Yankee Stadium Bleacher Creatures Required to Use Iambic Pentameter
Bronx, NY (AP) – In an attempt to temper the rowdiest fans, the management at Yankee Stadium has announced that it will now require any chanting from the bleachers to have a coherent rhyme scheme, a proper poetic meter and a recognizable melody, according to a Yankees corporation press release.
The Bleacher Creatures, as they are affectionately known by the news media, engage in the heckling of visiting players common in most Major League ballparks, a practice that sometimes crosses the line between good-natured fun and outright violence. They also customarily serenade the Yankees one at a time by name until the player whose name is chanted acknowledges the recognition. The bleachers, located in right-center field, offer less expensive seating than the rest of the stadium, and tend to attract a different class of fan.
In order to filter out some of the foul notes emanating from that section, the statement says, only attendees who cooperate in chanting in more civilized fashion will be allowed to remain. Initially, the meter will be restricted to rhyming couplets of iambic pentameter, most famously associated with Shakespeare. Bleacher gates will open an hour earlier than before, according to the statement, to allow for rehearsal.
After a suitable trial period the permissible forms will expand to include hexameter verse, the form employed by the classical Greek works The Iliad and The Odyssey. The press release cited those examples as demonstrations that the Stadium continues to be a Homer-friendly park.
In an interview, Yankees spokesman Rhyme Sandberg noted that this is not the first attempt to fuse lyricism with professional sports. When the Cleveland Browns football franchise moved to Baltimore, the team was renamed the Ravens to honor that city’s most famous poet, Edgar Allen Poe. “We’re not going to do it all at once; that would be more than anyone could handle. We intend to build a crescendo of civilized cheering. The wine-dark sea that is the baseball world looks to New York for leadership, and this is a golden opportunity to trumpet both our athletic and cultural success,” Sandberg said.
Not everyone is so excited about the change. Chris Lewis, 44, of Jamaica, Queens, has been attending Yankees games for nearly thirty years, and nearly always sits in the bleachers. “This isn’t a group of people who like being told what to do. They conduct themselves a certain way, and you can’t orchestrate their behavior for them,” he warned.
Tom Cokely, 40, of Midwood, Brooklyn, disagrees. “I look forward to a different tone coming from the bleachers.” Cokely has attended games regularly since 1996. “But it all depends how they handle it. The notes have to come out properly right off the bat, or people will walk. It has to be the perfect pitch.”
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