Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Greg Oden: Slam-dunk as News Peg

Journalists are always looking for ways to hook the public on issues of pressing importance.

Like tonsillectomies, for instance.

The way to do it is to find a celebrity to front for the issue.

Like Greg Oden, the Trail Blazers' hyped-to-the-max, 7-foot rookie center.

Conveniently, the 19-year-old needs a tonsillectomy, so the public-spirited press has the chance to delve into the intricacies of these extractable organs as Oden, the NBA center turned tonsillectomy out-patient, goes under the knife next Tuesday.

Oh the minutiae of it all!

It began in today’s Oregonian:

600,000 Americans have their tonsils removed each year.

The average age for having one’s tonsils removed is 7.

But adults and older teenagers, like Greg, make up one-third of the tonsillectomy patients.

Want to know more? Here’s The Oregonian’s breathless tonsil description, just in case you missed it:

“Tonsils are soft flaps of tissue at the back of the throat, one on each side. They are part of the lymphatic system, helping to catch germs before they cause infections in the throat, mouth or sinuses.”

Now you know, thanks to Greg’s celebrity tonsils, which may begin to feel like our own as Greg’s removal day approaches.

What next for Greg as news peg? Consider….

Greg Oden has really big feet (shoe size 18), but he’s not alone. Thousands suffer through “Big Foot” jokes. And a whole clod-hopper industry has grown up to serve them ....

When Greg Oden parks downtown, he has to feed parking meters, and so do you. In fact thousands of people smaller than Greg do it each day — or don’t, and have parking tickets to show for their transgressions. Greg, by the way, hasn’t been here long enough to get a ticket. Parking meter revenue and fines pay for more city services than you or Greg might imagine ….

Just because he’s really tall and people like him a lot, Greg Oden can’t avoid taxes, and neither can you. Yes, it’s tax time again and ….

Greg Oden isn’t the only young person who votes, etc., but he’d like to see many more of his generation casting ballots. Non-voting is a big problem among the young ….

No matter how Oden, sans tonsils, works out as Trailblazer center, he is the odds-on favorite for one honor, MVNP — Most Valuable News Peg.

Hook'em Greg!

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