Dec 29, 2005

New York Giants complain about unfair video scoreboard usage

From the New York Post:

"Upset by what they consider to be unfair and classless antics by the scoreboard operator at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, The Post has learned the Giants asked the NFL to look into possible rules violations during last week's 26-23 overtime victory over the Eagles.

When Jay Feely was lining up for the potential game-winning field goal, the image on the jumbo video screen — which hangs lower than many stadiums in the league — showed live action of the kick. The image, though, was purposely distorted, shaken and jumbled in an obvious attempt to disrupt Feely's timing..."

Read the article...

Football player distracted by instant replay

From the Indiana Gazette:

"Snap judgment. Kansas State's Jeff Mortimer lined up over the football at the Wildcats' 12-yard line in the first quarter of a game at Oklahoma and snapped it back to punter Tim Reyer - who, inexplicably, wasn't there. Reyer was preoccupied watching a replay of K-State's third-down pass on the Memorial Stadium JumboTron and never left the sidelines. "When I looked back on the field, they were snapping the football," he said. "My heart just sank." The ball sailed through the end zone for a safety."

Read the article...

Fan experience @ Washington games

"Instead of rolling out gimmicks during breaks in play, Washington's teams should remember why fans came to the game in the first place," writes Rich Danker.

"Teams should simply promote their sports. Instead the "Kissin'-Cam" during timeouts the Wizards should cut in to games across NBA and college basketball. The Redskins should do the same at FedEx Field, using the stadium's Jumbotron to broadcast highlights of the rest of the day's games. Most basketball fans who follow the NBA also pay attention to the college game. In the NFL's 16-game season the standings shift weekly with the outcomes of the games. Many fans also are involved in fantasy football and are anxious to know how their players are performing. Instead of distracting fans from their home team, as many executives fear, promoting the overall sport would generate more excitement for the game and the team on the field. It would foster new fans who are attracted to the game because of the enthusiasm and respect the sport is shown. Our home teams should strip down the gimmicks and get back to the basics."

Read the article...

ESPN's on sports uniforms

Today on Page 2: Year of the Uni

Spelling mistakes, garish colours, and other fashion faults.

Air Canada Centre: "one of the most brutally irritating places to watch a hockey game"

Blogger Howard Berger writes that the Air Canada Centre in Toronto is "one of the most brutally irritating places to watch a hockey game".

He says it's too cold and too loud:
Perhaps as a result of housing the quietest fans in professional sport, those in charge of the game presentation pump music to levels that are patently absurd – again, the loudest and most annoying of any arena in the NHL. At least ten times each night, there is some recognizable face on the video board – from Lanny McDonald, to Alex Trebek, to Avril Levigne and Mike Myers – imploring the mundane Leaf supporters in recorded messages to “make noise on the count of three” – which, of course, the majority of the trained seals in the building respond to for five or ten seconds at a time. This season, the Leafs have chosen to copy a dozen other buildings around the NHL by installing an obnoxious, grating horn that is honked whenever the Buds score."

I may sound like an old fart by making these observations. I am ancient enough to remember attending games at Maple Leaf Gardens in the 1960s and early-‘70s when the only music played was during the pre-game warm-up and the intermissions. And, it was offered at normal levels that never threatened to split your ear-drums. In the mid-‘70s, the Gardens employed Toronto-based organists Ralph Fraser and Joe Dungale, who took up the practice of playing music during virtually every stop in the action, but again, it was pleasant to listen to, and in lock-step with all the other arenas that featured organists."

Read the post...

Dec 8, 2005

Timberwolves music page

A follow-up to an earlier post about Orlando Magic music:

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a similar music page set up on their site, listing tracks they've played at recent Timberwolves games. They even have a Minnesota Timberwolves Greatest Hits cd available.

Teams drop Ric Flair from video scoreboard

The Carolina Panthers (and other Carolina teams) are dropping Ric Flair from their video scoreboard features. Flair is in trouble with the law -- he's facing road rage charges:

"It once seemed fitting to feature pro wrestler Ric Flair, one of the Carolina area's most well-known celebrities, in a public service announcement for the NFL's Carolina Panthers. But, in the wake of his road rage charges, the team is no longer interested in featuring Flair in the home game scoreboard announcement that encouraged fans to act responsibly. He did not appear in the message that aired this weekend."

Read the article

Calgary Flames sing "You Can't Stop a Flame When It's Red Hot"

From 1987, the Calgary Flames perform a karaoke video to "You Can't Stop A Flame When It's Red Hot". It's hard to imagine any pro sports player doing something like this today.

Dec 5, 2005

Orlando Magic music log

The DJ from the Orlando Magic posts his playlist after every game. Nice!

Magic: Music Page

(And good tunes, too -- a nice mix of classic arena tunes, urban music, and top 40 tunes.)

Beijing 2008 Olympic Mascots

The marketing team for the Beijing Olympics has introduced not one, not two ... but five mascots for the 2008 Olympic Games:

"Like the Five Olympic Rings from which they draw their color and inspiration, the Five Friendlies will serve as the Official Mascots of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, carrying a message of friendship and peace--and blessings from China--to children all over the world. Designed to express the playful qualities of five little children who form an intimate circle of friends, the Five Friendlies also embody the natural characteristics of four of China's most popular animals--the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope, the Swallow--and the Olympic Flame."

"Each of the Friendlies has a rhyming two-syllable name--a traditional way of expressing affection for children in China. Beibei is the Fish, Jingjing is the Panda, Huanhuan is the Olympic Flame, Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope and Nini is the Swallow. When you put their names together--Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni--they say "Welcome to Beijing".

Read more about the Friendlies...

Halftime Show At Bruins-Devils Hockey Game Disrupted By Second Period Of Play

From The Onion:

"A combination marching band and pompom squad show planned for the halfway point of Tuesday night's Boston-New Jersey hockey game was disrupted by the continuation of on-ice play during the second of the game's three periods, Devils team officials announced Thursday morning."

