Sunday, July 20, 2008

So, the new Stadium is nearly upon us - which current Stadium traditions need to go the way of the old Stadium?

I passed "the Yankee Stadiums" on the way down the Major Deegan yesterday, and it made me realize that the new Stadium is pretty much complete. There is still plenty of time before the official date of completion in February '09, but from the outside, it looks like a legit Stadium.

Believe it or not, there are only 30 games remaining in the life of the current, renovated Yankee Stadium - love it or hate it.

So, that got me thinking - what are some of the traditions in the current stadium that I want to see die when it is leveled? Get out your paper and pencil kids, this calls for a list:

- The Great City Subway race. When I was a kid, I loved this thing. Then, sponsors were plastered all over it, John Sterling became the "announcer" for it, and they created some goofy 3-D animations that somehow made it look less like a Subway Race than when it was simple cartoon animations. Plus, the C train stopped running to the Stadium years ago, so now it is two trains from the 6th Avenue line (B + D)racing against the Lexington Avenue line (4). It is boring and it has run its course. 4 train 4-life

- Y.M.C.A dance-along with the Grounds Crew in the 5th inning. Yes, it is hilarious when 56,000 people dance along to a song about homosexuality . However, the crowd hasn't really been into it since the late 90's dynasty. Nowadays, you look around and a few first-timers are into it, looking like complete idiots, but most of the crowd is sprinting toward the bathroom or the concessions. It is met with complete apathy, and I don't think the crew can possibly do as good of a job raking the field as other grounds crews around the league. The Yankees demand excellence, and this tradition is no longer excellent in any way. Might as well bring this tradition to the current day and use another thinly veiled song full of sexual innuendo. Soulja Boy's "Superman" immediately comes to mind. I can see it now, the grounds crew puts on Superman capes and drag the infield, all while dancing to a song about crude sexual acts to women. Priceless.

- God Bless America. Nothing like Patriotism inspired by terrorism. Fine, I'll admit it was memorable and meaningful back in 2001, when the Yankees made those amazing comebacks in game 4 and 5 at the Stadium in early November. The entire crowd was singing along, and there was a sense of National pride that I had never felt before. Without bringing politics into this, lets just say the spirit isn't there when people are singing "God Bless America" anymore. That, coupled with the bizarre choice to use Kate Smith's rendition (what significance does her version have?!) has rendered this tradition tedious. I'll make a compromise - only do it on Sundays, and get a recorded version of Ronan Tynan singing it. I'll even provide a link to purchase the CD with Ronan's version on it. Interesting fact of the day - Ronan Tynan was born with two deformed legs, and they were both eventually amputated. I always thought the guy was awesome, but not that I know he is a double-amputee, he is even more inspirational. Yankee Stadium needs more Ronan.

- The recorded video of Rudy Giulianni yelling "Lets Go Yankees" that they play late in close games to inspire the crowd (and the team?). All this clip does is rile up the late 90's Yankee nostalgia crowd (God help us all). Bernie and Paul are no longer roaming the outfield, Cone and El Duque are no longer holding down the postseason rotation, Scotty Bro is no longer playing the role of Clutchy McClutch, and Rudy Giulianni is no longer relevant in New York City. After his run for presidency was an epic fail, all he brings is the stench of losing and nostalgia to the Stadium. Do away with that clip. Rudy can still have his box seats near the Yankees on-deck circle. At least he is a rich guy who I know will cheer for the Yankees.

I read an interview with the infamous Buzz Bissinger recently, and he mentioned part of the reason he hates bloggers so much is because they are too wordy and their posts are too long. For that reason, I will cut my list off here and let it stew for a while. There very well may be a part two somewhere down the line.

Now, a few traditions that we would keep and are publicly approved by NYYSI:

Cotton Eye Joe
. This is a controversial pick as a keeper. Until recently, I wanted no part of this corny song being played during the "8th inning stretch". Then, one day I realized that I had never looked up the lyrics to the song. I always made funny noises and then sang "Cotton Eye Joe, I'd been married a long time ago". Think about the song in your head for a minute. I bet you don't know the words directly before that line. Spoiler alert! The words are "if it hadn't been for Cotton Eye Joe, I'd been married a long time ago". Those lyrics alone don't make me want to keep the song, but it is somehow endearing fact that I have been hearing the song for 12 years and never could decipher those words. The rest of the lyrics do little to clear up the meaning of the song. So, is Cotton Eye Joe some sort of sleaze ball that tried to sleep with all of the women in this made up Red Neck town? Then they all ran away and there were only dudes left? A bizarre song like that, with some weird guy in a cowboy hat in the scoreboard operator's room dancing like a spaz deserves some play in the new Stadium. Why do I feel like this is the only thing that will actually be eliminated when the new Stadium comes around? Oh yea, check out this picture of sometimes blog comment contributor "Fake Ian Kennedy" dressed up like Cotton Eye Joe. Legendary.

The match game, cap game, and guess that Yankee baby picture game. All of these are good between inning mind-teasers that have no glaring qualities to make fun of. Keepers.

Finally, I'd like to throw a bone to the Yankee nostalgia crowd and recommend that the Yankees bring back "this magic moment". Back in the late 90's, the Yankees used to play a classic Yankee Stadium moment on the scoreboard between innings late in the game. It was basically what you see on the YES Network between innings sometimes. I don't know why they got rid of it, but with nostalgia being a fairly common attribute among Yankee fans, it makes sense to bring it back. Even a grumpy realist like myself will enjoy it.

Talk about it in the NYYSI Forums!
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