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Scoot's Blog

"The Scoot Show" Host
Weeknights 8pm-Midnight

Twitter: @scootwwl
Email: scoot@wwl.com
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Scoot: Why did we have to see Ray Rice punch to react?

I have a difficult time believing that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was not fully aware of the magnitude of Ray Rice knocking out his then-finance in an elevator in Atlantic City. It has been reported that law enforcement turned over the full video of the Rice punch to the NFL in April – but Goodell has insisted that he did not see the full video until it was made public this week.

Following the release of the full video – Goodell extended Ray Rice's suspension from 2 games to indefinitely and the Baltimore Ravens fired Rice. Though he did say he accepts responsibility, Goodell's insistence that he did not see the full video should not be an excuse. Remember, it was Roger Goodell who said throughout his harsh punishment of the Saints during Bountygate that saying you didn't know something was happening was no excuse. Well, Roger?

But there is another side of this story that must be addressed. The public outcry from fans and the general population was inspired by the release of the video of the actual punch. Why did it take seeing the actual punch to create such an uproar?

If we – the public – are critical of Roger Goodell, we should recognize that we did not react the way we should have reacted when the video of Ray Rice dragging his limp fiancée's body out of the elevator was first viewed. We know he punched her and we know he knocked her out – that was obvious. But the public's outrage did not spiral out-of-control until the full video was released.

This is NOT defense of Roger Goodell – who clearly protected one of the stars of the NFL – but we should accept that the public's opinion of the incident did not reach this level until we saw the punch. Looking back on what we all saw from the video of Rice dragging his fiancée's body from the elevator – the public's reaction should have been as strong as it is now.

Goodell had no choice but to severely punish Ray Rice because the public's cry for action became so loud. This clearly demonstrates that fans do have power. But what would fans ultimately do? To boycott the NFL would mean that fans would have to boycott their team and I can't envision the Who Dat Nation boycotting the Saints to send a message to Roger Goodell.

The public's opinion of politicians on Capitol Hill is at an all-time low – but voters continue to re-elect their local politicians. The relationship between fans and their team is similar. Fans may disapprove of Roger Goodell as NFL Commissioner – but I doubt that Saints fans would boycott the Saints in protest of Goodell.
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Locations : Atlantic City
People : Ray RiceRoger Goodell


Scoot: Is the "liberal media" beating the drums of war on ISIS?

Do you get the feeling that the news media is beating the war drums for action against ISIS? If the news media is presenting the developing stories about ISIS and its perceived threat to the United States in such a way that it is swaying the collective opinion of the American public, that would seem to contradict the image of the "liberal media."

In general terms, conservatives are more "hawkish" about war than liberals. The media is perceived as being liberal – not conservative. If those assumptions are accurate – then what is the explanation for the possibility that the news media is slanting stories for the purpose of rallying Americans around the idea of war?

The simple answer is – the news media – even the perceived "liberal media" – instinctively thrives on the news stories and the developments that will get you to watch the news.

Conversation about the actions and reactions of the media and its relationship with the audience – society - are a recurring theme on "The Scoot Show" on WWL. It is imperative that we – the audience – understand the role of the media and how we ultimately control its direction.

When I address the possibility that the news media may subconsciously present news stories with the desire to shape public opinion – I am not suggesting that the stories that may be slanted are actually fabricated. The news stories are based on facts – but inevitably, facts can be presented in such a way as to encourage a specific conclusion and opinion.

Fact: ISIS is brutal and hates the United States and everything we stand for and is aggressively pursing the takeover of territory in Syria and Iraq and most certainly has aspiration beyond those areas. But is the news media objectively presenting both sides of this current issue involving ISIS? Or, is there an unspoken agenda to beat the drums of war?

The idea of the news media attempting to manipulate opinions on the subject of war is not unique to this president or the news media in 2014. This is a discussion that has been raised in the past.

The news media does have the power to rally public opinion on issues, but it is important to remember that the news media ultimately reflects the audience. Therefore, if the news media is guilty of beating the war drums – then it could be responding to what it feels is prevailing opinion of the American people.

