In January I saw the tweets from @MLB for an opportunity they were marketing as every baseball fanâ€™s dream: an opportunity to spend the 2011 baseball season living and breathing everything baseball.
MLB described the opportunity for one lucky fan to eat, sleep, and breathe baseball for the entire seasonâ€”watching every game, while interacting with other MLB fans through social media. The â€œjobâ€ description also mentioned video blogging, promotional events, and involvement in MLB events like the All-Star Game.
For a baseball fan like myself, the opportunity was too good to pass up. After all, I already eat, sleep, and breathe baseball and I thought if I had the opportunity to share that passion and connection with other fans during the season, thatâ€™d be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
While reading the job requirements, I considered myself rather qualified. After all, I have a college education. I have a love for baseball. I am well-connected on social media and Iâ€™ve contributed to many different blogs over the years. Of everything they asked for, I met or exceeded expectations.
I completed their application process, which was extensive. I completed a biography on my love for baseball with anecdotes of my travels with my father. I wrote about the baseball questions theyâ€™d asked applicants to address with intelligence and my little hints of humor. I included my resume which consists of writing, academic, and work experience. I completed the information about my social media experience, provided my Twitter handle. I even attached the required photograph.
Even if I didnâ€™t get the position, I didnâ€™t want to regret not applyingâ€¦ after all, the Fan Cave was every baseball loverâ€™s dream, right?
When I read a description this morning of the Fan Cave, I was greatly disappointed and discouraged. What started (and was presented to applicants) as the ultimate Fan Experience, had somehow morphed into the ultimate Man Experience.
The Times Square space will have televisions with every baseball game, and the Caveâ€™s inhabitants, Mike Oâ€™Hara and Ryan Wagner, will watch all 2,430 regular season games and post-season games from their ultimate bachelor pad. The space is outfitted with outrageous luxuriesâ€”a Pepsi Porch, a game room, DJ booth, even a statue of Willy Maysâ€¦and an implied â€œNo Girls Allowedâ€ sign.
The @MLBFanCave Twitter account tonight announced that the Opening Day of the Fan Cave (Man Cave, same difference) would be celebrated with Victoriaâ€™s Secret model Chanel Iman. Thatâ€™s rightâ€¦ baseball fans! You can celebrate the most anticipated day off the season, by submitting your questions to ask a super model.
Quickly, my disappointment from not being selected for the ultimate Fan Experience turned to disgust. Was it MLBâ€™s intent all along to turn the fan experience into one that catered to their male demographic? Or was it just a product of circumstance that Oâ€™Hara and Wagner were the most qualified?
At this point, Iâ€™m not sure.
For a position that was marketed as an opportunity for the ultimate fan experience, MLB really missed the boat. After all, theyâ€™ve alienated a large fan base: the women who love and follow baseball just as religiously as men do.
Itâ€™s not to say the two men that were selected to inhabit the Fan Cave are not qualifiedâ€”they seem to have the qualifications that the MLB required, but they seem to have one thing I do not: a penis.
Itâ€™s just a shame that once again MLB and their marketing team has once again upset the women who make up a large portion of their fan base. Their long tradition of turning women into a caricature of fandom continues, and againâ€¦ the men get all the cool stuff.
I know Iâ€™m just as qualified, if not moreso, to sit in a Times Square space and watch baseball as anyone with a penisâ€”and perhaps someday the MLB will understand that for some of us womenâ€¦ the appeal is the sport itself, not the Beadazzled version they continue to feed us as they exclude us from opportunities afforded to our counterparts.