Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Banner Day

Yesterday was Banner Day at Citi Field. It was the first time the Mets have hosted Banner Day since 1996. As I posted yesterday, I entered a banner into the competition and parade. It did not win.

Let me note a few things about how Banner Day was handled that I did not like. Before I do, I will say that it was entirely positive, save for a few small unnecessary worries.

The Mets announced the return of Banner Day back in November. I believe it was the same day in which the Mets showed off the new uniforms. It was all positive. I actually started getting ideas for my banner that night. Some of those ideas were still in place in my final banner. But the Mets did not actually announce any rules until 2 weeks before the event. I had already started working on my physical banner back in mid-April. One of the rules was about minimum size, which was not of any concern for me (I actually bought poster board at that size - 22x28 - and returned it on Saturday because it was too small for my needs). The other was about the content, in that "Banners must celebrate the Mets 50th Anniversary, expressing fans’ favorite memories or moments in franchise history". For me, that wasn't a concern. But I'm sure for some, it meant having to make last minute changes. The Mets really really could have done better announcing this back in February, March, or even back in November. They didn't need to announce judges or registration process until May, but it would have greatly helped to know the rules before starting.

The other part of the press release that scared me was that "Space is limited". What does "limited" mean? 100 banners? 200? 500? It turned out that about 300 banners were in the parade. I didn't hear of anyone being turned away because of space limitations. The parade started inside the stadium at maybe 11:30am, and lasted just over an hour. If there had been 500 banners, would they have had to turn people away, or let them parade and start the game late? Kind of glad the Mets didn't have to make that decision. Kind of glad for everyone.

A few people asked me about the banner parade. All I knew was what the Mets had in the press release, that registration began at 10am on 126th Street, logically with a line leading into the bullpen gate, and in reality, that line went past the building (I was number 080 and was just inside the limits of the building), back towards the subway and parking lot, and at some point, wrapped around onto the curb of 126th Street and back towards the building. What time did the parade start? I kind of figured that we wouldn't be on the field before 11am at the earliest because it made no sense for us to parade in front of an empty stadium. Like I mentioned earlier, it started at around 11:30am. Good, there were people inside cheering us on, including family and friends of paraders who were out with cameras. But the Mets said nothing about it. I'm glad the 1,000 or so people were in the park cheering us on that early. I wish it could have been more. The other reason why I had to guess about the parade start time was that the SNY TV listings said nothing about the parade. Had it been televised (and seriously, why didn't SNY televise it?), a program guide would have told me and others that the parade starts at 11:30. And if it had been televised, then lots of people could have seen all of the great banners that came out (not just mine), instead of the 1,000 or so people (maybe more by the time it was over) in the ballpark and the couple of banners that made it onto SNY during the pregame, game, and postgame coverage. And yes, mine did, but really only because of the two kids dressed as Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam that were in front of me.

With all that said, it really was a great day and a great show of Mets pride by the 300 groups of fans (some banners had 2 or 3 people involved, so it was maybe 750 people overall in the parade). I only have pictures of the tail end of the parade. I say it like that because I was in the relative-front part of the line, I marched, went upstairs, and then grabbed my camera.

Take a look at my photo album on facebook. Others have posted pictures too, both on facebook and on their blogs. These come from The New York Mets on facebook, and another set from the Mets on facebook is banners lining up outside.

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