Monday, April 10, 2006

The Real Owner Of "Enter Sandman"

This past week, the New York tabloid newspapers had one of the silliest and stupidest controversies I've ever heard in my life. The new Mets closer, Billy Wagner, comes into his games with the song "Enter Sandman" by Metallica. Wagner has used the song since his days back in Houston. The Yankees closer Mariano Rivera uses the same song to enter games with. (He has said that he doesn't care for heavy metal or that song, as he listens to Christian music. But it was a hit with the fans, so he kept it.)

So naturally some Yankee fans took exception to Wagner's choice of themes, as they feel Rivera somehow "owns" it. (Since when does any player own any song?) They didn't notice that Wagner used the song for years in Houston and Philadelphia. The papers here had a big write up about it, as they always seem to play up any little controversy.

But one thing they don't seem to know is that neither player has any copyright on the song, or even was the first to use it. That distinction goes to the legendary ECW wrestler The Sandman, aka Jim Fullington (pictured here). Starting in the mid-1990s, he would come out to "Enter Sandman" (usually the whole song and even more, as his entrances would go on for five minutes and sometimes longer). He would also come out swinging his "Singapore Cane" (a kendo stick), along with plenty of Budweisers that he would slug down as the ECW fans went berserk.

I remember the first time I was at a Yankee game that Mariano Rivera came out to "Enter Sandman" and I turned to a friend of mine and said, "Where's Rivera's Singapore cane?" We had a good laugh about it.

So, to all those Yankee and Met fans: neither of your closers own "Enter Sandman", so drop the silly nonsense. Jim Fullington beat both of them to it.

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