Aug 25, 2006

The mother of all ovations

All week on the blog, Jon Cudo has been counting down his five favourite ovations. It's a good read.

My favourite ovation happened in May 2001. Ottawa 67's vs. Plymouth Whalers in the last game of the Ontario Hockey League finals. It was a surprise that the 67's made it as far as they did in the playoffs that year -- and an even bigger surprise that they were about to knock off the Whalers to win the J. Ross Robertson Cup.

A packed house, nearly 10,000 fans in the building. Third period, last 5 minutes of the game, the crowd started to applaud ... and cheer ... and stand on their feet. It was so loud in the building that any music we played was drowned out by the noise from the crowd. So we just stopped playing music, stopped making announcements, and let the crowd own the moment.

What's your favourite ovation?

Aug 24, 2006

Mascots on YouTube

Raymond starts a trend?: "Raymond the tampa Bay Devil Rays mascot is working overtime on YouTube, sharing with his fans and the general public bits from the in-game presentation. I think this is going to really take off this year and I suspect that many mascots will join in and post their clips on the web. Here is video of [...]"
For more mascot goodness, just do a YouTube search for "mascot". Currently 842 results.

Behind Blue Fur: Interview with Devil Rays Mascot
Atlanta Hawks mascot, on a motorcycle
Chicago Bulls inflatable mascot race

Aug 19, 2006

Flyers are hiring an organist

The Philadelphia Flyers are hiring an organist:
On Thursday, August 24 from 5pm to 9pm, the team is auditioning new keyboard players to operate the organ during pregame, stoppages of play and intermissions. The ideal candidate is a contemporary musician who can perform chants, crowd prompts, standard in-arena cheers and is available to play at all Flyers home preseason, regular season and playoff games of the 2006-07 season. Read the full job description...

(via Kukla's Korner)

Aug 16, 2006

Stephen Colbert and the Saginaw Spirit mascot

Last night on the Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert talked about a contest by the Saginaw Spirit (OHL Hockey) to name their new mascot. Colbert told viewers to go to the Spirit web site, and suggest "Stephen Colbert" as the name.

Colbert's viewers followed his orders, and sent so much traffic to Saginaw's web site that their web host had to pull some content & services to free up some bandwidth. (The site is still slow tonight.)

The hockey team is taking it all in stride, even providing a link to a clip from the show on their web site. Click here to check it out...

(Thanks, CC!)

UPDATE: Sunaya Sapurji has an article in the August 17 Toronto Star, with reaction from Saginaw Spirit staff on all the attention from Colbert.

Aug 12, 2006

This week's promotion round-up

A few sports promotions links from the past week:

(Send us your link suggestions via the feedback form.)

Aug 8, 2006

Long live the Rally Monkey

The San Bernardino County Sun reports that the Rally Monkey is alive and well at Angel Stadium. Highlights:
"Fans still love him,'' said Peter Bull, Angels entertainment manager. "Sales in the team store are still strong. People still bring their monkeys to the game. Adults and kids, both.''
Just jumping. That was all the monkey did in his debut, back on June 6, 2000.

The Angels were losing to the Giants in an interleague game. Bull's entertainment crew ran video of a leaping monkey from "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective'' and superimposed the words "Rally Monkey'' over it.

The crowd went wild - and the Angels scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win.

A star was born. The monkey was a hit from the start.
The monkey's biggest moment came in Game 6 of the World Series. The Angels trailed the Giants 5-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning; San Francisco was nine outs from winning the Series.

Bull remembers the moment well. He cued co-worker Bob Castillo's Rally Monkey takeoff on the M. Night Shyamalan movie "Signs.''

A tense Mel Gibson edges through a corn field. An overhead shot shifts to show a mysterious "crop circle'' - and the Rally Monkey suddenly fills the screen, demanding belief in his/her power.

Fans erupted. The Angels scored three runs in the seventh and three in the eighth to pull out a memorable 6-5 victory, then romped in Game 7 the next night.

Read the full article...

More Rally Monkey links:

Aug 7, 2006

Greenville's Grrruff at the Office

Found on YouTube: Greenville Grrrowl mascot Grrruff works at the office and drives people crazy.

Interview with Karen Newman, Detroit Red Wings anthem singer

From Kukla's Korner, here's an interview with Karen Newman, anthem singer for the Detroit Red Wings. Karen has been singing the anthem for 14 seasons with the Red Wings, after being spotted at a Detroit Pistons game.

Previous: The pulse on national anthems

Aug 6, 2006

Fan dies after fall at Winnipeg Blue Bombers game

A man who fell five metres from the stands during a CFL game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday night died in hospital Saturday.
The man fell over a guard rail from his seat in the north endzone at CanadInns Stadium an hour into the game. Onlookers said the back of his head struck the asphalt below. He didn't move after the fall but appeared to be conscious as he was taken by stretcher to an ambulance.

More on the story from the Winnipeg Sun...

Aug 5, 2006

Phoenix Coyotes introduce on-ice dance team

From the Arizona Republic: "Starting this season, the Coyotes will unveil their own dance team. This new unit - expected to feature between 18-20 dancers - will be known as "The Pack." It will become the first NHL dance team to perform directly on the ice."

Aug 4, 2006

Tampa Bay Devil Rays install a fish tank

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have added a 10,000-gallon fish tank in their right-centre field. The tank is filled with 22 Devil Rays.

From an article on their web site:
The tank benefits a good cause. For every home run hit into the tank during a game, the Rays will donate $5,000 to charity -- $2,500 to the Florida Aquarium, which maintains the tank and cares for the rays, and $2,500 to a charity of the player's choice. The tank is presented by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Check out the photo gallery.


Aug 1, 2006

Another grumpy sportswriter...

Every few months, a grumpy sportswriter complains about game entertainment, and wishes he could turn back the clock to a quieter time. The latest comes from the Washington Post, where writer David Nicholson somehow ties in "fan experience" with baseball's steroid scandal:
All these empty displays -- the Nats have already got the ear-splitting music; how long before they issue the invitations to public exhibitionism that have ruined Wizards' games: fans shaking what they've got to disco music or French-kissing on the Jumbotron? -- cheapen the game's serene beauty. They profane the green cathedrals -- to borrow the title of Philip Lowry's wonderful book about baseball stadiums past and present -- and their timeless symmetry, turning what ought to be a relaxing two or three hours into one more frenetic and ultimately empty experience.

It's hard not to make a connection between the steroid scandal that's already tarnished Mark McGwire's and Barry Bonds's great home-run chases and team owners' quest for a more exciting fan experience. Graced with increased attendance, the sports moguls asked no questions as their parks filled with fans who would rather see several home runs in a losing effort than a perfect bunt that wins the game. Read the full article...

Happy Birthday to celebrates it's eigth birthday this month. is a bible for sports entertainment, and they've helped so many of us in the business with great ideas.

Editor Jon Cudo is always adding new content and features. This month, he celebrates the 8th birthday with new product ideas, a new classified ad section, a revamped blog, and a good interview with Peter Sorckoff of the Atlanta Thrashers.

I've been visiting the site since I started in this business in 1998 ... Jon even interviewed me a few years back about the Ottawa 67's Baby Race.

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