Great day at the office
By Chad T. Jones
Public Affairs Officer
We've all had days when your employees show up on time, the network runs a little faster, the copier doesn't jam, the AC is a little cooler, and the work you are doing makes you like -- or dare I say even love -- your job.
Well, Sunday was one of those days.
Trust me, as somebody who has worked more than a few Sundays, I know the oxymoron in classifying any Sunday obligation outside of watching football as good. But last Sunday was different.
Hopefully, most of you know that Fort Meade played a major role in Sunday's Military Appreciation Day at Camden Yards. The GC was interviewed for the MASN pregame show http://www.masnsports.com/index_medialounge.php?show_id=1000793&p, and then he threw out the first pitch with (retired) Staff Sgt. Luis Rosa, a triple amputee Wounded Warrior.
The U.S. Army Field Band's Staff Sgt. Randy Wight sang the National Anthem and "God Bless America." And nine Fort Meade service members got to hear Wight's rendition of the Anthem from the field where they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the O's starting lineup.
Oh yeah, the Orioles also provided Team Meade with 1,000 free tickets, which apparently 67.2 percent of you took advantage of. To be honest, I was a little disappointed with that last number. But according to our friend and Orioles director of promotions and community initiatives, Kristen Schultz, it was a "very respectable response," so I guess I can't be too upset.
Besides, the fans in the stands were not the sole reason why Sunday was a great day at work. Neither was the interview, or the first pitch or even the service members on the field.
Fact of the matter is my day would have been pretty outstanding even if the stands were half empty, the interview was done by former Minnesota Twins closer Rick Aguilera as opposed to 1983 World Series MVP and Baltimore Orioles legend Rick Dempsey, or if Wight's Anthem was worse than nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis' version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kU9XwcOIfI (You're welcome for the dose of Charlie Steiner.)
That's because on Sunday, Camden Yards was my official place of duty.
True enough, my job involved working with Kristen to shuffle the Colonel around like he was a rock star. However, in completing that duty, I had to go inside the press room to watch the Adam Jones press conference, grab the Colonel a bottle of water and talk a little baseball in the same dugout as Cal Ripken Jr. ran out of.
Then I had to hang out in the bowels of the great ball park while Gold Glove catcher Matt Wieters and some of his friends took the time to talk with our service members and their families. Tough gig I know, but it got worse.
After all of that, I had to beat the heat and watch the pregame festivities from down on the field. I had to brave the sun and watch the Royals and Orioles take time from their pregame warm-up to check out the U.S. Army Drill Team's performance. Then I had to scan the crowd while it stood collectively as Wight and the Military District of Washington Armed Forces Color Guard paid tribute to our country and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Of all the great moments I had, that vision of the crowd honoring our country is the one that made Sunday such a great day at the office -- one I'll certainly never forget. That's because from my post on the field, I was able to see that Team Meade just gained thousands of new members, including one that has a big orange bird as a mascot.
Thanks O's for a great day on the job.
Three closing notes: One, anyone who got tickets for the game or enjoyed the pregame festivities really needs to thank your chief of community relations Kristen Parker for making it happen.
Two, I need to apologize to my 3- to 4-year-old Blue Tigers for not making it into the stands with you to watch the game. I thought about you a lot and had a great time being your coach this season.
Three, ...If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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