May 29, 2010

Law & Order: Mascots

Here's a recent article from the Sports & Entertainment Law Report: "Kansas City Royals Mascot Faces Lawsuit":
According to court papers filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, during a Royals game last September Sluggerrr, the mascot, hopped upon the Royals dugout, stuffed one or more hot dogs or sausages into an air canon, and blasted the crowd. Then, not happy with his feat of daring do, Sluggerrr allegedly dropped the booming bazooka and began throwing the meats into the crowds by hand — and threw a sausage directly into the waiting face of Royals fan John Coomer, who was sitting only a few feet away, about six rows from the dugout. Although at first it sounds like an amusing mishap, according to Coomer the misaimed dog struck him in the eye, detached his retina caused cataracts and has lead to at least two surgeries and permanent vision loss. More importantly, if the case is not settled its result could impact professional sports venues’ and teams liability in a variety of ways.
Read the entire article...

May 26, 2010

Baseball's Hall of Fame honours "Centerfield" song

Here's a report from the Rolling Stone about the upcoming induction of John Fogerty's "Centerfield" into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It's the first song to be inducted. (I'm surprised "Take Me Out To the Ball Game" hasn't been honoured.)
For over a decade, "Centerfield" has been a staple anthem at baseball games and every Hall of Fame induction... Fogerty is set to perform the song at the induction ceremony, held in Cooperstown, New York on July 25th. To celebrate the event, Fogerty is also releasing a remastered version of the album Centerfield, featuring a pair of rare B-sides from the era ("My Toot Toot," "I Confess"), on June 29th.

...When Fogerty wrote "Centerfield" in the ‘80s, he says he was inspired by the self-created lore of the position. "When I was eight or nine, I decided that it was the most hallowed turf in the universe was centerfield in Yankee Stadium," he says. "Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle — I mean, those two had such remarkable careers. It seemed like only the greatest had to be in centerfield." When he finally released the song in '85, he was nervous that he'd be criticized for attempting to combine his two passions (baseball and rock & roll) into one track. "I really kind of braced myself for flack as it was getting ready to be released," he recalls. "I thought, 'Wow. It has never worked out in history.' But I thought to myself that I really liked this song!"
Read the entire article...

May 23, 2010

Crazy crowd chant in Poland

I came across this while searching for Joe Satriani's Crowd Chant. Definitely not what I was looking for but a great crowd chant nonetheless:

May 20, 2010

Get Your Preak On: All-you-can-drink beer promo

Cleveland tried something like this at a baseball game back in 1974 with legendary results. Now a jockey club is trying a similar promo. From
Having unlimited beer for a day for only $20 sounds like a good deal to a lot of people, but for some, the deal that the Maryland Jockey Club is offering at Saturday's Preakness Stakes is not a good idea.

For $20 dollars, patrons to the Pimlico Race Course will receive a 16-ounce beer mug that entitles them to unlimited free refills for the entire course of the Preakness Stakes, The Washington Post reports. The promotion is part of a new advertisement campaign for the event headlined by the catchphrase "Get Your Preak On."

Some people feel the catchphrase bemoans the storied event and the free-flowing booze is asking for trouble.

"[It is] reducing a great, historic thoroughbred horse race to an event with sleazy overtones," New York Post racing columnist Ray Kerrison told the Washington Post.

The promotion campaign follows a stark drop in attendance to the Preakness Stakes -- from 112,222 in 2008 to 77,850 last year, according to The Washington Post. It was the biggest single-year drop in the event's history.


May 17, 2010

Basketball organ - one fan wants to bring it to Toronto

More on the organ theme. I saw this the other night on Twitter: A Toronto Raptors fan wants the team to add more organ to their game day experience:
The Knicks, either when they suck now or were great before, always had the organ at their disposal and it brought a sense of tradition.

We are a hockey town, we need more ORGAN, like Walken needs cowbell.

Use the ACC organ for the DEFENSE chant, small game delays, music before an in bounds play, the Organ only plays on something that only needs 1 minute to 2 minutes of break time. To use it for every free throw made.....eeeerr probably not that would be over kill.

Don't worry, it won't make the Dance Pack obsolete, they will dance when the breaks or intermissions are definitely going to be over 3 minutes. It depends on the ACC/Raptors entertainment coordinator. If we get a kickass organist, he/she will make the Dance Pack shake 'dem bootays anyways.

If they can bring in Devlin as a fan PR gamble, why don't we gamble on an organ anyways?

Should the ACC organ be used in Raptor games? I say YES!

You can add your two cents here.

May 15, 2010

A bunch of baseball organ videos and links

Cleaning up the bookmark file, thought I would share some of these vids and articles for posterity.

May 13, 2010

VIDEO: Cleveland Cavaliers retro 80's intro

Really liked this retro / 80's intro video from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Great player participation.