Read the article...

Dec 1, 2005

Gary Glitter's strange fame

Aaron Wherry blogs on the strange fame of Gary Glitter. Glitter's "Rock n Roll Part II" (aka the "Hey" song) is a mainstay at sports games in North America.

"In the realm of sports anthems, his Rock n Roll Part 2 is bested really only by Queen's We Will Rock You (because, of course, nothing goes together better than hyper-masculinity and a flamboyant, gay, British rock god). Aside from We Will Rock You, Take Me Out To The Ballgame and the American national anthem, there isn't another song more closely associated with the wide world of sports, professional and otherwise (though college basketball fans can argue for One Shining Moment and Canadians can campaign for the Hockey Night In Canada theme)."

Read the post...

Nov 18, 2005

Makeover ideas for Canadian hockey jerseys

TNS's Jay Onrait has a fun piece on Canadian hockey uniforms.

"For third jerseys, the NHL has usually gone for redesigned "alternates" instead. They could have it so much better (good album by the way) if they honored the league's past while appealing to its younger fans in the present by dipping into the days of way back!"

VANCOUVER: "What kind of team adopts "grainy mustard yellow" as its primary colour in the late seventies?"

CALGARY: "Their current uni isn't bad, but I would simply take the black out of the colour scheme. There's something Wayne Gretzky did so effectively when he came on board with Phoenix and insisted the team re-design their horrific threads, he oversaw a very simple design: Basic logo on the front, basic stripes on the side, and two basic colours. Whether you like the colours or the logo, the uni is very effective because it nearly achieves that throwback look without being a throwback."

EDMONTON: "They should pretty much follow the Calgary Model: Original Blue, Orange, and White home and away throwbacks during all games with Calgary. What a great feeling it will give fans in both cities to remember the classic Battles and witness new Battles in the threads that started it all."

OTTAWA: "One jersey that should never be resurrected? One with the "Parliament Building" logo first introduced when the Sens came back into the league."

Read the article...

Nov 13, 2005

Sacramento Kings apologize for bashing Detroit in pregame video

From Sports Illustrated:

The Sacramento Kings bought full-page ads in two newspapers to apologize for showing derogatory images of Detroit on video screens prior to their home opener against the Pistons.

When the Pistons were introduced Tuesday night, the Arco Arena scoreboard flashed pictures of abandoned buildings, burned-out cars, piles of rubble and other negative images of Detroit. The Pistons won the game 102-88.


NBA spokesman Tim Frank said the league is reviewing the incident.

NBA policy prohibits "ridiculing of opponents or game officials ... via PA announcements, video, or matrix displays, music or mascot skits.''

Read the article...

Interview with "HuskerVision" camera guy

An interview with Mike Maryott, who is part of the production team at Husker games at the University of Nebraska.

“It’s fun being on the field and right there for the tunnel walk,” Maryott said. “It’s great. I am as close as anyone can be without being run over. It’s a rush.”

Read the article...

Nov 7, 2005

Interview with Dominic Latkovski of Zooperstars & Birdzerk

A good interview this month on, with Dominic Latkovski of Zooperstars and Birdzerk fame. An excerpt:


One of our smarter performers (Steve) was in the locker room before the AA All Star Game in Norwich a few years ago. There was a guy standing nearby, priming his voice to get ready to sing the National Anthem. Steve asked him if he was singing the Anthem and the guy said “YES.” Steve told him to “Knock ‘em dead,” and then walked away. He never realized it was Michael Bolton!

Earlier this year, we had a funny episode during a routine where Roger Clamens eats someone on the ice. Our guy getting eaten cracked his nose on the ice when he fell to the ground while being swallowed. His nose was gushing blood, but he had to continue on with the routine. So he jumped on the other guy’s (Steve again) back just like he was supposed to and proceeded to get tons of blood all over Steve’s hair and down his back. Steve was freaking out, but there was nothing he could do! That costume still has blood stains all over the inside of it today, because they just wouldn’t come out!!

My brother was working the crowd as Whale Gretzky at a hockey game for the Motor City Mechanics. We knew Kid Rock was in attendance that night, so we went by his suite. Kid Rock, who had been enjoying himself a little too much that night, sees us coming and hangs over the rail and starts laughing at Whale Gretzky. So my brother sprays Silly String all over his face, in his long hair, and in his beer. It took about 10 seconds for the guy to even realize what was going on. His drunk friends just laughed at him and gave Whale Gretkzy high-fives!


Read the interview...

Can the crowd affect free-throw shooting?

From ESPN's Page 2:

"Last season, the 25 teams with split stats listed on shot an average of 75.7 percent from the foul line at home and 75.3 percent away, a whopping difference of 0.4 percent. Ten squads even shot better on the road."


"As it turns out, Thunderstix and wiggling balloons have little effect because the brain simply blocks out random motion, like white noise on a television screen."


" behind the baseline would be better off moving side-to-side in unison. Why? Confronted with a field of background motion, observers tend to believe that they are moving while the background remains still -- think of sitting on a stopped subway train while an adjacent train passes. David Whitney, a visual scientist at the University of California-Davis, has demonstrated that a field of background motion can influence hand motions, such as the flick of the wrist on a free throw."

Read the article...

Nov 6, 2005

Poppies & Copyright = Poppyright

Not related to sports at all:

The Royal Canadian Legion has requested that an image of the poppy be removed from

"The Committee", reprimands Mr. [Steven] Clark, [Secretary, Poppy and Remembrance Committee of the Royal Canadian Legion,] "acknowledges your effort to promote Remembrance but, as we do not have control over website content, the use of the Poppy image is not authorized."

Bourque responds:
"What next, will Peter Mansbridge and Mike Duffy be banned from wearing their poppies during Remembrance Day telecasts ? Will Rick Mercer be blocked from using the poppy in a tastefully funny TV skit ? Will Leonard Asper have to erase his Remembrance Day website ? Will Charles Adler have to take it off while he broadcasts his radio show from the CAB convention floor in Winnipeg next week ? Will Jeffrey Simpson have to remove his while he pens his next G&M column?"

