Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Local Fan Still Seeking Expressed, Written Consent From Major League Baseball To View Game He Taped Last August

"I just want to find out how the Brewers won," he says

Milwaukee, WI (Dec. 26) - After over four months of waiting, area Brewers fan Martin Van Huesen says he is still waiting for the expressed, written consent of Major League Baseball so that he can view a game he taped on August 14th.

"I just want to find out how the Brewers won," Van Huesen told reporters yesterday. "I mean, I already know they beat the Padres, but the Brewers were down 6-1 in the eighth inning.

"Wouldn't you be curious as to how they won it?," Van Heusen asked rhetorically.

Details of the Brewers' big comeback against the Padres have been coming to Van Heusen in bits and pieces, and he just wants to view the last two innings for himself.

"I had a tape in the machine and went out to Taco Bell," Van Heusen explained, recalling that fateful night. "The Brewers were down 6-1, but I thought, 'What the hell?' So I hit 'record' and left."

Van Heusen then decided to enjoy his Burrito Supreme and Baja Beef Chalupa inside the restaurant, instead of his more traditional drive-thru experience.

"There didn't appear to be a big rush to get back to the game," he said. "So I took my time and ate. Usually I wolf that fast food stuff down like someone's going to take it away from me."

It was that decision -- the decision to eat inside Taco Bell rather than take the food home and consume it -- that cost Van Heusen the chance to watch the Brewers score three times in the bottom of the 8th and three more times in the bottom of the 9th, live. But once he got home and saw on the ESPN News ticker that his beloved Brewers won, Van Heusen decided to rewind the tape. But his conscience got the best of him.

"I've heard that damn disclaimer a million times in my life," Van Heusen said of MLB's warning that any tape shown or rebroadcast of the game without the expressed, written consent of MLB
is strictly prohibited. "And I just couldn't get it out of my head."

Brewers fan Martin Van Heusen, who's still waiting to see for himself how the Brewers rallied to beat the Padres last August

So before hitting the 'play' button on his VCR, Van Heusen sought to go thru the proper channels in order to watch his videotape. But that decision, like the one he made to eat at Taco Bell, would also come back to haunt him.

"I sent an e-mail to MLB offices in New York," he said. "And ever since then I've been getting the runaround."

Van Heusen said that on several occasions he's been told that the forms he needs to fill out to seek the expressed, written consent of MLB would be sent to him. However, on every occasion, the papers have failed to arrive.

"Finally, after about the fourth time being told this, I called MLB and complained. Some sort of manager got on the line and told me I was being rude and that I would have to re-apply. That added a few more weeks to the process."

In late October -- more than two months after the game -- Van Heusen received a certified letter that said he would not only have to ask MLB for permission to view the tape, but also the Brewers themselves.

"Why couldn't they have just told me that from the get go?," Van Heusen wondered aloud to reporters.

It took another three weeks to gain the Brewers' consent.

"They were like, 'Sure, whatever.' I think they thought the whole idea of me asking was pretty lame," Van Heusen recalled.

But as of Christmas Day, MLB has still yet to grant Van Heusen permission to watch the last two innings on his VCR.

Has he thought of just watching the tape anyway?

"Well, sure, but then that's against the law," he said to the question. "Why would I put my being incarcerated at risk after I've come this far?"

Broadcasting law expert Edward Murphy says that Van Heusen is doing the right thing.

"Absolutely," Murphy said via telephone. "It's always best to play it safe. Martin, at this point, would be foolish to risk anything after he's waited this long. Expressed, written consent can get caught up in the sea of red tape. It's like applying for a passport."

Though frustrated, Van Heusen isn't giving up hope that someday he'll be able to watch the Brewers' rally to beat the Padres on August 14.

"I searched YouTube and they have it," Van Heusen said. "But I won't watch it. That's the Internet -- a whole new can of worms for me. No thanks."

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