Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Imaginary Eyes Of The World Are On Fort Worth

Years ago, early on in my exposure to Fort Worth's Star-Telegram official city propaganda organ, I made note of an odd phenomenon occurring with frequency in that newspaper, a phenomenon which came to be known as "Green With Envy Syndrome".

Where in an article about some perfectly ordinary, nondescript subject, the article would declare that this subject was making towns, far and wide, green with envy. There were multiple iterations of this, verbiage, such as some lame thing would somehow supposedly give Fort Worth "Bragging Rights".

This type nonsense is a sub-set of other Star-Telegram nonsensical propaganda, such as an ill-conceived public works project turning Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South. Or a lame food court type thing being modeled after public markets in Europe, and Seattle's Pike Place. Or a sporting goods store being destined to be the top tourist attraction in Texas.

And now we have a new iteration of the Star-Telegram's "Green With Envy Syndrome".

College football kicks off with all eyes on Fort Worth

Yeah, that sounds believable. College football kicking off is causing all eyes, everywhere, to be on Fort Worth.

The article contains multiple embarrassing instances of nonsense. Let's go through the article and look at some of those embarrassing instances of nonsense. The first three paragraphs...

When nearly 2 million people tune in to ESPN’s “College GameDay” on Saturday, Fort Worth will be front and center.

The game between Oregon and Auburn will be played at AT&T Stadium, but Rece Davis, Lee Corso and crew will be in Sundance Square. That’s good for DFW sports fans, but it’s great for Fort Worth as the city looks to boost tourism and national attention.

“You can’t pay for the kind of free advertising ‘GameDay’ gives us,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

Okay, so "all eyes" is now reduced to 2 million people with 4 million eyes. And though the football game will be played in the Dallas Cowboy stadium in Arlington, Fort Worth will be front and center.

And this will somehow boost tourism in the town few tourists tour, and those 4 million eyes will be giving Fort Worth much needed national attention.

Fort Worth's mayor thinks you can not pay for this kind of free advertising.

Well, I can not help but wonder why ESPN does not broadcast from downtown Arlington's Founders Plaza, which is close to the stadium, is bigger than Sundance Square Plaza, has a large stage. And something Fort Worth rarely has, modern public restrooms. Does Fort Worth give ESPN one of those incentives the town is so fond of giving any business indicating possibly wanting to come to town?

Continuing on with the continuing nonsense with three more paragraphs...

“College GameDay” averaged 1.9 million viewers last year and it’s safe to assume that number will be the same or better for broadcasts this year. That’s priceless exposure, said Mitch Whitten, executive vice president for marketing and strategy for Visit Fort Worth.

Studies have shown most outsiders imagine Fort Worth as a much smaller city, between 30th and 40th in size — think Albuquerque, New Mexico, or Fresno, California — instead of as a top 20 city, larger than Seattle, Denver or San Francisco, Whitten said.

“There’s no question that nationally people associate Dallas-Fort Worth as one big area,” he said. “This helps us elevate Fort Worth as a city of its own.”

So, Fort Worth has a national reputation for being a much smaller town than it is. We assume the size we are talking about is population, because that is the only measure which ranks Fort Worth as a big city. Now, why would people not realize Fort Worth is a "bigger" city than Seattle, Denver or San Francisco.

Well, stating the obvious, Seattle is known for having hosted a successful World's Fair, which left a Space Needle and a Monorail in its wake. Seattle is known as a scenic town, surrounded by water and mountains, a major port, connected to the Pacific, home to Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Costco and other world wide known entities. And the town has a big skyline of towers, and two sports stadiums downtown. Oh, and cruise ships and ferry boats. Denver is known for being a mile high, with a backdrop of Rocky Mountains. San Francisco is known all over the world for a big bridge built over actual water, a skyline of skyscrapers, Fisherman's Wharf, being hilly, cable cars, Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury, and a lot of other things, including being a beautiful Pacific Ocean port.

Meanwhile Fort Worth is known, world-wide, for....I'm waiting...uh, can you think of anything?

The recognizable skyline? A bustling downtown which is a ghost town on the busiest shopping day of the year? For being the only big city in America with no downtown grocery stores or department stores? For city parks with a ridiculous number of outhouses. With most streets having no sidewalks?

For having public transit in the form of a converted bus called Molly the Trolley?

Well, to be fair, which we always are, there is the Fort Worth Stockyards, which are the one and only thing in Fort Worth which is remotely unique.

Oh, I forgot, Fort Worth is getting national recognition for hosting America's most embarrassing boondoggle, the Trinity River Vision, limping along for most of this century with little to show but a mess of stalled construction. Oh, and there is that eyesore which has been boarded up for over a decade, Heritage Park, dedicated to honoring Fort Worth's history, located at the north end of downtown, across the street from the county courthouse.

The article continues on with multiple additional instances of propaganda, including the final paragraph...

“People often ask whether that view down Main Street is real or a backdrop, which I think says a lot about our downtown,” Campbell said.

Really? People often ask if the view is real or not? Looking down Main Street? Isn't that the view which ends with that unfortunate part of the convention center which looks like a giant flying saucer has landed on downtown Fort Worth?

Another indicator of how embarrassingly clueless this "All Eyes On Fort Worth" hyperbole is, is can you imagine a Seattle, Denver or San Francisco newspaper touting such over something so lame? No, I can't either.  A headline declaring "All Eyes on San Francisco as ESPN Broadcasts from Fisherman's Wharf as College Football Kicks Off" followed by an article touting how this will be a huge boost to San Francisco tourism, boosting the town's image.

Read the entire College football kicks off with all eyes on Fort Worth  article for the full dose of Star-Telegram Chamber of Commerce propaganda nonsense which bears little resemblance to reality.

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