Operation Orange

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CardiacKid
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Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:07 pm

Hey all,
Just wondering if anyone has done the Operation Orange trip?
We took the plunge this year for the first time and were curious what folks' experiences were? We had notice the team was considering either Regina and/or Ottawa so we figured either one would be a good choice.
We are pretty jazzed about going after a few years of thinking about it.

TheLionKing
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Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:59 pm

I know someone who has been to a couple Operation Orange. From all indications it was a fabulous experience.

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dawg3648
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Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:27 pm

Hi Cardiac, did you contact the Leos or did they contact you? We've been enquiring for weeks about OA this year and been told nothing has been planned to date!! Cheers

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CardiacKid
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Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:15 pm

dawg3648 wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:27 pm
Hi Cardiac, did you contact the Leos or did they contact you? We've been enquiring for weeks about OA this year and been told nothing has been planned to date!! Cheers
Hi Dawg,
Are you a season ticket holder? If so, you should have received an email from the Leo's. If you aren't a STH, it opens to the general public on July 21st.
Ck

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dawg3648
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:02 am

Been a STH for 30 years. Have not received the email. There are 3 sets of us STH's who have been enquiring over past couple of months. And nothing....strange! Will follow up on Monday again. Thanks for the info!

B.C.FAN
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:23 am

I don't recall seeing an email this year either.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

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CardiacKid
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:32 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:23 am
I don't recall seeing an email this year either.
Hmmmm.....
We had been in touch earlier this year with our account rep to say we were definitely wanting to go this year and to please let us know. My wife has her email attached to our account and she got notification on Friday. Now the email wasn't from our rep so I assumed whomever sent it must have sent it to all STHs.
The message definitely was intended for STHs as it referenced them (us) as having first kick at the can.

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The_Pauser
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:37 pm

CardiacKid wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:07 pm
Hey all,
Just wondering if anyone has done the Operation Orange trip?
We took the plunge this year for the first time and were curious what folks' experiences were? We had notice the team was considering either Regina and/or Ottawa so we figured either one would be a good choice.
We are pretty jazzed about going after a few years of thinking about it.
Been on 4 of these and had a blast every time. Was going to go one another this year when I heard they were doing one to Regina, but later discovered that one is for sponsors only and Ottawa was the only one they're selling for.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend it for anyone who is a die hard Lions fan.
THINK about it

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CardiacKid
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:37 pm

The_Pauser wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:37 pm
CardiacKid wrote:
Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:07 pm
Hey all,
Just wondering if anyone has done the Operation Orange trip?
We took the plunge this year for the first time and were curious what folks' experiences were? We had notice the team was considering either Regina and/or Ottawa so we figured either one would be a good choice.
We are pretty jazzed about going after a few years of thinking about it.
Been on 4 of these and had a blast every time. Was going to go one another this year when I heard they were doing one to Regina, but later discovered that one is for sponsors only and Ottawa was the only one they're selling for.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend it for anyone who is a die hard Lions fan.
How much do you get to "hang" with the players? I seem to recall from previous years, they advertised spending a meal in the company of the team along with a few other bells and whistles that I don't recall....

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SammyGreene
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Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:26 am

CardiacKid wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:37 pm
How much do you get to "hang" with the players? I seem to recall from previous years, they advertised spending a meal in the company of the team along with a few other bells and whistles that I don't recall....
For starters I too, as a ST holder, have received no information regarding 2017 Operation Orange trips. Are they missing some people in their email system?

Been on two of them. The first ever one to Mosiac in 2012 and a year later when Investors Field opened in Winnipeg.

First one was epic as I'm sure the Lions went out of their way to make it special.
Arrived at Mosiac with the team and Mark Cohon happened to be there and welcomed us. The CFL 100th Grey Cup train was also parked right outside the stadium and we got a special tour before heading onto the field at Mosiac with the players, then visiting the Lions lockerroom that had already been put together by Kato and staff. The team didn't do it's typical pre-game walk through as it was a late afternoon flight so Wally and players just talked to the Regina and Vancouver media.

The next encounter with the players didn't happen until their pre-game meal (you are on your own for all other meals) which was 3 pm at the hotel with kickoff 8 p.m. that night.

In Winnipeg a similar schedule although we didn't go into the Lions lockerroom. Both trips also had a arrival cocktail party (at hotel in Regina and Investors in Winnipeg) which was attended by Wally and Dennis Skulsky along with other front office travel staff.

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The_Pauser
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Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:20 am

CardiacKid wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:37 pm
How much do you get to "hang" with the players? I seem to recall from previous years, they advertised spending a meal in the company of the team along with a few other bells and whistles that I don't recall....
Pretty much what SammyGreene says above. One of the best chances to "hang" with the players is probably at the very beginning when you're waiting to board the flight at the airport. They usually have some snacks (coffee, muffins) to enjoy, and you'll have about half an hour or so to chat with your fellow travelers plus mingling with the team. Usually the fans tend to keep to themselves, while the players are chatting among themselves, but you can easily walk up to someone and introduce yourself.

If you're lucky you may be seated next to one of the players on the flight. The first few trips I did I was sitting next to some of the players and was fortunate to get to know them. On the most recent trip I was seated at the back in the middle of a group of fans, so I guess it's hit or miss.

When you arrive at the destination you end up on your own bus with the fans, while the players have their own. Some of the staff will likely sit on your bus, and you might get a couple of the players/coaches joining you as well.

There might be some interaction if you end up doing a walkthrough of the stadium upon arrival, but that's fairly minimal. There's usually a reception at the hotel in the evening, drinks and snacks, but again, minimal player interaction. The team emphasizes this is a business trip for them so they want to keep the player's pre-game routines as normal as possible, so it's good to keep that in mind and respect that. Especially on game day during the pre-game meals. Some players will come by and say hi to the group, but others will just sit there with their headphones on listening to music and getting in their zone. General rule of thumb, if a player looks like he's just focused on something or has earbuds/headphones on, leave him alone. But if they're chatting, or interacting with the group a bit then feel free to go up and say hi.

After that, there's usually no more interaction with the players until after the game. Typically we'll wait for the team outside of the players gate and (in my experiences) congratulate them on the win. The flight home is a lot more fun after a win than after a loss.
THINK about it

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The_Pauser
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Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:20 am

If you're a ST holder and haven't received information about Operation Orange this year, go call your ticket rep and they'll send you those details.
THINK about it

B.C.FAN
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Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:45 pm

I got the emailed invitation from the Lions today.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

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CardiacKid
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Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:03 pm

Hey Pauser and SammyGreene,
Thanks for taking the time to post that awesome info. I figured for the most part it would be a case of not getting in the way of the players preparation and usual routine. Essentially keeping it like any other road trip as much as possible.
Totally looking forward to it! :wink: :good:

DanoT
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Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:49 am

I was at the first two Operation Orange trips and met both Pauser and SammyGreene.

At the pregame meal they want the fans to sit at separate tables from the players so as not to be a distraction from the players normal routine. However it may be possible to sit with some non player Lions personnel. At the Winnipeg game I ended up sitting with some fans and Wally. We took turns peppering him with questions.

I strongly recommend going to the Regina game, not just to see the new stadium (looked very impressive from the outside when I drove by it during a recent trip to Regina) but just to experience how the whole city goes football crazy leading up to and during game day.

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