With attendance at sporting events dropping faster than a pass thrown to Braylon Edwards, many teams are turning to running various promotions as an innocent way of getting more fans to attend a game against a crappy opponent, or to put seats in the stands for a team that isn't playing so well. Like the New Jersey Nets "Resume Night". Unemployed? Still want to watch us lose?! Give us your resume, we'll give you a ticket! Or the various teams that have offered their obese fans an economical way to gorge on hot dogs AND cheer on their favorite teams with all you can eat seat nights.
Sometimes though, said promotions go horribly, horribly wrong.
Honestly, the brains behind some of these schemes were a few beers short of a six pack. A quick look at some of the more infamous promotions gone awry will show that they clearly had "bad idea" written all over them from the start. I mean, did anyone really expect events involving explosives or 10 cent beer to end well?
September 26, 1942.
Scrap Metal Night.
Yes, you read that right. Hello sports fans. Hate when things don't go the right way for your team? US TOO! That’s why tonight, we're having 'Bring Your Own Weapon' Night. Oh wait, we can't run that promotion? Ok, hmm, isn't there a war or something going on? Yea, yea, that’s a good idea. Let's let kids in free if they bring us shiny sharp pieces of metal. Cue 8th inning. Picture riotous youth storming the field and the players running for cover and squealing like little girls. Brilliant!
July 12, 1979
Disco Demolition Night.
I can just see someone sitting around making a list. Likes: Baseball, Explosives. Dislikes: Disco. Hmm, how can I combine all of these things into one stellar evening? How about let fans into the Comiskey Park for 98 cents and a disco record, all of which we will BLOW UP WITH A BOMB in between a double header. Apparently close to 90,000 people thought that this was indeed an awesome idea and showed up to a stadium with a capacity of roughly 50,000 and quickly began downing copious amounts of beer and per some reports "illegal drugs". "Woah… man… these records look like Frisbees”. I'm sure it's not easy to keep your team alive when you're being pelted in the head by "Stayin' alive" Shockingly, setting a bomb off in a stadium full of drunk, high, anti-disco fans somehow back fired. They some how managed to blow a huge hole in the outfield, inciting a riot, complete with field storming and fire-starting. (If you can't picture this in your mind, check out some great old-school pictures)
August 10, 1995
Dodgers' fans have balls!
I'm sure you've all been at a game where someone on the opposing team hits a home run and the entire stadium starts chanting "throw it back, throw it back". Now imagine all of these people suddenly realize they have all been armed with promotional baseballs upon entering the stadium. If you were an umpire in this game, would you start making questionable calls against the home team and ejecting players from the game? Or if you did, would you be surprised when the crowd started to make it rain? (And not in a way that someone who is "dancing her way through school" profits from). Yea didn't think so.
And last but not least, the biggest disaster of them all.
June 4, 1974
10 Cent Beer Night.
I really can't even do this night justice. There was an article about it on ESPN'S Page 2 this summer. Upon reading it I didn't know if I should be embarrassed or proud that this happened in Cleveland. Or that if it made me a horrible person that the article had me in tears I was laughing so hard at the absurdity of it. It was the 70s. People were drunk. And high. And for some reason came to the game armed with firecrackers. At one point, they were allowing fans to line up and get beer directly from the beer trucks. The drunken debauchery started innocently enough with a handful of streakers. But as the game progressed, and the fans got drunker, things got uglier. The end result was both dugouts emptying out and a full out riot. A quote from one of the crew chiefs (after a freaking hunting knife landed behind him) kind of sums up the whole thing: "F------ animals! You just can't pull back a pack of animals. When uncontrolled beasts are out there, you gotta do something. I saw two guys with knives, and I got hit with a chair."
Hopefully we can learn from these past mistakes and teams think twice before scheduling things like hypodermic needle night or "Hedge Fund Appreciation Night" on the same night as the mini bat give-a-way. Then again, it would make for a nice follow up post.
