Monday, July 26, 2010

The Psychology of a Tarp Pull

There’s a concept in mythology and literature that has to do with archetypes. It’s a way of describing personality traits that define a character. That’s my explanation, but I’m way out of my depth here! All you really need to understand is this:

The Durham Bulls staff is peopled by the Warrior Archetype…others need not apply…think martial arts films.

Bulls employees are loyal, devoted, tenacious and uncommonly strong.

How else could they endure Sunday’s record-setting 102 heat? (The heat index was 112). How else could they survive 25 games over 32 days? How else could they attempt a tarp pull as a severe storm rolled across Goodmon Field Sunday night?

Check out this video of the tarp pull. It was on CNN Monday morning! The drama unfolds about two minutes in…

Our Head Groundskeeper, Scott Strickland, provides an eyewitness account:

The game was stopped not because of rain, but because the umpire crew chief saw two trash cans and a recycling can go airborne from the Diamond View concourse…and land on the bottom of the centerfield hill. We then rolled the tarp out from the wall, and the heavy winds started blowing what we had already rolled out over itself. We tried to pull it onto the field but the back side kept blowing high into the Durham sky. As we attempted to hold it down, several of us were dragged across the field as we held onto the tarp. This happened several times. (Blogger’s note: Scott was holding a strap with both hands as he was pulled across the field on his stomach!) After a lot of wind and even an assist from Wool E. Bull, the tarp was finally in position and staked down.

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I tried a tarp pull about ten years ago…thought I was going to die after sprinting across the field. Thereafter, I submitted a note from my doctor. This is Warrior’s work!

Some teams leave this task to the grounds crew or municipal employees who work at the ballpark. Not so at the DBAP. It’s a team effort. Our GM and resident mudder Mike Birling sets the tone and leads the charge. This is Warrior’s work!