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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Market Correction

Well, this one was over the moment the $3 million arm and 10-cent psyche of Victor Zambrano shuffled to the mound (though Pedro Feliciano gets the Ashburn award for valiant service in a hopeless cause), leaving me with less-weighty matters to ponder.

Like this: What the fuck is up with this new song?

If you haven't heard it, and you're not operating heavy machinery and don't have a pacemaker, the New York Observer has the bads. Never before has 74 seconds seemed to last quite so long, has it? You didn't think anything could make you feel more kindly disposed toward “Chocolate Strawberry,” did you?

Once you're recovered, read Newsday for the tale of how this monstrosity was foisted on an unsuspecting world. Personally, my danger sense would have been tingling the moment I heard it was co-written by the president of a Smithtown ad agency. (Mindful of the old saw that there's no such thing as bad publicity, I won't be naming him.) The other co-writer (I won't name him either) once upon a time was part of a group called the New York Citi Peech Boys, who had a regional proto-hit in 1981. Which, perhaps coincidentally, is exactly what “Our Team. Our Time” sounds like — an early-to-mid-1980s rap track, perhaps one from a TV movie or performed at a high-school talent show.

Except it's bending a definition to the breaking point to even call this rap — the rhymes don't start until about the halfway point, and even then they're hide-your-eyes lame: “David Wright, Jose Reyes making sure you're not safe / Just in case Carlos Delgado he's at first base”. As for the mad skillz of the rapper (described as a “freelance artist” — uh-oh), it's possible he's one of those guys in the Quick Lube ad SNY keeps showing. And if I may dip a toe into the waters of lyrical criticism, where are the rest of the starters? No love for Lo Duca, Hernandez or Nady? Was it impossible to top the above couplet?

Anderson Hernandez he's hittin' .183

But we be doublin' that with X-av-ier NAY-DEE!

I mean, how hard was that?

Dave Howard's take? “It was a pretty cool song.” Um, no, Dave — it isn't. (Does Dave have a kid? One between 10 and 40 could have set him straight on this one.) That statement's not quite farcical enough to go up in the Met Utterance Hall of Shame with Art Howe being a man who could light up a room and Victor Zambrano being fixable in 10 minutes, but it's close.

OK, I've made a federal case over a song no one is claiming will replace “Meet the Mets,” and whose roll call of current players ensures it'll have a short shelf life. Do I really care that my ears will be assaulted by a staggeringly crappy first draft of a song at Shea? No, not particularly. It's just that it's upsetting having to endure another wheedling, needy, desperate Met marketing effort that makes me want to put a bag over my head.

Heresy alert: This sense of desperation goes all the way back to “Meet the Mets.” Look, I love “Meet the Mets” — but do I love it for its ricky-ticky instrumentation and hammy Off-Off-Broadway vocals, or because I've heard it 58,000 times when I'm about to walk into Shea or see my team play a baseball game? I assure you it's the latter. Listen to the lyrics: The song's basically tin-cup begging for fans to show up, particularly in the rarely heard second verse:

Oh the fans are true to the orange and blue,

So hurry up and come on down —

Cause we’ve got ourselves a ball club,

The Mets of New York town!

Give em a yell!

Give em a hand!

And let em know you're rooting in the stands!

Inspiring stuff if you were introducing the Wappingers Falls Palookas, but doesn't it strike you as slightly small-town accompaniment (“the butcher and the baker”) for the heirs of the Dodgers and Giants in what was still the baseball capital of the world, and has never ceased being its media capital? The same naked desperation can be heard in the horrid modernization of the song, where some worried marketer touches up the mild sexism of “bring your kiddies, bring your wife” and replaces “East Side, West Side” with a frantically inclusive laundry list that stuffs in two more boroughs, Long Island and an entire other state.

But ultimately, “Our Team. Our Time” reminds me of one of my favorite pathetic Met-marketing stories. It was passed along by a friend who heard it from a friend etc., but just see if you don't think it's true:

As 2003 was mercifully coming to an end, the Mets put together a video montage of highlights featuring Vance Wilson and Jason Phillips, to the tune of “Hold On”. (By Wilson Phillips, yagetit?) I actually thought it was pretty clever: The gimmick snuck up on you and made you laugh, the lyrics fit, and it was a rare, welcome case of a baseball team admitting to the fans that no, that was not the Big Red Machine down there on the field.

