Pitchers and cathers report today! This means Opening Day is just a few weeks away and since I’m the party planner for our crew, I have some tips.
Rent a Portable Bathroom. This is probably the biggest success stories over the years. No more waiting in line for the one and only place to pee in Section E of the parking lot. The ladies love it! We had 4 parking spots one year and just put the thing in the middle. It worked out awesome! Just beware of the potty vultures. It’s also easiest if you call the Ballpark to get their approved contractor. They usually deliver and pick up, you don’t want to handle that s***.
Get there early. Parking is a beast and having a large group every year like we do is always tough to get enough parking for all of us. Encourage car pooling amongst your friends. It’s more fun to drive out there with friends telling stories of old. You’ll probably owe the poor driver a drink or two once you get back home, but it’s worth it!
Grilling is hard. We tried this once. It didn’t work. I would give you the recipe for bacon wrapped jalapeno cheese dogs, but you can just buy them in the stadium these days. Bring breakfast tacos or something along those lines. You won’t believe how fast time flies
Don’t wear jeans. If it’s a sunny day, no matter the temperature don’t wear jeans. Breathable pants are good, or sometimes even shorts. Jeans just don’t work for a day game.
Bring Friends – a lot of them. No need to go into details about that.
Occasionally we run across some products we feel are part of our lifestyle brands that have a cool story to tell. Several months ago we came across a sunglass company in Vegas, previously suggested by a friend – Randolph Engineering (RE). RE is based out of Randolph, MA, and has been the standard issue equipment to the US Military and Air Forces all over the world since 1982. Each pair is made here in the USA, in Randolph, MA, with over 200 production steps, mostly by hand. Each pair comes with a lifetime guarantee.
If the whole “standard issue equipment” isn’t enough for you, they’re quite fashionable as well. Don Draper sports the Gold Aviators with the Gray Polarized lenses and bayonet temples in Mad Men. As they say, how can Don Draper be wrong? As well, fashion designer, Michael Bastian, has been using RE’s on all his runway models for years.They are the true all american look.
RE’s have now caught the eye of many fashion forward designers, movie stylists and celebrities. The reason being that Randolph Engineering is still a family owned company, carefully dedicated to the original style of the aviator at an unbeatable quality.
We’ve each already selected our favorites – Scott the Aviator and Jana the Concorde, as they are a truly uni-sex style. We love finding new things that fit with the quality and style you’ve come to expect from us. And we’ll always keep looking. Plus, keeping things made in the USA is always important to us. But right now, we’re excited to share Randolph Engineering. We’ve got them in the store. Come check them out.
I am now a bigger proponent of a playoff system in college football than ever. I just finished the book, Death to the BCS, www.deathtothebcs.com. It’s an extensive and intense review of who, why and what the BCS is and it really opens your eyes. Basically, few people currently control the existing college bowl structure and the system is broken. Very few schools make money in the current situation.
Mark Cuban made headlines because he is reading the same book, and I have to say, I really agree with it. His proposal includes a “pot” for the championship bowl participants to overcome one of the super secrets of the BCS society. The most amazing thing to me is the financial impact of a bowl; much hype is made regarding the amount of money made. Most bowl participants lose money for three main reasons: travel, bonuses and ticket allotments. Allowances given to schools barely cover any of these expenses.
I’ve heard many excuses for no playoff is the travel expense. It costs a lot of money to send the band, players and other executives to the bowl game. Last year SMU took two mascots to Hawaii. I would hate to see how much that cost. Most bowls give a small allowance to cover these costs, but most of the time it barely covers the football team transportation.
Current salary structure of major college head coaches include bonuses for bowl games. These can be substantial and represent a large expense to the university. Most bowl game allowances don’t come close to covering these bonuses. Athletic department financial statements are hardly ever looked at by the every day public, yet I’m starting to see why. They are bleeding red all over. At one time, I thought it was great advertising; however, after reading the book I’m not so sure with the current bowl format.
Ticket allotments are something I never realized. When a school is invited to a bowl, the payouts are listed and everyone is excited. Little do we realize the excitement wears off pretty quick as evidenced by poor ticket sales by schools. When you watch ESPN and their bowl games this year, realize the school is given an allotment of tickets, any of these tickets not sold have to be purchased by the school. In essence, the school underwrites their own team. If a team doesn’t traditionally travel well, such as this year’s example of UConn, this can be a huge expense the school has to pay. The current structure doesn’t bode well for most teams.
The current system of college football is going to have to change. The book has tremendous ideas and I encourage you to read it.
This weekend is Heisman weekend and it happens to coincide with the premiere of the 30 for 30 “Pony Excess”. I’ve seen the flick and it’s awesome! I’m sure ESPN put the 30 for 30 directly after the Heisman because of Cam Newton. I don’ t think this is a coincidence.
One of the biggest problems I have right now is everyone is focusing on Cam Newton himself. Why isn’t more attention paid to the Auburn program? If Cecil Newton shopped his kid around and steered him to Auburn, they have to be paying him in some sort of manner. Isn’t this illegal by the program. The NCAA found Cam Newton didn’t know his father was shopping him around, yet he steered him to Auburn.
In 5 years, I expect Cam Newton will no longer be a Heisman winner, the National Championship is forfeited and we won’t see Auburn for 2 years in a bowl game. Is it fair? In my eyes no, but I suspect it’s a financial decision by the NCAA and Auburn. College football is a huge business and decisions seem to point to the money all the way around.
I love college baseball and this is the part of the year I get to enjoy some of the great games leading up to the College World Series. The trek to Omaha is an awesome experience. This week the teams were selected and I’m going to be glued to the tube in a couple of days. I personally don’t have any favorites, but the UT team and the LSU teams are going to be tough to beat. Who knows, maybe TCU can advance again.
I do have a debate, do aluminum bats still have a place in College Baseball? There are two sides, the basic problem is the ball can come off the bat 30-40 miles an hour faster than a wooden bat. How? The aluminum bat is lighter and can be swung faster, increasing bat speed. Bat speed is the basis for the power of the hitter. This is pretty scary for the pitcher or third baseman when you are staring down a line drive at over a 100 miles an hour. There are substantial head injuries it seems like almost every year.
The argument for the aluminum bat is primarily costs. Wooden bats are not metal and can break pretty easily. Some people simply enjoy the “ping” sound of the bat when the ball is hit.
I sit on the side of against aluminum bats. I realize there are costs and some would say environmental issues, but I’m a little bit of a purist. I’ve played in games with both and I preferred the wooden bat even though the ball didn’t go as far. The other reason is someone will get killed at some point soon. Aren’t lives worth more than the couple of hundred dollars per team? It sounds drastic, but watch how hard the ball comes off the bat the next couple of weeks.
This week is the NFL Combine where elite college athletes are invited to show both their physical and mental skills. Hopefully everyone has improved their 40 times and Wonderlick tests. With today’s technology does the combine even help pro teams find their draft picks? I read that most pro teams these days are 90% sure of their pick already. The internet allows coaches to see the athlete’s game speed by watching game film, which can truly be different then the forced track and field event labeled as the combine. The NFL is all about money and at least the Combine gives them something to show on the NFL network.
We are rooting for Colt McCoy this week because of not only his heart shown throughout his career at Texas and the way he ended his college career, but because of the commercial he did for one of our brands we carry. Check it out:
Here are some other invites that we will be following:
Some people refer to Signing Day as their Christmas. It is a huge day in not only for the athletes, but the dedicated alumni who follow. Here are a couple of schools with links to their live coverage. We’ll add more throughout the day: