Mud Hens welcome dirty birds to nestWritten by Michael Miller | Editor in Chief Emeritus | firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s Note: This week’s column contains adult themes, such as drug use, promiscuity for profit and at least two Bill Clinton jokes. You’ve been warned.
There’s no better family activity in Toledo than a Mud Hens game at Fifth-Third Field. The zoo, museum, metroparks and library offer plenty, but what says “family” more than a late afternoon of hot dogs, baseball and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”?
The Mud Hens have such a lock on the family market, one has to wonder if there’s a need for the venerable franchise to expand its base of fans into areas less family oriented. The recent appearance of Mud Hens ads in publications aimed at unemployed musicians and horny teenagers — a redundant target audience if there ever was one — indicates the Hens marketing team is stretching its wings a bit.
To show there are no ruffled feathers about the Hens freezing this publication out of its ad budget like Hillary Clinton swallowing the keys to her chastity belt, here’s a few ideas to help transform the saintly Hens into dirty birds.
• Lap Dance Night: Fans love box scores! Each ticket to a game includes a poker chip drink token and a coupon for one serious seventh-inning stretch.
• Deadbeat Dad Night: Fathers can bring up to three abandoned children to a game for the price of one! Special TARTA transportation will be provided for kids whose dads slip away from the game before the fifth inning, leaving them in the stands.
• Monica Lewinski Bobblehead Doll Night: First in a series of “Naughty Bobbleheads,” this fun replica of White House intern Lewinski fits the Bill! Future bobbleheads include Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson and Waylon Smithers. Limited to the first 6,900 fans. On special “Retro Nights,” a vintage Linda Lovelace doll will be offered.
• Crack Cocaine Night: Free base! “Buy me some peanuts and dime-rock crack/I don’t care if I ever get back!”
• Illegal Immigrant Night: Just because you entered the United States illegally doesn’t mean you should be deprived of experiencing America’s pastime! The food delivery doors behind Fifth-Third Field will be left slightly ajar just after the completion of “The National Anthem.” Come on, amigos, sneak in — and bring your family!
• Bribe a Councilman Night: Instead of paying for a ticket, visit your district’s council representative and slip him or her an envelope that may or may not contain cash. The councilperson will give you a special pass to the City Council luxury box, where you will have complete immunity from misdemeanors, felonies and moral judgment. Two hundred lucky fans will also receive a kickback from one of three Toledo construction projects.
• Gay Marriage Night: Bring your life partner to the ballgame for a mass wedding ceremony after the game. The Hens will take the field in special rainbow uniforms.
• Size Matters Night: Fans bring their bats to the south entrance, where they will be measured and given color stickers according to which size range they fall into. As the game progresses, random colors will be chosen to give the fans with those measurements special prizes. Fans in the largest measurement group will be considered automatic winners and will not be eligible for prizes.
• TPS Contract Night: Upon entering the ballpark, fans will sign employment contracts with Toledo Public Schools. During the seventh-inning stretch, one lucky fan will have his contract voided and will be given $80,000 worth of incentives to use season tickets in a larger city’s ballpark.
• Free Handgun Night: The first 1,000 fans in the park on this bang-up night will receive a free, untraceable handgun, courtesy of NRA spokesman Bruce Beatty. Special commemorative Mud Hens bullets will be available in the Swamp Shop.
• Katie Holmes Night: Instead of “Who’s on First?” or the stomping Godzilla montage on the electronic scoreboard, the game will be played to clips from Katie Holmes’ movies. A strikeout will earn a clip from “Muppets From Space.” A single will bring up a scene from “Teaching Mrs. Tingle.” A homerun will be rewarded with a moment from “Batman Begins.” Instead of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” fans will sing along to “I Don’t Want to Wait” from the “Dawson’s Creek” soundtrack. Absolutely no refunds.
• Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Night: There’s absolutely nothing funny about a dramatic enactment of Mudonna drunkenly confronting Muddy Mud Hen in the home team dugout.
Then again, there’s nothing funny about a county-aligned entity making indefensible marketing decisions — but what’s baseball without a few bad calls?
Michael S. Miller is editor in chief of Toledo Free Press. He may be contacted at (419) 241-1700 or by e-mail at email@example.com