The 2023 season kicked off yesterday for Austin FC against the expansion St. Louis CITY team. While other blogs, podcasts, and carrier pigeons will get into the tactical analysis of Austin playing with dual 8s or a double pivot, or whatever Jared Stroud may or may not have said to Kippy; I have a slightly different focus here at The False Nine. As has become customary, Austin FC had a free giveaway item to the first 10,000
maniacs fans to enter the stadium yesterday.
Before we delve into the rankings, let’s do a refresher to get all of us on the same page about our rigorously tested methodology. Every item is ranked based on these categories by combining these weighted scores:
Look (5 possible points)
Usability (5 possible points)
Originality (5 possible points)
Throwability (85 possible points)
Final Score Rankings:
1-24 – Not worth the effort of grabbing from the attendant
25-49 – No one will be heartbroken by not getting the item, nor will they be sad when they accidentally leave it at the stadium
50-74 – A perfectly cromulent giveaway item
75-99 – An item to cherish and display
100 – Reserved for a Rodney Redes bobblehead
Q2 Stadium Scarf (2/25/2023 vs. St Louis CITY)
Look: The colors are good, the lettering is clean and simple, it doesn’t have any Chevron logos as we all feared.
Score: 4 out of 5
Usability: Scarves are inherently useful, especially a scarf that is thicker and can absorb beer showers. Bonus for it being during an early season match with cooler temperatures.
Score: 5 out of 5
Originality: This is where this Giveaway suffers, it’s very reminiscent of the 2021 Season Ticket Holder gift scarf and there’s nothing new or interesting about it.
Score: 1 out of 5
Throwability: Since the announcement of the scarf there has been a lot of discussion about the potential throwability of this item, mostly under the guise of tossing the scarf as is. The flaw in this thinking is that a scarf has unlimited possibilities for how it can be shaped or tied. A scarf isn’t just a scarf, it is a creative medium that can be used for practical things like warmth or sharing your club allegiance. To judge the true throwability of an item like this, I sat and took some time tying and re-tying the scarf until I managed to turn it into Scarf BallTM.
Is Scarf BallTM cheating the system? No, absolutely not, it’s this kind of thinking that makes these rankings so definitive. I have to look at every item from multiple angles of throwability and arm angle, and with a sufficiently tied knot to make Scarf BallTM it becomes as easy to throw as well, a ball made out of a scarf. It loses a few points for the effort, but this item is incredibly throwable.
Score: 74 out of 85
Final Score: 84 out of 100
Final Analysis: I’m a little surprised at how well this did considering how maligned it was upon first reveal. It was a clean looking and usable item if uninspired, and with a little TF9 style ingenuity, very throwable. It got the Giveaway season off to a much better start than our actual season
Ranking of Austin FC Giveaways (score in parenthesis):
Yeti 10 oz Tumbler (96)
Heineken Koozie (86)
Q2 Stadium Scarf (84)
Yeti Hat (81)
Two-Sided Towel (35)