Monday, August 28, 2006


When cleverness goes bad

I've subscribed (at great personal expense, I might add) to the cable TV baseball package, which enables me to see the majority of New York Mets games on SNY, the New York area sports cable station. SNY also covers the other New York sports teams, including the football New York Jets.

There is a long tradition in this country dating back to the late 19th century, of sportswriting that is self-consciously grandiloquent, excessively cutesy, ironically pseudo-poetical, etc. Think "Casey at the Bat," Ring Lardner. Think calling a catcher a "backstop" or referring to the pitcher putting his foot on the pitching rubber as "toeing the slab." Think of the nickname "gridiron" for football field. You get the idea -- and it continues to this day.

Combine that with marketing to a demographic of heavy beer drinkers who chortle at Miller Light commercials, and you get the following nickname for the Jets, whose colors are green and white:
"Gang Green."
Is it just me, or did they go a bit astray with that one? I have a few alternative suggestions:
Running Sore.
Intestinal Blockage.
Steaming Pile.
Passing Gas.

They look about equal.

By the way, Harvey Kurtzman and artist Jack Davis did a great interpretation of "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Lawrence Thayer in MAD comic number 6.
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