “skill” positions.
They were rated in the preseason as tied for the 8th most likely to win the Super Bowl at 20-1. Same odds as the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.
But … the team’s current record is 6-7. They’re not going to the playoffs. Beckham Jr. wants to be traded. The stud defensive lineman swung a helmet at the bare head of an opposing quarterback and has been suspended indefinitely. And the quarterback throws interceptions around like a teenager taking selfies.
The team is the 4th most penalized in the league, has the 19th rated offense (out of 32 teams), the 16th rated defense and ranks 22nd in turnover differential – meaning, they’ve coughed up five more fumbles and interceptions than they have recovered.
But to the point. The Browns are not without charm and not without talent. They are without leadership and are fairly clueless when it comes to deployment of resources. The NFL has a salary cap for each team. You can only spend so much, and you’re not allowed to raise that cap (or TOT rates!) if you decide you don’t like the cap limit. So team management requires difficult financial choices.
In Mammoth, we spend heavily on our marketing department, particularly on the advertising agency hired by the marketing department. Those are our flashy “skill position” players.
But the “team” is in disarray. No one knows who the hell’s in charge. We’ve got a lot of folks who want to play quarterback – too many – and not enough who are interested in blocking or tackling.
We also seem to have a lot of punters.
When we’re not being penalized for having too many people in the huddle, we’re being penalized for delay of game, since not one of the 17
people in the huddle (you’re only supposed to have 11) seems to know what play to call, or have the authority to call it.
We also seem to have some trouble understanding the rule book. When
you take a “safety” (what happens when you are tackled in your own endzone), that’s not a good thing, a safety. It costs you two points.
The good NFL teams are the teams that evolve. They don’t get stuck on a particular strategy or a particular player. The Baltimore Ravens have remade themselves into a title contender by transitioning from a longtime QB who was a traditional dropback passer to a new, dynamic QB named Lamar Jackson who is a shoo-in to be league MVP this year.
The change wasn’t made by a new coach who sold the franchise on a new direction. It was made by the existing coach (with the support of management) who had the courage and dynamism and flexibility to dramatically shift his approach.
The Town of Mammoth is stuck right now in neutral because it doesn’t have brave management, nor does it have a leader who has the capacity to surf the shifting landscape.
Couple final things … I liked the headline (see below) my sister ripped out of the local paper back home in New Hampshire. Language matters. 39 revolting children is a helluva different concept than 39 children in revolt.
And I was disappointed in the local health departments (and told them so) in regard to a press release I received this week regarding a local hantavirus death.
While I know the health department was well-intentioned (it didn’t want to bring further grief upon the affected family by mentioning a name and circumstances), by not revealing those details, you’re not adequately giving the public the warning or the information it needs.
The person who died, we’ve come to discover, was just 32 years old. A newlywed. Who probably contracted the virus cleaning out a cabin. And that’s just the type of information we need to out out there to grab the attention of young people who may not be aware of how easy it is to contract hantavirus, and how deadly it is.