Oct 21, 2005

Youppi! makes his Habs debut

From the Toronto Star:
Just like old times in Montreal, Youppi! was there to high-five Andre Dawson and Gary Carter amid the wild cheers of a sellout crowd. Sadly, for fans of the city's late and lamented baseball team, last night he was standing on skates at centre ice at the Bell Centre — not outside the Olympic Stadium dugout — and all three were wearing Montreal Canadiens jerseys. Dawson and Carter, two of the greatest players in the Expos' 36-year history, were on hand as guests of the Canadiens for a ceremony honouring the four numbers retired by the National League team, which moved to Washington, D.C. last season.

Youppi!, the Expos' fuzzy orange mascot since 1979, did not move with the team.With the arena's lights dimmed, the video scoreboard showed Canadiens defenceman Sheldon Souray looking into the camera in the team's dressing room and offering encouragement to an unknown, who was obviously making his debut. Cheers filled the rink as the familiar mascot's image was seen wearing a Canadiens uniform and grabbing a toy stick and oversized puck before racing onto the ice to the approval of the audience.

Read the full article...

Oct 16, 2005

New scoreboard at Charlotte Arena

"The New Charlotte Arena today unveiled the concept and design of its center-hung video display and scoreboard, which will be the most technologically advanced board in the country when the arena opens in November 2005. Created together with Spurgeon Design Group and manufactured by Daktronics, the scoreboard will have a larger video screen with higher resolution than any other arena in the country, and will feature a 360-degree projection system with ground-breaking, three-dimensional images of the Charlotte city skyline." (Press release...)


"Standard scoreboards have typically featured fixed digital displays surrounding an LED screen averaging nine feet wide by 16 feet high. The New Charlotte Arena’s four-sided, center-hung scoreboard will feature four 16-foot-high by 28-foot-long LED (light emitting diode) screens that can change throughout an event to feature one full-screen image or an assortment of animations, graphics, video, text, scores and other event-relevant information."


Working with noted arena and stadium consultant Michael Deutsch of Phoenix, the arena partnered with Spurgeon Design Group, who are experts in lighting, video, sound and sets for Broadway shows, themed venues and Las Vegas theatrical extravaganzas, to design the concept they had generated.


In addition to the four horizontal high-resolution displays, the 38-foot-high by 36-feet-wide, 80,000-pound scoreboard will feature four LED vertical displays on the corners of the structure. All these high-tech components will be manufactured and installed by Daktronics, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of integrated scoring and video systems.”


The scoreboard’s most unique design element will be a three-dimensional, back-lit Charlotte city skyline that sits atop the center-hung display. The skyline will come to life through a 360-degree projection system, whose multiple projectors will offer a seamless movie-screen projection of a limitless variety of creative images. For example, the skyline may feature day-time or night-time views and can be altered to entertain the crowd in a variety of ways, from fireworks shooting across the sky after an emotional moment in a game or event to a hot-air balloon or airplane passing by. An endless amount of animated effects can be created by the arena’s design and graphic team to bring the skyline to life.

Sep 16, 2005

Youppi! returns to Montreal Canadiens Canadiens adopt beloved former Expos mascot

Canadiens President Pierre Boivin announced Friday the official lifetime adoption of Youppi! as the organization’s new mascot.

Youppi!, age unknown, will make history in becoming the first mascot in professional sports history to move from one league to another when he makes his in-game debut with the Canadiens in October 2005. The beloved orange-furred creature, a staple at Olympic Stadium from 1979 through 2004 while with Major League Baseball’s Montreal Expos, found himself without a home when the latter franchise moved to Washington, D.C., ahead of the 2005 season.


Also on hand at the official signing of the adoption papers was former Expos Vice-President of Business Affairs Claude Delorme and Youppi! forefather and creator Roger D. Landry who was thrilled at the prospect of Youppi! finding a new home.

“I think this is a perfect fit for Youppi!,” said his creator Landry. “I couldn’t of imagined a better adoptive family than the Montreal Canadiens. I remember the night when we came up with his name like it was yesterday. I told Rodger Brulotte that I wanted a character that would make the kids say Youppi when they saw him. Rodger then said “That’s it, you just found his name”, and the rest is history.”

Youppi!, who took part in excess of 4000 public outings during his 26-year tenure with the Expos, will make his first public appearance in a Canadiens uniform at the team’s Jamboree on Sunday, September 18. Activities will begin with the Canadiens open practice at the Bell Centre at 9:00 a.m. Also featured during the day are street hockey games featuring Canadiens players and Alumni, photo and autograph sessions, and giveaway prizes, including tickets for the Canadiens’ preseason game the same night against the Atlanta Thrashers.

National Post: Montreal Canadiens obtain mascot Youppi! for undisclosed sum

Roger D. Landry, who described himself as Youppi!'s "spiritual father or godfather," said the mascot is the product of Muppets creator Jim Henson.

Landry, a former Expos vice-president of marketing and public affairs, said it wasn't an easy task.

"The first model he made was not really to our liking," he said. "I wanted him a little more round and (Henson) had him more pointed."

Youppi! has not had a spotless career and in 1989 was ejected from a Major League Baseball game.

On Aug. 23, 1989, he was ejected in the 11th inning after then Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda complained to the umpires about his dancing on top of the visitor's dugout.


Glen Street, who launched Harvey in 1984 and is president of mascot makers Street Characters, which supplies about half of the NHL's mascots, has some advice for Youppi!.

In an interview from Calgary, he suggested Youppi! may have to work harder.

"Baseball tends to be a leisurely stroll through the stands," Street said. "They (mascots) can go down into the dugout, spend time there and work out on the field.

"NHL mascots seem to be best at interacting with the crowd because they don't get the opportunity to be down on the field or the playing surface.

