I: Last year, the Mets, following the lead of the Red Sox (who had been doing the same thing for quite some time), played the song “Sweet Caroline” during the eighth inning and encouraged people to sing along to it.
II: This was slightly horrible. Sweet Caroline is a pretty bad song. And a whole stadium of people singing it with differing levels of in-tune-ness was pretty annoying.
IIa: In circles where music is taken seriously, Sweet Caroline is an almost uniquely despised song. I once met a bass player and we had a conversation to this effect.
IIb: It could have been worse: the ballpark is a place of compromise, and will not adhere 100% to anyone’s ideal ballpark. Little as I liked “Sweet Caroline,” it is easier for me to imagine them doing something more horrible, than for me to imagine them doing something I liked.
IIc: “S.C’ is so maddeningly catchy and feel good that you almost have to give it some form of props. All you really have to do is think about it and it gets in your head (sweeeet Car-o-line, la-da-da daa da da daaaaaa –So good! So good!... FUCK!!)
IId: The song is an abomination. Neil Diamond should be burned to death.
III: Possibly in acknowledgment of II, the Mets have announced that this year fans can vote for one of several choices, or write in their own suggestion for a new song to be played during the eighth inning.
IIIa: In conformation of IIb, Billy Jole’s “I’m Moving Out” and Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” are among the choices.
IV: FARK.com has taken the lead (although others were quick to follow) in encouraging people to write in Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give you Up”—an effort, if successful, that would result in the “rickrolling” of the entire Mets franchise.
IVa: The whole “rickrolling” thing, and internet memes in general, are strange. I get that it is funny to randomly draw attention to different pop-cultural inanities of the past and present. But when you say, of Snakes on a Plane or Rick Astley, that it is “awesome,” what do you actually mean? Is that an honest opinion? Or are you saying that the song corresponds to some set of criteria that you have decided to equate temporarily with awesomeness? Essentially, you are entering a place where traditional concepts like “good” and “bad” have no significance, and the only important quality is some kind of ever-fluctuating, vaguely ironical now-ness—that exists without reference to anything, or references everything.
IVb: That said, an ironical “Never Gonna Give You Up” is, to my mind, far, far more enjoyable than an earnest “Sweet Caroline.”
IVc: That said, I’m not sure how down I am with the Mets being the victim of jokes played by the internet, just sort of on principal.
V: None of this really matters, because the Mets are probably not going to allow themselves to be “rickrolled.” If they don’t want “Never Gonna Give you Up” they won’t have it. They will either go with the next highest vote getter, or just make some other, autocratic, decision.
VI: The whole thing was the subject of a lengthy discussion on metsblog, which also delved into the issues of weather in-game entertainments on the jumbo-tron are desirable or not.
VIa: my feeling on the latter matter: while I like the purist concept of a ball-park with limited non-baseball media, I recognize it as a necessity for many park goers, and have occasionally been grateful for something loud and shinny to occupy my attention in between innings—while other times I have found them inexcusably obnoxious.
VIa1: Ideally they would work on making more in-game entertainments that were fun and interesting, while eliminating ones that sucked. Professor Reyes can teach all the Spanish that he wants; the bit where the kid gets a prize if he hits a home-run in a videogame? Not so much.
VII: Seriously, the song “Sweet Caroline” is quite bad.