Jul 28, 2006

Kansas City Royas Munchkingate and the Milwaukee Brewers chorizo

Two sports stories today from Adfreak:

#1: Kansas City Royays Munchkingate:
The Royals invite Mickey Caroll to a game, and bill him as the "last living Munchkin" from the Wizard of Oz. (A promo inspired by Bill Veeck, perhaps?) Only problem is, there are eight former Munchkins still alive. Read more...

#2: The Milwaukee Brewers chorizo:
The Brewers have added a chorizo to their seventh inning sausage race. It's the fifth mascot sausage in the race, which includes a hot dog, a bratwurst, an Italian sausage and a Polish sausage. Read more...

Jul 20, 2006

The Onion weighs in on Benny The Bull incident

From TheOnion.com:

CHICAGO—A coalition of prominent mascots, including the Phoenix Suns Gorilla, The Pittsburgh Parrot, and the Philly Phanatic, called a press conference Tuesday to answer questions concerning their colleague, Benny the Bull, following an incident in which Benny struck an off-duty police officer who was attempting to prevent him from riding a mini-motorcycle through the "Taste Of Chicago" street fair. "During the conference, the Phanatic demonstrated that mascots did not condone Benny's actions by walking up to a reporter, throwing a punch that stopped short of the reporter's face, and then waving its finger in a 'not allowed' motion," said bystander Steve Garbon, who was waiting with his daughter for a picture. "It was really conciliatory and funny." Benny, who could not be reached for comment, released a statement apologizing for his actions and saying he will be attending anger-management courses at which he will distribute free T-shirts.

Previous: Life of a mascot ain't easy

Jul 18, 2006

Ottawa Lynx to host tribute to Jackie Robinson

On July 23, the Ottawa Lynx (Triple A Baseball) will host a tribute to Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in Major League Baseball history. From a press release:
The Lynx, in partnership with the National Capital Amateur Athletic Association will host a 60th anniversary tribute to Jackie Robinson's first season in professional baseball when he played for the Montreal Royals of the International League.
Starting at 12:00 pm on July 23rd, the Lynx will hold a pre-game ceremony with two former teammates of Robinson [George "Shotgun" Shuba and Jean-Pierre Roy] and International League President Randy Mobley present. Part of the ceremony will be the retirement of Jackie Robinson's number 42 on the outfield wall at Lynx Stadium.
The Ottawa Lynx team will be wearing replica jerseys and caps from the 1946 Montreal Royals, with the jerseys being auctioned off in a silent auction format during the game on July 23rd. Proceeds of the auction will go to benefit local children's charities.

What a great event for the Lynx to host. The team is struggling with attendance in Ottawa, and this event should be one of the highlights of the season for local fans. Young franchises take note: This is a great way to pay tribute to history and tradition -- even if you don't have much of a history to highlight. The Lynx have only been around for a decade -- but given their past connection to Montreal baseball, this ceremony doesn't feel out of place at all.

(Off on a tangent: The last time the Lynx retired a jersey was Jamey Carroll's #3. The ceremony was scheduled for August 14, 2003 -- the same night that a massive blackout hit eastern North America. The Lynx went ahead with the ceremony, inviting the few dozen fans at the stadium onto the field. Carroll addressed the crowd "unplugged", without a microphone. It was a real treat for the die-hard Lynx fans who made their way to the ballpark.)

Brian from the Backstreet Boys sings the National Anthem

Found on YouTube: Brian Litrell from the Backstreet Boys sings the Star Spangled Banner at a hockey game. I think this is from a January 2001 game between the Kentucky Thoroughblades and Louisville Panthers.

Previous: Christina Aguilera sings the anthem at a Penguins game

Life of a mascot ain't easy

In light of the recent arrest of the Chicago Bulls mascot, Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press rounds up some recent mascot mishaps (via Missoulian.com).


  • Puckhead of the Johnstown Chiefs -- injured in a fire stunt.
  • Harvey the Hound of the Calgary Flames -- getting his tongue ripped out by Edmonton Oilers coach Craig McTavish
  • Tommy Lasorda punching the Philly Phanatic, and Charles Barkley clobbering Rocky the Mountain Lion in Denver.
  • ...and much more

Previous: Chicago Bulls mascot arrested

Jul 14, 2006

Vancouver Canucks opening show

Found on YouTube: A short fan video of the opening, from a Wild vs. Canucks game in Vancouver...

...and also the National Anthem from the same game.

National anthems in Buffalo

Found on YouTube: The Canadian and American national anthems, Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Carolina at Buffalo.

Are there any other American teams that perform the anthems of both countries -- even when a Canadian team is not playing?

Fan vid: Ducks-Oilers Game 5 intros

Found on YouTube: A couple of fan videos of Anaheim's opening show in the Western Conference Finals.

Cool lighting at Gulfstream Park

We usually link to stories about what's happening inside the arena ... but here's a look at some nifty lighting effects at Gulfstream Park in Florida. Installation by Westbury National from Toronto. Gulfstream Park is a thoroughbred race track in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

Oilers vs. Hurricanes: Game 3 arena intro

Found on YouTube: CBC's coverage of the Oilers & Hurricanes arena intro. 10 minutes long, includes the opening video, lots of fan shots, Don & Ron, plus the National Anthems.

Same-sex kiss caught on the kiss cam

From the Washington Blade, in January 2004:

GAY FANS OF the Washington Capitals, D.C.’s National Hockey League team, were treated to a New Year’s Day same-sex smooch on the Kiss-Cam.

