Manti Te'o and Independent baseball. Very interesting.
The Florence Freedom of the Independent Frontier League is offering their first 1,000 fans a genuine Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobblehead this Thursday night. On May 20, when initially announced, their website included information on the additional giveaways and festivities;
"Thursday night’s promotions will also include an air guitar contest, a pretend kiss cam, an imaginary food fight, and fans with imaginary friends, girlfriends/boyfriends or spouses are encouraged to sit in section 115, the section furthest down the left field line"
Now that the hysteria surrounding Te'o's "girlfriend", the fake twitter account and the guy running it is all out in the open, you can't fault anyone for trying to exploit the profitability in all of this.
The Freedom were in the bottom five of 14 teams in attendance last year and second last in 2011 (Courtesy Frontier League statistics), so it's no surprise why this is happening. It's obviously old news since this was reported way back in January according to CBS Sports, although you can guarantee it's certain to draw a crowd.
Baseball in general is no stranger to wacky and off-the-wall promotions.
The Brockton Rox of the Indy Can-Am League broke a Guinness World Record by selling an $80 hot dog in 2011. And the Lowell Spinners held a Political Correctness night a few years back. Spinners spokesman Jon Goode wasn't taking things too seriously;
"We just pay attention to what's in the news, and it seems like you're always hearing about people getting upset over what seem like the silliest things to the vast majority of people. So we thought, why not have some fun with it?"
Yes, the Freedom having a bobblehead night is not supposed to be taken seriously, it's all in good fun. It's like toilet humour, lame but funny. However, you can guarantee people will be talking about this and isn't that the whole point?
Look at the now-defunct London Rippers. Their logo was getting ripped apart six ways from Sunday because of their "Jack the Ripper" logo. The London Free Press noted that women's abuse center's were in an uproar amongst others because of it. Still, the logo garnered national attention throughout the U.S.
Sports is entertainment plain and simple. That's what the Rippers were about and that's what the bobblehead night is about. Nothing more, nothing less.
Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at email@example.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.