"Hockey is the only sport where the mascot is forced to be in the crowd for the entire event, except for the intermissions."

Aug 31, 2005

Chicago White Sox host Mullet Night

Inspired perhaps by the Manchester Monarchs, The Chicago White Sox are hosting a mullet night. From the ChiSox web site:

Shake your mullet to the beat of the band Identity Crisis.

Let your mullet loose as you jam with the band Backstage Pass.

Don't have a mullet? Have a stylist at one of four Great Clips haircut stations located throughout the ballpark trim one up for you. Donations will be accepted to benefit the Ronald McDonald House and Chicago White Sox Charities.

Then, march your mullet over to Gate 1, where mulleted men and women will parade their classic cuts around the warning track. Wigged mullets will be accepted. The first 500 mullet marchers will get a free White Sox Mullet Night T-shirt.

(Source: adfreak)

Aug 21, 2005

Vote for the Maple Leafs' new goal horn

Which goal horn do you most want to hear at Air Canada Centre? The Toronto Maple Leafs are letting fans vote for this season's goal horn.

Animal rights activist sneaks message onto scoreboard

From WebIndia123 (!):

An animal rights activist used the electronic scoreboard at Toronto's Rogers Center to propose to his fiancee and send a message to Raptors owner John Bitove.


When the Sony JumboTron focused on the couple during Sunday's game between the Yankees and the Blue Jays, Prescott was holding up a sign that said John Bitove and KFC Cripple Chickens. Bitove also owns KFC Canada.

Read the article...

Jul 12, 2005

Where should they put the video scoreboard?

There's controversy here in Ottawa about where to place the videoboard for the Ottawa Renegades. From CBC News:
Some residents of the Glebe are hoping to sack the Ottawa Renegades' attempt to adapt a large video billboard at Frank Clair Stadium so it can be used advertise on Bank Street when not in use for a game. The club says it needs to move the 46-foot billboard from the east end zone to the west, because during the many games played as the sun sets, it's difficult for most fans to see. However, it also wants permission from the city to rotate the billboard on non-game days so advertising messages could be seen on Bank Street.

Read the full story...

UPDATE: City rejects bid to move Renegades' video billboard (July 12 viia CBC)

Jun 28, 2005

The Bobble Ankle

Courtesy of Adfreak:

The Brockton Rox "is making hay with a Curt Schilling figurine dubbed the Bobble Ankle, which has a flimsy ankle instead of a bobbing head. The team wanted to do something to recognize Schilling’s World Series heroics."


(Also available on the Rox web site: a bobble arm figure.)

Jun 27, 2005

A fan's sour notes

The St. Petersberg Times has a rant from Peter Golenbock about the stifling of entertainment at Tampa Bay Devil Rays games:

My biggest peeve is that the Devil Rays management has a policy that no one who goes to the games is allowed to have any fun.
The next impromptu nightly celebration came from an unlikely source: groundskeeper McArthur Church, who would walk onto the field in the middle innings with a broom to sweep the infield, then would break out into a dance routine that would thrill the fans. For several years, Church's nightly performance was the highlight of the game. But then Church was accused of stealing used baseballs, and he was fired. Management didn't care that he brought all this joy to the fans.

With Church gone, yet a third entertainment highlight appeared one evening, when a group of ushers spontaneously walked onto the roof of the home dugout and spelled out the letters YMCA with their arms while the song blared on the loudspeaker. This was unadulterated fun, and it inspired the crowd to sing and dance along.

Then one day YMCA was no more. Someone in the killjoy Devil Rays organization decided that it had to go. Ushers relayed to me several reasons, all of them stupid: The song went on too long. The Devil Rays don't want any entertainment unless a product is being hawked. It was distracting to the players.
The Kiss Cam is now the highlight of the game, perfect family entertainment, though when the two gay guys who were pictured on the Jumbotron to get a laugh actually kissed each other on the lips, I thought the Kiss Cam would be history as well. I understand the spot is taped now to keep spontaneity from ever breaking out again.

Read the article...

Mascot awarded $35,150 in lawsuit

From the Chilliwack Times:

Kris Reddeman, who plays the Chillwack Chief's mascot Chief Wannawin, has been awarded $35,150 for an incident in 2002 in a British Columbia Hockey League playoff game agains the Vernon Vipers:
The Chiefs popped two quick goals to tie the game, prompting Vernon to call a time out-during which Reddemann loudly banged his drum from his seat behind the Vipers' bench. Vernon's volunteer trainer Trevor McEachnie lost his temper and punched the mascot seven or eight times. Reddemann suffered a concussion and broken tooth.

Read the article...

Jun 23, 2005

Virtual baseball

From the Kansas City Star:

The first two innings of the July 16th game between the Kansas City T-Bones and the Schaumburg Flyers will be played virtually.

Equipped with Microsoft Xbox game controllers instead of baseball gloves and bats, two video gamers will climb into recliner chairs around home plate at CommunityAmerica Ballpark and slug it out on the park’s 16- by 24-foot video screen.

Their scores from playing two innings of MVP Baseball 2005 on an Xbox will stand when the T-Bones and Flyers take the field to finish the last seven innings of the game.

Read the article...

Jun 20, 2005

Buffalo's falling scoreboard

From Jes G?lbez's Hockey Rants, a photo of the 1996 "scoreboard fall" at Buffalo's Marine Midland Arena.

Recall: A few hours before gametime, the video scoreboard fell onto the ice while it was being moved. Nobody was hurt, but Boston Bruins defenceman Jozef Stumpel quipped: "From now on, we stay wide."

See the pic...

Coyote Mascot Memories

From the San Antonia Spurs web site:

Tim Derk spent 21 years as the Spurs' mascot - The Coyote - before retiring last year. In August, Derk was named Manager of Mascot Development for Spurs Sports & Entertainment and continues to speak about his unique story and experiences. Recently, asked Tim how things change from the regular season to the Finals...

