Friday, November 2, 2012

"You Goin' to Jail Now!": Behind the Giants' Battle Cry

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge Same time, same place next year, yeah? - ALBERT SAMAHA
  • Albert Samaha
  • Same time, same place next year, yeah?

"And I told the guys on this team I was gonna do this so I can't let them down," Ryan Vogelsong said, as he stood at the podium on the steps of city hall, 1 million Giants fans before him.

"We have one little battle cry that nobody really knows about and I'm gonna break it out right now. And you guys'll have to figure it out on your own. But it's simple as this."

The crowd fell silent, hanging on his words.

"You goin' to jail now!" Vogelsong exclaimed, before uppercutting the microphone.

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Some people in the crowd burst into laughter. Those people got the joke. The majority, as Vogey suggested, would have to figure it out on their own.

Fortunately, KNBR's Tom Tolbert was on the case. And, an hour or so after the parade, he let his listeners in on the secret.

The battle cry was from a viral World Star Hip-Hop video, in which a "25-year-old girl in Cleveland" is standing near the front of a bus cursing out the bus driver. They trade insults. Around 30 seconds into the clip, it appears the woman spits on the driver. The riders behind them gasp.

"You goin' to jail now!" the linebacker-looking bus driver says, as he gets up from his seat and approaches the skinny woman. "You goin' to jail now!"

Then the driver launches an uppercut, snapping the girl's head back. He grabs her by the shirt and tosses her off the bus.

The woman storms back on and tries to get in some swings, before the riders break it up.

Soon after, the girl says to the driver, "You goin' to jail, bitch!"

The bus driver, 22-year-veteran Artis Hughes, was suspended as the city's Regional Transit Authority investigated the incident, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Neither he nor the woman, Shidea N. Lane, pressed charges against the other.

Anyway, there are a couple of related theories behind the Giants' battle cry. Theory No. 1 involved the fact that the video was posted on Oct. 11, the same day the Giants beat the Reds in Game 5 of the NLDS. Maybe somebody on the team first saw it just before the game -- or on the plane that night, or the next day or soon after -- and showed it to his teammates. And then everybody got a kick out of it and the catchphrase, now connected to their epic 6-4 win in Cincinnati, carried on; the Giants as the metaphoric bus driver and their opponents the metaphoric screaming woman.

Theory No. 2 involves the fact that the Giants are bunch of twenty- and thirtysomething-year-old guys who spend 200 days a year together in locker rooms and hotel lobbies and airplane cabins across the country, and the only things keeping those 200 days from becoming one big, tedious blur are those random but memorable spontaneous moments of bonding. Moments that any viral Internet video can elicit by hitting the spot at just the right time.

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Albert Samaha


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