Me (babbling female) attempting to engage in “sports small talk” with her Sports Guy:
“Did you hear that all of the Dallas Cowboys season ticket holders received (along with their regular game tickets) tickets to see the Cowboys in the PLAYOFFS and tickets if the team should make it to the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP game?
No immediate reply. Head shaking. Eyebrows raised, and then…”No, I don’t think so. That wouldn't happen.”
Me: “Yes it did. I read it.”
Him (more emphatically):
“No, dear (patronizing tone). You must have misread it.” I'm positive.
Me: “I’m positive.”
Conclusion: I love it when I’m right about something sports related. OK – this might be the first time ... but YES, the Dallas Cowboys’ season ticket holders DID receive exactly that surprise in their ticket package. Check it out here. HAH! OK - they weren't exactly free tickets (if you read the small print). Probably why My Sports Guy was skeptical - I might have "inferred" that they were free...can't remember.
Granted, the Cowboys have to make the playoffs and then be in the Championship game, but what the hell. Selling optimism. This is a little bold, but brilliant marketing in my opinion. Remember the movie, Field of Dreams..."Build it and they will come." Visualization.
Hope springs eternal. Give the people hope, excitement, anticipation. Why do people buy lottery tickets? The luck of the draw…the roll of the dice…No matter what the odds are, somebody is going to win. The Cowboys could go all the way. It could happen.
As I was contemplating Dallas’ ticket gimmick, my thought process segued to those lovable losers, our very own Chicago Cubs. I suddenly realized that it was the first week in August, and I hadn't been to a single Cub’s game at Wrigley Field.
We were out of town a lot – but still. The reality is that there were many past years when we would have gone to 15-20 games or more.
But, in those years, there usually was a GLIMMER of hope – some years more than others. You know, right up to the point of the remote calculation of, “it’s still mathematically possible”. So, even if not likely, there still was the HOPE that the Cubs could make it on a miracle and a prayer.
But definitely NOT in 2014 – nada – pretty much from the get go. Last Place = No Hope.
Listen up Ricketts family, infamous owners of the Cubs: With the North Side fans in the doldrums of despair, it’s time to kick it up a notch for 2015. Do or die. It’s obviously too late for this season, but why not start planning to get your depressed Cubbie fans on the optimism bandwagon next year?
Quit obsessing about your jumbotrons and signage - we're bored with that. Think out of the box a little. Think like the Dallas Cowboys.
A few ideas…
1. In some or all of the home games – in the beginning of the season, of course – while there is still HOPE for a winning year – figure out a way to give out a few thousand or more tickets to random attendees to see the CUBS play in the 2015 World Series.
Yes – steal the Cowboy’s idea - except make these absolutely FREE. 100%. Badda Bing. Think of Cubs fans pulling their 2015 World Series tickets out of their wallets - Cubs vs. ????. Holding them up to the sky, saying, "Please God, let it happen." A collective conscientiousness that could reverse the "Curse of the Billy Goat".
And, if the Cubs don’t make it – fans can always sell them on E-Bay, or frame the ticket and put it on the wall as decorative memorabilia.
OK – I can hear the very practical and conservative protests from the Cubs' accountants. “Can’t lose that kind of revenue…blah, blah, blah.”
No problem, pencil pushers, relax.
Have you ever heard of furniture stores that boost their end of the year sales by offering to reimburse customers for any furniture they buy, but only if it snows over x amount of inches on New Years’ Day? How can they take that risk, one might ask?
Simple. They buy insurance. So, Ricketts, call Lloyds of London. After 106 Years of the Cubs being a no-show in the World Series – this has to be really cheap coverage. Duh.
2. More theatrics. Before every game, parade the players around the stadium. Yes, right down Waveland, Clark and Addison. Maybe driven in those bicycle cabs, whatever. The players could be throwing out autographed balls and t-shirts to the crowd. Fun.
3. You know how everyone is jubilantly singing the “Cubs song” after a winning game…”Hey Hey, What do you say…”
Well what happens after they lose a game? Nothing. Everyone just shuffles out mumbling, “Cubs suck.” You’ve got to change that. How about setting up Dunk Tanks. Allow kids to line up on the field taking shots at dunking not only the players, but the coaches, manager, and even Clark the Cub. Just some fun. Everybody is making enough money, a little water won’t hurt them.
4. And, how about every time someone buys a beer, the Beer Man spins a little wheel – to give them a chance to get it for free. So you give away some free beers. Great idea. Do it.
In fact, Ricketts family, I have a lot more ideas. But, let’s see what you do with these.
As I said, it’s all about HOPE – and if the fans can’t HOPE for a winning season – at least they can HOPE for a free beer.
Go Cubs in 2015 – it could be the year. Hoping.
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