Read the article...

Jun 12, 2005

Ballpark organists: They're out

From the L.A. Times, an article about the demise of live organists in Major League Baseball. Highlights/lowlights:

  • Earlier this year, the L.A. Angels of Anaheim became the latest team to sack its keyboard player... Peggy Duquesnel, an accomplished jazz musician who had tickled the ivories for the Angels since 1998, was dismissed before the season started.
  • Nancy Faust has been playing keyboard for the Chicago White Sox since 1970 and doesn't expect to be replaced when she retires.
  • Organ music didn't debut until 1941 at Chicago's Wrigley Field.
  • During the 1970s, the Sporting News published letters complaining that organs "detract from the game" and should be "removed and put back in church where they belong," according to John Odell, co-curator of the Hall of Fame's forthcoming "Sacred Ground" exhibit on ballpark history.
  • During the streaker craze of the 1970s, for example, a naked man sprinted across the field in Philadelphia, prompting the keyboardist to play Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is?"
  • A notable holdout in the audio-video revolution is Wrigley Field. "It's like walking into a baseball time capsule," says Chicago Cub spokesman John McDonough. "I'm not sure that playing Velvet Revolver between innings is consistent with what we're trying to market."
Read the article...

Jun 9, 2005

Ottawa 67's are hiring an Audio/Visual Producer


Ottawa 67’s Hockey Club
Audio/Visual Producer

The Ottawa 67’s Hockey Club is one of Canada’s top junior hockey organizations, with a winning tradition both on and off the ice. We are currently seeking candidates for an opening in our marketing department, in the role of our Audio/Visual Producer.

Job Description
· Responsible for all aspects of game day presentation inside the Ottawa Civic Centre.
· Coordinate and manage Ottawa 67’s production needs including: video, audio and other tech support.
· Manage game day staff, volunteers, and talent including hiring and scheduling, as well as team building.
· Oversee and maintain video and audio libraries and game broadcast archives.
· Participate in the logistics of non-game related events, and other special projects as assigned.

Skills & Qualifications
· Experience with Adobe Premiere or similar non-linear video editing system.
· Fluent in Photoshop 6.0
· Strong writing & communication skills. French language skills an asset.
· Experience directing or producing live events.
· Ability to handle multiple priorities and projects
· Strong interpersonal and creative skills
· Ability to work well under pressure.
· Strong knowledge of hockey.

Deadline: June 22, 2005
Please email your resume, in confidence, to:

May 30, 2005

Hockey goal horns

From an EPSN discussion forum, links to goal horns from NHL, AHL, and more.

New Jersey Devils burning mad over proposal to change team name


New Jersey State Assemblyman Craig Stanley is taking issue with a satanic symbol representing the team, which has won three Stanley Cup championships.

"This is an age where symbolism is very important," said Stanley, a Baptist deacon whose resolution to rename the team is to be introduced in the Assembly next month. A new name would be chosen in a statewide competition.

"I've always cringed when people say they're going to see the Devils," Stanley said. "The merchandise, the paraphernalia is based on the actual demonic devil. Personally, it causes a little bit of an issue with me."

Read the article...

May 24, 2005

Mets launch broken-windshield campaign

From adreak: In Queens, Manhattan and Long Island, the windshields of parked cars will look like they’ve been shattered, as though errant baseballs have crashed through them—thanks to realistic-looking Ogilvy & Mather decals. Read more...

May 19, 2005

Confidential to Memorial Cup dj: Song suggestions

Some song suggestions for the Memorial Cup:

- When London loses: "It's Not Easy Being Green" by Kermit the Frog
- See also: previous post

- "Rocketman" / Elton John
- "Rocket" / Def Leppard

- Anything by Billy Ocean (we're stretching here!)

- "Batman TV Theme" for after a big save from Battochio
- "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam if Akeson makes a big play

(more coming soon!)

May 11, 2005

Search Engine Optimization

Had a client ask about search engine optimization services.

Yes, there are legit companies out there that have been successful in improving site rankings. But there are many, many companies who won't tell you is that many of their techniques are only temporary at best. Search engines re-program themselves every few months to try to reduce what they consider 'search optimization spam', and deliver the most relevant, useful results.

I offered him some free advice, that has always worked for me, to ensure your site ranks highly:

1. Text. Search engines read text only. If you have graphics, make sure they make use of the "alt" tag (for alternate text). If you have flash, javascript, PDF, or other special multimedia content, be aware that this probably won't be indexed.

2. Content-specific pages. Create pages that are specific to one topic. (A good example of this are the "Guides" on

3. Choose topics that are out of the ordinary, unusual. Find niche topics where there are few (or inadequate) websites, and spend some time developing those areas.

4. Update your content as often as possible.

5. Support your website with effective, targeted advertising in other media.

Hope that helps.

May 6, 2005

NCC Pathway re-opens after over a year of detours

Definitely not sports news, but something we've blogged about in the past:

Public Notice: Ottawa River Pathway Behind the Supreme Court of Canada to
Open on Saturday, May 7, 2005

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - May 6, 2005) - On May 7, 2005, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), in collaboration with the National Capital Commission (NCC), will reopen the section of the Ottawa River Pathway behind the Supreme Court of Canada.

Although repairs are required to an area of the escarpment in the fall of 2005, PWGSC has installed temporary cement structures to provide access to the pathway throughout the summer months. These temporary structures will remain in place until repair work is completed.

For the safety of users of the pathway, cyclists are asked to walk their bikes through the area where the temporary structures are located.

The pathway may have to be temporarily closed in the fall while repairs to the escarpment are carried out.


