Thursday, March 1, 2012

3 Days! That's All That's Left! Do We Really Want Someone From St. John's Winning This?

 So it's officially Friday morning, and as of right now, Miggy is tied for the lead in the Volvo challenge.  Now I don't know if he's allowed to disclose information, but guess what?  I'm not in the competition, so I can say anything I want.  Miggy is tied at 44% of the votes with some guy from St. John's.  That's right, St. John's!  Do we really want someone from St. John's to beat our friend Miggy?  I don't think so.  So click the link at the bottom, scroll down and to the left of the screen is the voting.  You don't need to sign up, there's no registration.  All you have to do is click the button next to Miggy and then click Submit.  Can't you go out of the way to spend 10 seconds for Miggy?  I know we all can.  So get going.  Let's get this for Miggy, if for no other reason than to make sure the St. John's guy doesn't win!  Vote for Miggy!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

As The Shot Clock Winds Down

Hey everyone, my name is Miggy…
I dunno how you would not have known by now, but just in case…I was selected to represent Villanova as 1 of 16 contestants in this year's Biggest Big East Fan contest... Volvo is sponsoring the competition and giving a brand new Volvo S60 to the winner.

So if you have NOT voted for me at (waits for you to vote before continuing)…voting ends a couple of weeks, let's keep at it!
This is the LAST blog challenge for the VolvoBigEast competition…(cueing the sad music)…

Challenge #8: Recap your Volvo Biggest Fan of the Big East Experience.
Preface: This may be the toughest of the prompts given for the contest yet. How do I justify summarizing what has been my world for the last five months into one single post? Thinking about it more and more, I actually want to write this post though, not just to relive memories, but as kind of a guideline for the next wave of contestants who get to represent their school, the Big East, and Volvo in this same contest, like a ‘pay it forward’ moment… heads up, some of this gets really personal, but it’s worth it to show the true experience of a participant in the Volvo Big East Fan competition…
(just a head’s up, this is one epic of a post)
I’m not sure if anyone if familiar with the Good Idea, Bad Idea segments in Animaniacs…

Good Idea: Remembering the past…
It was Friday, December 3rd, 2010…I remember this day not just it was a special in terms of Emily (I’ll mention a bit more about her later), but it was the day of last season’s Holy War…was hanging around Villanova for the weekend for a Singers’ concert, just surfing online in one of the computer labs killing the day…checking on Twitter, I see a tweet from Brian Ewart (@Brian_Ewart, at the time was @Brianisawesome)…not only is he the first source I usually look to in any Villanova sports topic, he was last year’s Villanova rep in the Volvo Big East contest…the tweet basically said: Find where I’m located on campus and get this-

So I quickly raced down to Connelly Center and found Brian sitting with a few thermoses on the table…ended up talking to him about the contest, the S60, Villanova basketball, the Holy War, mutual friends…it was a cool meeting Brian since I was following the contest myself, hoping to one day have the chance to be in his shoes…
Fast-forward to September 21st, 2011…I was packing up for a friend’s bachelor weekend...I suddenly receive a Facebook message from Amanda Schlesier:
Hey! Really random question but I was invited to a ‘biggest fan in the big east’ competition, any interest in repping nova?
It took me a couple minutes to break away from packing mode and fully take in that message… I Received an e-mail the next day about the contest, and it all took off from there…during that entire weekend in Pittsburgh for my friend’s celebration, I just kept thinking about the contest, about the car, about the competition, about representing so many more entities than myself…I reached out to Brian as soon as I found out I was selected, and he was more than helpful…between taking me under his wing during Media Day and just answering whatever questions I come up with
…just imagine the impact a few random occurrences have…
So my first round of thanks goes to Brian, (who set the trend that Villanova’s rep has to be an avid curler)

And to Amanda, for entering me in the competition, along with hanging out during gamewatches

Bad Idea: Thinking the Volvo S60 is just a “car”…
So yes, the ultimate prize is a brand new, sophisticated Volvo S60:

