It is well chronicled that I am a blue-blooded Dodgers fan. I grew up listening to the silky smooth voice of Vin Scully and to this day can still remember where I was as a young six-year-old during Kirk Gibson’s home run.
As a Dodgers fan there are few rules you must abide by (Can you tell by the lawlessness of the the Left Field Pavilion and the outright debauchery in the All-You-Can-Eat Right Field Pavilion?). The first and foremost is that you must hate all things Giants. Barry Bonds made it easy in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and before him came Bobby Thompson, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and many more.
My contempt runs as deep as Ralph Branca, who seems to be doing everything he can to profit from one of the most painful memories in franchise history. It was hard enough to get over the fact that Jeff Kent was wearing blue after so many years in the orange and black (of course that would just be because he is… well, Jeff Kent) but begrudgingly I did.
But now in 2009, there is a little something brewing up north, and it all started with a nickname. Not just any nickname, but perhaps a Top-3 in sports history, name. No one can top Jerry West’s, “The Logo” but this guy seems to be contending with, “Big Smooth” Sam Perkins for the number two spot.
I’m not sure how it caught on, but Pablo Sandoval’s, “Kung Fu Panda” could not be more awesome.
This may be blasphemy in the new 90090, but I can’t help but cheer for a guy who can look himself in the mirror and seriously call himself Kung Fu Panda. I’m sure it helps that he is a jolly Dominican, with a happy go lucky attitude and the fact that he swings at any pitch within two square blocks of the plate doesn’t hurt either. But seriously, how great is Kung Fu Panda?
In and of itself, the name is sheer bliss, but it also has so much potential for growth with the ability to catch on.
You can take it in a simple direction (as I have done with my title) and talk about the fever pitch (no not that horrible movie) that is taking place in Panda-monium. I have also heard a spin-off of his new nickname, “Kung Fu Pandoval.” And I can only imagine the many ways the Giants will be able to employ this in their new marketing campaigns.
While the Dodgers seemed to have backed the wrong horse (at least in a marketing sense) when it comes to Mannywood and the female fertility drugs available in concourse, I can only hope that we will be able to find a new hero worthy of an awesome nickname. I challenge all Dodger fans to find us a new name worthy of our new heroes, so that we can have a new Hersheiser like Bulldog to combat the Kung Fu Panda up north.