Wednesday, May 20, 2009

An upgrade idea for Tom Werner - and it's free!

A Legend gripe

I enjoy it when they welcome Red Sox Legends back to Fenway. Between innings they show video highlights of great at-bats and defensive plays by Dwight Evans or Jim Rice or or Dennis Eckersley or Carlton Fisk or Wade Boggs or Jim Lonborg or Mike Andrews or Luis Tiant or someone like that. They even did Pumpsie Green one time.

It's a great idea, and here's my gripe about it. The video rolls between innings, then they have a graphic that says "Red Sox Legends..sponsored by... (I don't remember who). Then, "Tonight we welcome back Red Sox Legend Dwight Evans" and the camera zooms to the skybox next to the 406 Club on the 1st base side. There he is, the Legend du Jour, waving to the crowd. A few fans applaud.

What's wrong with that?

Here's what's wrong. You have these legitimate legends coming back to a game, you have a produced highlight video of them, you zoom in on them waving and everything...and three-quarters of the people are not paying attention. They're hailing the peanut tosser, they're saying their "excuse me's" on the way to the restroom or the beer line, they're texting a friend, posing for a picture, looking someone up in the scorebook, checking the Yankees score on the left-field wall, chatting with the cute girl in the pink hat in the row in front or telling the kids that there's absolutely no nutritional value in cotton candy. They're not paying attention that point. They don't know that the legends are being shown on the Jumbotron, or that the legend is actually in the house...and don't know where to look when it's time to give them a well-deserved cheer.

So, Tom and John and about running audio as well as video? How about having Carl Beane announce the legend of the night...with a quick recap of what they accomplished? Of the 38,000 in attendance there must be about 20-25,000 who were not around or even born back in 1967 when Gentleman Jim Lonborg was mowing hitters down. Jim leaves his dentist office in Scituate early, fights the traffic on the Expressway to come up and be a legend in the skybox and a ton of people don't even know he's there. Announce him. Shine a spotlight on the skybox while he waves. You announce the names of Star Spangled Banner singers we've never heard of and the names of Little Star kids who introduce the first three batters on Sunday. Why not the Legends? Picture Dad sitting there pointing and telling his kids that when we has their age #24 was Dwight Evans and he made all these incredible catches in right field and he'd hit homers into a screen that used to be on top of the Green Monster.

A free upgrade.

Isn't the history the reason that Fenway is "America's Most Beloved Ballpark?" Let Dad know that Dewey is up there waving back. Carl Beane is already there and has a microphone. It would be a free upgrade and make the Fenway experience that much nicer.

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