What could go wrong?
June 10, 2017 11:59 AM   Subscribe

The Atlanta Braves have a between-innings promotion called "Beat the Freeze", where one lucky fan gets to race a costumed superhero called The Freeze around the outfield. The fan gets a 200 ft head start.
posted by LobsterMitten (41 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is me, basically anywhere. I feel you pain, sir, you came closer than I ever could.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:11 PM on June 10, 2017 [5 favorites]


Almost all of these "fan" promotions are staged these days. The slow-down, the assumed victory, the trip and fall at the end, these are all designed to get the right reaction out of the crowd. Too many variables, too many moving parts, when you let a random person perform like this in front of tens of thousands.

I've seen some major screw ups with fan promotions and contests done by stadium ops. The contest that stands out was where 3 people got a different car key, and the one that opened the door of the car was the winner of that car. The first one didn't work. The second, a little old lady, tried and failed. The 3rd guy got super excited, only for the handlers to run over and have the little old lady try again. They gave her the winning key and she couldn't turn it hard enough to engage the lock. The guy who thought he won was crushed. I've never see the Blue Jays run a head-to-head contest like that again.
posted by thecjm at 12:18 PM on June 10, 2017 [26 favorites]


I can't feel sorry for someone who slows down and asks for applause before he finishes the damn race.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:21 PM on June 10, 2017 [10 favorites]


One of my favorites. (NSFW?)
posted by Splunge at 12:22 PM on June 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


That was awesome. Then I read in later tweets that "the commentary is what makes it". So I watched it again with the sound on. Someday, inanity will be too cheap to meter.
posted by sneebler at 12:22 PM on June 10, 2017 [3 favorites]


Looks like he should have just chilled.
posted by Samizdata at 12:44 PM on June 10, 2017


That Freeze fellow is fast!
posted by obfuscation at 1:14 PM on June 10, 2017 [3 favorites]


I saw this backwards, over-the-head, half-court shot in person. it was super exciting!
posted by Room 641-A at 1:39 PM on June 10, 2017 [10 favorites]


If that's ' the funniest thing that will happen at a sporting event this year', I guess sporting events are not very funny?
posted by signal at 1:53 PM on June 10, 2017 [5 favorites]


You may have missed the fact that this sporting event was the hyperbowl.
posted by chavenet at 2:03 PM on June 10, 2017 [9 favorites]


I can't feel sorry for someone who slows down and asks for applause before he finishes the damn race.

Here's a collection of gifs I periodically look at to remind myself that you never celebrate until you're over the line.
posted by mhoye at 2:06 PM on June 10, 2017 [35 favorites]


Looks like the Freeze put that guy...

(sunglasses)

...on ice.

YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!
posted by nubs at 2:19 PM on June 10, 2017 [10 favorites]


mhoye, That deserves its own front page post. But thanks for sharing. So tragic but so funny.
posted by Fizz at 2:22 PM on June 10, 2017


Satchel Paige: Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.
posted by TedW at 2:32 PM on June 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


I would like to know the athletic background of The Freeze.
posted by imabanana at 2:36 PM on June 10, 2017 [3 favorites]


There's also the sausage race, which has had multiple fiascos, some funnier than others.
posted by TedW at 2:41 PM on June 10, 2017 [3 favorites]


When I read "costumed superhero" I assumed a guy in a funny suit with an enormous bobbling head. The Freeze is wearing a competition sprinter outfit and runs like an NCAA Div. I track and field star; he's ridiculously fast.
posted by zippy at 3:03 PM on June 10, 2017 [8 favorites]


Fake or not, I like that the concept is old school. This could have been a promotion back in the 30's. The simplicity of it is heartwarming.
posted by davebush at 3:08 PM on June 10, 2017 [5 favorites]


If you need more examples of premature celebration, there's always /r/Prematurecelebration, where, as of this writing, the Freeze incident takes the top 3 spots.

Disclaimer: Reddit sucks.
posted by glhaynes at 3:13 PM on June 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


I would like to know the athletic background of The Freeze.

From what I can see he has a decently athletic physique. Nice legs.
posted by Splunge at 3:22 PM on June 10, 2017


I would like to know the athletic background of The Freeze.

That's the outfield wall.
posted by Etrigan at 3:24 PM on June 10, 2017 [72 favorites]


I'm going to guess local collegiate sprinter. Nice and easy loose form, he wasn't even pushing it once he got close to the guy.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 3:25 PM on June 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ex-collegiate sprinter, presumably. Not fast enough to make a living at it but still fast enough to demolish 99.9% of randomly chosen dudebros.
posted by Etrigan at 3:28 PM on June 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ex-collegiate sprinter, presumably.

