Mike, buddy, sit down. Let's have a chat about branding. In fact, GP? Can you come in here as well? This concerns both of you...

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Guys, I'm a straight shooter, a direct talker... a vector, if you will. So, I'm just going to dive in here. It's time to let go of Nick Selby before things get out of control. Beyond that, celebrating and branding with Nick's speech is... How should I put this, stupid for several reasons. Some of which we'll touch on here, others I'm just not that intimately involved with and therefore, it would come off as contrived if I were to attempt an explanation, so I won't. I'll leave it to smarter, more interested men to elaborate.

First, all the credit in the world to Nick. What he did was not easy and it took balls to throw himself out there over the ledge. It's obvious he loves Tech and he did a fantastic job of conveying that to the audience. But objectively, his speech is really nothing more than a public celebration of his personal nerdiness. It's the kind of thing for which you cheer in person and then immediately and silently thank God it wasn't you up there. It's humiliating, embarrassing, hilarious and exciting, all at the same time. Kinda like that walk of shame in the morning following a late night or a frat swap. Sure, it's embarrassing that everyone you pass can smell the bourbon, regret, shame and a little dried vomit, emanating from your direction but hey, we had an epic time. We got laid (probably) and everybody knows it, so that's awesome. AMIRITE!?!? It's fine (and almost expected) every now and then, it's just not something of which you want to get into the habit, lest you develop a public reputation for it.

Secondly, when the University latches onto something organic like this, it cheapens and trivializes the occurrence. It's almost an admission that the University can't really think of something better....soooo... here's a video of a guy geeking out on stage... ISN'T THAT AWESOME??? DON'T YOU WANT TO STUDY AT TECH NOW!?!?!? It's beneath the perception and the grandeur of a fantastic Engineering institution like GaTech. I know that might sound pretentious, but it's true. The University can allow certain things (some odd, some embarrassing, some cool, some controversial) to unfold under it's sphere of influence, without officially acknowledging them and therefore, remain aloof and above the fray, while still benefiting indirectly from the attention those things garner. In this manner, the University remains respectable, professional, sovereign. Don't get down in the muck, stay on the sidewalk and keep those shiny shoes in ship shape.

Lastly, I'm a proud alumnus of a university with the absolute WORST PR problems in the country, bar none. We're talking... epic. Ole miss endures horrific issues with public perception and accepting internal sociocultural evolution, problems walking a razor thin line between embracing our culture and historic significance but also accepting and relishing the future by demonstrating our obvious progress to the rest of the country. If Ross Bjork can improve our image and perception while simultaneously minimizing and/or down playing opportunities for regression, I'm confident that you two (along with the appropriate departmental resources) can come up with something more befitting a premier academic institution, than a Big Bang Theory-esque geek out by an over eager sophomore with which to espouse the allure of matriculation at your fine university.

In summation, don't be "that guy" at the academic keg party. You're Georgia Freakin Tech, for crying out loud. You don't need to outwardly and awkwardly celebrate the fact that you're super geeky and delightfully quirky. Everyone knows this. TRUST ME, everyone knows this. What you need to focus on is separating yourselves from similar institutions. Convince people that GaTech is head and shoulders above the competition. That the education you provide is more valuable and more accessible that the competition. This video does not do that at all. Your target demographic already knows they are nerds. They've accepted it, but they don't particularly want to be reminded of it every time the Wreck is on TV. Move on. Don't focus on being the geekiest geek on the block. Focus on being the geek with 20" pythons who dates the homecoming queen and will beat your ass for using the word "geek" within earshot.

GaTech Alumni are one hell of an entertaining, intelligent, snarky, endearing bunch. Listen to them. Get their feedback and opinions. They're the best asset you have in growing and developing your brand. After all, they've been through the system and emerged into the market with a degree. They are a built in focus group who are emotionally invested in seeing GaTech thrive. In the future, before jumping in bed with a tipsy Sheldon Cooper after several glasses of chardonnay, try running your ideas past a few of them and then heed their suggestions. You're better than this, fellas. The Georgia Institute of Technology is better than this.


A random OM fan.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the FTRS writing staff, and are spotlighted purely to create discussion.

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