May 12, 2010

A bunch of hockey organ videos

1: Calgary Flames organist Rickrolls at the 'Dome.

2: Real Men of Genius - Mr. Professional Hockey Organ Player

3: James Michael Day - San Jose Sharks organist

4: Jack Moelmann - Chicago Stadium Barton Organ - 1994 (just before they tore the old Chicago Stadium down)

5: Chicago Stadium Barton Organ Removal - Part 1 of 3

May 11, 2010

VIDEO: Miami Heat pre-game video

More creative stuff from the Miami Heat -- I bet you've never seen an arena intro video quite like this. To the music of "I Got The Feeling" by James Brown.

And here's a YouTube vid showing all the additional LED animations when the video's running - really strong production.

May 10, 2010

VIDEO: Miami Heat pre-game courtesy announcements

No doubt, hands down, absolutely the most creative presentation of the pre-game courtesy announcements (or "Fan Conduct Rules") EVER. From the Miami Heat:


May 9, 2010

VIDEO: Graeme Patterson's "The Art of Hockey"

A couple years ago (two years ago to the day, in fact) I blogged about a great hockey organ / table hockey mashup / art piece by Graeme Patterson. At the time, there were only pictures online of this incredible creation, but today I finally found a video (via St. Louis Blues Fan Store):

May 8, 2010

2010 NHL Playoff Pre-Game Arena Opens - Western Conference

Yesterday we looked at some of the cool pre-game shows from the NHL's Eastern Conference playoff teams. now here are the Round 1 pre-game arena opens from the Western Conference.
  1. San Jose
    The highlight of the San Jose pre-game show is always that giant shark head descending from the rafters down to ice level. Not sure if it's new this year or not but in the 2010 playoffs they use video projection on ice of shark-infested waters. Here's a shaky fan video... and here's another close-up of the video screen. The videos' a mix of highlights and players talking about the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Can't quite make out the music - can anybody help?

  2. Chicago
    Here's Chicago's opening sequence in three parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
    Part 1 is based around a dramatic recap of great moments in Blackhawks playoff history, and shows some of the great players in franchise history.
    Part 2 introduces current players "skating" through downtown Chicago, ending with this year's playoff slogan, "ONE GOAL".
    Part 3 is all about highights - big goals, big hits, big saves - to the tune of "Testify" by Rage Against The Machine. At the end of the highlights the players skate out, accompanied by United Centre's very loud goal horn.
    A highlight in Chicago has to be the National Anthem, performed by Jim Cornelison (singer) & Frank Pellico (organist). Check out this fan vid - you can't even hear the organ or the singer with all the crowd noise in there.

  3. Vancouver
    The Canucks update on last year's playoff open with a very well-produced piece that they call simply "The Open". Over dramatic music, we see a mixture of player photos, hockey cards and hockey equipment along with some compelling text:
    "Every game played outside / Until the age of thirteen / Black dented scars / On a once blue garage door / A homemade metal net / To shoot at hour after hour / An indoor rink / Built for daily scrimmages / Shovelling the rink every day / For 2 on 2 full contact / A thousand black marks from his brothers shots / on the basement wall / Every one of them / Dreaming of one thing..."
    Then an image of the Stanley Cup, and lots of great highlights from the Canucks season. Watch it here.

  4. Phoenix
    The opening video for the Coyotes starts with some storytelling, starting with headlines of "chaos" surrounding the team during training camp (due to the ownership situation), and the surprising succes of Phoenix during the regular season. Some nice song choices here, including "Ali in the Jungle" by The Hours, including lyrics like "Everybody gets knocked down / How quick are you gonna' get up?" and "And it's, not, about the things you've done, it's what you're doing, now / What are you doing, now?". The main highlight song is "Warrior's Call" by Volbeat.

  5. Detroit
    Music: Thousand Foot Krutch - "The Invitation" and "Welcome to the Masquerade"
    The Red Wings project fan shots ("I am Hockeytown") and highlights onto huge white scrims that are hung around the video scoreboard, stretching what must be close to 75 feet high. After the video the curtain is dropped to reveal the giant octopus, of course.
    The scrim effect was most recently used in Pittsburgh for their opening night Stanley Cup ceremony this year.

  6. Los Angeles
    Couldn't find a good video of their open - here's the best I can find on YouTube. Mostly a mix of video scoreboard, video projection and LED signage effects.
    You can see from this video that the players walk out of their dressing room through a castle archway, then hit the ice. (Would have been cooler with a drawbridge and dragons.) The Kings organization had a massive lighting rig in for the playoffs, with 32 Vari-Lite 3500 Wash fixtures. Impressive. The last half of this vid gives a good idea of what all those extra lights can do.

