Dreaming up special sections
Get pumped Cleveland bros and lady-bros!
Every Friday for the remainder of the baseball season, you can hang out in your very own section at Progressive Field, a magical land named "Brohio." Indians first baseman Nick Swisher, known for his uber bro-ness, is inviting all you bro-hams and bro-Stephs to Section 117 to do bro stuff like crushing beers, fist-pumping and chanting "Bro-Hi-Oh, Bro-Hi-Oh!"
Even better? You and your bros might also get one of the "Brohio" Ts Swisher has made famous. A Cleveland Indians news release has more:
Nick Swisher and the Indians will include "Brohio" shirts with the first 100 ticket purchases in Brohio -- Section 117 -- at remaining Friday night home games at Progressive Field. …
Swisher began wearing the shirts -- with "Brohio" and aviator sunglasses on the front and "Sup, Bro?" on the back -- around the Tribe clubhouse. Fans caught onto the shirts when Swisher wore it on MLB Network's "Intentional Talk" earlier this month with Chris Rose and Kevin Millar.
Sounds like a great idea, right?
Of course, a lot of special player sections sounded good at first. Remember the Dodgers' ill-fated "Mannywood?" (Injuries and PED suspensions chased Manny Ramirez out of the league). And what's to become of the Royals' now-defunct "Frenchy Quarter?" (Jeff Francoeur was designated for assignment on Saturday).
I think the biggest fear when it comes to "Brohio," is that fights might erupt due to the frighteningly high B.A.C. (Bro Alcohol Consumption) in the Section 117 bro-quarium. Then again, if the July 5 debut of "Brohio" is a bro-verwhelming success, I can only imagine what other special sections MLB teams might roll out before season's end.
Here are some fictional sections…
Hick-ago: Southerners heading to a Chicago Cubs game will have their own special section at historic Wrigley Field. When starting pitcher Travis Wood, a native of Little Rock, Ark., told the club his friends and family from down South felt out of place among the big-city folks at the Friendly Confines, they decided to make Section 242 "Hick-ago" when he is on the mound. Wood's favorite brand of dipping tobacco, Skoal, has chipped in, offering Cubs' cowboy hats to the first 150 fans in the section.
Note: Fans from neighboring states like Ohio, Indiana and Iowa are allowed to purchase seats in the Hick-ago section provided they meet at least one of the following requirements: 1) They sport a mullet and/or bangs that stand at least three inches above the forehead; 2) They wear at least one piece of camouflage clothing or 3) They have an accented speech that would require subtitles were his or her life to be documented "Honey Boo Boo" style on television.
Fat-lanta: Thanks to catcher Gerald Laird and the Braves, Section 101 at Turner Field will become "Fat-lanta" every Sunday. The regular stadium seats will be removed, making way for special double-wide chairs made specially to fit larger fans.
We imagine Laird saying: "I'm a professional athlete who works out all the time, but people still call me 'Fat Face.' I may make millions of dollars, but I have feelings, too. Plus, I plan on really letting myself go when I retire, so I want somewhere to sit when I come back to cheer on the team."
High-ami: The Miami Marlins, in conjunction with the Miami-Dade Police Department, will allow fans seated in Section 420 to smoke marijuana in public without recourse. Desperate for paying attendees, the Marlins are trying to lure fans to High-ami with promises of specialty concessions (roving vendors with Doritos, Pop Tarts, tacos, Oreos and FUNYUNS), free water and a lounge area with couches and video games.
"The laid-back, show up when you can, watch when you feel like it, approach of the High-ami section will be a perfect fit for the local market," Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, might say of the idea. "Plus, the more baked Miami residents get, the easier it is for them to forget the billions of dollars of tax money that went into building this mostly empty stadium. And that home run feature in the outfield? Nobody loves that thing more than stoners."
Minne-soda: The mayor of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Twins are teaming up to dub Section 226 at Target Field "Minne-soda." All fans sitting in the section will get unlimited refills on all Pepsi products every Friday night for the remainder of the season.
We imagine mayor R.T. Rybak lauding the section as a great way to draw more tourism to the Minneapolis area. "Sure, New York City has a lot going for it," Rybak said. "But who wants to visit now that they're judging what you drink? Soda ban or no soda ban, those New York City folks sure are stuck-up. Here in Minneapolis you can drink as much soda as you like! In fact, we encourage it! Guzzle that sugar water! Beat that, Bloomberg!"
NoNo-hio: Tuesday night Homer Bailey threw his second no-hitter in the last 10 months, becoming the first pitcher since Nolan Ryan to throw one no-hitter and then another before anyone else in the majors could achieve the feat. The Reds quickly sprung into action to honor him.
Beginning next Tuesday, and every Tuesday thereafter, Section 134 at Great American Ballpark will turn into "NoNo-hio." The first 200 fans seated in the section will get one of a series of T-shirts with Twitter hashtags honoring Bailey. Shirts will include phrases like #UnBAILEYvable, #HomerDontPlayThat, #BackToBackBailey and the slightly controversial #NoHomer.
Bar-lington: Watching Yu Darvish pitch at Rangers Ballpark just got even more dizzying. The electrifying pitcher and his team will turn Section 222 into "Bar-lington" every night he starts. All patrons over the age of 21 seated in "Bar-lington" (sponsored by Jose Cuervo) will receive a free shot of tequila for each strikeout thrown by the Rangers ace.
We imagine Texas fans saying: "I guarantee y'all that 'Bar-lington' will be the most fun section in the ballpark -- at least through the first six innings or so. If Yu has one a them 14-K nights most us fans'll be sleepin' or pukin' before it's all over!"
Mitts-burgh: If you're a grown man who likes to bring his baseball glove to the ballpark, life can get a bit lonely. People are always mocking you, telling you you're different, you're wrong and always trying to get you to give all those foul balls you catch to a kid. Well Rawlings and the Pirates want to give you a place to feel at home. Beginning Thursday and running every Thursday through the end of the season, Section 124 will be Mitts-burgh, where men who bring their gloves to the stadium can feel free to be themselves, free of judgment and ridicule.
"It's going to be nice to have a place where I can just let go and let people see the real me," Pirates fan Scott "Scooter" Maywood, who's caught more than 75 foul balls and has never once given one to a kid, might say. "All my life I've wanted to find a place where other guys with gloves can tell stories, share tips for getting balls and recommend the best leather out there. We've already got T-shirts made for the first night that read 'No glove, no love.' It's gonna be epic."