I got wind of a Comcast SportsNet event in the city. Someone posted the announcement on the Sharks message board. The announcement seemed very vague, despite its verbosity. The date was Thursday August 12, it was described as an “authentic postgame BBQ.” The word “authentic” bothered me to no end. I could not visualize an inauthentic barbecue unless they served martoonies and tofu.
I also could not fathom how anyone could put on a barbecue in downtown San Francisco for free, and yet say space is limited. See, a barbecue has to be outdoors or people will die of a special kind of indoor barbecue smoke inhalation. The logistics of how to limit entry to an outdoor space and yet be hospitable and promote your venture had me curious.
Finally, a list of various Bay Area sports celebs expected to appear made me wonder if it would be a staged event, or just a mob scene, or what. I had to go see.
It was very well attended. The line was around the block before they finally started letting people in, which was after 3:30 (the time mentioned in the online announcement) and also after the bottom of the 8th, which was posted as the “doors open” time on a banner on the fence.
The fence answered one question- how to have an outdoor function and still limit entry. Obviously a chain link fence is an option but it is not very friendly-looking. This was an iron fence, not very high. A moderately determined person could have hopped it around by the restrooms and not been seen. To do so would not save an entry fee, since there was none, but would save a very long wait in line. That would have been useful to know for anyone not wearing sensible shoes. I too often wear shoes that give me no grief walking but turn into torture devices while standing.
I doubt that anyone who stayed for the end of what apparently was a very suspenseful Giants game ever made it through that line to the barbecue. While waiting I did observe a cell phone pick someone took of their little girl with her head in Sharkie’s mouth. That was cute.
I imagine the food was fine, I heard no complaints, but I would not stand in another long line for food after just getting out of the long line to get in.
Some kind vendor was giving away tasty cooked sausages, so I did not starve. I also did not remember what brand it was, which is unfair to the vendor. I think it was Evergood but I am not sure. Sorry, I was distracted. I do remember listening to them explain that they could not hand the plate of sausages to a child, that the mother had to hand it to them. Something about liability for choking. Only in California.
There were some games, but they were not being used very much, I think because people were too busy standing in long lines for food and autographs. There was a bean bag toss, which was called a “corn” toss, I suppose because the bean bags were full of corn instead of beans.
I wondered why the dunk tank was all decorated with a shark motif, even though they were dunking a Dodger. I suppose no Ducks or Kings were available, certainly no Hawks. Or perhaps they did not have a Giants tank.
There was also… can’t think of the name of it, but that table game with little players on rods that you move and spin around by twirling handles? Usually the game is made up to represent a soccer game, but this one was a hockey game. I watched Pavs play that with some folks for a little while. I thought “that’s nice, if people are going to come look at you, you might as well have a hockey game to play.” I could not tell who was winning.
I took a tour of the studio. It was very tidy, had a big pic of Nabby on the first wall I saw. It made me sad. There was an equally large pick of DW, though it was displayed in a less prominent location. Looked like a fun place to be, though I kept bumping in to things… had trouble going from bright light to darkness, which happens when you walk around from offices to video control rooms. Or maybe looking at big hockey photos instead of where you are going can have the same effect.
I got a hat from an insurance company. I won a Giants t-shirt, declined a bobblehead. Really don’t need a bobblehead.
The event was pretty well run, but the staff should not have been playing the games in full view of the people waiting before the doors opened. Watching them was not amusing enough to make up for the fact that I did not like waiting in line for so long. Still, once things were under way, the staff were friendly and the studio guide was very cheerful.
The mystery of the word “authentic” was also cleared up for me. T-shirts that said “authentic such and such team fan” made it clear that the word is part of a marketing campaign. Not sure how effective it is, but it did make me think a little.
Points for putting on an event with free food.
Points for having big picks of hockey players on the office walls.
Penalty for making people wait even a minute too long in line.
Penalty for not having drinks available to people unwilling to wait in long food line.
Points for the hockey table game.
Points for the shark dunk tank, even though it was defaced by the small banner saying “Dunk a Dodger” which detracted from the pleasing shark motif.
I gave the event a B. Even though I used to be a very easy grader, I could only give it a B, because my feet hurt.