What's a tifo? Google says it's "A choreographed display in which fans in a sports stadium (especially at soccer games) raise a large banner together or simultaneously hold up signs that together form a large image."
Dave Majowicz aka "Majo", a mechanic by day and an adult education art teacher by night has been creating his own tifo's for The 7 Line Army outings for a few years now. We've flown his masterpieces at dozens of games at Citi Field along with invasions to Atlanta, Colorado, San Diego and Milwaukee. 9 times out of 10 they're about the opponent or ballpark we're visiting. Bryce Harper with a pacifier was up there with one of the best on troll points alone.
Dave lives down in Toms River, NJ and considers the process his "therapy". They're all hand painted and usually only used once. He typically shows each one off during the pregame meet up (or tailgate party) and then it's flown and passed around at the actual game. That's amazing amount of dedication for such a short amount of viewing pleasure.
Last night Dave flew his most recent piece down in Lakewood New Jersey for visiting Mets minor leaguer Tim Tebow who's currently playing for the Columbia Fireflies. While Tim may never make the big leagues, he's moving through the ranks and doing his thing. Tebow mania is real and if it's making people happy, that's all that really matters.
We asked Dave a few Q's about the process and what transpired in to a once in a lifetime experience.
So, how long did this piece take? You spend a ridiculous amount of time on each one. What was the size?
Majo: I actually (loosely) timed this one, it took a hair over 15 hours and is 8x12 in size. I have to give credit to my wife for helping out with the letters on it, wouldn't have finished it in time if she didn't help!
Do you think Tebow makes it to the majors?
Majo: I truly hope he does make it to the bigs...it may not be with the Mets, although the state their in, his presence may be a good thing. I can see him one day making it... watching him during pregame workouts, he puts in 110% on everything he does. I'm sure he's giving it his all to make it, sometimes that's what it takes.
How'd you show it off?
Majo: We hung it in between each inning, and during his at bats. Actually got yelled at in the 7th to take it down, guess we left it up a little too long. Blueclaws rep said it was cool to be up in between innings, just not during.
So someone came to tell you that Tebow wanted to meet you? How'd that go down?
Majo: It was really cool, during the first inning, my buddy shouted out to Tim asking if he would sign it, and he gave a thumbs up. Guy kept his word. At the end of the game, the teams were cleaning up, and a Fireflies rep came running across the field right to us. He asked if I could bring the tifo down to the dugout, Tim wanted to sign it. They had to move me away from the dugout because the crowd forming got huge.... they brought me into this small room to meet him in.
What did he say?
Majo: He came out and told me how blown away he was by it, that he has never seen anything like that for him before. He was totally surprised to find out that it's hand painted and just held out his hand and said, "wow, I have to shake your hand". It was a wild experience. I spent only a few minutes with him... the rest of the team had already left, so he had to get out of there pretty quick, but he was sure to talk, take pictures and sign it for me. I told him a small history of the tifo, how I make them and we fly them during The 7 Line outings...I showed him the patch on my jersey and he was like, "oh man that's awesome, I don't know if I've seen them before". I told him we're just the sea of orange die hard fans, then he realized he totally knew what it was.
As we did before our Subway Series outing earlier this month, we'll be pre-gaming in the brewery before heading in to the seats on Tuesday night vs the Padres.