Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sharpie Ushers in New Form of Celebration

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sharpie Ushers in New Form of Celebration

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods, Times-Union sports columnist

The question today, as the NFL returns to action for the first time since Monday night, isn't just who will score. Or how they will do it. It's how they will celebrate.

With a spike or a Sharpie?

You think there was a buzz around your water cooler Tuesday morning. Imagine what it was like in Bellwood, Ill., at the Sanford corporate headquarters.

Sanford has been in business since 1857. It has been making Sharpie markers since 1964. On July 15, it unveiled a new marketing campaign that, according to a press release, focused on "the wide and sometimes wild uses of America's favorite marker."

The title of the campaign: "How do you use your Sharpie?"

We now know Terrell Owens' answer.

Put Sharpie in your sock. Score a touchdown. Autograph football, trot over the stands and hand it to your financial advisor, who happens to be sitting in the box of another one of his clients. The defensive back you just burned.

Even Shannon Sharpe never did this, although come to think of it his name would have made it a perfect tie-in.

For the past week, coverage of the celebration has repeatedly referred to the Sharpie. Not to "a marker" or "a pen." A Sharpie.

"When it happened, we were just as surprised as everyone else," Sanford spokesman Michael Finn said, adding that Owens is not on the payroll. "And while we certainly do not endorse carrying a Sharpie in your sock on the football field, we're happy to see that Sharpie has become synonymous with sports."

Not everyone is as thrilled that it has become this synonymous. Seattle coach Mike Holmgren called the scene "shameful." And one of his players, defensive tackle John Randle, called it embarrassing. Of course, it should be noted that Randle once made a sack, then got down on all fours and mimicked a dog urinating on a fire hydrant, a celebration that he apparently believes made Dick Butkus quite proud. …

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