UPDATE: YouTube now has multiple video confirmations that Shea Stadium was, indeed, Rickrolled.
So the New York Metropolitans are a baseball team in Queens, New York. Last year, they started a tradition of having a sing-along of “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond during the eighth inning. And by “started,” I mean “unsurreptiously borrowed from the Boston Red Sox.”
With the public getting wise, the Mets used the opportunity to put up a vote for a new, more suitable song for Mets fans – mostly kitschy, middle-brow fare like Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock-n-Roll,” The Monkees’ “I’m A Believer,” and most oddly, Bruce Springsteen’s “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day.” (“Sweet Caroline” was also among the ten songs on the ballot.)
The Mets’ big mistake? They left a write-in space.
And so, over the five days, a massive, grass-roots Internet campaign was born. Their mission? To make Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” the official singalong of the 2008 Mets. The biggest Rickroll ever attempted in the history of the web.
What is a Rickroll? Here is a succinct explanation of the phenomenon.
Hahaha. See there? If you clicked on that link, you were Rickrolled by me. Here is the real video explanation by the experts at Rocketboom:
A Rickroll can also occur in the physical realm, where it simply means accosting someone with “Never Gonna Give You Up.” It meshed perfectly with the classic psychological warfare technique of blasting loud, grating music at the enemy during this protest of the Church of Scientology in London:
Perhaps even more morally satisfying is this gentleman who Rickrolled supporters of Fred Phelps, the Kansas preacher who teaches that casualities in Iraq are the result of America’s coddling of gays.
Our sources in the baseball blogging world tell us that the Mets did indeed play Astley’s song in the eighth inning today at the Mets’ home opener. It sounds like fan reaction was pretty tepid, and I bet the garbagemen and Jerseyites who make up the Mets’ fanbase will go apeshit for Bon Jovi.
But let the record show that on April 8, 2008, the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Shea Stadium, and Major League Baseball were officially Rickrolled. (And the Mets lost to the Phillies by a score of 5-2 in their last home opener at Shea Stadium.) I think there will be a consensus that this means we can retire the Rickrolling phenomenon and move on with our lives.
PS – Since we’re talking about baseball, here is a dated but funny article comparing the presidential candidates to different sports teams!