I'm starting to get used to the sound of a massive bee hive every time I turn on my TV. It never fails, the vuvuzelas of the FIFA World Cup are a sure-fire way to put me in a position to take a nice, long afternoon nap. That, and the "scintillating drama" of the soccer match. A combination such as that could put someone into hibernation.
The horns of South Africa, that you can thank the good people at Hyundai for, got me to thinking, what other ridiculous fan giveaways make me agitated more than Carlos Zambrano after the first inning?
Trust me, there are a few, but most of my experience in fan giveaways come from Busch Stadium, which remains fairly conservative when it comes to what they're giving 25,000 people.
I still have most of my pennants and bobbleheads. I also have a statue of a spectacular Jim Edmonds catch he orchestrated in the 2004 NLCS against Houston. I picked that 5x3 statue up during a gorgeous Sunday afternoon game against the Astros when Chris Carpenter and, at that time, Hall of Famer Roger Clemens both pitched gems in a 4-2 win by the Cardinals.
That day would hold more meaning to me and the people I bore with the story if 'The Rocket' hadn't "allegedly" used that extra, illegal jet fuel other missiles like him are getting in trouble for nowadays.
But, there are a few promotions I came across this year that caught my attention. Actually, as soon as Friday at Busch against the Brewers, fans 16 and over can pick up what they call a 'Brockabrella,' a hands-free umbrella that fits firmly on your head that apparently 'The' Lou Brock lent his name to. I guess it's nice to know that 'Looooouuuuu,' one of my favorite Cardinals, rocked the umbrella crown, but even the legend looked a little ridiculous with the clown hat.
Now imagine thousands of people walking around the ball park with an oversized hamburger bun on top of their heads. Not to mention the 7-foot, 300 pound behemoth that happens to sit in the seat directly in front of you.
Enjoy not watching the game.
Next was the Sluggie. This is an obvious rip-off of the 'Snuggie' made popular by the dorkiest commercial to ever see air time. The Cardinals giveaway version is brought to you by AT&T which features both the Cardinals logo and the AT&T logo scattered all around. Don't worry, they still got it right by offering the sleeves which free your hands so your able to do whatever popular '90s dance you can think of.
Sorry Snuggie enthusiasts, the Sluggie was offered in April. But I'm sure you can find plenty of them in dumpsters surrounding downtown St. Louis.
And last, but certainly not least, the Purina Pooches in the Ballpark Night. I'd like to meet the buffoon that came up with this idea.
Don't get me wrong, I am a proud owner (yea, I said owner. Get over it PETA) of a boxer that I consider part of my family, but he is one family member that would be 'accidentally' left behind like a crazy uncle.
Fans with a special ticket that reads 'I'm with stupid,' are allowed to bring their dog into the sweltering heat of Busch Stadium that, no doubt, will have you sweating but your poor little pooch will be twice as bad. Not to mention the slobber that comes with the rapid panting which comes hand-in-hand with a hot dog (get it?).
All dogs must be in a designated area during the game I will admit, but how will they get to their seats?
It's my understanding that to keep your doggie 'regular', it's a pretty good idea to walk your pets whenever you can. What if little Fido decides that during the fourth inning when you get up to get your fourth pretzel with cheese, the trots back and forth to the concession stand start to get to him and little Fido has a little uh oh? That's why the horses are always at the end of the parade, am I right?
Maybe I'm reading too much into these giveaways. All-in-all, it's a good way to get the masses out to the park. You might as well feel like your getting something free when you cough up $30 for a pack of crackers and a ketchup packet.
I may show up for Saturday's game when fans 21 and over will receive a free cup coolie which would keep my adult beverage a few minutes colder in the Missouri heat. I might go all out and blow a vuvuzela, wear a sluggie and the brockabrella, bring my bobbleheads and a frisbee to keep the pooches at the park busy.
I'll just have to watch where I throw it and where I step.