If you're the sort who's concerned about the lack of good decisions in local government lately, be reassured by the fact that Cleveland's design and review committee was reluctant to bow to Nike's proposal to replace the "We Are All Witnesses" 10-story billboard near The Q with a "Prepare for Combat" billboard featuring James shirtless with skin resembling body armor. Besides, the whole Kellen Winslow-ism of comparing sports to war when Americans are risking their lives in real combat every day, there's something troubling about Nike's decision to switch up its LeBron billboard downtown.
The current billboard has become a landmark. It is a rallying point, a source of pride. Yes, we know it's an advertisement, but a really good one - the kind we're used to Nike delivering.
There's something just plain empty about the "combat" billboard. Before, Nike was selling a product, sure, but it was wrapped in the phenomenon that is LeBron James. The current advertisment just seems to be selling ... well ... is it shorts they're selling? Who knows.
The design committee sent the matter to the planning comission for further recommendation. The comission meets Friday morning. Stay tuned.
UPDATE 11/20 @ 1 p.m.: Planning commission give it a big 'no' on this one.