The one thing missing from Rockies games

Spring is here, and with the beautiful weather comes the start of the baseball season.  The Rockies had their Home Opener today (which they won), and with it I wanted to re-tell a story from 2 & 1/2 years ago and re-iterate my plea for the Rockies to incorporate an important aspect of the game day experience into their game:

Back in 2007, when the Rockies were on their historic hot-streak, we went to the last game of the season.  This turned out to be a pivotal game, which required the Rockies to win and the Padres to lose, which led to that 1-game playoff for the Wild Card.  The atmosphere was amazing, and being a loyal Broncos fan I turned to my tailgating kit to help us prepare for this game.  We brought out our well-used grill to cook some steaks, when we were approached by stadium security (who was an off-duty police officer). I was shocked to find out that Tailgating at Rockies Games are not allowed!  The officer was really nice about it, and even made an editorial statement to the effect of “I don’t agree with the rule, but I need to enforce it.”  He let us finish grilling our steaks, but made us put our tailgating equipment away.  Sure that security had it wrong, I turned to their web site for the definitive word, and sure enough tailgating is not allowed:

Tailgating is not permitted in any Rockies operated parking lot. Persons may not consume alcohol in the parking lots, including inside their vehicles.

There are a lot of high expectations for the Rockies this year. Most analysts say playoffs are a given for the Blake Street Bombers, with the possibility of going deep into October.  Rockies Management: do your part to make sure that your talented team have the passionate fans they deserve – allow tailgating for at least some games.  It doesn’t have to be all 80 remaining home games, but at least the big ones: holidays, fan-favorite rivals, the inter-league games, and the late September games – that’s all we need.

It’s not like tailgating at baseball games are unheard of. I went by the Padres ballpark a few years ago, and they had a whole parking lot devoted to tailgating – sound familiar Broncos fans?  I find it funny that if you do a search for “Rockies Tailgating” you’ll find a ton of product licensed by Major League Baseball, yet you’re not allowed to use it next to their stadium.

Seriously Rockies Front Office, let’s bring Tailgating in some form to Coors Field. If you need to rope up part of the lot and charge a little more, so be it.

Who needs the time?

Just a quick hit: I’m really excited to go see Muse on Tuesday, but needed to figure out when we should probably head down to Broomfield. I figured I would go check out the show listing on Muse’s web site, but can you look at this page and tell me what time the show starts?


Don’t get me wrong, this is a really cool design. Whoever’s doing their web work has some really cool things going on, but at what point was it a good idea to not list the start time?!? I thought this maybe was a fluke, but sure enough none of the other pages list their show times as well.

Normally I would go home and look at my tickets, but these tickets were using this “Flash Seat” where I simply wave my credit card that I used, and we seemingly have seats – pretty hard to print the start time on that.

It’s not like I’m squeezing the Muse concert between activities, but you’d think at some point it would be a good idea to tell people when they should make their way down.

Facebook Fail: How to ruin a year’s worth of burritos

Ah, Social Media.  Every company wants to get in on the action, using tools like Twitter and Facebook, finding new ways to engage customers and drum up interest for their company.  Some companies do it well, and for others: their good intentions blow up in their faces.  I talked about Motorola’s mismanagement of their Facebook presence, the Denver-metro area Qdoba also now has an unfortunate Facebook story to tell.

Last weekend I got ping’d by a friend on Facebook, who was taking part in a contest put on by Qdoba with the prize of a year’s supply of burritos.  In order to win, Qdoba wanted you to get your friends to “Fan” them on Facebook, then write their name and Qdoba Card # on their wall.  On paper this seems like a great way to build Facebook currency (friends/fans) and drum up buzz for your company.

Introduce the chaotic variable known as the Internet into the equation, and your contest is now FUBAR’d.  While my friend was lobbying people through his Facebook contacts, his two main competitors were packing their own ammunition.  The first is allegedly a “Professional Contest-Player”, and quickly rallied her other “Professional” colleagues on the various contest and giveaway sites (I Googled her name + her card number and got these search results:

The other competitor, has some association with ThePensBlog and his plea for help got picked up there, rallying their army and ultimately bringing him the victory.  However, along the way, the blog got wind about the “Professional Contest-Player” and lobbied some attacks in the form of: “Do you hate this bitch’s face already? Want to bring pain to her ego? After the jump, a call to arms.” Of course, when you take prideful Pittsburgh fans and pour gasoline on your story, your commenters are going to light the think of fire with hate and vitriol. Say what you will about “Professionals”, no one deserves the mud this poor girl was slung.

Qdoba’s once great contest idea was fast becoming a platform for slander, so they had no choice, but to post the following on their wall:

Of course, you can comment on anyone’s fan page, so the people who were perpetrating this slander were now acting like their candidate was the victim in all of this, and made threats about what would happen if Qdoba didn’t award the contest to him.  Ultimately Qdoba made the most of their bad situation: gave the prize, then awarded the runners up with generous prizes of their own.  Still the proponents of the winner are still whining – nothing like looking a gift-burrito in the mouth.

To be fair to the guy who won, he didn’t make any public disparaging comments about the other contestants.  At the same time, there is definitely an association of guilt, and I’ve always found it fair to judge people based on where/who they build their community.  Responsibility should be taken up, especially since the guy is now 52 burritos richer.

Ultimately I feel bad for Qdoba. We’re all still trying to navigate this social media river, and when you have something like this blow up in your face it doesn’t encourage you to get back on the boat.  They ended up giving away nearly 2 years worth of burritos, and all they have to show for it is a page full of slander and intimidation.

Companies like Qdoba, please don’t lose heart in this. I think if they were go back and do it again, they could have made one tweak to the rules and avoided much of this mess.  Simply add a rule to the effect of “No promotion or lobbying outside of Facebook is allowed. We will be running searches on the leaders and if we find any external lobbying, you will be disqualified.”  I used Google to get that above screen shot, and discovered the blog post by doing a similar search on the winner.  That way you keep your promotional efforts within Facebook (which is what you want), and ensure that your winners are using the same platform to campaign.  People may try the winner’s excuse of “I can’t control what people do”, but let’s be honest: if I wanted to win that badly I’d make damn sure people kept it as word-of-mouth.

So sorry Qdoba, I still think you’re great. Better luck next time!