April 15, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and what better way to mark the disaster than having a baseball promotion to commemorate the occasion with a "women and children first" gimmick.
The Potomac Nationals (a Single-A Washington Nationals affiliate in the Carolina League) are celebrating the milestone date by allowing women and children into the ballpark 15 minutes before the men.
Should the special treatment make the attendees feel like kings of the world or give them a sinking feeling?
According to a promotional e-mail— outlining highlights of the upcoming P-Nats season— sent to the media on Monday, the Potomac Nationals will hold the very special promotion on April 15, 100 years to the day that the passenger liner struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage and slipped to the ocean floor taking 1,517 lives with it.
One could only hope there is less of a panic at the gates of G. Richard Pfitzer Stadium than on board the ship that fateful night— when cowardly men reportedly shoved the women and children aside to get their own butts into a lifeboat.
"The promotion is still a work in progress," said Nationals general manager Josh Olerud. "We've been talking about different things we'll be doing during the game, and we'll be adding things as we dig up more facts about the Titanic. It's our way of commemorating something that was a big part of our history, and obviously a tragedy of huge proportions."
Isn't a promotion like this trivializing the horror of the Titanic. The only promotions that come to mind when I hear about this idea are the Chicago White Sox's "Disco Demolition Night" and the Cleveland Indians "10-cent Beer Night"— both disastrous ideas in their own right and in hindsight.
Maybe history will repeat itself and men will dress up as women— like some men on the Titanic— to get into the game 15 minutes early and the band will play on even if the P-Nats are going down 23-0 to the Lynchburg Hillcats.
Mullet Nights are bad enough and the "business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back" hairstyles have been called fashion disasters but file this Titanic promotion under 'What are they thinking?'