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Boonville Daily News - Boonville, MO
  • FROM THE EDITOR: Nutty about these squirrel nuts

  • The Rally Squirrel has joined the list of phenomenon, like William Hung's American Idol fame, that started funny and puttered out after marketers saw an opportunity to exploit the buzz.


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  • The Rally Squirrel has joined the list of phenomenon, like William Hung's American Idol fame, that started funny and puttered out after marketers saw an opportunity to exploit the buzz.
    When the squirrel scampered across the field at Busch Stadium, you could already see shirt vendors hustling behind the animal.
    I thought with the St. Louis Cardinals advancing to the World Series, perhaps we had heard the last of the rodent, but media types continue to burrow —but fail— to find clever ways to talk about the squirrel.
    "The question remains, Bob, how nutty can Cardinals' fans get?" said reporter Steve.
    Bob and Carol follow the story with a hearty chuckle in studio.
    For those who haven't followed the tale of a squirrel elevating his status from that of skunks and possums to the likes of the Taco Bell dog, a quick recap. (I doubt many drivers swerved for a chihuahua any more than for a Chalupa wrapper before the commercials aired.)
    In Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, a squirrel sprinted across the field, causing a delay, after which Ryan Theriot hit a single. The Cardinals lost the game, 3-2. Then in Game 4, a squirrel again entered just as the Phillies' Roy Oswalt delivered a pitch. Despite objections from Oswalt and the Phillies' manager, the umpire ruled the pitch a ball. Skip Schumaker flied out to center on the next pitch, but the Cardinals won the game.
    Normally when such an animal obstructs human activity, best-case scenario, they win a real life Frogger and get an evil glare from drivers. More likely, though, they are road kill and further evidence of a testy relationship.
    As "Seinfeld" portrays, we don't have the deal with squirrels that we do with pigeons.
    "They get out of the way of our cars, we look the other way on the statue defecation," Jerry tells George.
    But because of the lack of peace talks,  George is forced to pay for expensive instruments from El Paso to save a squirrel he hits.
    And now, us Cardinals’ fans have an undeserving cult hero. If I run onto the field in the middle of a baseball game, the only thing I get is tasered. Nude or not, a fan who interrupts a game doesn't even receive air time because, as announcers explain, "We aren't going to encourage that sort of behavior."
    To those who have ordered their squirrel shirts and follow the animal's Twitter account, I ask you this, how did the animal earn the rally moniker?
    Page 2 of 2 - In his two appearances, the Cardinals lost the first game and won the second. If you see the squirrel as divine intervention from the Baseball Gods, I must appeal to a typical atheist argument. Yes, we won one when the squirrel appeared, but where was the guy upstairs on the animal's first cameo?
    The truth is, the Cardinals don't need a squirrel or any other animal to propel them towards a championship. Their run from another lost season and deserved scrutiny to the World Series defied all logic, even before the acorn-loving animal gained fame.
    Now the Birds face the team I predicted to win the championship before St. Louis entered the race. The Texas Rangers’ formidable lineup will be a tough one to restrain, but enough weirdness remains in the cosmos to win four more games.
    And if we do, I will return the squirrel's favor and scamper up the nearest tree.
    Cardinals in five.
    Contact news and online editor Eric Berger by calling 882-5335 or e-mailing eric@Boonvilledailynews.com.

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