  7. Nashville
    The Predators played the Detroit Redwings in their first round series, so their video focuses on the great rivalry between the division rivals. A well-edited mix of video and still photos. And I have to mention the giant predator head thing that the players skate through onto the ice is pretty cool. Almost as cool as San Jose's shark head. Almost.

  8. Colorado
    The first part of Colorado's intro video reminds me a bit of the Phoenix approach, using headlines big events from the season to tell the story of Colorado's great run in the regular season and success in the playoffs. Music is "Let's See How Far We've Come" by Matchbox Twenty. Here's a YouTube video showing the rest of the pre-game show. (Recognize that Vox Populi song from yesterday's post re: New Jersey?) Also check out this video showing the atmosphere in the arena when the Avalanche skates on.

My favorites this year? Hard to pick a fave. Once again Vancouver has a powerful video intro, San Jose creates a great atmosphere when they lower of the shark head, the Blackhawks weave history into their opening, Los Angeles adds a great light show ... Montreal uses history and symbolism to maximum effect ... Phildadelphia riles up their fans into a frothing frenzy ... can we just call it a tie?

(Check out the 2009 list of Western Conference playoff opens.)

May 7, 2010

2010 NHL Playoff Pre-Game Arena Opens - Eastern Conference

NHL teams ramp it up for the post-season both on and off the ice. The pre-game show in particular gets a lot of extra attention, with teams using extra lighting and special effects to whip their fans into a frenzy before the players hit the ice. Here's a round-up of pre-game arena opens from the Eastern Conference. (Tomorrow: the Western Conference.)
  1. Washington
    You can't really see it from the team video, but the arena is full of red -- jerseys, lights, signage -- to tie in to the "Rock The Red" theme. The main song is “Rock the Red,” written and performed by Sandbox Kings, an indie rock group from Arlington, Virginia (more on that song here), mixed with Chevelle's "The Red".

  2. New Jersey
    A multimedia show making full use of Prudential Center's multiple LED screens. The main opening video uses a George C. Patton quote to rev up the troops, then transitions to "30 seconds to Mars"by Vox Populi. Then the main highlights kick in to Powerman 5000's "Show Me What You Got".

  3. Buffalo
    Buffalo's show started with this triumphant look back at some great playoff moments from the past. Then the lights went down, the spotlights lit up giant NHL playoff banners above the scoreboard, and Sabretooth made his traditional drop from the rafters to the tune of "Welcome to the Jungle". Then it's onto the main highlight video to music from Two Steps From Hell.

  4. Pittsburgh
    The lights go off and "it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh" (a great quote from Pittsburgh play-by-play announcer Matt Lange). The opening video introduces each of the Penguins players. Can't tell what the music is -- anybody know? Great use of video, projection, and extra lighting effects to make the old Igloo come alive.

  5. Ottawa
    The first song you'll hear in the video is Metallica's "Of Wolf And Man", the second song is "The Good Life" by Three Days Grace. The main highlight video features "Hysteria" by Muse, then we had a cool "turning the city red" effect that combined video, LED boards, and a lighting effect. As Sens players took to the ice fans waved towels and screamed their hearts out. Here's a great video of the towels waving from a fan's perspective. (And another one here.)

  6. Boston
    Here's a fan video of the opening video scoreboard show. It starts with a look back at some of the great players in Bruins history, then mixes in current players and highlights. The Bruins show a great quote from a newspaper columnist -- "The TD Garden is a Cauldron of Noise" -- which gets the crowd going and leads to a great montage of Bruins fans hamming it up for the camera. Then a giant Bruins flag gets passed around the crowd to the tune of "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns n Roses. Then if that's not enough for you -- some cool shots of an angry bear pop up on the screen, followed by a highlight video set to Nickelback's "Burn It To The Ground". Watch it here.

  7. Philadelphia
    Philly's show opens with a quote: "Philly Fans Have More Heart Than Any Other Teams Fans". Then it's on to a highlight montage that uses the heaviest song of the playoffs, "More Human Than Human" by Rob Zombie. Here's a shaky fan video of the open. I like the Flyers headshot graphics at the end of the video.

  8. Montreal
    I really like the simplicity and symbolism in the opening segment of Montreal's show.
    The Habs pre-game starts with a kid skating around the ice, holding a flaming torch high above his head. Each game the kid wears a jersey from a different iconic Montreal alumnus, like Richard, Beliveau, Lafleur, Roy. When he reaches centre ice the torch ingnites a rink full of flame through a video projection effect. Then it's on to the highlights and player intros, to the music of Puff Daddy's "Come With Me", sampling heavily from Led Zepplin's Kashmir. The players eventually skate on with a loop of Coldplay's "Fix Me" in the background.

(Check out the 2009 list of Eastern Conference playoff opens.)