Today I went to P.S. 219, and rotated from class to class among fifth graders.
I like it because it gives you a sense of what people are thinking about us around the borough...and kids are brutally honest. They hold nothing back. So, it makes for some fun and funny exchanges.
Some of my favorites were (in no particular order or relevance to what I was actually talking to them about):
"How much money do you make?" Not much (I dropped the "for the love of the game" on them...they weren't impressed).Hopefully, I gave the kids a good look into the inner workings of the organization, and maybe created a few new Cyclones fans (or some potential future employees) along the way.
"What position do you play?" I don't play for the team. I work in the front office. "You're not good enough to play for them?" Um, no. No, I 'm not. "And you're too old." Wow. Look at the time. I think I should be heading to the next class now.
"Have the Cyclones ever been champions?" Yes. We won the league championship in 2001, and we've won four division championships in seven years. "So you don't win every year?" Well, no, but we've made the playoffs five times in seven seasons...that's pretty good, right? "But not every year." Um, right. "And twice you didn't even make it to the playoffs." This guy's pretty good in math, huh? Is it getting hot in here?
"I went to see the Cyclones last summer." Great! Did you have fun? "It was awesome! I got autographs, and caught a foul ball!" OK, now we're rolling. "My dad said he could hit better than the players on the team." Ugh.
"Does your job have a lot of pressure?" Ever have to stand in front of 30 fifth graders? Ever had to wear a skin-tight bat suit in front of 9,000 fans? Ever had to stick your arm in a drain full of God-knows-what up to your shoulder to avoid a rainout? Ever had to get good seats for the manager's wife? Let me tell you about pressure, kid. (I almost went all "Kareem in Airplane!" on the poor little guy..."I'm out there busting my buns every night! Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.")
"Do you think Kevin Garnett should have won the MVP?" I think we're getting a little off track here.
"Do you play hip hop music at the games?" Sure, sometimes. We also play rock, pop, country...a little bit of everything. "Who's your favorite hip hop artist?" Tribe Called Quest...(silence...tumbleweed)...Have you guys ever heard of them? "I think my grandfather listened to them." Seriously. Look at the time. I really have to go.
Either that, or I bored them just enough to make them focus on their education instead of a career in sports. Either way, a successful day all around.