But make no mistake about it – though it may not be an actual policy – the news media presents and airs news stories that will attract an audience. As I watch the developments with ISIS and its horrific acts and learn that Americans and Westerners are part of the militant group – I see much less being said about the U.S. not going to war and more about the U.S. going to war.

While the story of Ray Rice punching and knocking out his then-fiancée and Commissioner Roger Goodell's handling of the incident are attracting heightened media attention – the story about the militant group ISIS and its possible threat to America has developed into a story that asks the question: Should the United States go to war – again? And news stories don't get much bigger than that.

It does appear that the President has few options and military action against ISIS is necessary – but as a nation – we have been down this road before. If, as predicted, President Obama's plan includes arming and training the rebel groups that could be our "boots on the ground" in the fight against ISIS – we need to remember that we have armed and trained people who used our weapons and our training against us.

Maybe there is nothing we can do about the reality that our friends become our enemies and our enemies become our friends. I guess it is all about instant gratification – who can do what for us right now. And instant gratification is something Americans understand quite well.
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Tags :  
People : ObamaRay RiceRoger Goodell


Scoot: Is it okay to hate the Falcons?

With great expectations, the Saints open the 2014 season against the Falcons in Atlanta this Sunday and that makes this week "Hate the Falcons Week!" Since I often talk about how there is too much "hate" in this country – I had to ask myself if it is appropriate to promote the idea of hating the Falcons – and of course their fans, too?

Honestly, I did not have to do much soul searching before reaching the conclusion that it is ok to "hate" the Falcons and their fans! Hate for the Falcons and their fans and the reciprocal hate they have for the Saints and Saints fans is an acceptable part of the world of sports. Hate for sports rivals – the Saints and the Falcons – the Tigers and the Tide – reflect the intense passion fans have for teams that has always been part of the sports world.

In our culture, we often use words in ways that reach beyond their specific definitions. For example, when a Saints fan says he/she hopes the Saints "kill" the Falcons this Sunday – they don't literally mean "kill" the players. I'm sure some do – but for most it is just an exaggerated expression of passion for the Saints.

Saints fans hate the Falcons and their fans – we hate what they do and what they stand for - but we don't hate the individuals who play for the Falcons – with the exception of Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Julio Jones.

It is easy to hate Falcons fans for their undying loyalty to the team Saints fans hate. Those Falcons fans cheer wildly for their team and jeer at the Saints and Saints fans. They act like they are so much better than Saints fans and the degree with which they demonize Saints fans justifies the feelings of hate for those individuals.

The behavior of Falcons fans, much of which will be captured by the network TV cameras during Sunday's game, puts many parents in a position of explaining their behavior in a public place to their children – thus forcing their children to deal with adult matters at an early age.

When the TV cameras focus on Falcons fans in the stadium, there will be young children who will ask an embarrassing question like: "Daddy, why are those two men jumping up and down and hugging each other?" To which the parent must respond with an answer like: "Son, their behavior is an abomination. You know your mother and I don't approve of that lifestyle and it's not something we want you exposed to."

Adding to the challenge for the parents who want to help their kids deal with the inappropriate behavior of Falcons fans are the national network announcers – the media – that makes it seem as if being a Falcons fan is acceptable behavior. Yes, we all hear a lot of talk about fan equality in America and how all fans should be respected and not judged – but when you witness the blatant attempts by Falcons fans to force their beliefs on others – you can't help but wonder if our society is falling apart.

There is also the uncomfortable issue of Falcons fans marrying each other - as if that's a positive thing for society. Good luck explaining that to your children!

At least the game is in Atlanta this Sunday – but when the Falcons play the Saints in New Orleans – parents will face the challenge of explaining to their kids why Falcons fans are walking down the streets of the city holding hands and even kissing in public. If they would just keep their lifestyle behind closed doors!

The hate Saints fans have for the Falcons and Falcons fans is justified – even in a world where there is too much hate!
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Topics : Religion_BeliefSports
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Locations : AtlantaNew Orleans
People : Julio JonesMatt RyanRoddy White


Scoot: Football players pray, atheists complain

It is a common scene, and one that brings feelings of compassion to most – football players dropping to one knee, bowing their heads and silently praying for an injured player on the field. Often the gesture of compassion includes both teams - as was the case Saturday night when a Wisconsin player was injured in the game against LSU in Houston. Tigers' Coach Les Miles and his players dropped to one knee, bowed their heads in a moment of thoughtfulness for the injured Badger.

