Mar 31, 2004

Preparing for the big game: Notes on Game 7

Last night was Game 7 for the Ottawa 67's and Brampton Battalion. The 67's played hard, but ended up losing 3-1. Preparation was key to pull off a successful audio/visual presentation for the biggest game of the season:

  • Pre-game: We dropped our usual pre-game playoff video, and prepared a special video, using Aerosmith's "Amazing", along with some great highlights for the series so far. The lyrics to the song were perfect for telling the story:

    • I kept the right ones out / And let the wrong ones in was perfect for some highlights of big saves from Lukas Mensator.

    • There were times in my life / When I was goin' insane was matched with some nice close-ups of coach Brian Kilrea giving instructions on the bench.

    • And when I lost my grip / And I hit the floor was paired with some great footage of our defenceman Pierre Mitsou getting upset, and then being knocked down onto the ice.

  • The game was close throughout: We had a small but vocal crowd, which we played to with lots of crowd prompts and call-response. There were a few times were we just stayed silent, and let the crowd chant, cheer, and make their own entertainment.

  • Post-game: We prepared two scenarios, with different music, scripts (always script everything!), and video elements for each.

    • For a win: We'd play an up-beat celebration song, then segue to "Amazing" by Aerosmith again for the hand shakes. Once the energy level dropped a bit, we had scripts to plug our next game, and congratulate our opponents.

    • For a loss: We'd play "Next Year" by the Foo Fighters (from their "There Is Nothing Left To Lose" cd). Then we segue to "Amazing" again by Aerosmith -- it was a very emotional moment, and this song seemed to work despite the loss. We then had scripts to congratulate the Battalion and wish them good luck. We also had a video still and script to say thanks to the fans for all of their support.

  • Money shots: I instructed my fan cam operator to "roll tape" on all of the post-game proceedings. He got some great shots, which will be great for future highlight clips, vids, etc.

  • Walk-out: Finally, with the loss, our walk-out music was suitably low-key. Melancholy, but not depressing. My audio guy chose "Thanks That Was Fun" by the Barenaked Ladies as our first walk-out tune. (I was proud that we found some alternatives to Green Day's "Good Riddance", which has become a cliche "end-of-season" tune.)

Unfortunately, the 67's didn't win. For me, the new season starts today. I'll spend the next week or two on "post-mortem" feedback sessions with my crew. Then I'll be spending the rest of the summer making sure our production is even better for the new season.

Mar 27, 2004

Busy times at had its highest single day of unique visitors on Tuesday. It's partly due to an article in the Citizen that mentioned our site, and partly due to the big swings in prices we're seeing in Ottawa. We're also on pace to beat the highest week ever. And March is already the busiest month ever on the site, with nearly 90,000 unique visitors.

Mar 20, 2004

Hot 89.9 Hacked

The web site for Ottawa radio station Hot 89.9 was hacked on Thursday, and remains hacked as of Saturday morning. There are rumours that the year-old station will undergo a format change soon. (Source: Milkman Unlimited.)

Whoever did the hack appears to have been working in FrontPage. That's a piece of software that's hardly the "first choice of hackers". Sounds like a publicity stunt to me.

Followup: It was a publicity stunt. The station re-launched their site on Monday.

Mar 18, 2004

Raptors cheerleader fired for nude photos

From Yahoo! news (and many other sources): "Nineteen-year-old Canadian dancer Lucie Marshal has been fired for appearing in website photos deemed inappropriate by her employer, NBA basketball team the Toronto Raptors." Read more...

Mar 15, 2004

NHL Mascot Madness

Another old-but-good link, this time from From the first NHL mascot, Harvey the Hound in Calgary, to mascots who's starred in movies (Iceburgh in Pittsburgh), this site is "recommended reading" for mascot fans. Read more....

Mar 13, 2004

More than a game: How the Bulls keep their fans entertained all night

A fascinating look from SportsBusiness Journal, behind the scenes with the Chicago Bulls entertainment staff. Interesting facts include:
"Each team is closely evaluated according to its game presentation in a comprehensive program the NBA calls the Holistic Customer Experience. The NBA also has a pages-long list of fines for not adhering to league standards. Playing music too loud can cost a club $2,500. Having an act get onto the court during play costs a club $7,500."
"Time of the game: 2 hours and 23 minutes. Total on-court action: 48 minutes. Total minutes of music and prompts during the game action: 23 minutes, 9 seconds." Read the full article...

"Bulls director of game operations Jeff Wohlschlaeger says he aims to have music, sound effects, and other bells and whistles playing for the crowd during about 60 percent of a game’s 48 minutes of action. That’s more than 28 minutes. For the game against Memphis, the mix was less than 50 percent." Sound Chart


Mar 3, 2004

Mascot battle royal

An old gem from Jon Cudo at the Mascot Battle Royal Halftime Show. A dozen mascots take part in a hilarious wrestling-style battle royal. Watch the video.