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All comments by Donald Mamula
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From my grapevine sources, it appears that the WBF position went to Al Levy, defeating Georgia Heth.
5 hours ago
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Did you play it with the “enhancements”??
14 hours ago
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Jeff - The Prisoner has come in and out of streaming services for a while. Mostly as “bootleg” channels that soon get shut down. Checking through my Roku, I found a channel called “The Prisoner” that currently has the 16 episodes. Get it while you can.

In addition, Prime Video will sell them for $2 an episode.
14 hours ago
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At one point, only every other special game could be for a “local charity”. The other had to go to the CF. Has that changed?
March 20
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Larry S and Richard F - When “Secret Agent” was originally broadcast in the UK, it was known as “Danger Man”. The Johnny Rivers title theme was only in the USA version, while the UK version used an instrumental by Edwin Astley.
March 19
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Barry: But it hasn't. And I doubt that it will. AA had numerous opportunities and punted them all. Now, they say they will.

I'm not from Missouri but “Show Me” - don't tell me.
March 18
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I really can't say. Much is lost to the mists of time.

I do recall that at one time, the Charity Foundation paid for its trustees to travel to each NABC - for a short meeting and a check presentation. That ended sometime in the 90s, roughly with the Christie Jones embezzlement.

My own suspicion on the start – some folks in the ACBL hierarchy wanted to set up a charitable foundation for them to funnel their own donations through. Plus, the CF would then provide perks to the trustees. The special games were a means to provide funding outside the usual ACBL budgets and treasury - just like what has happened with all sorts of other “projects”.

I have ZERO factual evidence for the origins theory, 100% first-hand evidence of the trustee perks.

Currently there is a bit of chicken and egg regarding the CF and special games. My own belief - end the special games. If the CF can survive without them, relying on personal donations alone, all well and good. If they can't, then we see that it only survived due to a forced surcharge on the membership. And our membership can choose to fund whatever charities each member selects, and to their own level of donation.
March 18
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Then let's get the ACBL out of the charity business. If our members want to make individual donations, I'm all for that. But should we be committing organizational resources and attention to another group that provides little benefit back to the ACBL as an organization? Especially given the precarious position that the league is in.
March 18
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And yet, given the importance of the social aspects, folks keep pushing the “you can compete against world champions” theme. Sadie Kumkuat (and some of you are old enough to remember that reference) doesn't WANT to play against world champions. Or even local champions.
March 18
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Not wrong, Jeff B.
March 18
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Steve - one word - perception.

Chess is viewed as a “brainy game”.
Bridge is viewed as “cards”.

Until bridge is also viewed as an equally “brainy” game, that won't change.
March 18
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I'll believe it when I see it.

In the past, this was a personal (almost vanity) project of the CEO, who had a family member with Alzheimer's. We sent hundreds of thousands of dollars and got little back other than a nice warm feeling and plaques and awards for our CEO. We were a piggy bank.

Also note that there's just a tangential relationship with bridge. Maybe they will give some grant money to researchers (which could have happened in the past as well). Maybe there will be some “bridge” component to the “Pointer Trial”, which sounds like some omnibus study designed to attract future funding.

When AA does something that actually promotes the playing of bridge, let me know.
March 18
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I remember how the league tried to hype the game when Wilt Chamberlain started playing. Ditto with Navratilova. Neither stuck with it. So much for Oprah, IMO.
March 17
Donald Mamula edited this comment March 17
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Presence on SM means little so long as you have little or no message. And that means a message that would have relevance to the target audience.
March 17
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So…you already bought it??
March 16
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Tom - much of my career was spent in marketing/advertising/management. For many many years, I told the BoD that they needed to do this kind of thinking.

Instead, we got a board member who put a friend before us as a “strategic coach”. We ended up with a document full of platitudes and vague “goals”. Lots of circles and arrows, but with surprisingly few quantifiable goals and objectives. (Maybe not surprisingly, given the very touchy-feely nature of the planning session) Interestingly, it has disappeared from the ACBL website.

Why the kind of hard analysis and decision-making needed was never really done? My opinion: Few of the members of the BoD had the skills to make that kind of analysis, most members of the BoD prefered fuzzy thinking and vague goals, and management was glad to have a plan that didn't have any kind of performance metrics that they could be held to. (And which led to huge raises for the CEO, since the board just voted on whether they “thought” he did a good job.
March 16
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Peg - OUR generation often learned in college. Therefore, it is natural for us to think that other generations could do the same.

Same as how WE think that duplicate bridge is one of the best activities in the world - and we then believe that most other “intelligent” people would think the same.

I have a personal rule - whenever someone says “well, back when I…”, I put up a big halt. That's anecdotal projection - better to ask what is the current state of affairs.

It's like warfare. The losers are still fighting the last war, the winners are creating the new means to fight.
March 16
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Richard - part of the issue is that “market” is a huge concept with a huge target audience. Unfortunately, the ACBL has never truly defined what target market, and to what end.

We've pushed to juniors, pushed to seniors, pushed to the world in general. Is it to just get people playing bridge, or to get them to play competitive duplicate bridge? Many defining questions, few defining choices.
March 15
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I guess that bass fishing didn't want to become an Olympic sport, so it didn't become entangled with CAS and WADA.

Something to learn from?
March 15
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I would bet that an email or phone call to Tracy Yarbro at the museum in Horn Lake would get you the right issue of the Bulletin with the details.
March 12
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