Not everyone respects this idea of praying for an injured player. The Freedom From Religion Foundation – an atheist group – filed a complaint against Seminole High School in Sanford, FL that accuses the school of leading a prayer for an injured player on the field.

According to an op-ed article at FoxNews.com, Todd Starnes writes that the controversy centers on whether an adult led the prayer for the injured player. When the Supreme Court removed prayer from public schools – it specifically banned school-led prayers, since public schools are an extension of the government. The ruling allows students to pray.

The attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation accused the high school of allowing a "volunteer team chaplain" to lead the prayer for the injured player – but the school says they do not have a team chaplain. A school official says that there are no photos or videos of adults leading the prayer.

I understand respect for separation of church and state and I also agree that unless America is willing to allow prayers from every religion to be said in public schools – then banning prayer is appropriate. Again – no one – including the government – can stop students from praying.

The sensitivity of the atheist group over the idea of praying for an injured player speaks to the tendency of many Americans to dictate life choices and beliefs on others. This sensitivity covers numerous issues in America.

If students did drop to one knee, bow their heads and pray for an injured player – how does that affect the freedom of an atheist's non-belief? If atheist players from the high school were forced to participate in the prayer for the inured player - then I would understand the complaint. But if the mere sight of the players making the prayer gesture for an injured player is the basis of the complaint – then it should be denounced.

Respect for atheists should include respect for Christians and other believers. There has been a growing tendency in America to demand compliance to specific beliefs and actions. The demand – and expectation – of compliance defies the ideals of America.

I think it is also important not to judge all atheists by the extremism of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. I know atheists who promote the idea of "live and let live" and would not be offended by the activity of players praying for an injured player on a football field.

As with any group – it is instinctive to define an entire group by the beliefs and behavior of the few within the group that attract media attention. All atheists are not trying to take away your right to pray – they simply don't want you to force them to pray and that seems like a reasonable request.

As a nation, we have lost respect for the idea that we all have a right to be individuals and that means we will not always agree with each other. But when did that become a bad thing in America?

We should all challenge ourselves to end the tendency to quickly judge and try to convert others to "our" way of thinking and living since the spirit of America was built on individualism.

Photo via zeeweez, Flickr
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Tags :  
Topics : EducationReligion_BeliefSports
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Locations : HoustonWisconsin
People : Les MilesTodd Starnes


Scoot: Decadence Fest is here, and it's not a bad thing

This is Labor Day Weekend and the weekend of the annual Decadence Fest in the French Quarter – when the French Quarter becomes the center of the gay universe.
Do you welcome Decadence Fest to New Orleans?  Some people will condemn the city for hosting a festival that attracts gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender visitors because they disapprove of their lifestyles.  But shouldn’t we welcome all visitors?  Officials estimate that Decadence Fest could bring in as much as $100 million to the city’s economy.
Opposition to Decadence Fest includes the fear that the decadent fashions and behavior could influence kids and teens.  Opposition is also based on condemnation of the growing acceptance of homosexuality in America.  But since Decadence Fest takes place in the French Quarter and does not spontaneously appear in neighborhoods around the city – why would there be any concern that those in town for the annual festival could influence kids or teens?
If you think Decadence Fest promotes immoral behavior - then you can easily avoid it by not going to the French Quarter this weekend.  Hotels, restaurants, bars and shops love those who come to New Orleans every year for the festival because it’s a group that spends money.  Research that I have read indicates that homosexuals traditionally have more disposable income than heterosexuals – and any city wants those visitors!
When the issue of gay rights comes up on the show – inevitably I will hear from a few listeners who say, “I don’t care if people are gay – but why do they need to throw their lifestyle in our faces?”  This concern is based on the news coverage of events, like Decadence Fest.  Often discussed on “The Scoot Show” on WWL is the reality that news coverage of any event tends to focus on the most extreme members of any group because that is what attracts the most attention to the news.
News cameras do not highlight the straight-looking homosexual – but rather those that display the most flamboyant outfits and behavior.  Embedded in the Decadence Fest crowd are homosexuals who are professionals, blue-collar workers, retailer employees and business owners who could easily be mistaken for any heterosexual. 
Noticing the more extreme members of the Decadence Fest crowd while failing to pay attention to the majority of the crowd proves that it is wrong to judge any group or event by the characters that attract the news camera’s attention – in the same way that it was unfair to judge the residents of Ferguson, MO based on the protesters who committed acts of violence in the streets that dominated the news coverage.
What ever happened to the concept of “live and let live?”  That concept seems to have gotten lost in America.  Contrary to the fear that many people wish to instill in the general population – the truth is that Decadence Fest does not influence impressionable young minds or serves as an opportunity to recruit young people into a life of homosexuality.
Not only have we lost respect for the idea of “live and let live” – but too many Americans continue on their crusade to tell others how to lead their personal lives. 
Right to privacy is a precious right in America that includes the right to be gay.  If you don’t want to be exposed to Decadence Fest – don’t go to the French Quarter this weekend and let the rest enjoy our city!
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Topics : Social Issues
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Locations : Decadence FestFergusonNew Orleans


