Not in Nottingham

Before I got to Philly the weekend of the Super Bowl, I went to Baltimore and met up with my friend Suds. While we were waiting for the bus in the rain, I went on a rant, as I was all jacked up on coffee… or was it a white russian?

“Aw man, this rain — it’s just like that scene in the Disney version of Robin Hood. Yes, I am seriously talking about this right now.”

So I started to sing. Goes a lil’ somethin’ like this:

“Ev-errr-rrry town
Has its ups and down
Sometime ups
Outnumber the downs

But not in Nottingham”

This terribly annoyed him because I was singing, and singing about our miserable situation, and probably because it was boring, but mostly because of the rain falling on him. If you’re annoyed or bored with this anecdote, here’s the point: I’m making an analogy for the last week of watching Brewers baseball.

I call that picture “Miller Park at Rest” and it was taken last Wednesday when I went to Front Row Friday’s with Sam and Fishbach. We went there specifically to watch the second game of the Brewers-Cubs series, when the Brewers’ bats and relief pitching were actually the elements at rest. When I walked in at the top of the 2nd inning, Soup had already given up 6 runs. This game, of course, became a 19-5 beat down — one which finally inspired management to send Turnbow off to that buffalo farm in the sky. Miserable.

The next day we had news of a thrilling top-of-the-ninth comeback win. Sometimes ups outnumber the downs. But not in Milwaukee, where we soon learned fan-favorite (and pitching staff ace?) Yovani Gallardo will probably not play again this season as a result of an injury he sustained in that 4-3 win.

So then my boy Carlos couldn’t do away with those damn Astros… Neither could Manny Parra. I listened to that Saturday game during the ride to Minneapolis and it was lousy. Rickie Weeks hit a towering lead-off home run (!), which might have exited Minute Maid Park (“the Juice Box”) had it not hit the novelty train which chugs along the left field wall. Then they only scored one more run the whole damn game. The Brewers were winning on Sunday, until their closer, the Ten Million Dollar Man, Éric Serge Gagné walked home the tying run in the Bottom of the 9th. He walked home the tying run. Gagné has blown 5 saves, but if he had converted all of those, the Brewers would be in a tie for the best team in baseball.

They already lost one to the very unattractive Florida Marlins. Very recently, they couldn’t beer-batter those fish, letting them jump fresh outta the fryer. So we’ll see. In the meantime, you gotta try to stay upbeat…. by talking about more songs.

Also in the Disney version of Robin Hood, a football game breaks out during the archery tournament scene. In order to illustrate the scene had now switched to a smashmouth football party, they played “On, Wisconsin!” Not “The Victors.” Not the “Notre Dame Victory March.”

“What is the significance of that?” I asked.

I was very articulate as a child.

“Oh,” my mom said. “That song means football.”

That’s right. According to Wiki, the “fight song of the Wisconsin Badgers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison,” “the official state song of Wisconsin” and “the cry that Arthur MacArthur, Jr. used in the Battle of Chattanooga” means football, intrinsically. But standing in the rain in Baltimore, I thought of another fight song, which is just upbeat enough to keep our minds off our miserable situation. I’m talking, of course, about “Rocky Top.”

Wish that I was on ol’ Rocky Top,
Down in the Tennessee hills.
Ain’t no smoggy smoke on rocky top,
Ain’t no telephone bills.

They don’t pay their bills! Because, you see, they are hillbillies.

Once there was a girl on ol’ Rocky Top,
Half bear the other half cat.
Wild as a mink, sweet as soda pop,
I still dream about that.

Wowie-wow-wow. Yeeeaaah… “Wild as a mink, sweet as soda pop?” I hear ya, brother. Have you met Posh Tosh?

Once two strangers climbed on Rocky Top,
Lookin’ for a moonshine still.
Strangers ain’t come back from Rocky Top,
Guess they never will.

Uh, yeah, so these Yankees — we’re not sure if they were gangsters, or agents from the DEA or ATF — anyway, they’s came on up here lookin’ for our moonshine, so we had to kill ’em. Delmar wanted to eat ’em, but we had to tell ’im no. Reckon no more Yankees will be a’comin’ round here.

Corn won’t grow at all on Rocky Top,
Dirts too rocky by far.
Thats why all the folks on Rocky Top
Get their corn from a jar.

That’s right, we drinks our whiskey. Tennessee whiskey, actually, which is essentially bourbon.

Rocky Top, youll always be
Home sweet home to me.
Good ol’ Rocky Top,
Rocky Top, Tennessee.

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