Category “Sports”

The Super Bowl of Pest Control

Friday, 4 February, 2011

As the Packers and Steelers are just days away from squaring off in Super Bowl XLV, we thought about what a Super Bowl of pest control would look like. Who, or what, would make our playoff bracket? Who are the favorites? Dark horses?

We’ve compiled a list of the top 8 most feared and dangerous insects in the United States. Without being too technical, here is our playoff bracket.

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The Africanized Bee and Black Widow come in as our #1 seeds, based off fear alone.  The Bark Scorpion and Brown Recluse share similar fear factors, but seem to be less common to the average citizen.  Before we get going, let’s take a closer look at our competitors.  Starting with the AFC…

Africanized Bee – Commonly known as the Killer Bee, the Africanized Bee is a temperamental character.  They are very territorial and typically attack humans and/or livestock in large numbers.  Colonies can be as large as 500 strong.  Basically, when you mess with one bee, you get the hive.

Harvester Ant – Often overlooked for the more popular Fire Ant, the Harvester Ant packs a quite a punch.  It has the ability to bite and sting, and can affect the lymph channels for hours.  One ant hill will put you in a world of hurt.

Bark Scorpion – A native of the Southwest, the Bark Scorpion chimes in as the deadliest scorpion in the world.  While human fatality is typically a result of an allergic reaction, their stings are extremely painful and swelling has been known to last for days.  They are master survivors, as they are able to last up to 8 months off a single feeding.  They only engage live prey and are relentless in the hunt. Disrespecting these will be the last mistake you ever make.

Bed Bug – Let’s just be honest.  Although they have not been proven to transmit illness, fact of the matter is that they sleep in your bed with you.  And while you’re sleeping, they suck on your blood.  And that is just nas. ty!

Now, the NFC…

Black Widow – No doubt the most infamous spider in the land with the tenacity and after-bite effects similar to the scorpion.  The widow comes in as the top seed in the NFC for this reason alone:  She eats the male after mating.  Forget that!

Yellow Jacket – Yellow Jackets are the consummate fighters.  They sting AND bite.  And when they do, they do so repeatedly.  Ouch!

Brown Recluse – When these bad boys come out to play, they’re in it to win it.  Often times their bites will go unnoticed for several hours, followed by an onslaught of pain.  While a scar is the most common effect, some bites may lead to kidney failure and tissue loss.  Their motto? “That’s gonna leave a mark!”  And it will.

Centipede – Maybe they get laughed at for having about 50 legs, but don’t be fooled.  These guys can scrap.  Call it “little man syndrome” if you will, but these guys hunt prey at least twice their size.  Birds, lizards, mice and even bats often fall prey to their potent venom.  Besides, you see that scene in The Matrix where the bionic centipede forces itself into Neo’s body.  No thank you!

OK, let’s get Round 1 underway.

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Harvester Ant was really no match for the bee.  Bee’s offense became to suffocating when it started to fly.  The attack started coming from all sides.

Being that Bed Bug got into the playoffs on a wild card win, it just couldn’t stack up against Bark Scorpion.  Scorpions plays by the saying “the best defense is a great offense”.

Black Widow came in as the favorite, but Yellow Jacket gave them an early first-round exit.  It’s not about what you do in the regular season.  It’s all about the playoffs.

With as many legs as Centipede has, its game plan was to run, run, run.  Recluse was able to make some adjustments and squeak by to stay alive.

Next up, Conference championships.  Arguably the best weekend in pest football.  This is the once in a lifetime chance to stamp your ticket to the big one.  This is what these…things, have been working towards since they hatched.  This is where these pests claim their spot in the pantheon of the world’s greatest pests.

It’s game time fellas!  1-2-3 Win!

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First, the NFC Championship.  Bee got out to a quick first-half lead.  Scorpion was out-maned by about 300 bees, but that eventually led to numerous flags for “too many insects on the field”.  This gave scorpion the short field and was able to take advantage of field position in the second half.  As we all know, it’s not how you start – it’s how you finish.

In the AFC Championship, Yellow Jacket was hoping to take its momentum from its upset win in the previous round all the way to the promised land.  But Cinderella just couldn’t make it until midnight.  Recluse was out to prove a point.  Underestimated all season long.  Doubted by the critics.  Constantly living in the shadows of the Black Widow.  It was Recluse’s turn to write its own history.  Yellow Jacket was able to keep it close, but as expected, Recluse’s shots eventually caught up to Yellow Jacket.  And then the pain set in.  Recluse was last bug standing.

There we have it.  Bug Bowl XLV is Bark Scorpion vs. Brown Recluse.  These are two characters that have been here before.  No newcomers this time.  Both sides are approaching this game as business as usual.  Of course, Media Day is always a frenzy of weird and wild questions.  Question to Bark Scorpion: “Are you a little bummed you’re not facing Black Widow on Sunday?  She’s pretty cute.”  Answer: “Well once the game starts, it’s about competing.  Besides, if she were to win, she would probably eat me, and that wouldn’t be good for my image.”