Here’s how this works. During breaks in the action, the camera crew in the arena finds a series of presumed couples in the stands and shows them together on the scoreboard. If they kiss, the crowd roars. If not, the crowd jeers.

The camera operators are really just guessing when they do this. At least once during a game, they’ll frame two people who are not a couple, and they refrain from kissing, for whatever reason. A fairly routine joke now is to find two men wearing jerseys of the opposing team who are sitting next to each other, and encourage them to kiss. It’s all designed to bring some levity during breaks in the game.

But on New Year’s Day, during the Caps’ game against the New Jersey Devils, Warren Arborgast, a season ticket holder and gay hockey fan, saw that one of 10 couples shown on the scoreboard were two men.

“Usually, they go for the punch line — two male fans of the opposing team — at the end,” he said. “But these were two Caps fans, and they never did the joke elsewhere during that sequence.”

He said the fans gave a huge laugh thinking it was a joke. Then the couple paused and kissed. The crowd’s reaction turned from laughter to cheers and significant applause, and then to a murmur, presumably out of shock.

(via Off Wing Opinion)

Jul 11, 2006

Florida Panthers 2006-07 slogan: "Drop That Puck"

From the Sun-Sentinel:
The hockey season may have just ended, but the Florida Panthers are ready to "Drop That Puck."

The National Hockey League franchise this week will launch its new advertising campaign. The new effort seeks to build on the team's on-ice momentum and fan enthusiasm to boost season ticket sales and drive consumer awareness for the sport.

(via Kukla's Korner)

Memo to the Panthers dj: you should be using "Drop That Puck" by the Zambonis!

Chicago Bulls inflatable mascot race

Here's a fan video of a Chicago Bulls inflatable mascot race. Each of the three "Inflate-a-Bull" mascots represent a section, and whichever mascot wins the race earns a prize for their section. (via GameOps.com)

Jul 6, 2006

Chicago Bulls mascot arrested

From the Chicago Sun Times:

“Benny the Bull” was arrested at the Taste of Chicago after taking a swing — in costume — at an off-duty police officer who was trying to get him to stop riding around on a mini-motorcyle.

Barry Anderson, who is employed as the Chicago Bulls mascot, was driving the motorcyle in the 700 block of South Columbus Sunday on the grounds of the Taste without permission from the event organizers, Central District Capt. James Knightly said.

(Via GameOps.com)

Just curious: How long has Benny the Bull's page on the Chicago Bulls web site been down for?

Ric Flair says Woo Hoo for Carolina

You've been searching for it ... now we've found it on YouTube: Ric Flair yelling Woo Hoo on the video scoreboard at a Carolina Hurricanes game. This clip was caught be a fan -- looks like on a camera phone.

Previous: Woo! Ric Flair pumps up the Carolina Hurricanes

Jul 5, 2006

GameOps.com visits the New York Rangers

Check out this month's "Six from Six" at GameOps.com, featuring a visit to the New York Rangers. Another great review/round-up from Jon Cudo, the editor of GameOps.com.

Behind Blue Fur: Interview with Devil Rays mascot

The St. Petersburg Times has a fun profile on Raymond, the mascot for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Some highlights:

Raymond - a sea dog of genus Canus Manta, species whatthefluffalus - bounces along the corridors of Tropicana Field in 18-inch sneakers, drawing cheers and high-fives. His blue, pear-shaped body rocks from side to side. The silky hair of his ears and snout flops with each jerk of his head.
Before a game against Baltimore, Raymond snatches a fan's Orioles hat and sneezes on it. He grabs another orange and black cap to freshen his underarms.
Cooling off in his lair below the stands, Raymond contemplates the profession. "I think the Oriole Bird put it best: If this wasn't so much fun, this would be the worst job in the world.' "
Probably the worst part of the job is the heat. "The only way I can compare it is putting on three sweatshirts, three pairs of sweatpants and a bucket on your head and go run around in that."
Another unplanned moment didn't turn out so well. Last season, Raymond leaned over the fence in the right field stands and accidentally tumbled over, keeping his grip on the fence's top rail. He hung from the rail for a moment, his arm broken by the sudden wrenching, then dropped 11 feet to the ground.

(via GameOps)

Jul 2, 2006

Nancy Faust, Chicago White Sox organist

Nancy Faust baseball cardEnough hockey ... it's summer so here's a baseball story from the archives. Nancy Faust has played the organ for the Chicago White Sox for over 35 years. She's also played organ for the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, and Minnesota North Stars. (And I think she is the only organist to ever be featured on a baseball card.)

Here's a profile from WSI News: Flashing Back... with Nancy Faust.


  • "Probably the first stadium organist to incorporate rock tunes as part of her pre-game and between-innings entertainment..."

  • On offensive songs: "...there are a couple of umpires who are very sensitive, so Jeff Szynal [Ed. note: Manager of Scoreboard Operations and Production] gives me a heads up when they’re doing a game.
  • On favourite player songs: "For Craig Counsel I played the theme from Perry Mason and somebody suggested Spider Man for Snyder. I played Inky Dinky Spider for him, too. And there was In-A Gadda-da-Vida for Incaviglia, and Let’s Get Physical for Vizquel and I Love Lucy for Rob Ducey."

Previous: Ballpark organists: They're out!