Scoot: Space wars on airplanes

Unless you are sitting in First Class on an airline, there isn’t much room in and around your seat, and the airlines continue to find ways to squeeze more passengers in more seats. So, it is understandable that someone would invent the Knee Defender.  The Knee Defender is a device that a passenger can attach to the seat in front that prevents the passenger from reclining their seat – which tightens the precious space for the passenger behind.
The Knee Defender costs about $22 and the Federal Aviation Administration allows each airline to make the decision on whether the device can be used on flights. 
On a recent United Airlines flight from Newark, NJ to Denver, CO, a confrontation erupted in-flight between a male and a female passenger.  The male passenger used his Knee Defender on the seat in front of him and the female passenger became angry when she was unable to recline her seat during the flight.
A flight attendant intervened and requested that the male passenger remove the device from the seat.  His apparent refusal led to the female passenger standing up and throwing a cup of water on him.  That’s when the decision was made to divert the flight – which landed in Chicago. 

The two passengers were met by Chicago police and TSA officials – but no arrests were made.  The flight continued onto Denver without the two passengers.  The names of the passengers were not released.
United Airlines has a policy that prohibits the use of the Knee Defender on all flights.  Spirit and Allegiant Airlines have removed the option to recline any seat on their flights and all seats remain in an upright position.
Flying on an airline is not the luxurious experience it once was.  Years ago, planes had fewer seats, bigger seats, curtains on the windows instead of the plastic slide covers, and many airlines actually had lounging areas for passengers who wanted to take a break from sitting in their seats. As a kid, I remember wearing a coat and tie to board a plane. That’s quite a contrast from the dress code that many travelers choose to adhere to today! (Love the sweaty guy next to me who is wearing a tank top!)
Airline travel today is casual and crowded and everyone is trying to protect what little space they are given in a desperate attempt to preserve sanity. But we all know the challenges of flying today and it’s comfortable to recline your seat on a flight. But when you recline your seat – you infringe on the space of the passenger in the seat behind you. This is a known reality.
When I fly I do often recline my seat, but I admit that the slight angle of the recline does not add much to any attempts to relax. We all know that seats on airlines recline and purchasing a device that prevents the passenger in front of you from reclining their seat is an act of aggression!  Ok – at least it’s obnoxiously rude!
No should argue that it is legal to invent and sell a device that enables one person to aggravate another person or anyone’s right to buy such a product, but one has the question the mentality of anyone who would buy something that prevents your freedom to recline - while protecting their space on an airline.
The Knee Defender is the perfect product for anyone who enjoys being rude to others – and that means there is a huge market for the product!
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Locations : ChicagoColoradoDenverNew JerseyNewark