Friday, March 20, 2009
1) More Gus Johnson less Dick Enberg please- Dick Enberg did the impossible last night. Virginia Commonwealth University was trailing by 1 and holding for the game’s final shot. Its superstar Eric Maynor had the ball and was isolated 1 on 1 against UCLA stud Darren Collison. This was epic sports drama. Man vs. Man. Mano y Mano. However, you wouldn’t have known that from listening to the listless Dick Enberg. He sounded as if he not only didn’t care who won the game but also sounded as if he had zero appreciation for the incredibly exciting few seconds that were about to commence. As Maynor’s ill-fated game winning shot attempt was on its way up Enberg said in a very calm and understated tone, “Maynor to win, no, and that’s it.” Then there is the excitable and admittedly over the top Gus Johnson. However, Gus Johnson is, as the legendary Seinfeld character George Costanza said about fictional comedian Kenny Banya, “the voice of new generation, my generation!” The same can be said of Gus. Gus is the voice of my generation. He is passionate about sports and he lets that passion ooze out of him during his broadcast. Being impartial does not require an even tone but rather an equal amount of excitement for the success and failures of each team playing in a given contest. Gus is the master of this. So yea, more young blood Gus and less Old fart Dick please.
2) We the American people identify with college basketball players because their coaches treat them like our bosses treat us- I just realized this today while reading a brilliant column in the New York Daily News by Mr. Bob Raissman. He reminded us that the coaches are waaaaaay bigger stars than the players in each and every tournament . A certain element of this is the nature of the beast. College players stay for a maximum of 4 seasons where as coaches such as Jim Boehemim and Coach K (no fucking way I’m trying to spell that name) have coached a their schools longer than I have been alive. So naturally more drama will be built up for and more fan allegiance will go towards a coach than would be built up towards players. However, part of this is the media’s fault. As Raissman astutely noted, the media will oversell and exaggerate the greatness of isolated coaching moves such as a slight change in a practice or a very subtle change in a defensive scheme. Chances are, these coaches are just brilliant recruiters and excellent motivators but not so brilliant at the x’s and o’s that a slight tweak in a game plan will make their team of stars play well. His article made me realize that the reason we love NCAA basketball way more than the NBA (though not me as you know I love the association) is because we identify with the players more. Not only are college players more likely to be white than NBA players, they also are treated like dogshit in the same way we are by our bosses. These players are yelled at because their coaches are displacing their anger at their wives onto them just like our bosses yell at us because they are projecting their own insecurity about their job status onto us (okay now it’s getting personal). Still though, the fact remains, we can relate to college players waaaay more than pro players. However, you know my view; I’d rather watch the greatest players in a particular sport play against each other than watch a bunch of slow 6”5 white dudes “hustle!” and show “grit.”
3) CBS needs to buy up and/or create other networks ala NBC, ABC and FOX- Having boring monotone conservative white men calling most of its games is not the only issue I have with CBS’s coverage of this tournament. It also needs to make some new sister channels so that it can broadcast more of its games simultaneously in the first few rounds of a given year's tournament. How sweet would it be if you could watch one game on CBS, another on CBS news, yet another on CBS family and yet another on CBS sports channel. I know you could pay a boatload of money to get this opportunity on your favorite Satellite or Cable Company but comeeoooooon; we should be able to do this for free.
4) Too many near huge upsets that were not to be- Whether it was the aforementioned near upset by one of Virginia’s 25 Division 1 schools of UCLA or Kansas’s scare today against North Dakota State, there have been some tantalizing near upsets that have not come to fruition. Perhaps the most exciting one was last night’s 14 point come from behind win by Villanova against upstart American University. Memphis also nearly blew its load prematurely before realizing it wanted to give the girl a chance to have an orgasm too and stick around in this tournament or the long haul. It is just clear to this sports fan and basketball enthusiast that these high seeds were not that into these games until they had to be. Put another way, good coaching job by you Jeff Capel (Oklahoma) and Jim Boeheim getting your highly seeded teams to play hard against inferior competition. However, bad coaching John Calipari and Jay Wright.