Public Works and Government Services Canada
Pierre Teotonio
Media Relations
(819) 956-2310

(via flora.cfsc)

May 5, 2005

Texas moves to ban sexy cheerleading

From ABC Sport (Australia):
Legislators in the American state of Texas yesterday voted to crack down on 'sexually suggestive' dance performances in schools. Famed for its Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, Texas has introduced a law which is designed to ban dance routines by school cheerleaders and drill teams at sports events that one politician said was like something out of a strip club. Exposed midriffs and ever shorter shorts and skirts have particularly outraged some legislators. Read the article...
And from the New York Times, headlined "Texas Legislation Adds a Bah! to Sis and Boom":

"High school cheerleading was starting to emulate popular culture, if you call popular culture the scantily clad Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders," said Cathie Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum. "We feel this is a bill that empowers parents, that provides moms and dads with some additional support."


Supporters of the bill, however, argued that something had to be done to prevent student cheerleaders from mimicking the provocative dances seen on MTV, the routines of some professional sports teams' cheering squads and suggestive performances in cheerleading movies like "Bring It On" and its sequel, "Bring It On Again."

Read the article...

Did you know: The first cheerleaders were male.

May 4, 2005

Yale searches for a new mascot

From Sports Illustrated:

"Back in 1889 when Yale students wanted an animal to symbolize their football team's grit and pluck, the process was simple: One of them bought a bulldog for five dollars from a local blacksmith. Handsome Dan, they called the fierce little creature, and a tradition was born. But when Handsome Dan XV died of a possible heart attack last January after nine years on the job, finding a suitable replacement for America's longest-running live-animal mascot was not easy. First, came a press release, followed by stories in newspapers and on radio about the school's search for canine candidates, as the release put it, "athletic enough to climb stairs, walk the sidelines of a game for four quarters and dodge out-of-bounds football players." Then Steve Conn, Yale's director of sports publicity, evaluated essays and photos from 40 applicants, and enlisted Chris Getman, Handsome Dan XV's caretaker, to help him winnow the field to 10. On April 26, as the Yale Precision Marching Band played How Much Is that Doggie in the Window and several hundred spectators gathered on the New Haven, Conn., campus to watch, the finalists competed to become -- with apologies to Georgia's UGA -- college sports' boss bulldog."

Read the article...

May 2, 2005

Entertainment in NBA arenas points us to a recent article in USA Today: "NBA arenas: Fantastic or not?". Some highlights:

  • Ten-year-old Austin Pawelka announces the starting lineups in Denver, and wants to be the next Michael Buffer.
  • Every team except Boston has a dance team and every team except the New York Knicks has a mascot.
  • Phoenix has Dancing Dads — overweight, middle-aged men performing a choreographed routine.
  • Also in Phoenix: "The Suns also feature one of the best masters of ceremonies. Cedric Ceballos, a former NBA player, conducts contests, oversees promotions and introduces celebs at courtside with a flair unmatched around the league ... During a break at the game I attended, Ceballos coaxed team owner Robert Sarver out of his courtside seat to center court, where he was unceremoniously hurled feet-first, via a giant slingshot, into a set of rubber garbage cans."
  • "There is a staple of cookie-cutter entertainment promos used widely in the league, but I found one universal truth: Fans love to see themselves on the video screen. Regardless of the promo — the KissCam is the most popular — they smile, wave and mug for all to see."
  • In Denver: When a player leaves the game with an injury, the type of injury is posted — information that is normally shared only with radio and television audiences.

Raymond Entertainment opens mascot hall of fame

This month's interview is with David Raymond (the original Phillie Phanatic), and Chris Bruce (a UCA national mascot champion, and currently performs as REGGY the Purple Party Dude). They're part of the Raymond Entertainment group, and they're launching a new mascot hall of fame.

Apr 28, 2005

Confidential to London Knights dj: Some songs for your team

Here are some song ideas for when your goalie makes a big save, or a player makes a big move, etc. Pardon the puns.

  • Night Moves / Bob Seger
  • Don't You Know What the Night Can Do / Steve Winwood
  • Wonderful Night / Fatboy Slim
  • Another Night (Another Dream) / Whigfield
  • Fun Night / Andrew W.K.

Confidential to Kitchener Rangers dj: If you're lucky enough to have a game back in Kitchener on Sunday, how about:
  • Hard Day's Night / The Beatles
  • No More Lonely Nights / Paul McCartney & Wings (for when one of the London players is alone in the box)
  • Scorpions / Lonely Nights
  • Help Me Make it Through The Night / Sammi Smith

Apr 27, 2005

Singer fined for messing up the anthem

From last November, as reported on ABC News International:

A woman who fumbled a few phrases of Mexico's national anthem while singing the song before a soccer game in Guadalajara has been fined $40 for the blunder.

Guadalupe Madrigal acknowledged she got the words wrong while singing before an Oct. 30 soccer match between teams from Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico's Interior Department announced Saturday in a written statement.

Madrigal, who could not immediately be reached for comment, could have been fined as much as $880 under Mexican law regarding the national seal, flag and hymn.

Read the article...

Apr 25, 2005

Anthem singer forgets words to Star Spangled Banner

You've probably seen the video of this by now:

Singer Carol Marcil was the anthem singer for an exhibition game between Canada and the U.S. in Quebec City last Friday. She forgot the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner -- twice -- so she left the ice to grab a lyric sheet. But when she stepped back onto the ice, she slipped and fell -- and the game started without the national anthems.

Then on Sunday, she redeemed herself by singing the Star Spangled Banner on Good Morning America -- on tape, with a teleprompter as a back-up.

Did you know: Carol is the daughter of Rene Marcil, the past president of Hockey Quebec. (Source: Edmonton Sun)

Apr 24, 2005

Mother's Day baseball at 5:30am

The latest promo from Mike Veeck and the Saint Paul Saints: On Mother's Day this year, the Saints will start a home game at 5:30am. It's believed to be the earliest scheduled start ever for a professional baseball game. Veeck says he hopes the early start time will let fans and players spend more time with their moms. The sun will rise during the game -- as opposed to the normal sunset.

Link: Saint Paul Saints

Did you know: Actor Bill Murray is co-owner of the Saints.

Ottawa 67's playoffs: What music are we using?

