About That "Crosby Sucks" Anthem
Second in a three-part Monday morning series on personalities your typical D.C. sports fan doesn't like much.
If you're like me, your only experience with the metal/rap/rock group Pummeler came last spring, when their Caps anthem "Ovechkin" made a brief Internet splash, and likely caused ear-drum bleeding in a certain sub-set of Caps followers. "Elmo's Song," it wasn't.
The band consists of three siblings who consider themselves "the anti-Jonas Brothers," men who "would wear IMpurity rings, but the nastiness of our flesh would corrode the metal in seconds," as one of them wrote me. (Their MySpace page is here; language warning.) You could buy their music on Amazon, if you wanted, but I have to give you an "explicit language" warning even to go look at the offerings. In fact, go wash your mouth out with soap right now, just to make sure.
The gents used to play out in clubs, but now, one wrote, they're all 'sedentary and complacent American schlubs with 'serious' day jobs and various athletic obsessions that make us sore and thirsty for scotch." Sorta like your typical sports columnist.
Anyhow, you can't keep a good artist down, and hence, the creativity of Pummeler still roams the Internet. Their latest piece of work: "Crosby Sucks." If you haven't listened to it yet, please do, immediately. Sample lyrics:
Canadian sensation, well at least on certain stations;
A poster child for Francophiles who dance to Zombie Nation.
All his fans are morons who defend his every stunt;
And the "C" that's on his chest, well it really stands for...
Haha, you get the idea. Despite the guaranteed receipt of at least three e-mails from native Pennsylvanians telling me this is why newspapers are dying and/or canceling their Post subscriptions, here's a fairly amazing Q&A with the gents behind the music. I think you'll like it. Unless you're one of the aforementioned native Pennsylvanians.
Sports Bog: Who wrote this song and why?
Lord Jupiter: It was an idea I had after the recent bleating by Don Cherry about Ovechkin. We thought about doing an anti-Cherry song, but figured "Crosby Sucks" made more sense, especially since Cherry's barely worth a line these days, nevermind an entire song. So thank Don Cherry for this one. If Deion Sanders were born in Canada and became a lumberjack wannabe, he'd be Don Cherry. That guy's got no room to talk about flamboyance. Has he looked in the mirror??
Philosoraptor: The song is an attack on NHL marketing. Sidney Crosby is the blush-faced, conservative poster "Kid" for that marketing. There are a lot of adult fans out there who resent the new dumbed-down, kid-proofed Bettman NHL. They resent the idea of marketers trying to put a safe, North American "face" on the sport to try and neuter it for soccer moms, instead of letting the game develop its own natural character through the men who play it. They resent the presentation of Crosby as some sort of Matrix-Neo of hockey, when the guys who are actually pulling off legendary, storybook type of plays happen to actually be two inconveniently ugly and scary Russians. This song points at that 900-pound gorilla in the room, and demands that he stop flinging dung at the truth.
OBM: At first, most people won't get the deeper meaning of the song, but really it's all right there in the title. Crosby Sucks.
Sports Bog: What sort of feedback did you all get from the Ovechkin song?
LJ: We didn't get invited to meet Ted or Ovechkin like that rapper dude Wale, but it was cool. The best thing was having Ovechkin himself talking about it in an interview with a Russian reporter. The quote is on our MySpace page.
("But not long ago Washington fans made up a song in my honor. It went something like, 'When they broke his nose, he hammered in four goals against Montreal.' And all of this to the tune of some slamming music something like Rammstein. Well, it is true, you can't break your nose to Mozart.")
P-rap: The most negative feedback we received either came from 16-year old knuckledraggers in Pennsylvania, which is redundant language, or people who just plain hate techno. Good for them, they can swing their hips to "The Hockey Song." The funniest feedback actually came from a middle-aged Pens fan up in Johnstown; he was an extra in Slap Shot and we had some funny and good-natured ribbing going back and forth over it.
OBM: A couple of people have asked me if Ovechkin can actually pop
wheelies on a zamboni. I don't know, but I wouldn't bet against it.
Sports Bog: Any particular reason this one is more, uh, family friendly?
LJ: Everyone needs to know how bad "Crosby Sucks," regardless of age, so we bit the bullet for the greater good. We'd prefer that kids get up on the latest slang as quickly as possible to make OUR jobs easier, but what are you gonna do....