Why do you say that? Dude seems pretty in-practice to me.


I also wonder about the 'fan' (These are staged I'm almost certain.) who is either chosen or chooses to be the dumb dudebro who falls down in the end in a display of hubris and humor. What's the mental state of the person acting like a fool so a stadium can laugh at them, and why are they so often frat-boy types?
posted by neonrev at 3:58 PM on June 10, 2017


Ex-collegiate sprinter, presumably.

Why do you say that? Dude seems pretty in-practice to me.


The NCAA frowns on current athletes taking jobs, and I would hope he's not doing this pro bono.
posted by Etrigan at 4:00 PM on June 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


"What's the mental state of the person acting like a fool so a stadium can laugh at them, and why are they so often frat-boy types?"

You asked and answered your own question there.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 4:00 PM on June 10, 2017 [6 favorites]


The NCAA frowns on current athletes taking jobs

Huh, I did not know that. Any jobs at all or just athletic work? I know I'm saying this about the NCAA, but that seems pretty bullshit if it's the second.
posted by neonrev at 4:17 PM on June 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


More or less any jobs, because of the potential for BS no-show jobs being handed out by boosters. But definitely athletic work, because they have to maintain that figleaf of amateurism. But I don't guess that being The Freeze would count as professional athletics -- it's most likely not a competition for him in the sense of "Win and you get more money".
posted by Etrigan at 4:24 PM on June 10, 2017 [3 favorites]


That makes a gross kind of sense.

Possibly important, he was wearing a mask. Now I'm hoping it was some under the table work and The Freeze actually is a real superhero for getting one over on the NCAA.
posted by neonrev at 4:39 PM on June 10, 2017 [3 favorites]


Not to take anything away from The Freeze, but the call from the N.Y. Mets announcers, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling, helped make this an enjoyable clip. These two, along with Keith Hernandez who joins them for most of the season, never fail to bring a smile to my face when I watch a game.
posted by Hale Poetry at 4:47 PM on June 10, 2017


I prefer it when the let the fans race the mascot. And where if you mess it up, they let you schedule a rematch 18 years later (previously).
posted by Ranucci at 5:07 PM on June 10, 2017 [1 favorite]




There's also the sausage race, which has had multiple fiascos, some funnier than others.

Assuming one of those fiascos was the Randall Simon affair? The wiki page goes into the details, but Simon, well, "playfully" swung and hit one of the sausages with his bat. He was later traded from Pittsburgh to the Cubs and on his first return visit to Milwaukee bought a sausage for an entire section of the stadium.

I happened to catch that game on TV, his measure of goodwill was very well-received by the crowd as he got a standing ovation for his first AB. Chip Caray with the call: "Abe Froman might be the sausage king of Chicago, but Randall Simon is the sausage king of Milwaukee!"
posted by hwyengr at 8:13 PM on June 10, 2017 [5 favorites]


Clearly the prematurely celebrating runner had started to run out of steam and slowed down for the last third. If the fan gets a distance head start rather than a timed head start, it would make the most sense to conserve energy and slow jog the first 200 feet and then take off. Any metabolic energy or cardiovascular capacity expended in the first 200 feet is wasted. I'm a bit surprised if no one has tried to game this. Not saying the semipro runner still wouldn't make up the difference and win, but the fan's odds would definitely be enhanced.
posted by slkinsey at 5:35 AM on June 11, 2017 [3 favorites]


I've watched and Googled and I still can't figure what this promotion is supposed to be for, what the freeze is supposed to represent, or why the freeze needs to be beaten. What happens if you win?

As close as I can tell it has something to do with Racetrac, an overgrown gas station convenience store chain in the south....maybe something to do with their slushy machines?
posted by Karaage at 6:07 AM on June 11, 2017 [1 favorite]


What happens if you win?

For starters, they let you live.
posted by dobbs at 6:50 AM on June 11, 2017 [8 favorites]


The freeze kills stonefruit, delivering immense economic damage to the area. The runner is a sacrifice to The Freeze: take him and leave our fruit to ripen.
posted by zippy at 10:39 AM on June 11, 2017 [3 favorites]


Huh. If you think of The Freeze as the New England Patriots, the whole thing is very reminiscent of the last Superbowl.
posted by tryniti at 4:31 PM on June 11, 2017 [2 favorites]




Division III track and field star. Darn, I was two divisions off.
posted by zippy at 5:37 PM on June 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


Too fast or too slow?
posted by Room 641-A at 7:06 PM on June 12, 2017 [1 favorite]


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