Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Sting - Fallout

Because of our company’s failure in the most recent sting at Target Field, we’ve been told that the M.P.D. will be doing a follow-up sting this week.

I guess the rules of the game are that if a liquor establishment fails a compliance check, another compliance check must take place within 30 days. Well, with no guaranty of another game after Game 2 of the ALDS, it is almost a given that the sting will be on again at either Wednesday’s or Thursday’s game vs. the Yankees.

Last Thursday, the police checked 21 points of sale at Target Field and there were 8 failures. Frankly, that is an embarrassing percentage. We have to do better than that, and we will next time. My company has changed several policies and spends time discussing proper ID measures before each game.

The fallout from the sting has been interesting, to say the least. Because Wally The Beerman was one of 2 vendors failing the compliance check, the media has jumped all over the story. Everyone at Target Field seems to know what happened, and everyone also seems to have an opinion.

I did a blog back in 2009 about how popular Wally was (, but really don’t think it captured the whole story.

There is now a “Free Wally” Facebook page that has compiled over 7,000 fans in less than 72 hours. (Believe it or not, the page has actually gained 100 fans in the time it took me to write this article.)

Everyone seems to want to talk about it at the game too. I had a lawyer bend my ear for 3 batters on Friday about how compliance checks are entrapment. Today, a semi-inebriated customer chastised the police very loudly in the concourse about how unfair it was to keep Wally away from doing “the work that he loves”. He made it sound almost like Wally was Mother Theresa being kept from tending to the poor in India.

One of our 70+ year old vendors, Jerry Carlson was standing next to me in the concourse on Saturday before the game. He sold a guy a beer, and the guy tipped him and actually said…

“Give this dollar to Wally.”


I think Wally is doing fine. Wally is probably making more money out of this than he ever was before. … and he is not climbing stairs to do it! He seems to be working every bar around the stadium these days handing out beers and bringing in customers for the bar.

(In case you wondered, Jerry said “Thank you, I will pass that along, kind sir.” … and then pocketed the dollar.)

It’s strange, but by failing the compliance check, I think Wally has become more popular than he ever was. …Almost like he has become a martyr.

He’s now the William Wallace of Vendors.

But my favorite story of the weekend involved 2 customers who I sold beers to on Saturday in Section 117. I carded them properly, and they had their ID’s ready to go even before I asked for them. They said, “We know all about the sting, and think it is very unfair.” Then they said, “Want to see what we did?”

The customer is always right, so I said, “Sure”.

The boys took off their shirts and had painted on their chest in huge blue capital letters…


I believe I could almost hear the voice of Wally The Beerman ringing out right at that moment