5) It’s not going to be a Merry Christmas in Woodside under a Morning star- Of course I am referring to the wonderful names that have been casualties of the first round of the NCAA tournament. The North Dakota Bison boast a mediocre team but two phat last names in its starting lineup: Woodside and Morningstar. Sadly the Bison lost in a hard fought 84-74 game against the superior and tournament tested Kansas Jayhawks. Even worse, the Temple Owls' star Dionte Christmas will also apparently be bowing out after today as his club is on the brink of defeat as we sit here at 4:15 pm. Oh well, I guess the nation can now turn its lonely eyes to you ex Providence standout God Shamgod.
6) It’s a down economy unless you are a fairly good but not great 2 or 3 seed- Apparently being in the top 15 but not in the top 5 in the country is the secret to earning home court advantage in the tournament’s opening weekend. Duke and Nova barely have to pass a stop sign or two to get to their NCAA tournament opening round game sites where as consensus #1 overall Seed Louisville has to travel to Dayton, Ohio. Now I do believe Dayton is not too far from Louisville but the Cardinals definitely have to travel at least as far if not farther than Duke who is playing in Greensborough and Nova who is playing inside its own city of Philly as a 3 seed!!! How is this possible????
7) Where have you gone NCAA tournament pools?- I tried my hardest to find money pools to join. I have many social outlets including my fellow SUS buddies, people who are friends with my parents, White Girl, and friends at school. Somehow though, I was completely unable to find a single pool to join with money involved. I had to settle on joining one yahoo tournament with the artist formerly known as the B.I.G. (he’s too thin now to keep that moniker.) Anyway, to add insult to injury, I also joined a second pool through Facebook with a certain high ranking official at SUS who will remain nameless. However, this pool only has two members, myself and himself and it only has one member who actually filled a bracket, yours truly. Ugh. Oh well, I guess I get to root for bragging rights and pride. Woo hoo!
-WHITE BOY SOUTH BRONX
This is going to have to end up with a photo-op, no?
In related news, the Commander-In-Chief of THIS blog also comes in as full-on retard in terms of bowling skills.
In a blow to Gary Bettman's effort to remake the NHL as the quiet kid in your high school class you never realized existed, Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season last night for the third year in a row. Ovechkin continued his quest for a razzie by doing some sort of celebration in which he insinuated that the ice was hot.
The celebration, as funny as it was awkward, was another example of Ovechkin doing everything he can to try and give some life to a league that continues to be a comedic punchline. And in news as unsurprising as seeing a Stanley Cup Finals game bumped for professional bowling coverage, the powers that be are pissed.
Part-time altar boy and head coach of Tampa Bay Lightning, Rick Tocchet said of Ovechkin, "He went down a notch in my books after that. It's not something I like. It's hard for me to accept, to see something like that in our building."
In related news, Tocchet, the self-appointed moral compass of the NHL, pled guilty over the summer to charges of running a gambling ring.
I could go off on a rant about how fighting in hockey allows the NHL to police itself when someone breaks an unwrittten rule. But the simple fact is this: the NHL needs all the publicity that it can get. Alex Ovechkin's antics, however lacking in classical comedic timing, get the NHL noticed. And unless Marty McSorley or Donald Brashear are involved, any publicity is good publicity for the NHL.
Rick Tocchet and those who share his opinion, needs to sit down and shut up. Send a tough guy (does Tampa have any?) after Ovechkin and make him a non-factor. After all, it was either Confucius or Shakespeare who once said the following:
"If you give a man a fish, he can eat for a day. If you knock his ass out, the fish will need to be fed through a straw."
The "I wish i could think of a clever caption to write but I'm hungover so let's have a shitty" Caption Contest!!!
