The day was finally upon us. I woke up early yesterday morning ready to pull a plane, and fail miserably at winning. But, a bit of background before we get there.
I was in Atlanta to organize the 27th annual Freddie Awards. As part of that organization effort, I had to walk back and forth from our hotel to the Delta Flight Museum a number of times. On one of my trips back, a group of very large men was leaving the hotel and coming down the narrow path towards me. Smartly, I gave way, and as the 6th or 7th of the group passed by, it clicked who these guys were. You see, I had seen video from the previous year’s event and now knew that we were doomed. A team of Samoans from Salt Lake City were the two-time defending champs.
I turned around and yelled to the guys walking down the path, “Hey, you guys are the Samoans that are going to kick our ass tomorrow in the plane pull, aren’t you?”. One of them, a guy significantly bigger than me, said, “No. We’re from Seattle. The Samoans are bigger than us.” Oh, boy.
We arrived onsite to a huge crowd of teams. I was thoroughly impressed by the camaraderie and community spirit of everyone involved. There wasn’t much in the way of anticipation for us, we were just lambs for the inevitable slaughter. When it came our time to head out onto the tarmac, we were jazzed up to pull the plane and it was lots of fun. Our time, just over 12 seconds, was respectable enough not to be in last place, and we all celebrated that feat.
Then, Anthony Black from the Delta PR team noted that we were actually in the lead????? That just couldn’t be. Except it was, because we were entered in the corporate division. We had already dispatched the team run by Karen Zachary, the Managing Director of SkyMiles, and there were only a few corporate teams left to compete. Holy cow!
Our team threw down the gauntlet with Anthony, pressuring him to agree that Delta would bring back award charts for one week if Global Hashtags could win the day. Talk about pressure!
We raced back to our hotel to grab our suitcases. Most of the team had to head to the airport, but Seth Miller and I had free time so we went back to the plane pull after retrieving our suitcases. There, were were greeted by Brian Cohen who told us we had lost our lead. It would turn out he was wrong, and we watched through the fence as yet another corporate team finished behind the Global Hashtags (gotta get a cooler name for next year).
We went inside and hung out with another newfound Delta buddy, Lindsay. Seth bought us a couple of hamburgers and we wolfed them down while waiting for the final few teams in our division to compete. Things were looking very strong for team Global Hashtag.
One of the very last corporate teams jogged out to compete, and with them 3 guys built more for the ESPN strong man competition jogged out with them. We were hopeful, but skeptical at that point. 11 seconds later, the hopes and dreams of the Global Hashtags were shattered.
The story doesn’t end sadly, though. Our team raised over $5,000 for the American Cancer Society. I don’t know how much was raised for the entire day, but I’m personally proud to have been a part of the team.
I’m not a loyal Delta flyer, though I think they have a good in-flight product. But, I can honestly say that if Delta will have us back again next year, I’ll be happy to organize another team of bloggers to compete.
What do you say, Karen, Michael, Anthony, Paul?
Now, I just have to find a few Samoan bloggers…..