I’ve seen tennis played in Pershing Square, the stretch of 42nd Street in front of Grand Central and under the overpass. If memory serves (if I can use a little tennis parlance…serves…get it?), they’d set up a regulation tennis court along 42nd as a promo for the Open or something.
I’ve seen a mini version of baseball played by some bored staffers at the Pershing Square restaurant this summer. It was a cloudy early evening this summer and the patio seating was empty. All three players wore their black restaurant uni’s. One man pitched ice cubes. The other swatted at them with some sort of bat. The other attempted to field the shards of shattered ice. All three were having the times of their lives.
Then I saw some mock football yesterday in a promotion for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. There were four guys in full uniforms–replicating the Cowboys and Panthers, the combatants on last night’s Monday Night Football, with ‘ESPN’ where their names would go on the back of their jerseys.
(Note: It’s not the first time I saw guys in full football uniforms in Pershing Square. Those seat licenses for the 3-0 Jets seem like a bargain now.)
There was also a curiously robust officiating crew–I believe there was one ref in full uniform, as well as a pair of line judge guys moving the chains. Just as a full load of commuters waited to cross 42nd at the light, the players lined up for a play. Passers-by stopped to watch. What would they do?
The referees tensed. The commuters watched. The quarterback called a simple handoff. The Panthers running back juked and jived for about three yards–about five stripes of the Pershing Square crosswalk–before he was wrapped up by the defender and the play came to a halt.
It was a bit anticlimatic. I mean, at least have the guys tackle each other–heck, they’re in full pads!
Of course, we Grand Central commuters were pleased that ESPN thought enough of us as a demographic group (thanks, Greenwich!) to target a marketing ploy directly at us.
This is MNF‘s fourth season on cable. Apparently not enough viewers know to find it there, instead of its old home on ABC. Otherwise it’s hard to imagine the Worldwide Leader in Sports kicking a couple shekels to some able-bodied males to play pretend football for an hour or so.