West Virginia (6)
Best Case: Final Four. Mountaineers overcome hideous Bob Huggins wardrobe to become the surprise team of March, charging to Detroit behind blossoming freshman forward Devin Ebanks. Team toughened by 11 games against the RPI top 50 dispatches Dayton with ease, upsets Kansas in the second round, does the same to Michigan State in the Sweet 16 and then finally gets over on Louisville after two competitive losses during the regular season. Meanwhile, Pitt loses early and Rich Rodriguez comes down with the flu in Ann Arbor.
Pat Forde is dead-on with his analysis right here. The only thing that would make this more true would be to correct the Rich "ShrivelDick" Rod part to read "...contracts a fatal case of syphilis from a transvestite hooker giving a rimjob while looking at child porn". WVU is a powder keg waiting to explode. They've reached the Sweet Sixteen in 3 of the past 4 years and made it to the Elite Eight in 2005. Freshmen Brooklyn natives Devin Ebanks and Darryl Bryant have gotten better every game this year, powering the Mountaineers with an impressive rebounding and defensive game that can dominate more talented teams. Look, these first few rounds will be a cakewalk for WVU, that's the benefit of playing in the toughest conference in college basketball. With leaders like Alex Ruoff and Da'Sean Butler, the Mountaineers will be ready to play. And if not, Huggy Bear gon' hafta slap a ho.
The Pick- WVU over Dayton
Thursday, March 19, 2009
NEW RULE: Stars of dramatic HBO shows may not move to network sitcoms. Likewise, after you do a network sitcom, you're banned from HBO.
You are Stringer Bell from The Wire. You are one of the greatest one of the greatest bad guys ever created. You are the street thug who took economic classes at Baltimore County College. You are not the Vice President of Dunnder Mifflin, no matter what the digital cable says. (Though you run a nice stationary store as a front in Baltimore.) Go back to the Towers and stay the hell away from Pam Beasley.
(And Captain Winters, if you show up as a neighbor on Two and a Half Men, you're dead to me too.)
Nice win Memphis...
don't ever f$@king do it again.
The Commander-In-Chief of both SUS and the United States of America almost had their brackets blown up by 3pm on the first day.
don't ever f$@king do it again.
The Commander-In-Chief of both SUS and the United States of America almost had their brackets blown up by 3pm on the first day.
A very strong class of players available for those needing an ungrade (cough Steelers) but also so much potential hope in the mid rounds as well. I'll take you through the cast of hundreds but still this is a very good class for Tackles and Centers. Guards are a bit meh but have the guards in the league now are former tackles anyway so whatever.
Andre Smith was a #1 pick before the bowl games and has promptly decided that he doesn't want to be the richest 22 yr old alive. Sadly he decided to get an agent a week too soon. Than he decided to not work out prior to the combine. Than he went to the combine and was out of shape so he left. Now he just had his pro day and his numbers went to shit. Just a horrendous couple of months for Smith who had the game tape to go #1 easily.
With Smith throwing away money, Jason Smith from THE Baylor university has risen up the boards and is a potential sleeper pick for number 1. Smith had a solid combine and while his tape isn't nearly as impressive as Andre's, Jason actually showed up. He put up the second highest amount of reps on the bench and displayed a decent 40 speed for a guy 310 lbs at 5.1.
Right behind Smith is D'Brickashaw Ferguson 2k9 in Eugene Monroe. Monroe is similar to Jason Smith in that both are nimble LT with decent feet. Monroe should still a top 5 pick like D'Brick but display a similar career arch. Will he ever be Orlando Pace? Doubtful but many teams would kill for D'Brick.