OBM: Plus we wanted Crosby to be allowed to listen to it.
Sports Bog: Some national media members and fans have accused Caps fans of being obsessed more with hating Crosby than loving Ovechkin. Any validity to that accusation?
OBM: You know, I think you have to acknowledge that the converse is true in Pittsburgh, and in other cities, when it comes to Ovechkin. In some cities, Ovechkin will get booed every time he touches the puck, for no good reason. I have multiple pieces of Ovechkin memorabilia, including two expensive hockey sweaters. I don't have any anti-Crosby articles of any sort. That pretty much answers your question right there.
P-rap: I think Crosby plays a little dirty, but so does Ovechkin sometimes. What I actually hate is the Crosby icon, which exists outside of Sidney himself. He may or may not be complicit, but it is more what he is being used for than the actual person.
Sports Bog: Is hate the right word? And why does Crosby cause such strong feelings?
LJ: We don't "hate" Crosby. We just want him to fall in a volcano. Both guys came into the league as the top rookies, and Ovechkin's gotten the better of Crosby more often than not (Calder, Hart, Pearson, etc). Yet Crosby still gets all the "official" hype from the league. If anyone's suffered through Slap Shot 2, think about the SuperChiefs and that whole charade of sickening poofery. That's how the Crosby hype strikes us. Marketing fluff that ain't real hockey.
P-rap: He's like the NHL equivalent of a Slanket or Snuggie.
OBM: That's what people 'hate.' And punches to the junk. And whining. And diving.
P-rap: Nope. We did the song for the lulz, but I draw the line at being a walking billboard for the lulz.
LJ: No, but the anti-Ovechkin backlash is pretty annoying. Some Flyers and Pens (Crosby) start chirping to the press that Ovie's "running around," and the next thing you know Ovie's the bad guy. Classic deflection. Let's focus on Crosby's slashing, instigation, and butt-punching instead.
Sports Bog: Do you want to see the Penguins in the first round?
P-rap: I personally do not want to see the Caps play the Pens at all, because this franchise seems to have a collective psychosis or curse when playing against the Pens in the post season. Not that I believe this year's Caps won't roll over the Penguins as they did in all but one of their meetings this year, but I favor the path of least resistance.
OBM: Remind me again why we're supposed to be afraid of a team that the Capitals have owned all year?
LJ: I think Philly is actually a better playoff-style team. The Caps seem to have no problem getting up for games vs Pittsburgh, yet Philly has intimidated them and out-muscled them on a few occasions. The Caps are a team that beats itself with mental states, so Philly is a bigger threat, in my opinion. But it would be nice to see Crosby's tears flowing during a handshake ceremony in front of Caps fans.
Sports Bog: Why write songs about the Capitals?
P-rap: I do it firstly because I want to give something back to the team that makes the bleakness of winter suck less for me, and secondly because I believe the art world too rarely ventures into the world of sports. What have we got in this genre? That abysmal "Are you ready for some football" song? "Basketball" by
Curtis Kurtis Blow? The ever fascinating and awesome Wright Brothers of NoMeansNo, aka the "Hanson Brothers?"
LJ: The Butthole Surfers wrote a song called "Booze, Tobacco, Dope, [Bleep], Cars." After that, what else can you sing about?
Sports Bog: So what's the next Caps-related anthem?
LJ: These things just happen. It could be a "how to" guide on playing defense, sung directly to Jeff Schultz. Or maybe a verbal roadmap on getting out of skating circles for Michael Nylander. We'll have to see...
P-rap: Probably a song about Brooks Laich beating down Walker, President of Texas.
OBM: A cover of the National Anthem, except we'll be screaming
'OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!' after every line.
Sports Bog: The Caps' in-stadium intro features several of the team members rocking out in some sort of band. Have you seen this, and if so, can you critique their performance? Is Ovechkin a credible frontman?
P-rap: Mostly I would have liked to see a mosh pit, spinning hammer of death or something. Imagine Ovechkin in a pit. He checks people on the ice like an angry Slayer fan. With the way he hits, that pit would be cleared in seconds.
OBM: Speaking as someone who has used a hockey stick on stage to pelt audience members with free-merchandise-wrist-shots, I fully endorse Alex Ovechkin as a front man.
LJ: They should make a song about us.
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