One of the year’s most inexplicable stadium giveaways just happened a couple days ago, as the Tampa Bay Rays decided to give out replica AL Championship rings to every single fan (all twelve of them) who attended the April 14 game against the New York Yankees. The rings are modeled off of the actual rings the team received, so … that’s neat?
The obvious problem, as TAMPA BAY ONLINE reports, is that lots and lots of fans didn’t ask for these rings and don’t want them, and have taken to the Internet to hock them for, basically, whatever they can get. And really, there were a lot of reasons why this giveaway was a poor idea.
• This wasn’t the home opener. The Tampa Bay home opener was on the 13th, not the 14th for the giveaway. Given the tepid-to-lousy fan support Tampa had during the course of their season in 2008, it would have behooved the franchise to hold this giveaway on the one sellout they can count on, especially since…
• It was a game against the most popular team in the American League. Yes, nobody draws fans like the Cubs, mainly because nobody’s got more bandwagon, stupid, never-actually-been-to-a-home-game fans across the nation than the Cubs (Harry Caray is to blame, we think). But as Tampa Bay opponents go, none are more popular nationwide than the Yankees, meaning it’s pretty certain that there were thousands of Yankee fans in the house on Tuesday, none of whom give one crap about the replica ring, especially since…
• It’s not a World Series ring. We don’t think anyone has actually forgotten that the Rays got smoked in the Series by the Phillies; commemorating a second-place finish on such a grand scale seems rather strange. Sure, the Rays are virtual strangers to success and probably don’t take it for granted, but still, making a “We Were Awesome Runners-Up, Weren’t We?” ring and handing it out to tens of thousands of fans makes no sense, especially since…
• Nobody would ever wear this. Okay, look at the damn thing again, then try to figure out an instance in which wearing it would ever be a good idea. Men don’t wear commemorative rings from their favorite team. Come to think of it, neither do women, but men are especially averse to wearing any ring that has nothing to do with the sacred institution of marriage. Here’s how a conversation might go down if someone were to think wearing one of these rings was cool:
Guy #1: “Hey Bill, check it out. I got my Tampa Bay Rays replica ALCS championship ring on! It’s got the logo right there, plus diamond dust on the front to make it look like real diamonds.”
Guy #2: “…”
Guy #1: “Pretty cool, huh?”
Guy #2: “You’re aware that you’re a grown man, right?”
Perhaps, then, the team should be happy that only 102 such rings are on eBay right now, by the latest count. Sure, the rings are of a decent quality, but next time, save some money and just make a damn t-shirt like everyone else does.