Friday, January 18, 2013

Te'o Hoax Reaching the Minor Leagues

What do you mean she's not real?

The Florence Freedom (independent baseball team in the Frontier League) made headlines recently when they came up with a promotion for their upcoming baseball season involving the recent Manti Te’o imaginary girlfriend scandal. 
Who are the Florence Freedom?   You say that you’ve never heard of them?  Neither have millions of other people.  That may all change though after today.  Whether it’s for the better or not is still up in the air. 
May 23rd will be “Manti Te’o Girlfriend Bobblehead Night” in Florence.  The first 1000 fans will receive a boxed bobblehead that bears his girlfriend’s likeness.  Wait…wasn’t his girlfriend a hoax?  Yes it was; it was all a hoax.  The box that will be handed out to the first 1000 fans will be empty.  That’s the joke…the bobblehead is imaginary.
"This will be the best kind of bobblehead a fan could get," Freedom General Manager Josh Anderson said. "Because now fans can make the bobblehead out to be whatever they want it to be."
But wait!  Empty boxes won’t be the only imaginary-theme event going on that night.  Section 115 of the ballpark will be blocked and reserved only for fans to sit with their imaginary friends, girlfriends/boyfriends, or spouses.  The Freedom will also have a pretend kiss cam going around the ballpark, an air guitar contest, and an imaginary food fight. 
I am a huge baseball fan and an even bigger fan of minor league baseball.  I love the creativity that goes into their promotions and how “fan-friendly” they are.  With that being said, I do applaud the Freedom staff for jumping on this story and making a promotion out of it.  It has definitely given them a lot of publicity. 
If it turns out Te’o did indeed know that his “girlfriend” was imaginary and still went along with the hoax in order to gain publicity for himself, then I’m all for this promotion.  He deserves to be mocked.  On the other hand, if Te’o is innocent, this promotion will be looked at as distasteful. 
Only time will tell which one it will be…

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