AJ Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker runs every Friday. Email him to let him know what you think.
I remember there was a radio promotion a few years ago in Philadelphia that required a boyfriend to call in and convince his girlfriend to strip down and run nude up the Art Museum steps in order to win Eagles tickets. These types of promotions were pretty typical gimmicks used by radio stations in partnerships with the team's marketing department in order to give back to the fans.
Enter 2007, and the first place Milwaukee Brewers decided to give something back to their fans in the form of an invasive, latex'd finger (in a trailer, no less). As ugly as this sounds, it shows a shift in the mindset of major league teams in how they treat their fans. It also shows the seriousness of how important prostate exams are for men. Do you want your prostate to calcify? Me neither. If only I could figure out what exactly its function is — or, you know, where it is — I'd probably be more worried about it. I still think of it like this magic button that rests deep inside your rectum that, when pushed, triggers a geyser-like spooge able to shatter glass. You know, kind of like the turbo boost button. I'm almost certain I'm wrong in this assumption.
This prostate exam-for-tickets promotion is a watershed moment for baseball parks. This may be the end of all of those wacky radio promotions that used to give away free tickets. Instead of making fans do such undignified things like eat live toads or tattoo call letters on their face, it's all about having a more health-conscious and respectable fanbase. If the fans are all dropping dead of prostate cancer, there will be stadiums full of ladies and babies — and nobody wants that. Therefore, it'll be interesting to see what other kinds of health services the other ballparks do to keep up with those progressive beercheesers in Milwaukee.
So, this week, I'm polishing up my taint, firing up my proton knife and placing odds on the next health-oriented promotions for MLB teams.
Let's all sing "Moon River", after this jump.
Pap Smears at Anaheim Stadium: 3/1
Surprisingly, a pap smear is not just a villain from the Naked Gun or something you use to put on bagels: It's a medical procedure used to find changes in the cervix on woman that could hopefully detect cancer. Good to know. It's the female equivalent of a prostate exam, but a lot less invasive, given that you can apparently just use a popsicle stick and petri dish to get what you need. Most cervical problems are found within the Latino and African-American communities, which are very prominent in a city like Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. In fact, to sweeten the pot, all ladies who get their cervices poked would not only get free tickets, but also a life-sized Rally Monkey nicknamed "The Cervix Chimp."
Breast Exams at Camden Yards: 2/1
Boobs. Bazongas. Bologna bags. Whatever you call the fleshy mounds of party protruding from a lady's chest, it's important to realize just how prone those things are to getting cancer. Thankfully, most women can prevent it from being a serious, life-threatening issue if they just get themselves felt up on a regular basis. And what a better place to do that than Camden Yards? Typically it's one of the easiest ballparks to drag women to because of its old-timey atmosphere, lush green grass and fresh-squeezed lemonade. So, offering free tickets for a quick round of tune-in-Tokyo from a stranger in a white lab coat shouldn't be too hard to sell.
Testicular Cancer Check-Ups at Fenway Park: 1/2
Nothing embodies the spirit of a Red Sox fan more than the word "nodule." And what better way to get a free day at historic Fenway than having your peach basket diddled? Given how tough tickets are to get — plus, third baseman Mike Lowell is short-sacked — it makes perfect sense for the Sox organization to participate in such a promotion. In fact, it'd probably be more successful if Theo Epstein performed the procedure himself. Most of the male portion of Red Sox Nation had made a pact after 2004 that they'd "go gay" for Theo: Now's the time to pay up.
Coffee Enemas at AT & T Park: 4/1
How badly do you want tickets to see questionable history in person after Barry Bonds breaks the home run record? Well, drop your pants, sit in this chair with the hole in the seat and wait for the whirring sound. Although its health benefits are still under debate, you can't deny the fact that the best way to get rid of drunken bloat and toxins inside the body is a complete flush out. I'd imagine they'd have some kind of barge floating around McCovey Cove, most likely filled with crazed eBay sellers hoping for a chance to catch 756. This is both a way to weed out the real fans of the Giants and not just some treasure seekers taking up valuable real estate. So don't be surprised if you see an emaciated (but thoroughly refreshed!) Todd McFarlane wandering around the stadium.