Oher is an interesting case. He dominated in college and could do the same thing in the pros but there are noticeable questions involving his mind. Teams will also test him out quite a bit in interviews and see how well he can pick up an offensive scheme at the pro level. Much was made of his upbringing as a child and his struggles to get his grades in order in high school in the book, The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. In Ole Miss it didn't matter but will it in the pros? If Oher can handle the mental aspect of the game than he might be the best tackle out of this group. Oher also slipped in pass protection a bit this year which caused him to drop in some scouts eyes. Still he shouldn't last past 15.
Britton and Beatty are mere replicas. Their main concern is weight and if they can bulk up and increase their strength, both will be mainstays for the long run. Doubtful overall. Both are as talented as anyone feet wise but in my book that only translates to Robert Gallery. However, both have shot up this whole season and might be in the first round after their respective pro days. Both are strickly fits in a zone blocking system as of now.
Overall, this might be the best group of tackles in years. Like last year, we might expect a massive run on tackles by teams where a 2nd rounder like Duane Brown gets snagged by the Texicans in the first round. Similar things will happen this year.
1) Jason Smith /Baylor / Top 5
2) Eugene Monroe / Virginia / Top 5
3) Andre Smith / Alabama / 1st
4) Michael Oher / Ole Miss / 1st
5) William Beatty / Uconn / 1st - 2nd
6) Eben Britton / Arizona / 1st - 2nd
7) Jamon Meredith / South Carolina / 2nd
8) Phil Loadholt / Oklahoma / 2nd
9) Alex Boone / Ohio State / 3rd
10) Fenuki Tupou / Oregon / 3rd
11) Troy Kropog / Tulane / 3rd
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
If A Player sets a record in shithole of a town in a sport noone cares about, does it make a sound? (A Devils/Blackhawks diary)
-They just showed the ending of the game in Montreal. Classy move by the Frenchies, giving their native son a standing Almost wish I was watching instead of being at a bar. But Devo, don't bars have tvs? No, my fake, italicized friend, Arlo & Esme is too winnerrific for tvs...but that's another story for another time.
-I remember listening to the first two innings of Game 7 of 2003 ALCS, and thinking that in a potentially historical game such as this, the announcers should rock tuxedos. I completely feel the same way tonight. In related news, I'm dressed to the 9's in my sweatpants and undershirt. Woo! History!
7:10-Wow. Langenbrunner. 1-0 NJ. SO much for my 6-1 Chicago theory. Right when you think this team is going to have a letdown game, they look just as dominant as ever.
7:13-Reason #2 why this team is so good-61 straight games for the Langenbrunner/Zajac/Parise line. Delay penalty coming up. Elias gets the points record here. Mark it.
7:14-Apparently the Blackhawks have been sucking recently, in 4th place 'mostly due to their fast start'. Hrmm, I had no idea. Speaking of which, not only is Nikolai Khabibulin still in the leagu-
7:16-Did i tell you or did i tell you? 2-0, Zajac from Parise and Martin. I think Martin's the only one of those trio above the age of 23.
7:17-As I was saying, Not only is Khabibulin still in the league, but he's playing in Chicago and still good, apparently. Who knew?
7:23-Now that nothing is happening, let me just say that if this game goes to a shootout, I'm rooting for the Blackhawks. Let Marty get the record Friday vs. Minnesota.
7:24-#28 Nicholas Havelid. If the Devils are going to trade for an aging defenseman, would it kill them to get Teppo Numminen? Somewhere in the top ten reasons I love the NHL are names like Teppo Numminen and Kimmo Timmonen.
7:27-So I'll ask. In light of the fact that he's the captain on the best team in the NHL, who would you rather have: Jamie Langenbrunner or Chris Drury? I say PROBABLY Drury, but if salaries are being taken into consideration, I take Langenbrunner, and there's really not even any argument you can make for Drury.
7:33-Yup, it's your daily Bobby Holik penalty. I can't even begin to explain how much this doesn't worry me.
7:36-Ok, the power play ended two minutes ago and the puck hasn't left the devil end. And...no goal. Sorry 2nd City, Marty aint giving up shit tonight.
