In last week’s Hit List, I made light of the Angels’ recent rat infestation problems, and after providing a few choice slogans of my own, offered a free copy of the just-released It Ain’t Over to the reader who came up with the best alternative slogan, as chosen by BP staff.
The response was overwhelming, whether because the book was so hotly anticipated or because the rat situation tickled our readers’ collective funnybone. I received over 80 emails totaling more than 150 entries, including a Letterman-esque top 10, and a shot-by-shot breakdown of a 15-second promo. While not all of them were hilarious, many of them are worth a grin or a chuckle, some obvious and some more conceptually clever, even if they didn’t meet the definition of a slogan. As one might expect, there was a fair amount of redundancy centered around the movie Ratatouille, plays on the concept of the Rally Monkey, and references to Whitey Herzog and Gary Gaetti.
Congratulations to reader Matthew Gibson of Washington, DC, whose slogan “Plaguing the Opposition Since 1961″ was the clear winner in the final round of voting. Working overtime (ahem), Gibson came up with 12 entries, six of which made first cut and three of which made it to the finals (”Gnawing away at the opposition” and “Now with Pestilence! (War, famine, and death coming soon!)” were the others).
The top 10:
1. “Plaguing the Opposition Since 1961!” - Matthew Gibson
2. “Las Ratas de Las Ratas of Anaheim” - Donald Steven Adamek
3. “Angels Baseball: Los Angeles rats at Anaheim prices!” - Caleb Ward
4. “Introducing our new stars: Rick Rodent and Félix Vérmin!” - Ben Coats
5. 15-second promo spot - Bill Wellman
Announcer: “2007 Angels baseball…”
In rapid succession, these screen shots:
• aerial view, Angel Stadium, looking at field from above home plate
• a rat races across concrete for a discarded bitten-off third of a Farmer John hot dog
• Chone Figgins steals second base
• a different rat dives to grab a peanut
• Orlando Cabrera fields a web gem
• another rat wrestles a cheese-coated nacho chip speckled with dirt
• Vlad Guerrero belts an outside breaking ball hard enough for extra bases
• rat sits up, popcorn in his mouth
• John Lackey waits for the umpire’s call of strike three, then pumps his fist
Announcer: “Disregard the Chinese calendar…”
• big, fat rat staring at the camera
• Mike Scioscia staring at the camera
• twenty-five rats descend upon a spilled pile of something from Panda Express, competing for position to grab the mystery meat
• the Angels race onto the field in a full-squad victory celebration, jumping up and down
Announcer: “THIS is the Year of the Rat! Angels baseball tickets are still available…get yours today!”
• Fade-away, receding aerial view of Angel Stadium, this time with Disneyland becoming prominent in the foreground as the camera retreats
6. “Angels in the Outfield, rats everywhere” - Greg Babb
7. “Try our food. Catch the fever” - Coats, again
8. “Angel Stadium: We’re Squeaky-Clean!” - Benjamin Leaf
9. “If you squint really hard, it kind of looks like Mickey!” - Richard Dansky
10. “Come See Arte’s Rats - We’re No Longer A Mickey Mouse Club” - Joshua Cender
Congrats again to Gibson, and thanks to everyone who entered and gave me and my fellow BP staffers a good laugh or two.