Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Should The NFL Give Pink, The Pink Slip?

Okay, I'm not "harping" on this issue, because I really don't care. If the NFL feels the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign is good, valuable, and worth doing, then good on them.

For the record, I am firmly against ALL cancer, including breast. Ladies, keep a keen eye on those precious orbs, get your checkups, and godspeed.

(PS: Is it okay for us men to keep one little eye on them, in the meantime? No?)

That said... here's an interesting story about how the whole campaign might actually be backfiring, like an Andy Reid gameplan.

But Professor Stefan Puntoni, an associate professor of marketing at the Rotterdam School of Management, has a study that shows that pink is not only not ideal, it could be detrimental to breast cancer fundraising.

Puntoni hypothesizes that since pink is targeted directly to them, women act defensive. When they feel less threatened and are not spoken to directly through copy or through pink color cues, Puntoni found that they were more likely to donate to a women-related charity (in his study, ovarian cancer).

"If more research shows that a change of color is desirable then we should move away from pink," Puntoni said. "If pink alone is not causing denial, then we can keep pink but just be aware of how it should be used to avoid the campaign backfiring."
While slogans like "Think Pink" have been thought of as success, Puntoni is quick to point out that "it's not about what women willingly want or don't want to think about.

The effects documented in our paper are automatic and non-conscious. People are not aware of them. In fact, a good way to kill the effect is to make women explicitly think about their fear of breast cancer."

The story explains that Commissioner Goodell's mother died of breast cancer, which sheds more light on the league's relationship to the cause. Many men have said "hey, where's the brown ribbon for prostate cancer, which is equally common for men, as breast cancer is for women?"

Come on, fellas. We don't need a ribbon, do we? If you don't know that your prostate is basically pre-determined to go cancerous the older you get, then you never cracked the body's manual. Plus, the survival rate for prostate cancer is like, 99%!

Breast cancer is pretty beatable too, at about 89% depending upon the table you consult.

Thankfully, almost ALL cancers have moved the needle significantly on survival rates since the 1960's thanks to modern medicine, research, and of course, money.

Unfortunately, two people who meant a lot to me, died of cancers with far less optimistic outcomes. Tony Snow, the former Fox News anchor, turned White House spokesman, died in July of 2008 of colon cancer. That nasty form has only a 64% 5-year survival rate. Tony was a big fan of my show, and extended invites to appear on his Saturday afternoon show on Fox for any sports related news story that rose to national headlines.

And the man who hired me nationally for Fox Sports Radio, Andrew Ashwood died just 2 months after that, after a gutsy but brutal battle with the the mother****** of all cancers, pancreatic cancer. That cancer has a 4% survival rate. He fought it with both fists for about a year, losing 100 pounds along the way. He was 51.

It sucks. It all sucks. And if the NFL decides this massive push for breast cancer is worth it, that's on them. It doesn't cost me a thing, and I do believe proceeds go to the American Cancer Society, not some individual account for breast cancer alone.

I do really hate the pink, though. If only because I am a uniform geek, that likes clean coherent colors and logos. How about this for an alternate way to raise money. Every week in October, fans can donate money for the cause, and specify WHICH COACH you would like to see decked out in full PINK, from head to toe.

Coach with the most money attached to his name, wins. Er, loses.

Andy Reid, as a giant pink ball of game-botching cotton candy?

I've got my checkbook ready. 


  1. They should drop it because the Komen foundation has a terrible donation to use rate i.e. it uses up a ton of those donations to just raise more money than fund research.

  2. I have said it before that if someone doesn't realize that pink is for breast cancer then they are either a moron or live in a cave.

    Personally I stopped any sort of support for the Komen Foundation after reading several articles like this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/komen-foundation-charities-cure_n_793176.html

  3. One week of wearing Pink is plenty

  4. Watched the mother****** of all cancers kill my father in law in less than a week. We don't need a pancreatic cancer month, more like a decade.

  5. Meanwhile "The Silent Killer"….ovarian cancer sits on the sidelines wondering when the national spotlight will be shown on it a la breast cancer One-third of American women will get some form of cancer in their lifetime and approximately one and one half percent of those cases will be ovarian cancer.

  6. Czabe, downright eerie that you mention pancreatic cancer, its grim rate of survival, and Mr. Ashwood's passing, with the death of Steve Jobs from this form just hours later.

    What a sad, terrible disease.