7:39-20 down. 40 to go. 2-0 And really, the only issue is whether Marty will share this night with Elias. (presently tied with Johnny Mac for total points as a Devil)
7:50-A more Indian or Yinzer version of myself would probably smirk every time Daneyko says "the Devil fans here are going crazy." Go ahead guys, make your 'wow, the fans are going nuts? Both of them?' joke.
7:57-Aaaaannnndddd, the Blackhawks commit a penalty, all of 13 seconds into the period. 3-0. Mark it.
7:58-So with Nikolai "the Boulin Wall" Khabibulin, aka "the Boulin Wall" in net, at what score can I start making "Coach Quennville, tear down that wall!" jokes? I'm going with 5.
7:59-Remember when Dainus Zubrus was relevent on this team? Yeah, that was a fun few weeks. Time to move Rolston up to the 2nd line.
8:10-Yeah haven't been paying attention rcently. This game's pretty much over. Now Elias needs to get point #702 so that he's not continually pressing for that record setting point.
8:12-Another point worth bringing up because this game is fairly boring: Remember when the Bruins were running away with the #1 seed? Well now they're six points ahead of the Devils...and the Devils have 3 more to play. And the Devils have the tiebreaker in wins. Devils are gonna be the #1 seed. Mark it, dude.
8:16-"The Blackhawks have a chance to get back in this game on the power play." And I have a chance to be president if roughly 250 million people die first. And as I write this, Elias misses a 3 on 1 shorthanded chance and Marty makes two great saves. Yup, I missed the only good action of the period. FML
8:24-Gionta just took a one-timer slapshot from like 10 feet in front of the Boulin wall. For a very good player I've learned to really enjoy, this is still the worst shot in the NHL. It never works-either it hits the goalie in the numbers, or it gets deflected into the netting. Where was that awfulness in the '01 beanpot?
8:27-Wow. And as I say that, Gionta scores on a one-timer slapshot, on a pass from YOUR ALL-TIME NEW JERSEY DEVIL POINT LEADER, PATRICK ELIAS!
8:28-Marty's shutout is done, 3-1. Ok, he'll continue his quest for the shutout record another day.
8:32-A quick word about the dueling Devil records as we enter the second intermission...
So as far as my favorite athletes-I've always been a bigger fan of guys who make up the supporting cast than the fan favorite. And in the same way that I've never liked Derek Jeter as much as Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez, I was always a bigger fan of Niedermayer, Elias, Arnott, and Langenbrunner than Brodeur. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I'm thrilled that Brodeur has the 2nd or 3rd most important record in hockey, it's pretty freakin cool that Patrik Elias set the Devils points record and will go down as the greatest offensive player in Devil history...until Parise breaks his record in 2018. ONTO THE THIRD!
8:54-Penalty kill done. In the same way that the Devils ALMOST gave up a shot, I ALMOST got nervous.
8:55-And just like that, Rolston's stick was slashed out of his hands. Power play Devils.
8:57-And after 4 Lemieux-on-Draper level hits by the Blackhawks, Langenbrunner got called for a bs dive. For Langenbrunner's efforts, he gets sucker punched by Versteeg, which I believe is Norweigan for "Tie Domi."
9:03-So lost in all of these milestones and records is the fact that the Devils have manhandled one of the better Western Conference teams through 47 minutes of play. Afternoon games always have an awkward feel because everyone's schedule is off, but the game this Sunday afternoon in Boston should be ridiculous.
9:21-Ok, this blog is done. Congrats to Brodeur and Elias, the greatest Goalie ever and greatest Devils forward, respectively.
9:22-Goal. Soft one. 3-2. This figures. 2 minutes to go.
9:24-Me:"Sports history about to be made, you may want to watch."
Mom: (without looking up from her newspaper): "Mmm hmm"
Apparently my mom speaks for 99% of America. Who knew?
9:26 Take it away Mr. Drama...