Virtual Prizes for Virtual Contests-White Sox, WXRT and Donald Trump

bridgeFeelin’ Groovy!

59th St. Bridge Song

Simon and Garfunkle-1966

Remember Sarah Palin’s “Bridge to Nowhere”? It was a convoluted tale that garnered a lot of attention when the Alaska Governor was selected as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 Presidential election. Since than Madame Palin has had the career to nowhere, but that is a story for another day. But do bridges to nowhere lead to “contests to nothing?” Two of my favorite local media outlets have gone that route.

Even though I grew up on the North Side (Rogers Park to be precise), I have spent my life a diehard White Sox fan. And like many White Sox fans, the past few years have been dreary, dreary, dreary. Whether the fault has been lackadaisical players, a too laid back manager, or too many Ken Harrelson “Hawkisms”, watching the beloved Pale Hose on the tube has been a type of torture specifically outlawed by the Geneva Convention. This year has been a breath of fresh air as new players Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie have had a spring in their step, Robin Ventura has suddenly remembered to manage, and most importantly, there has been a new voice in the White Sox TV booth. Jason Benetti is now the Sox play-by-play man for home games. Paired with color announcer Steve Stone,  Benetti has brought a lively new spirit to the broadcast. They have also brought a new contest, the aptly named “White Sox Math”. It’s a daily contest with problems such as “Multiply Jose Abreu’s uniform number by Jimmy Rollin’ s strikeouts in 2005 and then add Chris Sales career saves.” If you are a total stats geek or happen to have the Baseball Almanac handy, you will of course quickly arrive at the answer of 5621. And your prize for having all that information rattling around in your brain? A trip to the “Virtual Prize Shelf”. That’s virtually–nothing!

Not to be outdone, or perhaps underdone, my favorite radio station WXRT has a contest of its own. Every morning at about 6:40 Lin Brehmer and Mary Dixon host “Three for Free.” Tweet in the correct answer to their audio quiz about the celebrity of the day and you can win exactly…nothing!

Yet somehow there I am watching the White Sox with my calculator in hand, or intently listening to Lin and Mary’s musical clues. And since there is a winner every day, I suppose I am not the only one willing to put out all that effort for nothing. So I suggest a few more contests with prizes of questionable value:

  • Volkswagen will give a new diesel car to the first correct answer in their “Predict Our Next Estimated Mileage Report” challenge.
  • Elon Musk will present a hyperloop ride from Wrigley Field to the Cell to the winner of the “Who Can Predict How Long the Tesla Model 3 Will Be Delayed” contest.
  • The Department of Transportation will give a TSA job to the first person who–well, basically to anyone. No contest entry needed.
  • The Republican National Committee wants to award the Vice Presidential nomination to the first voter to provide Donald Trump with a foreign policy. Send the RNC your plan, single spaced, with a self addresses, stamped envelope and prepare to go to Cleveland.

And of course, just by reading this, you are entered into my contest to win–nada.  Happy trails!

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photo credit: Footbridge via photopin (license)

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