Two "Outs" For the Price of One

A few weeks ago, I spent a few hours brainstorming “Get Out of Town” candidates with the help of some Windsor. One candidate came to mind that I had never complained about in the past; yet they were always an easy target. I’m speaking of our local “professional” baseball team.
The problem was always that they were too easy. Every year we’d hear about how this would be the magic time for this team. One year it was going to be due to the long ball; the next it was the short ball, or pitching. Not only did players come and go, but so did managers.
Guess what? Now that I had finally planned on giving them the boot, they did the unthinkable. They started winning games - lots of games, in fact. I would have looked foolish, especially since I was going to have a poll predicting when they’d be out of the playoff hunt.
However, that doesn’t mean the organization isn’t above criticism…although they seem to think they are, as some fans found out after they attended the first home game of the season. The main complaint overheard at the beginning of the season was concession prices; particularly the fact that a beer now costs $7.
The team certainly has every right to charge whatever they want for anything they sell. But consumers also have every right to complain…and that’s where the problems really start.
Obviously, everybody these days has a website, and most sites that crave input from their consumers also include a message board. This is where Canaries fans took their complaints, as they should.
How did the team respond to these complaints? One would think that they’d either ignore the bitching, or simply issue a statement justifying their actions. They did neither. Not only did they shut down the messageboard, but they reportedly threatened to yank the season tickets of a longtime fan known to be a part of a group that is renowned for their pregame tailgate parties.
That’s no way to treat your customers, and in my mind is one of the most annoying problems that I see in this city. Everybody believes that their very existence puts them above criticism. All the sports teams behave this way, as does the Pavilion and the local Arts community. The City and County Commission, along with the school board, also behave this way when confronted by complaints. And we all know what the local TV stations think about these very rants.
Nobody is above criticism, and that goes the same for me. I’m sure that I’ll hear some bitching about this very topic, and I happily invite people who disagree with me to email or post comments on this blog.
As long as we’re talking baseball, I suppose it’s time to quote legendary Cub infielder Ernie Banks – “let’s play two”. That’s right, today you’re getting two rants for the price of one.
This past Thursday, I opened up the Argus Leader Link section and began reading about the probable revamping of a certain club that responded to an earlier Get Out of Town just like the Canaries threatened the season ticketholder I mentioned earlier. Yes, they banned me.
Despite my problems with some of those involved with this facility, I have always wished them well. I definitely want every bar in town (well, except those that rely on karaoke as entertainment) to be profitable.
In fact, my complaint today isn’t with the establishment; it’s this idea that Robert Morast printed that put the blame completely on consumers. Here’s the line that offended me – “even if the Lava Lounge has been booking stuff you might not cross the street for, we needed to be there for support”.
Uh, no we didn’t. That’s ridiculous. I, nor anybody else, have any obligation to spend money to watch acts that I don’t care to hear. Forget about the fact that I’ve turned into a hermit in recent years (and I am trying to get out more often). I’m not going to waste my time with acts that don’t appeal to me. Hell, Nutty’s North is kicking ass with live music right now, but the majority of stuff they book is not to my taste. So I don’t go, and nobody should ever bitch at me about this decision. If you like it, have a great time without me.
Instead of whining to the paper, maybe the club should have looked at themselves. Were they making smart bookings? Were they getting the word out about the bands they did hire? It’s all about creating a buzz, and simply putting up a handful of posters around town is not enough incentive to bring people in to watch acts they’ve never heard of.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this b.s line, though. I’ve heard it during most of my adult life, and I used to even buy into it a bit. Because of that willingness to be a sucker, I’ve sat through more than my share of awful bands.
At some point I learned my lesson, but that didn’t stop people from still using it on me. The perfect example occurred while I was living in Aberdeen during the late 80’s. At some point during my time in that godforsaken city somebody booked Richard Marx. My record store sold tickets, and at one point a lovely young woman asked if I was going. When I finished laughing, she gave me the “if we support this show maybe we’ll get more” line. Well, there was no way “Little Dicky Marx” was going to get any of my not-so-hard-earned money. Even I have standards.


Anonymous said…
If you support crap, then the clubs will just book more crap. How many shows there did Morast PAY to get into? And yes, Aberdeen is a shithole.
Anonymous said…
come on dude, the Lava Lounge has DJ Royski! he foking rox the hiz-ouse.

did you really get banned from that shitstain?
Anonymous said…
peanuts at the metrodome are $4.00. peanuts at the canaries game are $3.50. WTF?
Anonymous said…
damn you hudson! you ran them out of business!
timleonore said…
Scott, I totally agree with you. Promoters, journalists, and people who could give a shit less are always trying to sway the public the wrong way. To say that supporting "shit" will create "cheesecake" is an absolute lie. Aberdeen or Sioux Falls, It doesn't matter. A national promoter is not going to book a major band in Sioux Falls just because "Mor-assed" writes good things. We need concession prices to accomidate the demographic, not charge Chicago prices for a friggin beer at the event. Not only that, let's stop employing brainless oagers for security at these events.

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