There will be avocados, participation ribbons, selfie stations, and naps
Minor league baseball is a quintessentially American pastime, and one of the best ways to spend a laid back summer evening. Though single, double, and triple A leagues do a pretty poor job of paying its up and coming players a living wage, they sure do know how to execute the kind of zany promotions and fun theme nights to get butts in seats. But though most of these are good fun, one minor league team found out that hard way that their sarcastic take on a social media-savvy generation didn’t exactly translate to the kind of viral attention they wanted.
That’s what happened to the Montgomery Biscuits when they announced “Millennial Night” would be coming to Riverwalk Stadium on July 21. In addition to scintillating Double-A baseball against the Mississippi braves, a ticket to see the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate also grants guests a participation ribbon, access to selfie stations, and lots of avocados. You can also take a nap at the game, which feels like something that most people attending a minor league baseball game could probably use.
The special theme night was announced over Twitter, an online space where nuanced humor and sarcasm can be appreciated by a scrutinizing audience. Just kidding. A bunch of butthurt people who didn’t seem to get the joke ended up lashing out at a minor league team instead.
Others tried to deflect with humor, making the same tired “boomer night” jokes that generally weren’t funny enough to bother embedding here.
In case it wasn’t clear that you shouldn’t take a team whose mascot is an anthropomorphized biscuit named Monty too seriously, Mike Murphy, the team’s VP of corporate and fan engagement, spoke to Adweek in an effort to clear things up. “Eighty percent of our office are millennials, me included,” he said. “We’re just trying to have fun with it, have a good time with the cliches with the way people feel about millennials.”
Look, I get it. The “Millennials are killing [insert thing that stagnant wages and crushing student debt makes unaffordable]” article is an outworn trope, so many of us are already on the defensive. But if anything, knee-jerk reactions like this play directly into the hands of those who rail against “safe spaces” and “triggered snowflakes.” The best way to strip the reductive narratives pumped out by frightened and irrelevant boomers of their power is to embrace them in jest. That’s precisely what the Biscuits are trying to do.
So if you’re in the Montgomery, Alabama, area, grab a selfie stick, bring a giant avocado with you, and watch some minor league baseball next weekend. At the very least, it should be a good way to forget about the world and our place in it for a few hours. And if you feel like buying me one of their kitschy hats, I’ll be forever in your debt.