During the Rockies-Dbacks game last night the broadcast cut back from a commercial and, as baseball broadcasts often do, the camera was focused on attractive young women in the stands. That the camera so often does that is a topic for another day, but let us just note that that was happening.
The women were all on their cell phones, taking selfies and such. Which was actually appropriate at the moment as the announcers were reading a T-Mobile promo asking fans to tweet photos of themselves at ballgames. That’s just synergy right there.
But then things got dumb. Watch the video of it here and listen to the broadcasters mock and complain about the women in the stands. And not just their acts. But their upbringing and all of that. Their disdain isn’t even remotely hidden. “Welcome to parenting in 2015!” Jokes about staging interventions. Comments like “I can’t even get MY phone to TAKE pictures,” as if that kind of ignorance is a good thing.
I have a daughter with a cell phone and I ain’t gonna lie: we don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye on technology’s highest and best use. But my folks think I’m addicted to my phone and the Internet and their folks thought they listened to too much rock and roll and their folks thought that the bobbysoxers were trouble and their folks thought that flappers would be the death of western civilization. Forty and 50-year-old men have been declaring that the younger generation is foolish since time began and this is no different. It says way more about the older generation than it says about the kids.
But that’s not my beef with this really. My beef is that a mobile company is, perhaps, Major League Baseball’s most visible sponsor. And that you can’t go an inning watching a baseball broadcast without the announcers telling you to text this or that to this or that company for a chance to win something, to download the official app of the whatever it is or, as here, to send your photos in for a chance to do something which, in reality, is to make MLB sponsors happy.
Put differently: people who are glued to their cell phones are paying an increasingly large part of these announcers’ salary. And the fact that they bought tickets and churros and everything else means they’re already putting a lot of money in baseball’s coffers.
Maybe don’t mock your customers so much?