Scoot: America vs ISIS

Following the beheading of an American journalist by the Islamic militant group ISIS in retaliation for U.S. air strikes against the group, Americans are being warned that there is a growing threat by ISIS to the United States.
ISIS – the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – is a well-organized and well-funded group of militants intent on gaining power and attacking Americans and everything America stands for.
U.S. air strikes against ISIS in Iraq appear to have been effective, but many experts are warning that ISIS has the ability – especially through Americans and Westerners now in its ranks – to execute acts of terrorism within the United States.
What I fear most is that we are not united as a nation. President Obama has ordered drone surveillance flights over Syria in an apparent effort to select ripe ISIS targets in that country, but even if the current Commander-in-Chief is making all the right decisions to stop ISIS and protect this country – there will been many voices that will condemn any actions because the orders came from President Obama.
The debate over what to do about ISIS or any other threat to America will include condemnation - even in the face of no viable alternative plans. Terrorist threats are relatively new in the military history of this country.
Our military was designed to protect our borders and the borders of our allies. As we have learned in more recent times – finding and fighting militant terrorist groups presents new challenges.  Further complicating efforts to fight ISIS lies in the fact that Americans and Westerners have joined the militants and their crusade.
It has been made public that an American from San Diego - Douglas McAuthur McCain - was killed over the weekend fighting for ISIS in Syria.  The concern is that Americans and Westerners who have joined ISIS could easily come back into the United States and commit an act of terrorism.
The fact that American citizens have joined a militant group with the intent to attack other Americans is a further indication of the deep divide in this country.  I can’t imagine U.S. citizens joining the Japanese or German militaries at the outset of World War II to fight against the U.S. and all this country stands for.  This phenomenon shows that a few Americans feel so disconnected with the course and values of our nation that they have become part of a brutal militant group with a goal of destroying the West.
How - and exactly where - do we fight ISIS? Terrorist organizations present problems beyond trying to keep a military force from crossing a border and I do not envy any modern Commander-in-Chief who faces such a challenge. 
The American people expect and demand the President of the United States to keep this country safe and secure, but the rules of engagement have changed.  As the current Commander-in-Chief and Congress make decisions about how to effectively fight another threat from an organized militant terrorists – let us not be so quick to criticize the decisions – especially considering that no one embraces the idea of putting boots on the ground.
In reality, we can destroy the soldiers that fight against us.  America struck back and hurt al Qaeda and the Taliban – but the spirit of those types of  militants lives on in groups like ISIS.
The question is – if we kill the militants – have we killed the passion of the crusade against America?
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Tags :  
Topics : PoliticsWar_Conflict
Social :
Locations : San Diego
People : Douglas McAuthur McCainObama


Scoot: "Slap Ya Mama" controversy

The first time I saw it during a Saints preseason game, I turned to the person I was watching the game with and said “That’s going to be controversial!”  And sure enough, it has become a controversy!
The NFL informed Cox Communications that placing the logo for “Slap Your Mama” Cajun hot sauces and seasonings into the TV broadcast will no longer be allowed. The NFL stated that “in light of domestic violence issues” the company’s name electronically placed on the field was inappropriate. It is also fair to point out that the NFL is interested in promoting broadcasts of games that include less distracting elements for the viewing fans.
I have to admit that even though I was born and raised in New Orleans, my family never used the phrase “slap your mama” to describe something very tasty.  I’m not opposed to the phrase – I’m just saying that we never used it. So, with no real-life reference to the phrase, it stood out to me when I saw it splashed on the field when the Saints entered the red zone.
Most of the domestic violence cases with professional athletes and the general population involve a man physically abusing his wife or girlfriend – not his mother, but to a general audience, the phrase “slap your mama” may be close enough to be offensive.
Colloquialisms rarely translate outside of the regions in which they became popular.  I may not have used the phrase “slap your mama” – but I understand the intent is not malicious or a promotion of domestic violence.  I do applaud the NFL for stepping in and trying to control gratuitous advertising like a large logo planted on the field as the Saints are close to the goal.
I found the “Slap Ya Mama” logo to be very distracting.  I support the sale of advertising as an integral aspect of our free enterprise system, but I would never underestimate the need to control the desire to overuse the right to advertise.
If large company logos are allowed when a team reaches the red zone – where will it end?  Logos on the field for every 1st down – every 3rd and long?  Every punt or kick-off?  Logos placed on the derrieres of linemen who are down in a three-point stance?  Or a quarterback who is sacked often – logos on the bottom of his shoes!
We are bombarded with enough advertising and I support the NFL’s attempt to keep the field clean of huge logos on the field for viewing fans.
Furthermore, If I owned Slap Your Mama hot sauces and seasonings – I would thank the NFL for the great publicity!  Amazing how a negative can turn into a positive!
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Topics : Social Issues
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Locations : New Orleans


