restricted access 3. Kay and the Cyclones Become Celebrities
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Kay and the Cyclones Become Celebrities It’s Tuesday, July 10, and the Brooklyn Cyclones have their first off day of the summer. Obviously, the potential for things to do in and around New York City is practically limitless, especially on clear, hot days like this one. There’s beaches, zoos, parks . . . and that’s just in Brooklyn! But if the guys want to be chaperoned around—and since many of these men are young, naive, and totally unaware of how to get around the city, it’s probably a good idea—the choices have been whittled down. Brett explains after the fact, “We had our first day off, and if you wanted to go to the city with the team, some of the guys were given a choice—to go to MTV for TRL or to go to that famous sandwich place, Carnegie Deli. I went to MTV.” TRL, short for Total Request Live, is MTV’s weekday-afternoon countdown show, where the videos that the viewers want are played in countdown fashion. Before and after the videos, guests chat with the host about whatever they’ve been up to, and people always give the impression that they’re having a grand old time. It’s hard to think of a show that has a broader appeal to America’s teens than this show, since it so clearly makes them a part of it, from the fact that they can vote to the live studio audience . So it’s not a total surprise that the Cyclones whom Campanaro, the media relations director, brought to the show name the experience as the highlight of their young season, without too many ideas of what could top it. “It was me, Ross [pitcher Peeples], Forrest [outfielder Lawson], [pitcher Matt] Peterson, [infielder Danny] Garcia, and Mike [pitcher ◆ 53 ◆ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ Cox], and we all had such a good time,” says Brett with a wide smile. “We had a great time, and we got to meet Puffy.” Puffy is Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, the hip-hop producer and entrepreneur who, like the show itself, is about at the peak of popularity among America’s teens. And if the Cyclones keep on receiving this type of exposure, they won’t be too far behind. “Besides Puffy, the other guests were Jon Favreau and Vincent Vaughn,” says Brett, speaking of the actors of Swingers fame. But it’s not like the Cyclones were just bystanders on the show. The program’s host, the teen hero Carson Daly, interviewed the Cyclones as if they were stars in their own right, joking with them about their chances of making the Mets and telling Lawson that he should’ve said he hit a home run last night because “there’s chicks here.” As Brett himself says, “The girls loved us. Carson was talking, like, ‘These are the Cyclones,’ and the girls started screaming. At one point Puffy took my hat, and kept it. Then he hugged me.” Brett even got a shot in the spotlight that his teammates didn’t. “They did a contest with one of Puffy’s videos—‘We Don’t Stop’—where you had to name all the cameo appearances in it. I won, so I got a CD, an autographed shirt, and hugged Puffy. It was definitely a lot of fun, and it’s something I told my friends about.” Not that the players would care or take note of this, but there is irony in the Cyclones’ spending time in Times Square. Remember that, as the home of a washed-over amusement zone that has been transformed into a cheesy tourist destination very different from its not-so-long-ago status as a seedy locale, Times Square has been mentioned by the Wilpons, Giuliani, and other politicians as the model for what Coney Island can become. Through economic incentives and draconian law enforcement, Giuliani turned the Times Square area from a grimy city center where peep shows far outnumbered legit theaters and drunks had the run of the place to a family-friendly (tourist-friendly, most of all) spot where you can eat off the sidewalk. The fact that the home of teen Americana, MTV, placed its signature show in Times Square speaks volumes about the image rehabilitation that has taken place in Times Square over the past decade. Now Rudy wants to do the...


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