There are times that I just have to stop and shake my head at how odd my life is. Regardless of how many times I keep telling myself that I lead a normal and uneventful life, somehow strange and bizarre things just keep happening. What is even funnier is how the strange and unusual now seems to invade other strange and unusual aspects of my life making it seem even more surreal.
Friday night as I was in the midst of the most incredible experience I have ever had when I changed the bases during a Diamondbacks game, another unusual experience occurred that left my mouth open in disbelief.
I was to meet Ryan Ginsberg at the middle of the second inning so that he could escort me down to the field to change the bases. I was already nervous and I was afraid the inning would end too quickly and I would miss my chance. I therefore decided to go to the WOW Lobby before the second inning started.
Although we were early Ryan took us down to the field anyway where we would have to wait until it was time for the grounds crew to go out. That was fine with me since it meant I would get to watch the game from the field level right next to the Diamondbacks dugout.
I stood there and to my right were Max Scherzer and Dan Haren who were hanging out on the bench during the game. I considered trying to strike up a conversation with the two of them but decided that probably wouldn’t be a good idea since they were supposed to be working.
We were not alone by the dugout. Besides my wife, my son, and myself there were also three little kids dressed up as hot dogs. These were the contestants to the Circle K Hot Dog Races that occur during every game.
Three kids are dressed in hot dog costumes and run in place while animated hot dogs run the bases on dbTV. One of the hot dogs will win and the child will win a Diamondbacks prize pack. Each hot dog also represents a section in the stadium and if that hot dog wins everyone in that section receives a free hot dog from Circle K.
As I was standing there a member of the Diamondbacks staff approached me and asked if I was the hot dog contestant they were waiting for. Although being a hot dog in the Circle K Hot Dog races is not part of my Bucket List it barely missed the cut. I eagerly volunteered and would gladly wear one of the hot dog costumes if they needed.
I did have one request, I wanted to be Ketchup. The Diamondbacks employee whose name was Jordan said he was just kidding dashing my dreams of hot dog stardom. Jordan then asked why I wanted to be Ketchup. I explained to him that I wanted to be Ketchup because that was who was going to win that night.
Jordan explained that the results were completely random. I in turn explained to him that I track the results of the hot dog races and I could assure him that the outcome was anything but random. His curiosity was piqued, “You track the hot dog race results?” he asked.
I explained that I had maintained a list of which condiment had won for the past three years and that a trend had definitely emerged. By this time there were two or three other Diamondbacks employees who came over to join the discussion. We talked about the hot dog races and the ball games.
Suddenly Jordan turned and asked if I had a web site. I admitted that I had several web sites. He then clarified, “Are you the guy that has those pie charts that show who won the hot dog races?”
It was my turn to be a little shocked. I do indeed have pie charts that show which condiment won the hot dog races for each of the past three seasons. I had to ask how he knew this to which he explained.
It seems Jordan is an intern working for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is enrolled in the Sports Management program at Arizona State University. He had a sports marketing class and as part of that class he had to do a presentation on a marketing promotion. He had decided to do something about the Arizona Diamondbacks and in particular the Circle K Hot Dog races.
He scoured the Internet looking for materials he could include in his presentation. He happened to come across my web site. Oddly enough I am the number one ranking on Google when you search for Circle K Hot Dog Races.
Jordan then admitted that he had “borrowed” my pie charts for his presentation. He hoped they were not copyrighted and if so he wanted to apologize. I explained that I was happy to have helped and he was welcome to use the graphs. Excitedly he thanked me and shared, “well we got an ‘A’ on that presentation!”
I was extremely excited as well. It has been a while since I have been in school so to get an “A” on my first presentation was very exciting news. That night when we got home from the game I printed out a copy of the pie chart. I put a big red “A” on the corner and hung it on the refrigerator right next to my son’s spelling test.
Oh and just in case you were wondering, Ketchup did win and I updated the pie chart in case Jordan needs a more current version for his final.