And now a subject we can all agree on — the Mets.
Joy of Sox, courtesy of Metsblog, reports the Mets have begun playing "Sweet Caroline" in the eighth inning of each ballgame — much like a certain team 150 or so miles to the northeast that also plays that song at that time.
The Metsblogger, for one, is deeply embarrassed by these developments:
In my view, this is sad, because the sing-along is clearly a Fenway special, so to speak. I’m trying to get my readers to rally and lobby the team to stop ripping off Red Sox Nation.
We all know this is not the first time the Mets have been accused of ripping off musical selections from
a better and more interesting another team. There was the "Enter Sandman" controversy, which seemed to die down about the same time it was discovered Billy Wagner had as much — if not more — of a claim to be the original chooser of the song for his entry music as Mariano Rivera (or it was around the time he started sucking. One or the other).
Now, "Sweet Caroline" is not a uniquely Boston song, nor is it about sports at all. Most people don’t really know the words except "Woah-oh-oh" and "So good! So good!" and that last bit isn’t even part of the song. According to this Globe article, the Sox chose it after hearing it at other stadiums, and one Metsblog commenter said he’s heard it for more than 10 years at Jets games (which might be reason enough to forever ban it from Fenway’s PA system).
Nevertheless, the Sox have been playing it off-and-on since 1998 (apparently more off than on because I never heard it, and I was going to games at Fenway until 2000) — and full-time since 2002, making this the fifth season Neil Diamond’s whiny voice has crooned from the Fenway speakers. That’s not a terribly long time (it’s no "Enter Sandman," after all), but it’s not exactly like the Sox started playing it because Julian Tavarez just had to have it before signing a contract.
Also, "Sweet Caroline" is featured prominently in a hit movie as being tied to the Red Sox. As we all know, if Hollywood says it, it must be true. So, take down the song, Mets. You’re not fooling anyone. It’s not like you don’t have your own movie — why not use some of the songs from that instead?