I hate a lot of Ole Miss traditions. That’s a rant for another day, but feel free to get offended now. Seeing as its way too damn early to talk about baseball, I’m going to go ahead and talk about baseball.
One Ole Miss tradition I don’t hate is “Sweet Caroline” playing at every home baseball game at Swayze. Love it. It’s a perfect song for a baseball game. Maybe... You know... just a little too perfect?
“Sweet Caroline” is a Boston Red Sox thing that Rebel baseball totally stole. If you follow Major League Baseball, you might already know this, but in case you don’t, I’ll dive into it. According to the Boston Globe, the tradition began because a brilliant woman named Amy Tobey was in charge of picking songs at Fenway from 1998 to 2004. She recognized the song was catchy as all hell for baseball fans and began to play the song as a good luck charm during games, usually during the 7th or 9th inning. It was such a hit with the crowd that playing the song during the 8th inning of every game became an official tradition in 2002. Here’s a video of Neil Diamond performing his song at Fenway in 2013.
Ok, so maybe this is an issue only I care about. Maybe you’ve never watched an Ole Miss game with someone from Boston shitting all over you for stealing their tradition. Let me be clear, I am NOT advocating that we stop playing this song. This is what I’m proposing.
You hear that? Thats good ol’ Waylon Jennings singing your favorite ballpark tune. Since Waylon was an icon of Southern music, wouldn’t it make sense for a ballpark in Mississippi to use his version? As covers go, this one is pretty good, right? Yes, the crowd will have to adjust to a new rhythm for the “bum, bum, bum,” but I think it’s an adjustment we could make before conference play starts. It would be a great way to put our own spin on a baseball tradition, instead of just ripping off the Boston Red Sox.
If you are Sox fan, and you take issue with us playing copycat, hold up for a second. Plenty of sports traditions are borrowed, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The fans like the tradition, the players like the tradition, “I like hearing ‘Sweet Caroline’ at the baseball games” is about the safest cold take in Oxford. We aren’t going to stop playing the song. How about this, we’ll let you borrow “Love is Gone”, or hell, maybe even forgive a Fenway beer shower?
Anyway, if you hate Waylon Jennings’ rendition, feel free to shit on me in the comments section below.