** I think there’s a reason that the MLB Network bagged the MLB Fan Cave. Because they ruined it. The push to make it less interactive and more celebrity/concert focused killed a great concept. It became less about the people in the cave, which was the reason we wanted to watch it in the first place, and more about the flash. It’s too bad, because the concept was awesome! **
Originally published December 7th, 2011
The MLB Fan Cave was a great idea last year. Two guys watching every game, interacting with fans and players, how could you go wrong? Well, as it happens, you can go wrong pretty easy: Turn it into a “game show“.
I’m not interested in being in a reality show. Part of what made last year’s Fan Cave so great was that it was genuinely fun to watch. It was two regular (well, define regular) dudes. They hung out and lived a dream of watching every game, hanging out with players, goofing off, and getting paid for it! Somewhere from then to now, the execs messed with a good thing. How does turning the concept into a popularity contest make it any better? Mike O’Hara from Fan Cave had a great point a few weeks back. They didn’t win anything. Mike and Ryan earned their slot on MLB Fan Cave. The minute they turned the Fan Cave into an online voting concept, all integrity and reality went out of it. It’s just not for me.
I know what you’re thinking. “You wouldn’t have got it anyway.” Or maybe you’re thinking “Good, that’s one less guy going for it.” But think about it objectively for a minute. Have you watched reality TV over the last five years? Every year gets progressively worse. I love a good train wreck show like Big Brother as much as the next person, but Big Brother isn’t reviewing the National Pastime! I have visions of a Fan Cave show filled with douche bags and hot girls. Or, god help us, Yankees and Red Sox fans…
Turning the show into an elimination environment disrupts any personality and rapport you’ll find in the Cave. The candidates are going to go out of their way to say or do outrageous things to stay on the show. (I can think of nothing worse than a Stephen A Smith wannabe.) Quite honestly, I expect it to be obnoxious. What made the first season so great was that Mike and Ryan were having fun. They were free to have fun because they weren’t worried about getting sent home tomorrow! How are you going to get that w/a group of people that don’t know for sure who will even be there tomorrow. The vibe is going to be way different.
There’s one other reason I’m out. Money. Not everything in life is built around money, but life sometimes needs to be built around security. I have a family and a regular job. I was willing to sacrifice that job for a chance to do what I love. But I’m not going to throw that security out the window for a chance to get booted the first week I’m on the job. The lack of security is going to affect the talent pool. An apartment in NY and a “per diem” isn’t getting paid — It’s not a job. (In college we just called it couch surfing.)
We’ll see how the MLB Fan Cave works out. My expectations are pretty low. I hope I’m wrong. I just know that if I wanted to be part of a popularity contest I would have stayed in High School. If I wanted to couch surf I’d have stayed in college. If I want to have a job — I stay where I’m at and just watch every game from home and a ballpark near you!