For Whom the Cowbell Tolls
I am a resident of New York City, so inevitably I end up attending several Mets games throughout the course of the season (against my better judgment, perhaps). One of the most recognizable Shea Stadium regulars is “Cowbell Man”, who patrols the stadium with his signature noise-making instrument. He is just one man, and yet he can be heard quite easily in a stadium with a capacity of over 55,000.
So imagine the noise-making potential of the Visalia Oaks‘ latest and greatest creation: the cowbell section. Behold:
“We’re the first ones to do this, so far as I know,” he said. “The fans
have loved it, and even the one season ticket holder we thought might be
annoyed hasn’t had a problem with the noise. It really adds to the atmosphere around here. It’s amazing what 30
cowbells can do.”
This is especially true considering that the Oaks’ Recreation Park currently has a capacity of just 1200 people. And if the club has its way, the cowbell to fans ratio is only going to increase.
“We encourage the fans to bring their cowbells back to the ballpark, even if they sit somewhere else,” said Baarns. “And on August 2nd we’re having Dairy Night at the ballpark, where we’re going to be giving away 1000 cowbells. Hopefully this thing will have gone viral by that point.”
The aforementioned Dairy Night is an annual promotion in Visalia, and for good reason. “The Dairy industry is the lifeblood of this town, and we’re proud to be associated with that,” said Baarnes.
Whether associated with the Dairy industry or not, cowbells have been a part of the 21st-century American zeitgeist. A lot of that has to do with the “More Cowbell” Saturday Night Live sketch starring Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken. Not surprisingly, the Oaks’ press release announcing the Cowbell Section was full of references to this sketch (which can be watched on YouTube right here.)
“We definitely milked that sketch, no pun intended,” said Baarns. “We play clips from it during the game, and it always results in more cowbell. It’s all very amusing to watch from up in the pressbox.”