The Tigers home opener is next week Friday. That's right, you have less than two weeks to prepare for this especially festive occasion. So festive, in fact, that some spectators will choose to consume an alcoholic beverage before the game! If you aren't prepared to handle that kind of wild behavior, may I suggest another practice to add to the festivities: bringing a sign. But you can't just bring any ol' thing. You have to have a plan. If you are panicking because you haven't even been to Hobby Lobby to get supplies yet, relax, I'm here to help. Here are all the tips you need for an effective sign.
Follow the rules: The Tigers do have some rules. You can find them HERE. The tl:dr version? Blah blah don't obstruct, blah blah don't take anything you could bludgeon someone with, blah blah don't put naughty stuff on the sign.
By the way, they do have every right to take your sign away. So don't be a jerk.
Choose your materials wisely: Sure, you can get some cheap posterboard from Dollar General and roll it up, but good luck unfurling that thing. Come time to show off your work and it's going to be curled up tight like the tuxedo shirt of a Bugs Bunny comedic foil. Pro tip: get one of those tri-fold display set ups. You know, the one you used to show off your terrible 6th grade science fair project. It's light, compact, has structural strength, and adds a bit of drama as you fold out your masterpiece like a boss.
Don't go commercial: Any dope can do a Google image search and crank out a couple of photos on an inkjet. Don't do it. Ditto for text, nothing printed nor any premade letters. If you go to Kinkos you should be absolutely be ashamed. Get out a real marker, preferably one where they add some toxic, artificial chemicals to make the blue marker smell like blueberries. Yeah, it's going to look off center, unbalanced, and crappy. THAT'S THE POINT. But don't stop there, use paints to make a misshapen Olde English D. Or go ALL THE WAY and get yourself some glitter. Draw your text in glue and sprinkle that mess all over. GO NUTS PEOPLE!
Let the kids do their thing: Don't be "those" parents. I know you spent $100 and 60 hours to win that yellow ribbon with "your kid's" pinewood derby car. Resist the temptation to make your kid's sign nicer. So Torii Hunter's super hero cape doesn't look quite right. Roll with it. Sure, Mario's head look like an alien's. Fine. Maybe Jhonny Peralta's head looks a little misshapen. That's actually completely normal.
Be "artistic": You're a good artist? Sweet! Draw your favorite player! You are a terrible artist? Better yet! Draw your favorite player. Just remember, it always looks better if you use all the colors in the box.
Be original: Any dope can do an FSN acrostic, write "Go Tigers," or depict Mario and Rod as Mario and Luigi. You gotta try some new stuff.
Instead of Cabrera or Verlander, support one of the bench guys:
Or cheer on the relief pitchers:
[Note by Phil Coke's Brain, 03/25/13 12:49 PM EDT ] You may want to watch your spacing.
Do something smart: You have to show the fans sitting around you that your know your stuff. Maybe try. "AVILA, DON'T CHANGE YOUR PATIENT APPROACH AT THE PLATE NO MATTER WHAT SKIP SAYS" or "RONDON, DON'T FORGET TO THROW YOUR SLIDER ENOUGH" or " SETTLE DOWN TOKARZ." Stuff like that is helpful.
Or better yet, reference a current event:8. Get on TV: This is the ultimate goal of the experienced sign-bringer, but how do you get it done?
- Know your seats. If you are in the upper deck don't even bother (unless it's the very first row), you are wasting your time.
- Know when to hold it up. If you hold it up during an inning and block people's view you are going to get assaulted. But don't drop it too soon, you have to make sure it is up long enough for the camera people to notice you, focus on your masterwork, and have the guys in the truck cut to you. Nothing is more frustrating than a fan that gets on TV only to prematurely droop their sign. YOU HAVE TO KEEP IT UP!
- Be a cute child, a hot woman, or goofy looking dude. If you are none of these things, find someone who is to hold your sign for you.
- Play to your audience. Fox Sports Detroit covers most of the games. Mention them on your sign. Something like: "STAY TUNED FOR TIGERS LIVE, STARRING RYAN FIELD'S HAIR." Better yet. Draw a picture of Rod and Mario, those always get on.
The ultimate ultimate prize? Get Rod and Mario to actually comment on your sign. Note, it doesn't have to be a positive comment. Just getting a few remarks from the duo will make you a celebrity in your family for years to come.
There you have it. Follow these eight simple steps and you will be the envy of your section. Probably.
Have more sign ideas? Share them below. Have photos of terrific signs (or better yet, awful ones)? Post them below!