Minor league franchises have been uber creative for years in terms of promotional nights to attract more fans to their arenas. The Iowa Energy are no different. Even though they are near the top of the league for average attendance (around 4,000 per game) in the D-League, they keep churning out amazing ideas.
This season alone they have had Hoops for Troops, Star Wars Night, Ugly Sweater Night, 90s Throwback Night and Super Hero Game. But the icing on the cake — the pinnacle of the cage if you will — was Saturday’s Pro Wrestling Night. Fans could purchase VIP packages for $100 which allowed them the opportunity to meet Mick Foley before the game, get a picture and have one item autographed by the iconic wrestler.
Leading up to the game I had just one question: Which alter ego would Foley show up as? Mankind? Dude Love? Cactus Jack?
The team made it seem as though it could have been any one of those…
I even thought to myself, “Look, if Mankind is showing up to greet kids and scare the living daylights out of them for an hour, I might have to make a flight…”
Seeing Mankind win the vote was cool, then the team tweeted this:
They even tagged him in the post, so now he knows he should show up as Mankind, right? Wrong.
After a brief back-and-forth with the team, I soon realized my trip to Des Moines, Iowa would not be happening. Once I got over the initial shock and disappointment of not getting to witness Mankind inflict joy and terror all at the same time, I realized this could still have potential for something great. Throw in $2 beer night for this game and clearly it was headed for something disastrously epic.
Unfortunately the Iowa Energy lost the game 109-96 to the Northern Arizona Suns, which wasn’t a huge surprise considering their rough (11-36) season, but all was not lost. One lucky fan, got to meet Foley and took this picture:
The joy on this kid’s face says it all. All jokes aside, it’s legit that Foley would take the time to appear at events like this and make people’s day. Awesome stuff.
Okay, back to the jokes.
My observations of this picture:
- Maybe you don’t notice it, but the kid has a championship belt in his right hand. It’s face down but it’s definitely a belt. I wonder if that’s the item he had Foley sign?
- True to form, the kid (apparently named Peyton Coop) is rocking the red and black flannel. He’s a true fan, not some poser.
- Foley is wearing a Christmas t-shirt like spring didn’t just kick off. At the same time, I’m glad he didn’t go as anti-Wild Thing in Major League and show up in some uppity suit. Good on ya’, Mick!
- Foley is rockin’ a fanny pack which I can totally get behind, but why just the plain black? If black is your choice then the vintage leather is the only way to go. I don’t know if he gets a pass just because he got thrown through a cage all those years ago.
- More importantly, what could be in that fanny pack? Was it the garb to perform the Mandible Claw if a kid got unruly? Was Mr. Socko in there? Or maybe, he had a bunch of personalized bingo dobbers and directions to the nearest old folks’ home? I mean, we will never know and now I will rack my brain over it for months on end.
Clearly the night was a success. People had the pleasure of meeting, talking to and taking pictures with the famed Mick Foley. Also he’s clearly washed. If he wasn’t, he would have ran out on the court and knocked out the Suns’ Elijah Millsap who lit up the Energy to the tune of 32 points in the win.