Miami Marlins Fish Tank and the Most Ridiculous Gimmicks in Sports
Not every idea is a winner. For every light bulb, Thomas Edison had many really awful ideas.
It seems hard to mess up sports. At the heart of sport is a competition between athletes trying to emerge victorious.
However, that does not prevent people from tinkering with some of the peripheral aspects of the sporting landscape.
In order to increase interest, make some extra money or just change the status quo, sports are ripe for people trying new gimmicks.
Sometimes these gimmicks are actually successful and become part of sporting culture. Night games were a gimmick at first but are now the norm in baseball.
Other gimmicks are not so successful. Here are a few of the most ridiculous gimmicks in sports.
Marlins Park Gets a Bit Fishy
Marlins Park has an opulence normally reserved for music videos circa 1999, France in the late 18th century or Iraqi palaces.
The coup de grâce has to be the fish tanks behind home plate. Nothing says baseball more than an aquarium featuring tropical fish.
The fish tank does look cool and fits in well with the design of the ballpark. That does not change the fact that it is utterly ridiculous.
Old codgers still reminisce about the days when seats were made out of wood, beams obstructed the view for half of the crowd and everyone wore their finest bowler hat to the game.
Perhaps the next wave of new stadiums will see more aquariums and zoos incorporated into the design. If that is the case, Marlins Park will probably not be seen as ridiculous a decade from now.
Presently, however, the fish tanks are one of the most ridiculous things to happen in sports.
Teams Letting Celebrities Play
There is nothing as uncool as seeing some celebrity with a sliver of athletic ability being allowed to try out for a professional team.
Teams that are desperate for a little media attention have been known to bring someone famous on board to help generate a little buzz.
Master P got two chances to make an NBA roster. There is a reason those two chances came with the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Hornets. The two teams had very little positive going on at the time, so they have nothing to lose by bringing in the Black Superman star.
While Master P's attempts to land an NBA job were bad, watching Garth Brooks participate in spring training was brutal.
Sure, it was for charity, but allowing him on the field cheapens the entire process of spring training.
The musicians should stay off the field and in the studio...
Athletes Trying to Rap
...and athletes should stay out of the studio and on the court.
Listening to an athlete try to rap is just as bad as watching a celebrity try to play.
Maybe one day there will be an athlete who can rap, but right now the public will just have to enjoy the ridiculousness of what has been released.
The Glow Puck Fails to Help Hockey in America
The glow puck was actually a pretty innovative idea.
In the era before high-definition and 3D televisions, it was hard for the average fan to follow the puck during an NHL game.
Fox decided make the puck glow in order to make it more visible during games. It debuted during the 1996 All-Star game, but it never caught on.
True hockey fans hated it, and the gimmick's debut signaled the beginning of a dark era for hockey.
Seeing the glow puck, or FoxTrax as it was known as, now makes it seem ridiculous. It was just so distracting.
Television has tried a lot of gimmicks, but the glow puck was the most ridiculous.
The Olympics Getting Extreme
It seems unlikely that any of the top brass on the international Olympic committee actually believes skateboarding or BMX freestyle deserve to be included in the Olympic games.
In fact, it is not outlandish to believe a few of them are unaware of what these two activities even are. Adding them seems like a move to help boost television ratings in America for the younger demographics.
That is why this so ridiculous. The Olympics adding X-Games events is like having your grandmother listening to Waka Flocka; it is nothing more than attempt to seem cool and hip.
The Olympics are inherently uncool and should just embrace it.
The Really Annoying Superfans
Every team has them—those really irritating fans who completely embarrass themselves and the team by being a complete tool at all times.
It is ridiculous when a fan adopts some sort of shtick and becomes a gimmick himself or herself.
Apart from those Morphsuit guys in Vancouver who are infinitely cool, most of these superfans are a drag.
Darth Raider, Clipper Darrell and those Newcastle fans who insist on getting logos tattooed on their gut—they are no better than groupies.
It is a ridiculous look and one that should be discouraged. If a person has become a gimmick for a sports team, then something has gone horribly askew in his or her life.
Colored Turf Is a Ridiculous Look
Attending the University of Idaho saw me stuck in a hotbed of colored turf.
To the south was Boise State and its ridiculous-looking blue turf. To the north was Eastern Washington and its matador's cape-inspired red turf.
The costs of maintaining a grass field can be rather high, so switching to turf is understandable. Colored turf is a cheesy gimmick designed solely to increase attention for your team.
People think both look cool because they are different. That is dumb. If Starbucks starting dumping a bunch of salt in the coffee, that would be different too.
There would even be some people who claim this radical change is good despite the fact that it is not.
Until blue and red fields start popping up in nature, green will work just fine. There is no need to mess up a good thing.
All-Star Games That Matter
The NFL's decision to suspend the Pro Bowl (per ESPN) should come as no surprise. It has been a lame-duck event for years.
The most ridiculous gimmick in sports is the promotion of All-Star Games as contests that actually matter. They never have and never will despite what MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL officials try to do.
People continue to point to Pete Rose demolishing Ray Fosse at the plate during an All-Star Game as the type of passion these games can have.
First, that happened over 40 years ago. Second, one play is not symbolic of these exhibitions.
It is farcical to promote any All-Star encounter as a match that matters. It is impossible for it to be important despite whatever odd stakes you place upon it.
Fans do not really care about All-Star competitions. I am guessing no Bleacher Report profile has the following listed under his or her favorite teams section: NL All-Stars, Western Conference All-Stars, the NFC or "whatever weird thing the NHL is doing" All-Star team.
If the fans do not care and the players do not care, maintaining the promotional gimmick of these games counting is laughable.