October 23, 2002

Cornell's Very Own Rally Monkey

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I turned on the T.V. to see baseball but to my chagrin all I saw was a monkey.

Actually, it was a small child dressed in a monkey suit but I was still perplexed. After all this was the ALCS. I was expecting to see shots of Torri Hunter facing Troy Percival, not some monkey.

Can I be blamed for my initial foolishness? Not having the opportunity to watch many of the Angels’ home games this season, how could I have known about the Rally Monkey?

The Rally Monkey, for those of you who are in the dark, is the Angels’ secret weapon. It first appeared during a regular season game in June of 2000 against the San Francisco Giants (coincidence?). The crowd was out of it and the team was behind. Behind that is, until the monkey appeared.

Taking a clip from Ace Venture, Pet Detective, the Anaheim video crew superimposed the words “Rally Monkey” over one of the movie’s scenes. The crowd roared and the Angels rallied, scoring two runs in the last inning to grab the win.

The monkey’s 2002 season record is 27-11, better than even the winningest pitcher for the Angels. That’s right sports fans, the monkey is better than Washburn or Ortiz … when it comes to the win column.

Don’t go ape yet!

All of the excitement over the Rally Monkey has brought many over-enthusiastic fans, some of which have spoiled the Rally Monkey’s magic. One gentleman — in Cleveland no less — stuffed his monkey into a plastic bag, suffocating both the make-shift mascot and the rally.

Don’t be like this ill-informed person. Should you find yourself rooting for the Angels this World Series, make sure you adhere to the following rules.

First, the Rally Monkey has a limit. Only bring him out after the sixth inning, otherwise he gets tired. Second, the Monkey may not make an appearance unless the Angels have at least one baserunner. Third (and this comes from Troy Percival himself) there will be no Monkey business when the Angels are pitching.

After noting all of Anaheim’s success, I got to thinking that we at Cornell should try to emulate the system…

THINK: Rally Rawlings.

A dancing, adorable likeness to your University President, Hunter R. Rawlings III. There will also be cute plush animals grossly overpriced at the Campus Store.

Just imagine, Mick Razzano and his team are losing (hmm). Down by just seven in a pivotal Ivy League game, Brown is driving for an insurance touchdown against the Red. Suddenly, someone in the Crescent unleashes the (gasp) Rally Rawlings.

Fans everywhere unite!

The crowd roars and as it does Cornell intercepts the ball, running it back for an easy six points. A two-point conversion would give Cornell its second win on the season.

Football is just the start. Picture what an already winning lacrosse program could do against Big East foe, Syracuse. How amazing would Mike Schafer’s team be in the ECAC, or even the NCAA tournament? I daresay that we would never lose another game to the Crimson.

I admit, there are some flaws in this idea. For instance, Cornell would need to upgrade the Schoellkopf scoreboard to include a jumbotron. Another issue would be Rawlings’ asking price: a man of his prominence must be trademarked. If we can’t fund a men’s volleyball team, how can we afford to hire a man who was scouted by the Orioles?

No, perhaps a large scale rally gimmick isn’t the thing to revive Cornell’s failing athletic teams. Maybe we just need better facilities, recruitment methods, and coaches. Princeton won 14 Ivy titles last year, and did they need a rally mascot? I think not.

Then again, 27 wins can’t be wrong.

Archived article by Matt Janiga