Meet the Fan Cave Family: Bryan Mapes
For the fourth part of the series, I’d like to introduce you to Bryan Mapes. Although Mapes did not crack the top 50 last year, he was there with us every step of the way. He also swore that he would be willing to work harder than anyone to get in the 2013 MLB Fan Cave, and at this point, it’s pretty hard to argue that he hasn’t. Hopefully all of his hard work will be rewarded, and he’ll get the opportunity to represent the Atlanta Braves in the MLB Fan Cave this year.
Me: So you applied and didn’t make it to the top 50 last year for the MLB Fan Cave, but despite that, you still maintained a close connection with a lot of the finalists and several of the Cave Dwellers. How do you think that has prepared you for this year?
Mapes: Becoming close with people in the running and made the MLB Fan Cave last year was an invaluable experience. Seeing firsthand how the process worked even though I was at home did wonders for me making the top 50 in 2013. I knew the hard work and dedication it took to make it to New York City and how to be on top of my game for the campaign. I’m beyond grateful to be given the chance to represent the Braves in the top 52 and hopefully further.
Me: Through your connections with the finalists, you created Three Up, Three Down (which can be read HERE), a blog and podcast featuring several people from last year’s top 50. The blog gained a lot of popularity, and was ranked fairly high on the MLBlogs community. Tell us a little bit about your experience with that.
Mapes: During last years top 50 period I grew close to a bunch of people that made it. When the top 30 came out, there were a few people that didn’t advance to Arizona. Kurt Peter, Brian Boynton, Angelo Fileccia, Jeremy Dorn, and myself all looked at each other and basically said “what do we do now?” we want to keep talking baseball on some level. It started off as a podcast and knew that if it was just a weekly thing, we’d have to have a blog to keep things up to date as they happen. The blog reached levels we didn’t would happen that quickly, our goal was to make top 25, I’m proud to say we’ve done that multiple times. It’s really a labor of love and I’m glad I have those guys to talk to all the time. Three Up, Three Down has really helped me hone my writing and on-air skills which are so vital for the MLB Fan Cave.
Me: Even though you weren’t chosen as a finalist last year, you decided to give it another try this year. What made you want to apply again?
Mapes: The MLB Fan Cave is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’d have been crazy to not try it at least one more time. I would love to say that I was one of a handful of people who watched every MLB game over a season. Everyone I know has said to me that this is the perfect job for me, because of my passion for baseball. I’m going to have to agree with them on that.
Me: Last year, the MLB Fan Cave had two Cave Dwellers who represented the Atlanta Braves. Have you asked Ricky Mast or Shaun Kippins for any advice?
Mapes: I’ve talked to them here and there, but I don’t want to hound them too much. If I do talk to them, it’s usually about things like the Justin Upton trade. I’m really honored to have their support and to call them friends. I might need to ask Ricky for some song parody advice and Shaun for some advice on my dancing skills though.
Me: I’m sure there will be some people who think the Braves don’t need to be represented this year since they had two people representing them last year. What do you have to say about that?
Mapes: It’s a criticism I’ve heard, but I don’t think it’s a big deal at all. There’s been a Yankees fan as a Cave Dweller the past two years. The Braves have, in my opinion, the best fans on Twitter, and they deserve to be represented in 4th and Broadway. I also bring a different dynamic than Ricky and Shaun did, with an emphasis on blogging, fantasy baseball, and statistics, with some entertainment mixed in.
Me: If there’s any one part of the MLB Fan Cave you could change, what would it be?
Mapes: I would love for the Fan Cave challenges to be brought back. I thought it was an entertaining way for the dwellers to work together and show their stuff. I’m not sure why they went away from it early on in the season.
Me: If you’re chosen for the MLB Fan Cave, what things are you hoping to accomplish?
Mapes: My main goal would be to be the dweller that connects with baseball fans the best. I think if I do that, my second goal of watching all 2,430 games will fall into place. I also have a few ideas to help support MLB charities, like Stand Up To Cancer, if I make it to New York City. I want to be able to give back as much as possible. Selfishly though, with “Anchorman: The Legend Continues” coming out this summer, I so badly want Will Ferrell and David Koechner to come to the MLB Fan Cave and do baseball highlights as Ron Burgundy and Champ Kind. I think that would be so popular and hilarious.
Me: In your words, why should you be chosen for the 2013 MLB Fan Cave?
Mapes: Everyone in this contest loves baseball and their team, but I’m not sure that there’s anyone that loves the Fan Cave as much as I do. In my first video for my 2013 MLB Fan Cave campaign, I promised that no one would work harder than me to make it to New York City and I’ve held up that end of the bargain so far. That work ethic would continue if I’m chosen as a Cave Dweller. I believe that I’m what the Fan Cave is looking for. I’m smart, charismatic, outgoing, entertaining, hard-working, have great blogging skills, and I might need to get checked out for my social media addiction. I believe that I could help continue the tremendous growth that MLB Fan Cave as had the past two years and be the perfect fan for the fans.