There are very few things in life better than getting something for free. It’s why the human race has engineered ways to fire hot dogs, t-shirts, and tacos out of a compressed air cannon.
We here at The False Nine, in our attempt to cover all aspects of Austin FC fandom, have come up with a grading rubric to judge and rate giveaways at Q2 stadium. It’s a very simple system for very simple items, everything is graded 1-100 with 5 points possible for the Look, Usability, and Originality categories. An additional 85 points are available for the Throwability category.
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
Now, let’s get to the 2022 Giveaways:
Two-Sided Towel (2/26/2022 vs FC Cincinnati)
Look: This towel came in two different design patterns and the all black design was better than the black and Verde one, but ultimately it’s a one sided towel where the alternate side is as boring as a pass back to the goal keeper (Obligatory Stuuuuuu!)
Score: 2 out of 5
Usability: The goal was to have fans wave it around and it’s fundamentally less useful than a scarf which almost the entire stadium already had at least one available.
Ultimately it will lead a forgotten existence under the kitchen sink or in the garage until you need to pack plates so they don’t break while moving and then put it back under the new kitchen sink or in the garage in an endless cycle.
Score: 2 out of 5
Originality: It’s a rally towel, they’ve existed since Michael P. Rally started waving one for the Fighting Zephyrs in 1933.
Score: 1 out of 5
Throwability: This was higher than I expected based on initially getting the towel. It wouldn’t seem to be aerodynamic or something that would have any tangible ballistic component, but upon Cecilio Dominguez opening the scoring against alleged MLS side FC Cincinnati it floated majestically through the air to land I know not where.
Score: 30 out of 85
Final score: 35 out of 100
I felt no remorse or had second thoughts about throwing the towel into the air 2’ into the match so this feels like the correct ranking.
Yeti Hat Giveaway (3/6/2022 vs Inter Miami)
Look: It’s a Verde and Black Hat with the sponsor logo. It fits the color scheme and what fans should be wearing in the supporters section better than the alternate kits from last year. #BantheBaconKit
Score: 3 out of 5
Usability: It’s a hat, it functions like a hat. Convenient to have during beer showers or Cuervos in the supporter section, otherwise it’s the perfect hat to potentially risk on the river/lake/other body of water you happen to be spending your time in that day.
Score: 3 out of 5
Originality: Yeti also did hats like this last year, and the score reflects that the picture above is the hat from last year and no one reading realized it until now.
Score: 0 out of 5
Throwability: Anyone who has ever watched Goldfinger knows that hats are dangerous weapons in the correct hands. They fly curved and true much like a frisbee, making them an ideal giveaway item to be thrown (and are a top item to try and toss onto a hook if you’re fancy enough to have a hat rack). In this match the hat lasted 22’ until Sebastian Driussi scored at which point I was thwarted from throwing the hat in the air, not by a person, or a sense that maybe this line of experimentation is a bad idea. But because I, a person with great hair, didn’t wear the hat. I attached it to my belt and the snaps proved more difficult than I imagined to remove, so it took far longer than expected before I was able to toss the hat into the air (while I yelled out “For Science!”) at almost the exact trajectory that was intended.
Score: 75 out of 85
Final Score: 81 out of 100
I’m a little shocked it’s scoring this high, but I have to admit, while walking out of the stadium I saw a lot of hats, and I missed mine. I think it would have looked great sitting atop the hat I received last year in the part of the closet I put things I rarely use.
This concludes the 2022 Giveaways, but check back for future updates as the club continues to give us free stuff throughout the 2022 season