NCAA president Mark Emmert managed to make a new enemy during his testimony last Thursday in the Ed O’Bannon case centering on amateurism in college athletics: the Lake County Captains, the Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
In response to Emmert’s comments dissing minor-league sports and the fan experience, the Captains have announced plans for "Mark Emmert Fan Appreciation Night" on July 2. Specifically, the faux-celebration is a response to this remark Emmert made during his testimony:
To say nothing else about the flaws in Emmert’s argument, why would he put down the minor-league fan experience?! Minor-league sports, especially baseball, routinely devise some incredibly entertaining, creative promotions, including the Gwinnett Braves’ "Clue Night" (June 21) and the Fresno Grizzlies’ Bromance Night (June 12).
Anyhow, what is Mark Emmert Appreciation Night? Among other ridiculous elements of the spectacle that will "honor the great fans of Northeast Ohio in a way that only Emmert would find to be acceptable":
The Buzzer spoke with Captains media relations director Craig Deas who confirmed that the July 2 Emmert tribute is really happening. In the interim, Deas said the team is cooking up some additional NCAA-inspired intricacies that may involve the revocation of a prize handed out early in the ballgame.
Brilliant satire and fittingly, the Captains really won’t have to give its fans anything at all.