Nice work — except that the song was by Wilson Phillips.

The story goes that very, very shortly after the montage was unveiled, into A/V Central stomps Jason Phillips. He seems somewhat agitated: “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT FUCKING GAY SHIT? THAT IS THE GAYEST FUCKING SHIT I'VE EVER SEEN! WHO THE FUCK CAME UP WITH THAT FUCKING GAY SHIT? DON'T EVER FUCKING PLAY THAT FUCKING GAY SHIT AGAIN!”

(Or something to that effect.)

When Phillips stops to hyperventilate, a crestfallen Mets A/V guy tries to manage the situation: “Jason — can we fix it?”

The answer, alas, is no. When you start with a Wilson Phillips song that's the gayest fucking shit not really very cool, things are not fixable. And when you start with played-out Reagan administration beats and a rap a bright sixth-grader would be embarrassed by, you wind up in the same place.

Don't get me wrong: I'll gladly take .769 ball and tragically uncool marketing over .500 ball and a new theme song written exclusively for us by Kanye West. But for now, for once, could the marketers please stop trying so friggin' hard? Cliff Floyd and Pedro Martinez and Carlos Delgado are cooler than any marketing campaign you could possibly try to cram them into. And 10-3, that's pretty cool too. It's simple: Play “Apache,” rifle doubles up the gap, follow good starting pitching with stingy relief, and the rest will come.

10 comments to Market Correction

  • Anonymous

    the only thing that can be said in its defense is that in 1986, the mets had a faux rap song/video too that was an embarrassment. so maybe the front office is just trying to pump up similar inanities on the road to a championship?

  • Anonymous

    Get Tom Verlaine.
    (to the tune of “Stalingrad”)
    Wil-lets Point. . .

  • Anonymous

    So, um, Jason, you're not quite sold on “Our Team, Our Time” but you're willing to give it a chance to grow on you?
    Is that what you're saying?

  • Anonymous

    I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the sheer awfulness of that “song.” It seems like one of those things my Marketing professor likes to show us as an example of how not to promote a product (the whole “the marketing gurus spontaneously decided to create the song” BS was a dead giveaway that it was going to suck ass).

  • Anonymous

    Zam-bra-no's bad
    I think we've all been had….

    I'm going to stop now.

  • Anonymous

    It's even worse than Let's Get Metsmerized.

  • Anonymous

    God, this is awful, like the music at Nassau Coliseum (they still play The Cult).
    Soeone please tell the Wilpons we don't need this garbage. Not only is it not going to attract fans, it is bad juju. We are going to need a whole lot of chickens to make this jinx wear off.

  • Anonymous

    At the risk of piling on, it blows. My partner can confirm that our tastes generally diverge on these matters (which is to say he has taste and I never saw the need to schlep it to the ballpark). I fall for just about every cheesy Mets song that trundles down the pike, whether it's the bastardized version of “Meet the Mets,” “Let's Go Mets” or even, yup, “Get Metsmerized”:
    I'm George Foster and I love this team.
    The Mets are better than the Red Machine.

    “Our Team, Our Time” makes “Get Metsmerized” look like “Willie, Mickey & The Duke”.
    I don't mind the effort, meaning the notion that, hey, let's manufacture a song for the team. But wow, this thing sucks to higher heavens than any three Andruw Jones home runs in this series. I've seen it compared to the Knicks' “Go New York Go,” and not favorably. I'll note, as an occasional patron of the local WNBA franchise, that it's actually quite the ripoff of a song that goes something like this:
    Which actually works for them. It doesn't for us. As pieces of crap go, this is surely one of them.
    And I like “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips. It's held up better than either Wilson or Phillips.

  • Anonymous

    All you need a is a video and you could have the next Super Bowl Shuffle on your hands…provided the Mets win it all, of course. Just think…the 2006 championship season forever associated with a baaaaad video.

  • Anonymous

    Ummm…I'll take it. :-)