The Olympics are a pin collector's dream. You can't go very far without seeing someone's personal memorabilia collection. People literally come from all over the world just to participate in "pin-mania" at the Olympics.
The pin you see above is a Katie Couric bobble-head pin that was made specifically for the Olympic Games in Athens. You see, Katie loves to collect pins, so NBC made up this one so she would have something to trade while she was in Greece.
A funny thing happened when Katie and her pins got to Greece though, they became one of the most sought after items at the Olympics. People would line up around the Today show set, and beg her to trade with them.
Luckily, I was standing at the right place, at the right time, and Katie and I were able to strike up a trade (look for a picture after the jump). As soon as I put the pin on my lanyard, the questions started. "Hey what do you want for your Katie?"
Or, "Oh I like that Katie pin, you want to trade?"
It was crazy.
The pin is not more than two inches long, and I had people stalking me trying to get it. I never ended up trading the pin, because it had too much sentimental value, plus I knew my mom would kill me if I did. (She loves Katie)
Since Katie works for CBS now, and they don't have rights to the Olympics, NBC will have to make a new Today Show pin for Beijing and hope it catches on the way Couric's did.
Since I don't watch Today much they might have already discussed what the new pin is, but here is a list of some of the possibilities I came up with in case they are still looking for an idea ...
Al Roker bobble-belly pin: Big Al has definitely dropped a lot of weight during his time on Today, but for the pin's sake, he could go back to the good 'ole days, when he was loved simply for being the heavy-set weatherman.
Meredith Viera bobble-head pin: This may be the way NBC decides to go. The thing is, Viera doesn't seem to have the same following that Couric had. Katie was the girl next door, that everybody loved waking up to see. Viera strikes me as more of a fill-in, until they can get Couric back.
Matt Lauer bobble-plane pin: NBC loves to hype Lauer as if he is Carmen Sandiego. The network always seems to send Lauer to a different place in the world, so that viewers can see how people in other parts of the world live. With Couric's departure, Lauer has become the face of Today, so he might be the one to have his own pin in Beijing.
Maria Menounos bobble-head pin: This is my pick. Menounos has carved out a small nitch for herself on Today, as a correspondent. It is clear she would be popular with any males watching the show. Plus her work on Access Hollywood has made her popular with female viewers as well.
Why not send her over to Beijing as a pin ambassador? She could trade pins with people from all over the world, and spread the good word about American television. NBC should make this happen.
First photo via People Magazine