That said, with our countless blurbs about its features, customizing your own Volvo S60, learning new tidbits on Facebook and Twitter but without driving it yourself, you still don’t get the full picture…
You probably remember that I am without a car for my disposal…in fact, I did not receive my license until after I graduated Villanova (always would be getting looks at the bars when I had to pull out my driver’s permit)…but what I don’t talk about is the vehicle accidents I’ve experienced, especially one while I was at Villanova that still stands out to this day…it’s because of these memories that there was an initial hesitance to pick up driving…the cars that I would learn in didn’t give me much comfort either…
You could ask my ‘alma mater weekend’ sidekick, Anthony, about this, but It was actually getting behind the wheel of that S60, actually noticing all, and I mean all, of those safety features work in motion, that started to make me feel secure in the driver’s seat…yeah, there were all these other countless features I could talk about with the car, but that was a very emotional experience for me actually driving the two-plus hours down to Villanova for the first time, and I have to point out to the safety technology of the S60 for helping me throughout the trip…I am much more confident and calm in my own driving abilities (thanks to that weekend); however, it would be an added comfort to drive a car that looks out for you like the S60, "There's no place like a Volvo"…
So my next round of thanks goes to Volvo, for allowing me to represent in this competition and with the chance to drive (and hopefully win) the Volvo S60

Good Idea: Finding new ways to branch out…
So obviously in this competition, each of us competitors have the same main resources to rely upon…the Facebook, the Twitter, the blog, etc, etc…each of us have our separate and distinct networks of friends, family and supporters to rally in your cause…you have the aid in the form of custom VolvoBigEast goodies to give out…

That said, individually, past the social media sites, the chain e-mails, the giveaways, we also have our other ways to rally support…when not writing on my blog (and getting different types of audiences to visit the blog each week), my focus was to spend a LOT of effort and dedication spending time outside the house, because being social also means not hanging around the laptop and rather getting exposure by meeting people face-to-face (plus, I mean you can still access the social media sites and such from the cell phone anyway to still carry those channels during downtime)…
From watching games in Madison Square Garden, to local gamewatches, to hitting up bars, high school reunions, grammar school reunions, the pickup game at the park, the always awkward elevator pitch, even during business meetings, I would have to justify every excursion by making a full-fledged pitch about the contest, the prize and my involvement in the competition, all while wearing the Volvo Big East hat around (having a broken TV at home adds to the motivation I guess)…it literally became my job, my identity, my life for the past few months …

“Hi, my name is Miggy, I’m representing Villanova in this VolvoBigEastFan contest, and I really need your help winning a new Volvo S60…what’s that? You don’t believe me?”
(Pull out my cell phone and shows video)

“How can you help? The least I could ask for is your vote in the competition…how do you vote, you ask? Do you have a smartphone?”

(QR Code directs to, or alternatively just tell them to go to the old-fashion way)
(Yeah, my piece of work looked more like a ransom note than an ad, but to be honest, it worked very well as a conversation starter with people)
So that has been me since the contest started…everyone else has their own unique ways of grabbing support, and it truly amazes me what the sixteen of us come up during this time.
My thanks goes to all the random people I have met throughout this competition…whoever you people are out there, thanks for giving me the chance to deliver my selling pitch
Bad idea: Underestimating your influence…
When you take on the role of one of the competitors in this contest, you’re not just representing yourself anymore…you’re representing your school, the Big East Conference and Volvo…you may not think it is a big deal, but there have been countless others who would like to disagree with you…
There are many stories of friends and even strangers I would run into, calling me nicknames like “Mr. Big East”, “A Miggy-Flavored Big East”, chanting my name at parties I’m not even the recipient of, or just wanting to talk to me about the competition, about Villanova...even this past weekend I was in the restroom in Wells Fargo Center after the OT loss to Notre Dame, and some guy wanted to shake my hand before I even washed them...(shiver)...I'm not saying I became as legendary as Villanova's resident Jedi, Mendel Doug, but I did notice the word about my involvement did reach to people...

