The hit MLB.com game show "Bucks on the Pond," powered by Ford, visited Coors Field for the first time with Thursday's release of Episode 13. Tiffani and Jim Nieusma of Highlands Ranch, Colo., are new Rockies fans, and let's just say that being on this particular show brightened their day.
"Actually, we were having a pretty rough day that day, and almost decided not to go to the game after making a difficult job decision," Tiffani said in an email to MLB.com. "But we decided that the game would probably cheer us up, so we went. We felt as if being chosen to play was a sign that I had made the right choice, and it was the start of a great night."
The Nieusmas had just recently moved from Florida to Colorado, to be near some of Jim's family. The pair has been married just about as long as the Rockies have existed, so it seems like almost a perfect marriage when you see them standing in front of the club's familiar 20th-anniversary sign during the show. We found them there on the concourse down the right-field side, in front of the Blue Moon Brewing Co., at the SandLot.
"We had originally attended during the first season at Coors Field when we were out here for a brother's wedding, so we have always had a soft spot for the Rockies," Tiffani said. "Moving here just gave us an opportunity to really become fans full-time."
And an opportunity to win cash, in this case. "Bucks" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel, and you might be a part of it this season when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with MLB.com's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside. In creating a new experience for fans, MLB.com is giving people a chance to earn bucks while they spend bucks at the ballpark.
Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning of baseball. Get the question correct and win money. Get the question wrong and it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out.
The difficulty and value of each question increases with the number of outs in the on-field action: $5 easy questions to start, $10 medium-difficulty questions after one out, $20 hard questions after two outs. If the contestant lasts longer than the team's at-bat, they win the accumulated bucks in their bank.
Here's the new wrinkle: Cross the $100 mark during the show and it's time for "Say The Word," powered by Ford SYNC. You can wager any part of your bank on the next question, which is asked by 2014 Hall of Fame candidate Frank Thomas. Answer correctly and you win. Answer incorrectly and you lose that amount ... and it's another strike.
Topics covered in Episode 13 include continents, Rockies 2012 stats, pop artists, "Family Guy," state abbreviations, "Moby Dick," vegetables, constitutional law, Hugh Jackman, baseball terminology, state capitals, hotels, reality show hosts and rock stars.
"Just say yes. Be open-minded," Tiffani advises fans who might be asked to be part of the "Bucks" experience, such as the winners of $280 for Episode 12. "See what somebody has to say before you say no."
The Rockies have continued to hover around the National League West lead, and now the Nieusmas might have won some bucks at the game. You'll have to watch and see. Who were these people asking them inside Coors Field to answer questions?
"At first I was looking to see what the logo on your shirt was," Jim said, "but after I saw it was Major League Baseball, I figured it had to be something to do with the team."
The "Bucks" crew has been to 19 of the Major League ballparks and is working its way through the full 30. In addition to the Rockies, teams visited include the Angels, Astros, Athletics, Cardinals, Cubs, D-backs, Dodgers, Giants, Marlins, Orioles, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Padres, Pirates, Tigers, White Sox and Yankees.
Bookmark MLB.com/bucks and be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.