There is hope for all those loyal fans who have left a stadium muttering such sentiments as “They really smelled up the joint” after witnessing woeful performances by their favorite teams. My solution: petition to have the name of the team changed to a creature befitting such odoriferous performances. After being squashed week after week and stinking to high heaven, the choice is obvious: the Dead Skunks.
Rather than pumping in the same popular songs like “Eye of the Tiger” and “Welcome to the Jungle” heard at other athletic contests to encourage enthusiasm, every turnover or boneheaded play by the Dead Skunks would be followed by strains of Loudon Wainwright’s anthem to deceased polecats. Instead of a wave spreading through the stands, all the fans would stand at once, pretend to be rolling down a window with one hand, hold their noses with the other, and then collapse back into their seats as if in a communal swoon.
Cheerleaders garbed in black leotards with white stripes will not have to improvise fancy cadences to shout before every blunder because Loudon provided the most succinct bleat this side of a Bronx cheer: “C’mon, stink!” When they get their wish, the cavorting cuties will break out with their no fight song that is more catchy than any eligible receiver on the field: “Eureka! Eureka! You really, really reeka!”
Diehard fans who remain in the middle of the road about such a change would be allowed to faint dead away as long as they did it thataway on specified concrete slabs under the bleachers but only on moonlit nights when they could be surrounded by former mascots now rendered inert: cat, dog, toad frog, rabbit, and raccoon.
Any inept coach would be immune from criticism because he would have a ready reply to questions after the other team’s captain boasts “Our defense is ranked #1” by simply quoting Hamlet: “My offense is rank.”
Of course, there may be objections by members of city councils who will invoke local ordinances prohibiting such a change in nomenclature. Wealthy owners of franchises can probably overcome this bump in the road by moving the team to a new location, build an enclosed effluvium on the site of a plant formerly used to manufacture glue, and call the new but not improved team the Old Factory Dead Skunks.