Scoot: Crosby, Stills & Nash, OneRepublic in town this week

This week I have an opportunity to experience a group that is part of rock music royalty, and also a newer young band that could be on their way to achieving that same status. Saturday night, I will see the legendary Crosby, Stills and Nash at the Saenger.  CS&N are rock icons who represent the music of the 60's and 70's that has stood the test of time.  The CS&N concert at the Saenger sold out in one day – a tribute to their talent and what their music meant to a young generation that has now grown into the Establishment.

Thursday night, I was at the OneRepublic concert at the UNO Lakefront Arena and while I appreciate and respect the music of my generation – I am highly impressed by the talent of many younger performers today.  

I have talked about how the music trends that define every decade do not become obvious until the 3rd and 4th year of each decade.  The early rock and roll that defined the 1950s was becoming popular in 1954.  The 1960s were defined by the music of the British Invasion with The Beatles taking off in America in 1964.  The end of the Vietnam War in 1973 and the subsequent political atmosphere of the country inspired much of the music that defined that decade.  The re-election of Ronald Reagan in 1984 solidified a positive tone in America and the music of the 80s had young generations dancing to uplifting music. And the sound of the 1990s was defined by the grunge-alternative movement that was accepted by mainstream youth in 1993-94.  In 2000, boy bands and performers like Britney Spears were popular, but it was the “emo” sound that became prominent by 2004 that defined that decade.

It is now 2014, and the popular new music you are hearing today is the music that will define this decade, and bands like OneRepublic are setting the trend.  Younger generations have embraced 80's music to the point where new bands are writing and producing music that is reminiscent of the sound of the 1980's.  There is a younger generation writing and producing songs with positive messages and the popular music today reflects the idea that a young generation wants to dance, escape and seems to have a positive view of the future.

OneRepublic is a group of extremely talented musicians:

•    Ryan Tedder – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, keyboard, bass guitar, 
•    Zach Filkins – lead guitar, viola, acoustic guitar, tambourine, backing vocals 
•    Drew Brown – rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboard, glockenspiel, marimba, bass guitar, piano, tambourine, percussion, drums
•    Eddie Fisher – drums, percussion, African drum, cajón, guitar, glockenspiel 
•    Brent Kutzle – bass guitar, cello, acoustic guitar, keyboard, piano, lead guitar, backing vocals 

I had a chance to briefly talk to the band before their show at the Lakefront Arena, and I told them that I have been featuring their music on my talk show and talking about how I think they are among the groups defining music today.

Music is the soundtrack of our lives and I realize that many people find comfort and security in the music that reminds them of their past.  Today, the music of bands like OneRepublic will be the music that today’s younger generations find comfort and security in as they mature.  

For those who dismiss “today’s music” as being superficial pop that will not stand the test of time – I suggest listening to bands like OneRepublic with the open mind that you listened to the music that defined your past.

And remember – I’m writing about OneRepublic – NOT One Direction!

There is something special about having the opportunity to experience a group defining music today and a legendary group that defined music in the past in the same week in New Orleans!
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Scoot: Ice Bucket Challenge accepted!

Today, I accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge!  Jammer from our sister station B97 - a station that I have a great history with – challenged me and I accepted.


I gave considerable thought to who I would challenge.  People are challenging important people or people important in their lives – so I challenged YOU – the listeners.  My challenge to raise money and awareness for ALS is to anyone who listens to “The Scoot Show” at night on WWL, or when I’m on during the day.  

You are among the most important people in my life and I want you to accept the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. And if it's in your means to do so, make a donation to Team Gleason.

Take the challenge – make a video of it and post it on our Facebook page – WWL Radio – and we’ll promote it and watch it!  Let’s see how many we get!
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Topics : Human Interest
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