Monday, October 02, 2006

Caroline, No
The Nationals' season is over, and I will waste no time in addressing their biggest problem of the past season. You're watching a game, having a great time, and, sudddenly, the scoreboard shows a Neil Diamond graphic, and we're in for a couple of minutes of people acting like they're in Boston at a Red Sox game, as the annoying strains of Sweet Caroline begin. Boston's great, but I don't want to hear this song at Nats' games any more than I want to stand in puddles in the restroom (I haven't been to Fenway in several years, maybe the new owners have fixed this.).

I don't know how this tradition started in Boston, but here it's just a lack of originality, and in a city with as much great music as DC, that bugs the hell out of me. It's embarassing. Also, it's kind of a crappy song. So here's a list of ten potential replacements. I don't mention Chuck Brown, but I think he and his guitar should be on the Nationals dugout at every weekend game during the 7th inning stretch.

Now on with the countdown:

10 Arlington, by Emmet Swimming - Even though this song is actually poking fun at post-Yuppie invasion Arlington, it's still a great song. It's catchy, it's by a great local band, it's about Arlington, and the refrain is easy to catch on to and sing along with.

9 Eve of Destruction, by the Animals - If the president wrote this blog, this would be his top pick, as it would force everybody to think about the terrorists and how they're out to get us, even when we're at a ballgame.

8 What's so Funny 'Bout (Peace, Love and Understanding), by Elvis Costello, or Nick Lowe. A post-punk classic, befitting the capital of the free world. It's easy to sing to, not-so-hip people will pick it up quickly and there are two great versions to choose from.

7 Tear the Roof of the Sucker, by Parliament. Classic Parliament, with a great groove, even the non-funky will catch on after a couple of games.

6 I Came to Dance, by Nils Lofgren. Nils is a Washingtonian, and a sports fan. Until he pens a Nationals equivalent of Bullet Fever, this is the best choice.

5 A Girl Like You, by The Smithereens. This song rocks, it mentions Washington, Pat D. sported a Nationals hat in his ESPN show, and I'm sure my friend Virgil could get the guys to come and perform it live.

4 Pretty Girls and Cadillacs, by the Nighthawks. Another great local band, this isn't their best song, but it fits the bill for what we're looking for, and a stadium filled with, uh, 45,000 people snapping their fingers beats arm waves any day.

3 Burning Down the House, by the Talking Heads. Imagine the crowd going crazy with the opening chords of this classic. And everyone's got to know this by now. Even the people that sit in my section. Except maybe for that guy in the Callahan jersey that sits behind me, and he never stops talking, so it doesn't really matter.

2 Take Me to the River, by Al Green. A great song, and the stadium, both RFK and the new one, will actually be by the river! Who knows, on some of those hot Saturdays after some tailgating there may even be some baptizing going on. If you get tired of the Al Green version, there are other great ones, notably by the Talking Heads and Levon Helm.

1 Havin' a Party, by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Going to a Nationals game is like going to a party, right? This Southside Johnny classic is easy to pick up, and there are opportunities for air-drumming. Southside is still very popular here, and once this catches fire, the Nats need to get him to sing the national anthem.

There you have it. Let's hope the Nationals' brass makes a quick decision on this, so they can focus on re-signing Alph and getting a new manager.

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