As the calendar turns to, you know, the middle of October, the 2012 presidential election is nearly upon us. For those of us entering our third (or first or 20th, really) presidential election, as always, this election is “the most important presidential election of our lifetimes.” How do we know that? Because they’re all that way in an election year. With democracy and transparency and hilariously inept interviews as inspiration, we here at the CurveBall Blog decided that you, dear readers, need to know the behind-the-scenes goings-on with the Altoona Curve, too. We want you, the fans, to be the best-informed, most knowledgeable Minor League Baseball fans in the country. Which brings us to the first part in our brand new 18-part series “Better Know a Curve Staffer.” Today’s first installment: ticket sales associate Steffan Langguth (the fightin’ Steffan!). We recently caught up with Steffan via electronic mail at his office.
CurveBall Blog: Steffan, thank you for taking the time to join us. We’re very excited about introducing our staff members to the residents of Curve, PA, and we knew you would be the man for the job. We want our fans to get to know Curve staff members beyond just their days at the ballpark. But, since the season is still so fresh in our memories, we’ll start there. After wrapping up your first full year with the Curve this season, what are some of your best memories from the 2012 campaign?
Steffan Langguth: I don’t think I could’ve had a better 1st season. The things that stand out the most to me were the great crowd we had on July 4th, the team’s winning surge at the end of the season, the excitement that occurred surrounding top prospects Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, all 20-something fireworks shows and of course the two Mascot Mayhems and all 71 BAGEL RACES. Seeing Blueberry Bob get his first win on the last game of the season was like something out of a Hollywood script, a fairy tale ending.
CBB: As a ticket sales associate, what do your duties mostly consist of for the offseason?
SL: This offseason, we are keeping busy getting ready for the Pirates vs. Curve exhibition game next March. Other than that we try to stay in touch with season ticket holders to let them know about the various offseason events (the World Series Party, Baseball Bash, etc.) and try to come up with new ideas to fill the ballpark next season and keep everything fun and exciting. I’m thinking about proposing a Ticket Account Manager Appreciation Night. Maybe something that would reoccur every home stand, sort of like our Blue Out Saturdays? We could even take a collection that goes towards the Ticket Account Manager Fund. Hey, I’ve told me there are no bad ideas. It’s worth a shot.
CBB: Do you have any sweet vacations planned to get away from Curve, PA for a bit this offseason?
SL: I recently purchased my first new car, so that kind of eliminates the vacation fund that was never really there in the first place. Nevertheless, if I were to go away somewhere it would be somewhere warm. Actually, maybe I’d go to a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano, a little place called Aspen… Maybe I could drive there.
CBB: What are some of your offseason hobbies?
SL: Nothing too exciting. We Pittsburgh sports fans can usually count on either a Super Bowl or Stanley Cup run (EDITOR’S NOTE: OK, SO THIS HAS ONLY BEEN TRUE FOR THE PENGUINS FOR LIKE FIVE YEARS BUT WHATEVER) during the winter months but both of those seem to be in serious jeopardy at this point (albeit for two very different reasons) and my Pitt Panthers are suffering through another rocky season. There’s always basketball I guess. I do enjoy watching the Eagles’ comedy of errors every Sunday, and seeing Tom Brady lose never gets old. Other than that, hopefully the NHL will get its act together and I’ll be able to go to a few Penguins games. If not, it’s going to be a long, dark, cold winter.
CBB: We understand that you are quite the offseason hockey player. Tell me, since I am an American sports fan, what is a hockey?
SL: Hockey is a fantastic Canadian sport played on a sheet of frozen water called ice. Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, (0 degrees Celsius for the Canadians). Using things called ice skates, players actually skate on this ice surface as opposed to most American sports that involve running, walking, sitting, or eating. As you can imagine, due to the cold and icy conditions, hockey players have to be very tough. In addition, players actually carry long wooden/composite sticks which are used to hit a disc of vulcanized rubber called a puck and hopefully get it into the opposing teams net for a goal. Oh, and players are allowed to hit and fight each other. Intrigued??? (ED. NOTE: NOT REALLY. LISTENING, GARY BETTMAN?! Solid use of “vulcanized” up there, though.)
CBB: On a scale of 1-to-nuclear meltdown, how angry are you about the NHL lockout?
SL: Whatever’s above nuclear meltdown, it would probably be two above that; something comically horrific, like the Ghostbusters’ Stay Puft Marshmallow Man attack. This is the sport’s 2nd lockout since 2004. How is that possible? I think the NHL is doing everything in its power to make it impossible for an average sports fan to get into it. It’s hard enough due to ESPN’s lack of NHL coverage but they keep giving people reasons not to take them seriously.
CBB: On a scale of 1-to-asteroid-from-“Armageddon,” how angry are you about the fact that the Steelers’ defense is comprised of 11 guys over the age of 80 who are all hurt right now?
SL: I’m slightly less angry about this. When you’ve won six Super Bowls, I can cut you a little slack. I think Troy Polamalu should probably focus less on his hair commercials and more on his health, James Harrison is still as crazy as ever, and our 1st round picks in the past few years haven’t become stars yet but whatever at least I still have the Penguins.. OH WAIT
CBB: What’s your favorite television show/what is a television show that you are getting into/have gotten into/are excited to get into over the offseason?
SL: “Breaking Bad” is definitely at or near the top but I have to wait until next summer for that to resume. I don’t encourage the behavior of the characters but I do recommend the show. “The Walking Dead” is also awesome and I’m really looking forward to this new season. “Homeland” is also fantastic and season 2 has gotten off to an amazing start. I recommend it for anyone who liked 24. I’m also super excited for “Arrested Development’s” return this spring. I think that was the hands down the best comedies on TV in recent years.
CBB: Let’s say we have a blizzard that knocks out a day at work. Give me three to five movies you’d watch that day and why.
SL: Probably the entire Dark Knight Trilogy (yes I know the third one isn’t on DVD yet but I don’t care, that’s how awesome it is). Fight Club is an all time favorite of mine. It’s the perfect movie for a male growing up in the 21st century. Something by Martin Scorsese, probably The Departed or Goodfellas. I’d probably have to throw something funny in there too. Office Space and Dumb and Dumber never get old. What is that like 8? Whatever, it would be a good day.
In order to confirm Steffan’s “hockey”-ing, a trio of Curve staff members braved the frigid air of a local ice rink recently to take in a match or game or contest. Steffan scored a handful of “goals” (more, even, than what we’re told is referred to as a “hat trick”). At press time, CBB was unable to confirm whether or not he did the Discount Double-Check move after any of the aforementioned goals. Big thanks to Steffan for giving us the time!