Maddon’s Maniacs Video Shoot
When you get to the Trop. on Thursday, do not be surprised that a few of the Maddon’s Maniacs show up on the Jumbotron in a short “feel the Heat” video. The vocal and cowbell-oriented group at the Trop., were busy at work on a short video for the Rays shot before the Rally on Monday on Bayshore Blvd in St. Petersburg.
The video will be set to the Rays theme music, “feel The Heat” and took about 25 minutes to complete. As susal, we all had a wild time and look forward to seeing our mugs up on the screen again.
I would estimate that a group of 60 or so maniacs showed up for the shoot and had a wild time interacting with friends about the recent Rays surge into the Playoffs, and the upcoming games at the Trop. If you have not heard of the Maddon Maniacs, let me tell you a short bit about this unique group in Rays history. The Maniacs were invented to act as the Trop’s unofficial fan cheering leaders to get the crowd motivated and into the games at the Trop. The group first met back in 2006 and was attended by about 5–60 fans picked by the Rays to promote this new arm of the Fan Experience wing of the Rays. It consists of meetings attended by active members were important events and upcoming tidbits of information are given to the group to intice the Rays fans into trying new cheers or to teach basic cowbell ethics to the new Rays faithful.
When Rays current Manager, Joe Maddon came here he wanted the Rays to have an enviorment that other teams would consider hostile without violence. A great example is the University of New Mexico Lobos basketball arena, which is considered by many to be the loudest and rowdiest arena in the NCAA. Maddon wanted to gain that type of advantage over the opposition by imposing the noise and cowbells to mess with the mental and concetration levels of our visiting teams.
The Cowbells became a fast identifier of the small group, and them blossomed into most of the Rays fans faithfully joining in the Cowbell Army and raining noise down on all visiting teams and during great plays either offensive, or defensive for the Rays. The group is identified by their bright yellow shirts with a cartoon likeness of Maddon on the front of it. The character, known as “screamer” was actually adopted as a symbol of the fan’s screaming and supporting the Rays squad.
So if you see one of the memeber of this Rays society. Be sure to thank them for their support and ask about joining the Maddon’s Maniacs group in 2009. If you are interested in becoming a member, you can consult any of the maniacs, or contact the Rays front office and ask for the Fan Experience department and they will get you on the mailing list for upcoming events. To give you an example of how far this group has come since 2006. I was at that first meeting with about 60 other people, and it has grown to over 500 people at the last count.
We usually meet before select home games in the Trop. and have guest speakers beside our faithful leader, Joe Maddon. Usually the team is out stretching in the field when we begin, and it is not unusual for us to give a loud cheer to show of support for the guys on the team. First and foremost, the group is for the bonding of fellow Rays fans to support and have a common bond in the Rays development. A second, and something great reason to join is to be a part of the early history of this franchise. In 10 years you can tell people you were on the ground floor of an organization that one day might rival the Red Sox Nation. So be sure to support the team as they ready themselves for the fight for the American League Divsional Series, and be sure to show your Rays colors and support loud and proud in the Tampa Bay area and at the Trop.