BOR Guest Blogger Week: Zach Bonkowski

WHATTTTT????  Is it REALLY the final day of 2011??  Wow, what a quick year this was.  Hopefully each of you had the opportunity to do something new, exciting and fulfilling in each of your lives.  For me there are some great memories that I will always remember the year by – including witnessing Joey Votto’s “This is SportsCenter” commercial shoot firsthand, traveling to Europe for the first time, going to trapeze school with my staff after another successful Redsfest, the big Paul McCartney concert at GABP, completing my second full marathon & much, much more.  What will you remember 2011 by?  We’ll get to more of that in a moment as we talk about our favorite memories from the award-winning Better Off Red blog at the end of this segment.  But in the meantime, I wanted to share some things to look forward to in 2012 with everyone!

Here are my top 5 things to look forward to in 2012 (your own list may vary – you should Tweet them or post in the comments below!):

1.       Opening Weekend at GABP – Only speculating here, because I don’t set the lineups or make the team roster out, but it should be pretty awesome to see an opening series rotation that could include Johnny Cueto, newly acquired Mat Latos and veteran Bronson Arroyo and/or Mike Leake!  Also back is our outstanding lineup including @DatDudeBP, Joey MVP Votto, TreyDuece, Mr. Rolen, Snacks, The Gazelle, the “other” Zack and many more.  I think we’ll have an exciting team in 2012, and Opening Weekend with the pomp & circumstance of Opening Day, the glitz and glamour of Opening Night, and also a GREAT family day to visit the ballpark on Sunday afternoon, should just be a special way to start the season.  I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as those of us around the offices are!

2.       Reds Hall of Fame Induction Weekend – I absolutely love Sean Casey.  I got the opportunity to work with him for 3 seasons when I first began my job, and he’s an all-around class act.  I cannot wait to hear his acceptance speech during pregame ceremonies at GABP on Saturday, June 23rd and then the full-length version at the Duke Energy Convention Center on Sunday evening at the HOF Gala.  Get your tickets for these events before they’re gone!

3.       New Music – @Jamieblog and I will be tweeting about this throughout the year, sorry if it annoys you all (that includes you, Mo Egger).  Personally I look forward to the new album by Tennis (February 14th – produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys), The Shins (coming in March) & Cat Power (TBA).  I’m sure there will be more – hopefully a full length album by The Alabama Shakes!  (credit where it’s due to @Jamieblog for tuning me in to that fantastic band)

4.       London Olympics – I am not much for the Winter Olympics, but I really do enjoy the summer games, especially track & field.  We’re going to try and plan some fun things here at the ballpark to coincide with this big event.  I have a feeling our mascots will be heavily involved in whatever we do to that end!  I’m pretty sure that everyone would like to see a “Better Off Red Olympics” too (get to work on that Jamie & Lisa!).

5.       MLB Postseason – I’ll leave it at that.

So, I happened to walk by @Jamieblog’s office before making this post, to try and gather ideas for it, and I happened upon his three New Year’s Resolutions – check them out – and yes, believe it or not he wrote them in crayon!

Finally, as promised, here is a compilation of everyone’s favorite moments from Better Off Red 2011.  Thank YOU for making it the blog it is today.  And I suppose we should give some credit to the guy who writes the vast majority of the posts too.

Good work Jamie Ramsey.

Had to be the #HatsOffCin campaign!  — @LoriS526

the Vote Reds lunch, the umpteen days of Christmas, and Jamie’s trip to fantasy camp. @KarenCincy

Getting “welcomed” by Jamie on the first day and already feeling like part of the team!  @pk927

The #HatsOffCIN movement, culminating in the #VoteRedsLunch…and winning the contest. — @BrianWedge88

Jamie’s (fake?) Christmas card for sure. Still laugh every time I see it!  — @kim_brough

I loved all the Vote Reds Lunches, great way to get fans involved and to get our boys to the All Star Game! — @MBM71

@jamieblog isn’t going to like this but the Christmas card spoof was pretty hilarious!  — @Tonester5

Favorite moment of the year – Adding a new fan to the #Reds Nation – @paulpetera @Tonester5

I have a couple favorites.. winning Cozart jersey(UmpteenDaysOfChristmas),Ramsey Christmas card, photos(stadium, events,etc) — @Redsfan_4192

one of my favorite has gotta be getting my magic shoelaces and BOR shirt at the redlegs run — @jesserz923

The Burt Awards  — @MissAmbur

Of course there’s nothing like a good FUNKBLAST! #BOR2011@MBM71

My favorite moment was the rally before Sunday Night Baseball – finding @Jamieblog, folks w/ BOR signs, Larkin @laurie_PDX

My fave moment was almost falling off my chair at work when Ramon hit that walk off 3 run HR on Opening Day. Awesome!@kwanfan1212

clearly Burt Bobblered’s national television debut on @ManvFoodNation  — @adumturer

when @Jamieblog fields questions about gate opening — @theworldofdale

late to the party, but my #BOR2011 fave moment was definitely #RedsForPaul. It’s pretty much the reason I’m here! –@paulpetera

Folks – that’s all the time we have for now, but your regularly scheduled programming will resume next week when @Jamieblog returns from his vacation.  He’s been tweeting about sunny Sarasota, Florida, but that is just a cover up story.  He’s actually in San Francisco.  Odd time to visit San Fran, I know, but I believe he spent most of his time here:

Be safe tonight & Happy New Year!


Zach Bonkowski is the Director of Promotional Events for your Cincinnati Reds and proud godfather to Jamie’s cats, Grace and Scout. 


Happy New Year! 2012 is going to be a great year for the Reds!

Will there be a Night at the Aronoff like last year? That was a great event.

The cat museum is awesome!

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