The Toronto Blue Jays – R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention today is Social Media Day.

The MLB has adopted social media probably better than any of the other major sports leagues and today they are leveraging social media to get fans involved with their teams.

One way they are embracing social media today is the caption contest where fans are asked to come up with the best caption for a picture of a player from a specific team.

I found a link this morning that took me to a picture of JoJo Reyes during a post-game interview after he broke his 28 game winless streak. In this picture JoJo Reyes is receiving the standard Blue Jay treatment for any Blue Jay who achieves something great during a game and is awarded the post-game interview; in this case JoJo Reyes is getting a bucket of Gatorade (presumably) dumped over his head by his catcher JP Arencibia.

I thought that this was a great contest and a great way to get fans involved. I added my caption and was ready tweet it when at the bottom of the Caption Contest page was a disclaimer stating “By Filling out this form, I agree to the rules of the MLB.com Twitter Caption Contest.” 

Having entered a lot of contests recently, I always read the rules to make sure that I am eligible. I figured that since I’d found this contest link through the @BlueJays twitter account and it took me to a page on the Blue Jays website that I would be eligible for the contest.

I clicked on the link to view the rules and regulations, while reading the eligibility though, this is what I found:

For anyone who can’t read the print above, it says “The Contest is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and Washington D.C. …”

I was on the Toronto Blue Jays page, looking at a picture taken at Rogers Centre (Skydome) in Toronto Ontario, that was featuring a SportsNet Report, and two Toronto Blue Jays players JoJo Reyes and JP Arencibia, yet I was not eligible to participate in the Caption Contest because I do not reside within on of the fifty States or Washington D.C.

My first reaction was: “Wow a major #FAIL by the @MLB with their Caption Contest, Jays have a pic, but look at the rules #jays”, which I tweeted from my @Sadie_Liz twitter account.

The Toronto Blue Jays have been a part of the MLB since 1977, a span of 34 years and yet the Blue Jays and their fans are still often treated as second class citizen by the MLB and sports media.

This MLB run contest was only open to Americans, despite there being a Canadian team that is support by million of Canadians from East coast all the way to the West Coast. I am sure this is not the first MLB contest like this, nor will it be the last.

It is not all that surprising though, outside of Canada the Jays and Jays fans get very little respect or recognition. If the Yankees beat the Blue Jays, the Yankees are said to have “Destroyed the Jays”. If the Jays beat the Yankees though the “Jays Get Lucky in Win Over Yankees” or “Yankees stumble in loss to Blue Jays”.

When Toronto loses, the other team is said to dominate, or crush. When the Jays win though the Jays are said to have gotten lucky, or the other team is said to have stumbled. Toronto is rarely said to have ‘destroyed’ or ‘outdone’ their opponents, even if that is precisely the case. They Jays rarely see top billing for new articles on their wins on sites like ESPN or even MLB.com.

Despite 34 years in the MLB and back-to-back World Series Championships in 1992 and 1993, the Jays are the forgotten and looked down upon team of the MLB (not to say that there aren’t others). The Jays are in the hardest division in the MLB. They currently have arguably the best play in the MLB in Jose Bautista; In years past they arguably had the best pitcher in the MLB in Doc Halladay, but the Blue Jays still don’t see the coverage or praise that other teams do by sports media and even the MLB, (though the MLB had improved greatly thanks to their use of social media this year, there have been a number of video tweets showing plays and hits by Blue Jays).

Canada may only have one team across the entire nation, (after the Expos got moved to Washington and renamed the Nationals). That team though has the support of the entire nation and will not be silenced by the naivety of the MLB and sports media. This is our team, and we are proud of them. We will stand behind them and fight for them as hard as we can and if you won’t talk about them we will. We will blog, we will tweet, we will podcast, we will write, we will sing, we will promote our Jays.  We can and we do make a difference, you need proof, look at who is leading the All-Star Balloting this year. I would hazard to bet a number of those votes came from north of the border. Toronto is a good team, with good players, who fight yearly against the hardest division in the AL. After 34 years I think it is time for a bit more respect for the team and fans from Canada, don’t you?