The 67's are two wins away from the OHL Championships. Here's a sampling of some of the music we have in 'high rotation' this spring:
  • Queen / We Will Rock You. Yes, we've always used We Will Rock You. But until late in the regular season, we were using just a loop of the "boom boom clap" part of the song. Now, we've started using the the full version of the song, lyrics and all, at least once per game. We also found a cool remix that was used in an Evian commercial, by "Water Boy".
  • Van Halen / Right Now. The soundtrack to our opening video in the first and second rounds. (With a transition to Fatboy Slim's Right Here Right Now partway through.)
  • AC/DC / Thunderstruck. The soundtrack to our third round playoff video. The buildup creates great atmosphere, plus it ties in to our thunderstick promotion.
  • The Fables / Heave Away. Ian Robinson (from the Halifax Mooseheads) sent us this suggestion a while back, and it's a big hit at the Ottawa Civic Centre.
  • The Zambonis / Drop That Puck. We use this at the start of every game for the opening face-off, right after the National Anthem. I heard fans chanting the song before we started playing it, in anticipation. Cool.
  • Loverboy / Lovin' Every Minute of It. A great song that we've been using after some of our goals ... gives a great feeling in the rink.
  • Batman (old TV Theme). A pun on our goaltender's name (Danny Battochio). We'll play this once or twice per game, supported with a video graphic featuring Battochio's name inside a Batman logo.
Another note: We're hardly using any "top 40" or "filler" music in our playoff games -- it's all call-response and situational. Our fans are eager to clap along, thanks in part to a thunderstick giveaway, so we're catering to that.

(More hockey music via

Apr 18, 2005

Ottawa's Spartacat mascot visits Wisconsin

From an Ottawa Senators press release:

"The Ottawa Senators mascot and Ambassador of Fun, Spartacat, is
taking the popular Senators' education programs - Spelling with Sparty
and Scotiabank Read to Succeed - to 135 students at Chain O'Lakes
Elementary School in Waupaca, Wis. Tuesday, April 19 and Wednesday,
April 20."


"Screech the Eagle" is the new mascot for Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals introduced "Screech the Eagle" on Sunday as their new mascot. Perhaps inspired by the San Diego Chicken's debut, Screech busted out of an egg before the game at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium.

Screech is a friendly-looking bird, with long yellow legs, a white Nationals jersey, and a really big, round white head.

From the Washington Post: "Team officials would not provide information about the person inside the Screech costume, or let that person be interviewed, saying they did not want to distract from Screech's personality and character. Although that person never will speak in his or her own voice from inside the costume, it is possible that the mascot will at some point make some kind of screeching noise to cheer the team on, the officials said."

Did you know:

  • The Nationals are the third Washignton pro team to use an eagle as their mascots. The Washington Capitals have had Slapshot since 1995, and Talon was introduced in 1996 by D.C. United soccer.
  • UPDATE: At least two other teams have used an eagle, according to an anonymous comment on this site: "The Washington Freedom (WUSA Womens Soccer) also had an Eagle Mascot, and so does American University. (NCAA Div 1) Thatsalotta Eagles!"

Apr 15, 2005

Mets game delayed due to scoreboard malfunction

Adfreak has a note about a scoreboard malfunction at New York's Shea Stadium this week:

"A new rotating billboard in center field, designed to flash ads between innings and then go dark, so batters can see the ball better, malfunctioned yesterday—sticking on an image of the Mets pitcher and delaying the game for 14 minutes or so in the sixth inning." Read more...

Did you know:

  • This year, the New York Mets debuted four new full-color LED (light emitting diode) displays at Shea Stadium.
  • The Diamond Vision video board in left-center field was replaced by a high-definition LED board manufactured by Mitsubishi Diamond Vision. The new display offers HDTV compatibility and a 16:9 aspect ratio. It's the third generation Mitsubishi Diamond Vision video board installed at Shea. The first board was installed in 1982, and that original board was replaced with a higher resolution CRT (cathode ray tube) board prior to the 1992 season.
  • The video and scoreboard displays at Shea Stadium are operated by the Mets Video & Entertainment staff, led by Producer Vito Vitiello. Vito supervises a game day production staff of 18 people.
  • Source: Mets A-to-Z Guide

Apr 12, 2005

List of Major League Baseball mascots

From Wikipedia, a list of baseball mascots, present & historical.

I did not know that in the absense of the Chicken, San Diego has the Swinging Friar, a person dressed as a friar swinging a baseball bat.

Did you know: The first "costumed/character" in pro sports was Mr. Met, from the New York Mets. It was also his "birthday" yesterday, on April 11. His official debut was on April 14, 1964.

Apr 11, 2005

Fans jeering ends pope moment of silence in Scotland

From CBS

"Fans at a Scottish Cup soccer game jeered during a minute's silence for Pope John Paul II on Sunday, forcing the tribute to be cut short. The booing by Hearts fans came before the semifinal against Celtic, which has mostly Catholic fans. Referee Stuart Dougal ended the memorial less
than halfway through because of the noise. The game was televised in Britain and overseas."

"Celtic’s main rival is Rangers — whose fans are largely Protestant — and games between the teams have led to violence inside and outside stadiums."

Read the article...


Apr 8, 2005

Youppi! Round-Up

Youppi!, the former mascot of the defunct Montreal Expos, could soon be joining the Montreal Canadiens. The Expos put Youppi! up for sale before they left for Washington (something about difficulty getting citizenship papers for a giant orange mascot).

From the Montreal Gazette:"I can confirm that the Canadiens organization has shown some serious interest in adopting Youppi!," Canadiens vice-president Donald Beauchamp said Tuesday, although he did not confirm the deal was done. Other rumoured corporate suitors interested in the popular mascot were the Jean Coutu pharmacy chain and Ste. Justine's Hospital."