The best story I can tell I didn’t actually witness…one of my friends (I shall keep anonymous for reasons you’ll understand), went into a job interview with a company (which I should also keep anonymous). During the discussion, the interviewer told my friend she was a Villanova grad…for some reason, the first words to come out of my friend’s mouth were, “Speaking of Villanova, my friend Miggy representing Villanova in a Big East fan contest; he’s trying to win a Volvo.” Luckily, not only did my friend not embarrass himself, the interviewer actually asked for the website so she and her family could vote.
Understand that there are people want you to succeed…whether because they know you personally or want something Villanova to win (especially with our basketball team’s struggles this year…) or just because they want to help (yes, people help for the sake of helping, it’s a lost art)…
My next round of thanks goes to my friends and family, from coast to coast and all over the world, without you all, I don’t think I would have truly grasped how much being in this position means…
Such as:
-Eamon O’Meara, for giving me the chance to contribute to, as a Filipino-Australian New Yorker who graduated out of a Philadelphia school, a Boston-based sports blog…I look forward to continue to writing in Out Of Bounds

-Sean Fernandes, for relentlessly getting me as much support in every phase of the competition, to even just keeping me hyped to keep working at posts when I’m utterly exhausted

-Mike Muckian, for hosting that tailgate just for my Alma Mater weekend over at Nova, to always trying to get me to make the trip every single Nova game with an extra ticket

-The Road Trip Crew (Charlie, Mark, Anthony, Shashika), for every txt, e-mail, couch for me to crash in, from at Nova to Staten Island, to Yale, all the way to the Congo (I dunno how you keep have time to sleep when you’re sending me these e-mails Shika), you guys always have helped me throughout the years and during the competition as well

-The Augustinian Army, for having the back of an old Wildcat…each game you keep on proving how great of a fanbase you are, and you obviously showed your support during my involvement in the contest

Good Idea: Balancing your life during the contest…
So one of the most difficult parts about being in this competition was making room in your life for everyone else involved...yes, you should really give this contest your best effort, but make sure you make efforts to keep a balanced life as well, as I have learned…this next part goes to Emily, still going to Nova, who from the time this contest began, I was not able to see until, ironically, the Alma Mater weekend (another thing I don’t like advertising…)…
It’s funny because the same day I met Brian and his VolvoBigEastFan participation, I randomly ran into Emily later back in the computer lab and it was the day we kinda first established an actual connection…yeah, the past few months have been hard, but we’re both hoping it pays off at the end, since right now it’s a three-train, one-bus and almost four-hour commute from my house in Queens to hers in Landsdale…hoping the S60 could save us a bit of time, like a hour and a half…
So thank you Emily for putting up with everything over the past few months…

Bad Idea: Thinking your fellow competitors are your mortal enemies…
Yes, I know everyone is after the same goal of winning this contest…that said, remember these are people, just like you, with friends (some of them your mutual friends), experiences, personalities, stories…from all the jokes, to the write-ups about your team in their blogs, to the many blown tries of setting up happy hour, to media day, to the conversations on Twitter, to Facebook to our e-mail chain…I like thinking that this is a new family that I’d added to my life…

So here’s to the Volvo Big East Family, to someday finally getting to hang out during a happy hour:
(Top row, left to right)
  • Lisa Kelly, Notre Dame (@4LeafCloverGirl)
  • Brian Moran, Marquette (@brianmoran)
  • Chas Rich, Pittsburgh (@ChasRich27)
  • Bobby Burdette, West Virginia (@Mountaineer)
  • David Pean, Providence (@friarblog)
  • Tim Johnstone, Louisville (@CardinalLaws)
  • Jesse Smith, Cincinnati (@FrontOfficeNews)

(Bottom row, left to right)
  • Marianne Aurelio, DePaul (@MarianneAurelio)
  • (Me) Miggy Gutierrez, Villanova (@miggyflavored)
  • Stephanie Snowden, Georgetown (@YouGotSnowd)
  • Nicole Hering, Syracuse (@nicolehering)
  • Colleen Murphy, Seton Hall (@CMColleenMurphy)

(Not Pictured)
  • Mike Gambardella, St John’s (@BIG3Sports)
  • Christopher Hall, UConn (@CtopherHall)
  • Zlata Faerman, Rutgers (@ZlataThoughts)
  • Matthew Staton, USF (@TheBullRush)

So that’s it…I guess…feel free to be nostalgic and rummage through some of my old posts:

Challenge 1 – Big East Dream Team

Challenge 2 – Villanova Must Do’s

Challenge 3 – Big East Road Trip

Challenge 4 – Customizing the Volvo S60

Challenge 5 - Traditions

Challenge 6 - Gamewatch

Challenge 7 – Garden30

Alma Mater Weekend

Thank you all for these past few months…win, lose or draw, I look forward to how this competition shakes out…V for Villanova, V for Victory, V for Volvo