The story of how the Brotherz Ballz came to be at those podiums is pretty unbelievable (but true!). I was graciously given access by the friendly folks at DU to the media’s final pre-debate photo shoot inside the debate hall Tuesday, just before the Secret Service sweep at 6pm and subsequent lockdown. After taking a bunch of actually relevant pictures (photo gallery here), I set about trying to snap a quick photo of the Ballz at the debate, perhaps sitting on top of the back of a seat with the debate stage in the distant background. I never dreamed I could get them anywhere near the stage.
However, as I was setting up this far less audacious picture, a woman walked up to me and — without prompting — asked if I’d like to take a picture of the Ballz on the stage instead. I had no idea who this person was, but I assumed she must be associated with the university in some way. I replied that I didn’t think I was allowed to go up on the stage. To this, she responded, “You can’t, but I can.” Barely able to believe my luck, and despite being slightly embarrassed at elevating the always silly spectacle of taking a stuffed basketball picture, I responded that sure, a picture on the stage would be great.
On the way up to the stage, the woman asked what the picture was for — “this isn’t for some sort of embarrassing website, is it?” she asked at one point, meaning some sort of “gotcha” prank type site — and I explained that, no, these were simply the mascots of my blog about the University of Denver’s basketball team, and because the debate was being held at DU’s basketball arena, I wanted to get a photo. That seemed to make perfect sense to this good-natured and ridiculously helpful lady.
So, without further ado, she took the #Ballz up and placed them, first on the moderator’s table, and then on the podiums. After I was done taking pictures, I thanked her profusely and said, “I’m sure you have no idea what the Mid-Majority is, but you’re going to be a hero to them.” I asked if I could take a picture of her credential, so I’d remember her name and could thank her personally online. At this point, I noticed she was with the Commission on Presidential Debates, not the university. But her credential didn’t state her position with the CPD, so I assumed she was just some mid-level staffer with a good sense of humor.
Only later, when I overheard her being interviewed by some French journalist, did I realize she was clearly someone quite high up in the CPD hierarchy. So, as I stood there in the hall, I took out my phone and Googled her name — Janet Brown — and discovered that SHE’S THE FREAKING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES. And she personally posed my #Ballz for the photo. LOL!!!
Go Pios! Go America!