This news broke at the end of March, but we never got around to posting anything about it. Here are some Youppi! links:
Did you know:
  • The original Youppi costume was a cast-off from a Jim Henson muppet production.
  • Youppi! is one of three mascots in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The others are the Phillie Phanatic and San Diego Chicken.

Apr 7, 2005

Turn down the volume - please!

Here's an article from a couple years back from The Hockey News ... found it while searching for something else:

"Arena music: Can't live with it, can't use a machete to hack your ears off then slice 'em into itty-bitty pieces so they can't be re-attached.

That's what comes to mind whenever we're violated by the sounds emanating from arena speakers.

To be fair, it isn't just the NHL that is guilty of monotonous, entirely predictable choices for in-arena music during games. But they are as guilty as any sports industry of dealing sonic waste to innocent customers, and if they're intent on cultivating a repeat audience, switching up the playlist would help immensely."


Apr 4, 2005

Mascot steroid scandals rock sports world

Mike Argento writes in the York Daily News:

"The Baltimore Orioles were rocked today — Opening Day of the 2005 baseball season — by allegations of steroid use among one of its most beloved team members — The Bird.

Rumors that The Bird was using steroids have dogged the mascot for years, but it was the recent publication of the Phillie Phanatic's new book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Mascots Got Big," that propelled the issue into the public eye.

In the book, the Phanatic wrote that he once injected steroids into The Bird's buttocks in a stall in the men's room on the 700 level of Veterans Stadium."

Read the article...

Mar 14, 2005

DJ Bedz spins love of hip-hop into official Nuggets gig

From the Denver Post:

Bednark, 29, known as DJ Bedz around the Pepsi Center, is enjoying his second season as the Nuggets DJ.
Bednark and partner David Lopez, a.k.a. DJ Psycho, work off two turntables, CDs and a "360" machine that is loaded with instrumental music, sound effects and your typical sports sounds like the "Charge!" horn and the "Addams Family" theme.
NBA rules specify when songs or sounds can be played. Tunes that mock the officials, like "Three Blind Mice," are prohibited. Ditto for songs that would incite violence. Fines for first offenses range from $2,500 to $10,000 and can be doubled or tripled with multiple offenses.
NBA DJs are becoming more popular. Now that Coors Light is sponsoring Bednark's DJ booth, corporations are starting to see the relevance of a DJ at NBA games.

Read the article...

Feb 15, 2005

10 Worst Jobs in Sports: Mascot

From USA Today, a chat with Bromley Lowe, former mascot performer with the Baltimore Orioles, and now performing as YoJo.

On heat inside the costume: "Yes, Sunday afternoon games in August during "Code Red" days on the heat index will do this to you. You do gain it all back when you drink water, gatorade, or whatever beverage you consume by the gallon. (Hic!)"

Does he talk in the suit: "I usually stay silent. However there were exceptions to (A) People I work with, (B) People I know, or (C) People who are obnoxious and being jerks. Usually saying "Yo! Take it easy," in a deep voice usually shocks them."

On close games & blow-outs: "Well, they both have different atmospheres when performing. Example, when were being crushed 14-1, don't even think about making your fans get all "rah-rah." It just won't happen. Close games are easier when it comes to making people make noise."

On mascot pay: "It totally varies. Some MLB mascots make very little for what they're worth, and others get six-digit salaries. The Oriole Bird was only a part time position, so I didn't earn a full living on the birdseed that was given to me. But I do have to say it was a GREAT part-time job. It totally depends on the teams that these performers work for."

Read the full article...

Feb 2, 2005

Skydome to get a new video scoreboard

Along with a new name (Rogers Centre), the Skydome will get a new video scoreboard sometime in 2005. has a good history of the jumbotron at the stadium:
"June 1989: Unveiled as world's largest JumboTron scoreboard at a cost of $17 million and hailed as the showpiece of the "Eighth Wonder of the World." Three times bigger than any colour videoboard in the world at 34.8 metres high and 10.6 metres wide. Used 420,000 Trinilite bulbs to decode and display video signals." Read more...

I saw the screen back in the summer at a soccer game, and it looked pretty good for its age. Big, bright, and lots of replays -- including one that clearly showed the acting abilities of one of the Italian soccer players.

Feb 1, 2005

Music at lacrosse games

There's a good discussion on the Lacrosse Forums about music in National Lacrosse League games. The NLL is one of the few sports to play music not just in stoppages of play, but throughout the entire game.

Some samples:

"Anyone who's sat close to the floor for summer box lacrosse knows that this sport is better when you can hear it....the slash to the forearm that you can hear all the way in the back rows.....the sound of a car wreck when two or more opposing players chase a loose ball into a corner....The sound of a shot hitting the post.....or smacking off the goalie's pads. These sounds are all better than listening to the same crappy CDs I could listen to at home for nothing."

"The music should be used when a larger arena isn't very full. The sport is great to watch but it will become boring after a while if they don't do something to keep the crowd. When the building is packed and the game is intence, there is abosolutly no reason to be playing music since they crowd should be overpowering it anyway."

Jan 17, 2005

News from the Zambonis

Dave from the Zambonis sent out a newsletter today -- a couple of highlights:

"...Or, it could mean the band has been so busy playing in Eastern Europe, recording a new CD,booking gigs and making a video for a new anti-lockout song called "Just Play" (which will be up on our website in a few weeks) that we JUST HAVE NOT HAD TIME TO WRITE."


"iTUNES into The Zambonis!! We always knew Steve Jobs was a hockey fan.
Finally, you and your cousin from Billings can find legally
downloadable Zambonis songs on the Web. Yes, the first pair of
full-length Zambonis CDs ("100% Hockey (and other stuff)" plus "More
Songs About Hockey (and buildings and food)") are now available on
iTUNES.COM!! Whether you choose the epic seven-minute Cold War on ice,
"Hockey on The Moon" or the two-minute toe-tapper "Hockey Monkey",
they're all just 99 cents. News flash: In just days, we're already the
most downloaded all-sports rock band on iTunes!"

More Zambonis news at: