Sunday I took in a Brewer game at Miller Park. Jeff Suppan appropriately turned in one of his rare stellar performances and Casey McGahee provided some fireworks with a home run. There were enough exciting plays to keep fans interested and chanting loudly. But there was one recurring moment that seemed to stand out with the Milwaukee faithful and truly involve them in the game.
Frank Catalanotto walking up to the plate.
It’s not so much that Catalanotto is all that exciting a player. He’s a journeyman outfielder with an eye for hitting singles and sliding in the outfield. But what sets him apart from his veteran bench mates was his selection of walk-up music. Catalanotto comes up to “Your Love” by The Outfield. You’re likely wondering who The Outfield is and why anyone would choose such an obscure song (at least if you’re under thirty). But trust me, it’s not obscure and you’ve heard it (at least if you’re over twenty-one). I’m certain that for a lot of the fans in attendance on the days Catalanotto gets an at bat the best part of their day is when whoever is operating the music cuts the song at the fifty-four second mark allowing the fans to finish up the line. At least a quarter of the stadium was taking part in this.
(As a side note, watch the first minute of the Youtube video for this song and then look at Frank Catalanotto’s picture on Wikipedia. Tell me he doesn’t look like the lead singer. Try and tell me that. Have we ever seen them in the same place? Could this be why he’s chosen this song? Who knows.)
People were very responsive. That’s one way baseball captures the attention of fans. The game is slow and there is a lot of downtime, but the opportunity to occasionally rock (or jam) out exists. And if you look hard enough, the chance is there in basketball too, but it’s often wasted and uncreative. Last year when Richard Jefferson scored a basket in the early part of the year that was the cue for a snippet of “Movin’ On Up”, the Jeffersons theme music. That’s unoriginal. When Andrew Bogut slammed home an offensive rebound we were treated with a touch of “Land Down Under” by Men at Work. Lame.
I’m hoping neither RJ or Bogut came with such lame suggestions for their songs. In fact one of the only cool songs a Buck has had in the last few years was Jake Voskuhl’s ironic and hilarious “You’re the Best Around” by Joe Esposito. I’ll take this sentence and credit my friend Bau on remembering that one, I had long forgotten that Voskuhl was ever successful in scoring a basket for the Bucks.
But that’s why I’m here today. We can do better than this. We can involve the crowd. We can fire up the masses. We can come up with a nickname. We can make up for the absence of “Light It Up”. So with only slightly further ado, I give you a song for each Buck in 2009. There may be some language in some of the songs that you aren’t into or deem inappropriate, but if you follow my instructions on which seconds to listen to you should be okay. And if you don’t like rap music, well this may not be for you, but there is some Three Dog Night involved. Now, without further ado and in alphabetical order no less here we are:
Joe Alexander: From what most Bucks fans will tell you, Joe Alexander has little clue of what he’s doing on a basketball court. After his high selection and meager production last year, Alexander might be best served to come out this year with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He doesn’t necessarily have anything to prove, but I’m sure he’s heard the negativity that surfaces when his name comes up. At the start of Jay Z’s classic “You Don’t Know” Jay hears he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he reminds us he does. I’d love to see Joe remind us all that there was a reason he was the number eight pick.
Charlie Bell: I’m begging anyone involved in picking the music to stop playing “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward. It’s terrible. We get that his last name is Bell. We made the connection. The song is not cool and most of the players on this season’s incarnation of the Bucks likely does not have a clue (and rightfully so) what disco was. So instead of a disco diva, how about we dip into the pool of Andre 3000. In “Greenlight” with John Legend, Andre 3K perfectly spits “1-2-3 greenlight …” at the three minute mark, which is as appropriate as anything for a classy guy and one of Milwaukee’s only three-point shooters in Charlie Bell. Done.
Andrew Bogut: It’s easy to look for Australian artists to throw with Bogut. Natalie Imbruglia, Men at Work and Rick Springfield all meet the requirements, but we can do better than that. In the NBA fans want their big man angry. They want their big men sounding like fire-breathing dragons. They wants bad bad dudes. They want … a little Mr. T. in their life. So where can we go for Mr. T. and music? Look no further than Ghostface Killah’s “The Champ“. From :55 to :59 we are treated to some inspirational Mr. T. tough guy quotes on a champion sounding beat. Foo.
Carlos Delfino: Delfino, a Venezualan native, is one of many Bucks who rely on craft and cunning rather than sheer force. Delfino is smooth and fawned upon by the ladies. For the Latin sounding beat, the message and Pharrell’s opening three seconds “Beautiful” by Snoop Dogg and Pharrell just feels right for one of the newest Bucks.
Francisco Elson: Francisco Elson is the rare Buck who had perfect music last year after his baskets. He didn’t have music at all. He merely had the comedic wizard Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf cooing, “Francisco that’s fun to say. Francisco.” Well done.
