Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Furthur, Faster

If there's one thing I love, it's time-lapse video.

Sure, it makes you question your place in the world -- and in the relative history of the universe -- by condensing hours upon hours of blood, sweat, and tears into mere seconds on YouTube.  But it looks really cool doing it:

-- Dave

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Furthur and Furthur

After weeks (months?) of misspelling the band's name, the two-day Furthur concert finally arrived at MCU Park this weekend.  Phil Lesh and Bob Weir -- of Grateful Dead fame -- brought their new band to the ballpark, and brought two nights of sold-out crowds with them!

I have to admit, I came into this with some negative bias.  My only experience with the Grateful Dead involved my college baseball coach blaring endless jam tapes for 12 hours straight as we drove 35 guys in two 15-passenger vans (do the math) to Nowheresville, North Carolina for our spring trip while I tried to drown Jerry Garcia & Co. out with Metallica or Tupac on my headphones and not think too hard about my non-teammate friends enjoying themselves on a beach in Cancun.  So, you could say I was decidedly not a Deadhead.

The concert at the ballpark was pretty cool, though.  I worked on Sunday night, and heard Saturday was just as good.  A completely different crowd of people in the ballpark, and a very unique vibe.

Furthur clearly touched all the people who were here.  The mass of people on the floor, in the seats, and on the concourse was dancing and singing (and dancing some more) for over four straight hours!  They were having a great time, and were all so passionate and energetic about the music it was almost impossible not to enjoy yourself, no matter what your musical taste.  For Furthur/Dead fans, it was a little bit of heaven.

Check out some pictures:

When all was said and done, almost 25,000 people saw the two shows, and made it a truly unforgettable experience at the ballpark.

A big thank you goes out to everyone who attended.  Stay tuned for more great events at MCU Park all summer!

-- Dave

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Good Day

When you work in minor league baseball, there are good days and there are bad days.  

There are days when fans yell at you because you forgot the periods in J.B. Brown's initials.  There are days when the rain camps out over the ballpark and you pull the tarp seven times in 95-degree thunderstorms.  There are days when a last-second lineup change means you have 30 minutes to re-do all the paperwork you spent the last six hours doing (during "Going Green" week).  There are days when the game lasts 26 innings.  There are days when the national anthem singer forgets the words.  There are days when the Game Program is delivered and the first page you open contains a typo that jumps out at you, despite the five rounds of proofreading you did.  There are days when nothing seems to go right.

And then there are days like this:

TNA Knockout Velvet Sky of the Tag Team Champion (and aptly-named) Beautiful People threw out a first pitch and signed autographs to promote the TNA Live! event at MCU Park on July 2nd.  

You know how they say in golf that one great shot makes up for 99 bad ones and keeps you coming back for more?  Today was one of those days.

Great seats are still available for TNA at MCU Park on July 2nd.  Get your tickets now!

-- Dave

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Opening Day

June 25th, 2001 seems like yesterday.  hard to believe, but last night we held our 10th Opening Day in franchise history!

It was a great night -- we set a new OD attendance record (9,888 fans), got our ninth OD win in 10 tries (Wally's second of the season...he's on pace to go 76-0), Steve got burnt to a crisp and was almost run down by a float in the Mermaid Parade but made sure all the right cars got into the parking lot (and all the wrong ones stayed out), and everyone seemed thrilled that another season of Brooklyn baseball was underway.

It started -- as it has in every season since TJ introduced the idea -- with our players lining the steps at the front gate to greet the fans as they walked through the gates at the newly-named MCU Park.  It's a pretty cool experience, with fans introducing themselves to the new team, and vice versa.  It really gives our players their first glimpse of the passion and loyalty that they're about to enjoy for the next few months.  To a man, they always come away from it marveling at how intense Brooklyn's love is for this team.

In the weeks and months to come, you'll meet some of those players here on the blog, and hear from Wally.  Thanks, as always, for your support.  This season is going to be one of our best ever!

-- Dave

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beer, Here!

On Saturday, MCU Park hosted its first-ever Craft Beer Festival, with samplings from over 40 breweries, and live music.  The event was a lot of fun.  Over 300 people attended, and everyone really seemed to be enjoying themselves.  The weather, the beer, and the music, were all great.

I'm not the world's biggest beer connoisseur, but it was interesting to talk to some of the brewers, hear their passion for what they do, learn about the ingredients and the processes that make their beer different, and debate with friends about which brands we liked and didn't like. 

Beyond just the taste of the beers, I also loved looking at how each brand was marketed.  The look, the logos...even the taps from which they were poured were all so distinct.  As someone who works with ads and designs, I'm always interested in how businesses market their products, and how effective they are.  Since I couldn't tell you the difference between an I.P.A. and a case of Natural Light (that was before the Beer I know, and if you don't, that's just another reason you should have been here), I found myself drawn to the logos and names of the beer first, and the taste second.

Take a look at some images from the event.  I'll divulge my personal favorites after these pictures:

Each attendee got a small plastic mug, with which you could sample three ounces of the beer of your choice.  Gary had a full-sized mug, but his elephantitis sausage fingers just made it look small:

Josh Young kicked off the music on the concourse level.  Many of us at the Cyclones know Josh from his work as a concert promoter, but we were surprised to hear him on the microphone with his guitar.  He was really, really good!

The musical main attraction was The Unforgettable Fire, a U2 tribute band that sounded so much like the real thing, it was scary.  They even looked like U2, from Bono's shades, to Edge's ski cap, to Adam Clayton's blond hair and baggy pants:

Of course, I don't think the real Bono has ever taken requests for an encore, then had his mic turned off by Larry Mullen, Jr., and almost come to blows over it, but I haven't seen them live since the Elevation tour in '01, so I guess you never know.  ("One more song!"  One more song!")

OK, so my personal favorites were Hell or High Watermelon (a wheat beer by 21st Amendment Brewery) and Wacko (a summer seasonal from Magic Hat):

The Hell or High Watermelon not only had the coolest logo and name, but it was light and crisp, and had just a hint of watermelon flavoring.  Nothing too overpowering, but enough to make it stand out.

Wacko, as you can see above, was red.  That really made it stand out, and you had to try it just for the heck of it.  Turns out, it is made from beets (I asked the brewer if they were from Schrute Farms, but she didn't get the reference.  I also told her it had a taste that can't be "beet," but she didn't seem to appreciate that one either.  I have a feeling neither line was very original).

All in all, a great success for our first-ever Beer Festival.  We've already taken notes and suggestions on how to make the next one even better.

Thank you to all who attended.  If you weren't here, you should have been.  We'll give you another chance next year!

-- Dave