Not long after the Nats benched ‘Take on Me” during the seventh inning stretch (and as of this writing, they’re 3-8 since that day), a reader suggested to me that Phish-inspired “Wil-son!” chants for Wilson Ramos would be the new thing.
I don’t know exactly why this started. I don’t know if it was initiated by the team or the catcher. I don’t know how much of the “Wil-son” noise is coming through the PA system, and how much of it is being generated by live fans. But the chants seemed super loud during Sunday’s Nats broadcast on MASN, which showed a couple fans chanting along.
JamBase provided a brief history of the chant, which was new to me:
Just over 20 years ago Phish fans started chanting “Wilson” at the band during the song of the same name. In April of 2013 Phish front man Trey Anastasio implored Seattle-area fans to use the “Wilson” chant for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The chant caught on as the Seahawks won their way to the Super Bowl. Now, the “Wilson” chant has made its way to the baseball world since the Washington Nationals have started to use it to introduce catcher Wilson Ramos.
Indeed, here was Anastasio’s quote, again via JamBase:
“By next season, every time Russell Wilson walks onto the field … we want the organ player … I think you know where I’m going with this – you guys gotta help me out somehow. Social media – and tell your friends! Somebody has to make this happen because for 30 years we’ve been waiting for someone with the name to make Wilson be a sports star.”
Now, Russell Wilson is certainly a bigger star than Wilson Ramos. But baseball has the benefit of 81 home games, and less background noise, and lots of repetition. So this could become a Nats Park thing. Here are a few more recent clips.
(Via @mgottfried and others)