Dan Gadzuric: According to the Bucks media guide from last season Dan Gadzuric likes reggae. I can dig that. I’m not really a fan myself, but Dan does have the laid back vibe about him, even though he’s mainly an energy guy who comes in and runs around. You never see him doing anything dirty or underhanded, and I can respect that. So when Gadz scores, perhaps we can all be reassured that there is no need to worry, and every little thing will be alright.
Ersan Ilyasova:According to NBA.com Sarah Brightman is Ilyasova’s favorite musician. If Ilyasova can start delivering points in the paint and rebounds I’ll be okay with it. Let’s move on.
Brandon Jennings: I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’m going to take the easy route. I’m going to slap Soulja Boy up on the Brandon Jennings slot and move on with it. But I’m here to provoke thought and try and do original things every now and then. So I’m going to take a different EAZY way out. Alert readers noticed my misspell of the word easy and realized why I did it there. Many moons before Brandon Jennings was making his way out of Compton another small tough guy came out of one of California’s roughest areas and paved way for gangsta rap, not unlike Jennings paving the way for high schoolers looking to go to Europe. From :24 to :27 Eazy-E’s “Eazy-er Said Than Done” exemplifies confidence and making oneself known. Methinks that fits young Jennings perfectly.
Jodie Meeks: I’m doing Meeks with the hope he’ll be relevant more than the certainty that he will. Meeks might be the most exciting of all for me. I actually came up with his while watching him make bucket after bucket as a spot up shooter in summer league. He was cool as anything and I think he needs a nickname that reflects his calm demeanor and penchant for knocking down smooth looking jumpers. Cool and smooth? The Ice-Cream Man. I love it. And what better song for an Ice-Cream Man than “Ice Cream” by Wu-Tang Clan. But just the first nine seconds. In the limited time it fits perfect to hear Method Man bellow out, “… the ice-cream man is coming…” in remembrance of the Eddie Murphy bit. Perfection all around.
Luc Mbah a Moute: Mbah a Moute will likely always have to prove himself on offense. He’ll never be a first option or even a second or third probably. Maybe he’ll develop his jumper and get in the teens for points a game, maybe not. Either way it is irrelevant, as he’s such a force defensively already. But he’s not bad on offense. He’s surprisingly athletic and finishes pretty well around the hoop. I’d think it must feel like sweet revenge for Luc when he’s left open for a jumper and he can knock it down. If I were him I know I’d like nothing better than to let the other team know I am for real. And what better way to do that than by dipping back into the Outkast pool with “Ms. Jackson“. I mean, they physically say “I am for reeeeaaal.” Delightful.
Luke Ridnour: Along with most I’ve always thought of point guards as leaders. I also associated leadership with samurais and cowboys. I don’t know how those three things brought me to my final destination on Luke Ridnour, but I’m kind of digging it. Luke hit a few big shots last year and had a pretty reliable pull-up jumper on the move. Bang bang.
Michael Redd: Redd is the most decorated member of the Bucks and has been for sometime. Olympic team? Check. All-star team? Check. A run at the Bucks all-time scoring record? It’s a possibility. Say what you will about Michael Redd, the man can put the ball in the hoop. With regard to scoring, Redd “Ain’t No Joke“. Eric B.’s terrific production and Rakim’s silky rhymes mesh perfectly with Redd’s beautiful imperfect release and follow through. Pick any time Rakim says, “I ain’t no joke,” and you have a perfect line following a Redd three-pointer.
Kurt Thomas: What I think of when I think of Kurt Thomas: old, reliable, dependable, tough, mean, the south and defense. So when Kurt Thomas scores, I only imagine that for him it’s a bonus. He knows his role and he performs quite well in it. So when Thomas scores, it must feel so good … so good. For that I prescribe “Never Been To Spain” by Three Dog Night, but just from 1:06 to 1:09.
Roko Ukic: In the spirit of Jake Voskuhl maybe once a season someone can take on “You’re the Best Around” as their theme song. The requirements would have to include a lack of playing time and no pressure to do much other than be a good teammate. I have high hopes on both catagories for Ukic, as he gives Andrew Bogut a friend to talk about Croatia with. A win-win.
Hakim Warrick:The name Hakim Warrick almost starts a highlight show in my mind. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him make a play that wasn’t terrific. This is good and bad. For one, you’re only going to make so many terrific plays a game, so where is he the rest of the game? But on the other hand he did secure a national championship for Syracuse, and to be honest I really haven’t seen Warrick play in a few years, due in large part to him being on Memphis. Warrick is the kind of guy who makes you emit gasps though, so how about the gasping voice in the background of Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing“? I’m in. The bonus on this link is the hilarious video I found for it. If you liked “The Hangover” you should enjoy this.