In the year of our lord, two thousand and eight, a film that would shake not just the film landscape, but our world as a whole, was released. It was titled Swing Vote and it starred Kevin Costner and Paula Patton. It received only a 38 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but many visionaries are condemned in their own time.
The plot revolved around the 2008 presidential election (but in an alternate universe with different candidates, etc.). As the well-renowned source, Wikipedia, notes:
In a presidential election set in an alternate 2008, Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner) is a lovable loser from Texico, New Mexico, who is coasting through life and has not had a single political thought in his head, while being coaxed by his eight-year-old daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll) to take more of a serious approach to life. Molly runs the household and sees an opportunity on election day to energize her father: frustrated with her father's apathy toward voting, she sneaks into her local polling place and tries to vote on behalf of Bud. However, due to the voting machines being unplugged, the ballot is registered, but no decision is indicated on which candidate gets the vote. The entire election comes down to this one man and, namely, Bud's vote. Neither candidate has a majority in the electoral college without New Mexico's electoral votes. The popular vote is tied for the two major candidates in New Mexico, leaving Bud to decide the next President of the United States.
Well, it appears as though we have a similar situation here at DRays Bay. In the semifinal matchup last week, Jake Odorizzi’s “Country Grammar” and Alex Cobb’s “Intro” finished in an exact tie. Since I, like the legendary Bud Johnson, have been lacking in my civic responsibilities, I didn’t vote in the original matchup. And unlike Johnson, neither did my eight-year-old daughter (I still don’t entirely get how that figures in the plot of Swing Vote, but who am I to question the great Joshua Michael Stern who directed the masterpiece), so it will be up to yours truly to decide which is these two gems ends up in the final of our Rays walkup music bracket.
Both of these songs have had their virtues extolled time and time again throughout this bracket, and in the semifinals I called this matchup the championship for me personally, and came to the conclusion that I was leaning slightly towards “Intro” since I tend to be a bit more minimalist when it comes to my musical choices. Since I haven’t gotten through any massive changes in the past 10 days, “Intro” gets the win. If Nelly was just wearing a Rays uniform in the music video he could have locked down the win, but alas.
On the other side of the bracket Rays fans proved their deep loyalties to their face of the franchise, as Longoria and his Tantric walk up stomped Chris Archer and “Voodoo Child” a third straight convincing win for “Down and Out,” and it is hard to imagine even “Intro” and The XX stopping Longoria right now.
The run Longoria/Tantric have gone on speaks to the beautiful mindset of the Rays fanbase. They reward loyalty. This is a player who has been with the franchise since he was drafted third overall in the 2006 draft. He signed a multiple-year extension less than a week after making his MLB debut, and he has been the face of the franchise ever since. “Down and Out” has been his walkup music for as long as most Rays fans can remember - loyalty is his brand. Whether it comes to team or song, Longoria sticks with it.
Numerous Rays fans have mentioned the positive connotations they have with “Down and Out,” a sentiment that, truly, only Rays fans could have. The song is one of the most painful your ears will ever hear if taken without context, but when it means Longoria is coming up to the dish, it’s beautiful. It’s like that one aunt or uncle you have who has the most grating laugh/cackle you’ve ever heard, but you know it’ll be what you miss most when they eventually pass on.
It says a lot about the Rays mindset that Longoria is almost certainly going to be the champion here. This is a fanbase who respects the hell out of loyalty and knows to reward the man (and his walkup song) who has been with them for a (baseball) lifetime. Good on you, voters at DRB.
Here’s the poll, and the songs, one more time for your listening pleasure.
Walkup bracket final
This poll is closed
Alex Cobb - "Intro," The XX
Evan Longoria - "Down and Out," Tantric