Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fort Myers capitalizes on Billy Donovan fiasco

Single-A Fort Myers is making big news in Florida with its latest promotion. On June 20th the Miracle will hold "Billy Donovan Night," poking fun at the University of Florida basketball coach who announced a couple weeks back that he was leaving the two-time defending national champion Gators to coach the NBA’s Orlando Magic. A few days after the announcement Donovan changed his mind and had to negotiate a release from his Orlando contract so he could return to Florida.

The Miracle acted quickly on this one. Mocking Donovan's indecision and subsequent legal negotiations to get out of his contract, Fort Myers is going to require fans who want to leave the ballpark early to negotiate their own "out-clause." As part of the negotiation process, Fort Myers will require fans to shoot a basket using a ball that has either a Florida Gators or an Orlando Magic logo on it.

Fans will not be required to have perfectly manicured hair, however.

The ultimate question: Charleston won yesterday's Promotion of the Day award for their "Is It a Sport?" night. The RiverDogs asked the 3,000 fans in attendance to vote whether seven activities – NASCAR racing, cheerleading, hot dog eating, pro wrestling, figure skating, fishing, and rock paper scissors – were sports.

Four of the activities were voted sports. Figure skating received the most "yes" votes with 75 percent, followed by fishing, professional wrestling and NASCAR racing.

Fans were most adamant that rock, paper, scissors was not a sport (77 percent), and neither were hot dog eating (70 percent) and cheerleading (64 percent).

The Dugout believes the good people of Charleston went a little too easy with their voting. NASCAR is the only event of these seven that is truly a sport. The ballot process was obviously flawed if scripted professional wrestling is thought to be a sport.

A good rule of thumb to follow in these discussions: If judging is the sole determinate of the outcome, the activity is not a sport.

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