Saturday was already going to be a busy morning for St. Paul Saints GM Derek Sharrer with single-game tickets going on sale. Then a couple of hours before the clock struck midnight a Cinderella team the Saints can certainly relate to crept into his life.
“I haven’t heard, ‘What were you thinking?’ yet but I assume I will,” Sharrer said.
It began not as a joke but as an attention grab. The Saints sent out a tweet last Monday promising $10,000 for one lucky retweet if a No. 16 seed could knock off a No. 1 – a feat that had never been done in the history of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Never gonna happen, right?
Then late Friday night Maryland-Baltimore County kept making three-pointers against Virginia.
The buzzer sounded on a 20-point upset for the ages, and Sharrer reached for the neatest pen.
“Absolutely crazy,” Sharrer said of the game and the promotion. “I don’t even know if you’d call this a mid-major – it’s a low-major going up and beating one of the blue bloods and a top seed. We can relate a little bit to those guys being the small team in a big market and we’re excited to pull a winner.”
And excited to part with ten grand?
“I tell you what: Watching that retweet ticker was like the Jerry Lewis telethon when I was a kid,” Sharrer said. “The number just kept going up.”
The Saints’ original post has more than 15,000 retweets. The team will head to social media once again to pick a winner at 1 p.m. Tuesday live on Facebook, Twitter and Periscope.
“This is one of the more rewarding payouts we’ve ever been involved with,” Sharrer said. “I look at this as it being very much in line with the Saints Way. This is the kid of fun we’ve always enjoyed having and providing for the fans.”