Advertisements

Here we go …

So I’ve been meaning to start a blog for a while, but I’ve felt like I’ve been missing that one thing that you need to start a blog, something to say. I’ve decided to take the plunge though and just do it, maybe something will come to me. So here we go …

I’m a 25 (almost 26) year old university and college graduate. I received my Honours Bachelor of Arts in Popular Culture from Brock University in 2006 and in 2008 I received my post-graduate certificate in Corporate Communications & Public Relations from Fanshawe College. I’ve always had an insatiable appetite for learning, so the academic world was a pretty seamless fit for me. The transition from the academic world to the professional world though hasn’t been the smoothest.

After graduating at the top of my class I thought that finding a job would be relatively easy. Of course it would be a lot of work, job hunting always is, but I was confident that I had the skills that a lot of companies would be looking for. I was so sure of myself and my abilities; I was young, creative, energetic and highly determined. What I didn’t foresee was graduating during an economic crisis and finding myself up against people with 5 to 10 years of experience. I’ve applied to many jobs, and gone to many interviews, and even made it to final two in a lot of interviews, but actually landing a job has proven to be a challenge. I’ve gotten numerous calls from interviewers saying how impressed they were by me and my ideas, how they loved my energy and personality, but how they’d gone with another candidate because they had more years of experience.

“Experience” has been my primary hurdle. It’s been a bit of a catch-22: To get a job I need to have experience, to have experience, I need to get a job. Someone somewhere needs to take a chance so I can get one or both of these things.

Job hunting has been frustrating to say the least. I’ve had a number of people tell me that my problem is my location. I keep getting told that I need to pack it up and move to Toronto, that I’m not going to find anything by staying here in London. That sentiment frustrates me. London is a fairly large, established city, I should be able to find a job here and work in the city that I’ve grown up in. Is it really inevitable that I’m going to have to move to Toronto? For a long time I was completely against the idea. I am not a big city girl, Toronto is overwhelming to me. The longer though that I sit unemployed and unhappy with my current situation, the more I consider the option of packing up, leaving London and heading to Toronto. So much for retaining this graduate!

So I’ve started to look at jobs and PR firms in Toronto, still hesitant about relocating to a very large and unfamiliar city. I’m not sure though how to approach job hunting in a city that is 2.5 hours away. Applying to jobs in London is easy, I can usually find a car to borrow for a couple of hours to get to an interview and I can navigate my way through the city. Toronto though is a different story. Public Transit confuses me, I haven’t driven in the city enough to be comfortable in the traffic and I have no clue where anything is in Toronto. I may have to call up my old roommate and see if she minds having a guest for a week while I go pimp myself out in Toronto trying to find a job in my field.

People asking me what kind of job I want and I’m never sure how to answer that question. I want a job that lets me do some of everything. I don’t want to be bored and I don’t want to hate my job. I want a job that lets me continue to learn and grow. For example I’d love to learn more about web design and graphic design. I have some skills and I can more than get by I would like to think, but I am nowhere near where I’d like to be or where professional designers are.

Back to the question, what kind of job do I want? I thought I wanted a communication job in a non-communication company, and I kind of still like that idea, but I’m warming up more and more to the idea of working in a firm. I look at other people working in firms and at the firms themselves and I find the work and companies interesting, so maybe it is an option.

What am I looking for in a job though?

  • I want to work with social media – it inspires and interests me.
  • I would like to keep designing and improving my design skills.
  • I wouldn’t mind some event planning either. I’ve worked on three now and have really enjoyed it.
  • I want something that challenges me to be creative and innovative; something that challenges me to keep learning and growing.

Mostly I want a job that I love, that keeps me wanting to wake up each morning and go to work. I want to be having fun and working hard.

I know that I will find a job like this at some point, I just hope it is soon because I hate being unemployed, but probably not as much as I hate job hunting. Graduating from college, or even university, I did not expect to be almost 26 and still trying to get my career off the ground. I know though that it will happen. I am smart, hard-working and talented, and  any company would be lucky to have me, I just have to find the right opportunity and someone has to take a chance.