October 6, 2017

Free Stuff! 2017-2018 Edition

Welcome to my annual preview of the Washington Wizards promotional schedule for the upcoming season. If you've read past posts from me on this subject, you'll know that the Wizards have been decreasing the number of giveaway nights to about the bare minimum you can get it down to while still calling what you've ended up with any kind of schedule.

This year (and you'll get the sarcasm in just a bit), the team has actually upped it's number of freebee nights from three last year to a whole four this year. Yep, that's right folks, there's something free at the door almost every 10 home games. Considering the history, it's about what I expect here. And I'm not going to complain too much because there's actually a bobblehead being handed out this year.

Just one more note before we get to this year's list. The schedule hasn't been released on the Wizards website, nor have I been able to secure one of the little paper foldout schedules I usually use to write this post. I am therefore relying on media posts of the events scheduled for this year (the media quite obviously based on Twitter activity received the full schedule this past Wednesday). If I'm wrong or if the title of some of the promotions requires a little tweaking or updating, I'll do that when the official information is received by yours truly.

With that said, here's the list, once again with my exclusive rating of each giveaway item in parentheses. Enjoy and show up on the dates of your choosing below.

Schedule Magnet (Essential)
October 18 vs. Philadelphia
The first game of the year is always schedule magnet day. Can't wait for this one so I can proudly display this annual and totally essential guide for keeping up to date on the schedule every time I head to the refrigerator to get a yogurt or glass of water (would have been beer but I've given that up at home these days). Last year's schedule came with a series of mini magnetic uniforms. Can't imagine that would happen this year since Nike will want to unveil the fourth uniform for the team (officially called the City Edition) at a later date but a guy can always hope.

Wall With The Shades (Depends on if you wear prescription glasses)
December 15 vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Apparently this giveaway is a pair of John Wall sunglasses, although they could have made that clearer in the description. My enthusiasm for this giveaway is pretty low because I need the prescription version of the John Wall sunglasses and I'm assuming they are not going to available with lenses strong enough to correct my pretty extreme astigmatism. Having said that, I'm hoping these sunglasses are a little better quality than sunglasses handed out by the Wiz in prior years.

I am curious to see what these look like. Are they going to be replicas of some sunglasses worn by John Wall? Unlikely by the way. Are they going to come with a John Wall mask? While cool this is also unlikely. Or are they going to be plastic glasses with John's uni number on them somewhere? I'm guessing the last one is closest to the mark. I'll pick these up on December 15 just so I know but won't use them unless I just don't want to see.

Otto Porter Jr. Bobblehead (Essential)
March 31 vs. Charlotte
So I'm not really complaining about a bobblehead giveaway here but I sort of am. Over the last two years, the Wizards have given away / sold via the G Wiz Kids Club / made available via the now defunct Monumental Rewards program a total of five bobbleheads: Otto Porter, John Wall, Coach Scott Brooks, Bradley Beal (in civvies) and Kelly Oubre, Jr. Who's missing from this bunch who's deserving of a bobblehead giveaway this year? How about starters Marcin Gortat or Markieff Morris? Morris has been with the team a little more than a season now but Gortat's been here four years without a bobble.

Instead, the Wiz opted to go with a second Otto Porter bobblehead, which I guess is solid considering he's the highest paid player on the team this year. I just think this is a missed opportunity. If nothing else, die hard Wizards fans like me were in desperate need of a fifth player bobblehead so we could get a team of five assembled from the current roster. I guess I can always go with a couple of John Walls or Bradley Beals or now Otto Porters. Totally would have loved a Gortat bobblehead. There's always the Kids Club maybe?

Team Poster (PASS!)
April 10 vs. Boston
For the last couple of years, we've been able to count on three things out of the Wizards promotional schedule: (1) a schedule magnet, (2) a single bobblehead and (3) a team poster. Actually the Wizards have used that formula every year I've been writing a post like this except one when they substituted a Marcin Gortat action figure for the single bobblehead (action figures are NOT the same as bobbleheads) three years ago. So of course, this year there's another team poster. And as well as these are printed, it's just not a keepsake for an adult, not even an adult like me who has more than 30 Wizards bobbleheads sitting on display at home. For the kids, I guess it's cool if you can get it home without it being creased or crushed in some way. Bring a poster tube to the game maybe?

Treasure these giveaway dates, folks. They are so rare these days. Season opener up next for me, although I get that preseason isn't quite over yet. October 18. Can't wait!!!

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