The Agony of Defeat

A few weeks ago I wrote about my entry for the Arizona Diamondbacks promotion where they were allowing one fan to design a T-shirt that would be given away before the August 9th game against the Atlanta Braves. I got a new box of Crayola crayons and a brand new notebook and began doodling trying to come up with something extra special. I was pretty confident in my chances. After all, if the Diamondbacks did any kind of research they would realize that I once won first place in my fifth grade class for doing the best scribble picture. My scribble picture was displayed in a local bank and kids were required to go on a field trip to look at it along with the other entries. So when you have a world famous scribble artist entering your contest, its game over right?

Somehow something went wrong with that theory. This morning I got an email from the Arizona Diamondbacks. The title of the email was D-Backs T-shirt Giveaway Design Contest. This was it, the moment I had been waiting for. I envisioned opening the email and immediately seeing a flash movie of the 2001 World Series Championship parade but rather than Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling riding on the top of that fire engine it would be me and instead of a World Series trophy I’d be holding up my winning T-Shirt design. The parade would snake around the streets of downtown Phoenix before ending at Chase Field where I would be met by 25,000 people in dire need of a new T-Shirt. I would be whisked away through the gates leaving my cheering fans behind.

Once inside the stadium the Diamondbacks would of course have a table set up with security guards flanking each side. I would sit there and people would bring their T-shirts to me and I would autograph them while they told me stories of how they wanted their son or daughter to grow up to be a dedicated Diamondbacks fan and T-shirt designer. I would graciously thank each person and make them promise that they would proudly wear the Sedona red shirt to all home games and to church if their husband or wife would let them.

Shortly before the game I would make my way down on the field where the young lady was standing who would be singing the National Anthem. I would of course give her a T-Shirt so she could wear it and my design would be seen on dbTV. After the National Anthem I would make my way out to the pitcher’s mound as the public address announcer told my story of how I started from humble beginnings drawing figures from old matchbook covers and how I had honed my skills doodling on high school notebooks until this moment when I became a world famous T-shirt designer. Yeah this was going to be an awesome email, I could already tell. I opened it up and read.

Dear Jeff,

The Arizona Diamondbacks would like to thank you for your submission for our Fan Designed T-shirt contest. We received hundreds of outstanding ideas, which made our decision very difficult.

Our panel has chosen a winning entry and we are sorry to inform you that your design was not selected.

We would also like to make you aware that the August 9th game time has been changed to our normal Saturday start time of 5:10 pm. Again on behalf of the entire Arizona Diamondbacks organization, I thank you for your design, support, and devotion.

This has to be a mistake right? I mean did I mention that I won a contest for the best scribble picture in the fifth grade? What went wrong? Did I mention that my artwork has been featured on some of the best refrigerators in Idaho? Mom always put my artwork front and center. They were so good that sometimes they would completely hide the reminders for doctor’s appointments. There has to be some kind of mistake. I wondered if I should demand a recount. I now know exactly how Al Gore felt in 2000 and he wasn’t even a baseball fan although he did invent the Internet.

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