Hooked On The NinersBianchini's Market

On the Tunney Side of the Street 7

by Jim Tunney

After Further Review ... "Got milk?" We have all seen that slogan/advertisement over and over. The Milk Industry pushes its product by using dozens of superstars with their upper lip coated with milk. They pay big bucks to professional athletes encouraging the public to drink more milk. But - have you seen the Milk Industry's latest gimmick using high school kids to coat their upper lip with that white stuff? "Do you want your high school senior to star in a milk mustache ad?" says the ad now running on the front page of the sports section of USA Today. The question asks high school seniors, "Think you have what it takes to be a SAMMY award winner?" SAMMY, is Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year award.

SAMMY is in its 10th year of these scholar-athlete awards. Twenty-five student athletes can win a $7500 college scholarship - and ... and... "Your very own milk mustache ad (picture, of course) in USA Today." PUHLEESE! You kiddin' me? High school seniors in a national milk mustache ad? Leave the kids alone! While I applaud the Milk Industry for encouraging high school seniors to excel in "academic, athletics and community involvement" and, of course, for drinking milk, let's not make national celebrities out of kids. In today's fast-paced society, we move young people along too quickly.

This is also evidenced as high school football players are now being awarded "Heisman" trophies, which traditionally have been reserved for the outstanding collegiate football player each year. John Heisman, for whom the award is named, was a prominent college football player and coach (circa late 1800's and early 1900's), yet never wanted a trophy named for him, but allowed his name to be used for this collegiate award. To give "The Heisman" to high school players diminishes that distinction. Let's keep this recognition for the award it was intended. Let kids grow up without this type of superfluous adulation.

Scholarships are always needed and wanted, especially in today's economic times. Having been a Director on the National Football Foundation's local chapter for 20+ years, we proudly recognized scholar-athletes with a financial scholarship and a banquet, announcing their achievements to their local community. There are 120 chapters of this Foundation throughout the United State who give these scholarships annually. SAMMY blows the whole idea of scholarships out of proportion. Oh, BTW, the 2009 SAMMY award applications are due tomorrow!

Will you encourage students to seek scholarships without becoming "superstars" too early in life?

For more information about Jim Tunney, please visit his website: www.JimTunney.com, or if you would like to respond to this message, please send your email to Jim@JimTunney.com