Question to Recluse from reporter from Telemundo Insecto: “Will you marry me?”  Answer: “Ummm…no bueno!”

As we all know, we can’t crown a champion until we play the game.  Best of luck to both sides and may the nastiest bug win.

The game got out to a slow start.  They may be veterans, but both sides needed a few minutes to settle their nerves and get to work.  Scorpion scored first with an early sting.  Nothing fatal, but Recluse has some catching up to do.  The best thing Recluse can do is stick to the game plan.

Second half saw a little bit more action.  Recluse was able to get some points on the board and even took an early fourth quarter lead.  It was going to come down to clock management.  Whoever controls the ball controls the clock.  Scorpion is known for its patience and a timely interception gave Scorpion the ball with only minutes left.  Once Scorpion got into the Red Zone, it was able to seal the deal with only seconds remaining.  Recluse went with the last second “Hail Mary” but Scorpion was able to bat it down with that fact acting stinger.  Game. Over!

Your 2011 Bug Bowl XLV Champion is:  Bark Scorpion.

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Bark Scorpion, you’ve just won the Bug Bowl.  Where are you going next?

“I’m going to A Bug’s Land at Disneyland’s California Adventure! Wooooooo!!!…”

Have a nice off-season everyone.

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The SEO Fumble of the Year

Wednesday, 10 November, 2010

I’m just the PPC and social media manager for Bulwark Exterminating. The SEO guys sit behind me. They are constantly bouncing ideas and theories back and forth on how to up our rankings and visibility in the search results. It’s them vs. Matt Cutts. I catch enough of their cross-fire to at least be able to keep up in a less-than-casual SEO conversation.

My off-duty forte lies in sports. And for working in an office full of dudes, I feel that I’m the most versed in this arena (pun intended). Stats, dates, names, scores, records, odd facts, etc. I have a good handle on all of them. For example, did you know: The shoes that Michael Jordan wore in game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals when he hit the championship clinching shot vs. the Utah Jazz were patterned after the Ferrari F355F1? And yes, it was a car that Michael owned at that time. Want another? After LeBron James announced he was going to play for the Miami Heat this summer, all of the season tickets sold out for the entire year on the very next day. Since there was no need for a sales staff to sell tickets that were already now sold out, the Heat fired the entire sales staff.  Thanks LeBron!

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Air Jordan XIV and the Ferrari F355 F1

It’s not too often that two industries such as the sports world and the search engine optimization world collide on a very public level. So when I came across a tweet from the famed Deadspin site, I tweeted it back over to a few of my SEO-marketing-sports fans.

Now even if you’re not a big sports fan, I’m going to assume that you at least know that the Dallas Cowboys is the most notable franchise in the National Football League.  Bill Gates to computers.  Mr Hershey to chocolate.  Or Henry Ford to automobiles.  The Cowboys boast 5 Super Bowl Championships, 10 Conference championships, 21 division titles, 30 playoff appearances, 12 Hall of Famers, and 1.6 million facebook “Likes”. They are easily the most branded franchise in Latin America. Cowboy cheerleaders are the most marketed and publicized cheer squad in the world and have their own locker room in the stadium that would still surpass other teams in the league. Their new stadium cost more than $1.1 billion, making it the priciest sports venue ever built. For crying out loud, their nickname is “America’s Team”.

Cowboys%20Trophies The SEO Fumble of the Year

Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Trophies

Everything about this team is analyzed and scrutinized. While some teams celebrate finally making it to the playoffs, Cowboys ownership expects nothing less than a legitimate run at another championship. Every. Single . Year. Their most recent coach, Wade Phillips, led the Cowboys to the playoffs 2 of his 3 years as head coach, winning 2 more division championships. His playoff win in 2009 ended the club’s 12 year playoff winless streak.

So what does this all have to do with search engine optimization? Title tags? Meta tags? Domain registration? Wait! Domain registration? Get a load of this…

The infamous owner, president and general manager of the Cowboys, Jerry Jones, fired Wade Phillips on Monday after a treacherous 1-7 start of the current season. The offensive coordinator was then promoted to interim head coach to finish out the season. As if demand on their website wasn’t high enough, a media frenzied firing of their head coach was surely going to cause a spike in traffic. More like a spire, actually. Well, “someone” at Cowboys HQ forgot to renew the registration for DallasCowboys.com. So on the day that the site was going to get the most clicks, time on page, least bounce rate, best click through rate and deep page views, viewers were redirected to a general purchase page by Network Solutions. You could either backorder the domain or renew it.

cowboysdomain The SEO Fumble of the Year

DallasCowboys.com domain registration page

Cowboy executives were quickly notified of the gaff and the team site was back up and running within hours. But how could this happen? What would happen if Apple.com wasn’t registered on the day Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4? Imagine the societal fallout.

Who knows! Maybe domain registration was part of Phillips’ job and they just happen to fire him a day too early.