Monday, September 30, 2013

A Yoo-Hoo To Arms

This morning, once the official and final stats for the 2013 season were posted at the OnRoto website, the Graging Bulls were officially crowned the Champions of the CFCL’s 30th season. It’s an honor that comes with a number of rewards, including the lion’s share of the prize pool and the CFCL Championship Trophy. One thing it won’t come with, however – unless there’s a hasty addition to the CFCL Constitution – is a Yoo-Hoo shower for Bulls’ owner Matt Grage.

Yoo-Hoo, a sticky concoction of chocolate flavoring and high fructose corn syrup, was traditionally poured over the head of the original Rotisserie League’s Champion at the season-ending party each year.

The closing essay in the first edition of the book Rotisserie League Baseball described it this way:

Unseen hands hold you, force your head down and pour water, dairy whey, corn sweetener, non-fat milk, sugar, coconut oil, cocoa, sodium caseinate, salt, sodium bicarbonate, dipotassium phosphates, calcium phosphates, guar gum, natural flavors, xantham gum, vanillin (an artificial flavor), sodium ascorbate, ferric orthophosphate, palmitate, niacinamide, vitamin D, and, yes, riboflavin all over your hair. The bizarre ritual is a Yoo-Hoo shampoo, and it is what you get for winning the Rotisserie League pennant.

The chocolate-flavored rinse will not leave your locks radiant and soft to the touch, and squirrels will probably follow you around for a day or two. All and all, the ritual is pretty distasteful. But there's not a member of the Rotisserie League who wouldn't gladly suffer the rite so long as it came at the end of a championship season.

You can hear the Rotisserie League’s first Champions, Glenn Waggoner and Pete Gehers (Getherswag Goners) and the league’s founder, Dan Okrent, discuss the that first Yoo-Hoo ceremony in this clip from the documentary “Silly Little Game.”

The CFCL never fully embraced the concept of the celebratory Yoo-Hoo shower, but there WERE two owners who got to enjoy the experience.

In 1990, I had that honor after my David’s Copperfields secured my 4th CFCL title. A subset of owners gathered at Bob Monroe’s house for the awards banquet, and at the end of it, we all headed out into the chilly night for the pouring ceremony (Bob wisely didn’t want to soil his carpet). Bob supplied the Yoo-Hoo, but rather than providing a single bottle, he had bought a 6-pack of juicebox sized containers to ensure everyone in attendance would have plenty of opportunity to pour. Bob, of course, could have just left them on the kitchen counter until the ceremony, but no … he made sure they were well iced so as to intensify the impact. Still – despite the freezing gooiness of it all, it was an incredible experience and one that I hoped to enjoy again.

The following year, 1991, it was Bob’s turn as CFCL Champion. Fortunately for Bob, he and his family had moved to Colorado before the season ended, so we had to douse him by proxy. With the ceremony out of our control, Bob afforded himself some comforts he didn’t provide to me the year before – an indoor ceremony, with a single bottle of room temperature Yoo-Hoo. Since no other CFCLers were present, his son Ryan performed the honors. There is one indignity Bob suffered that I was spared – documentary evidence. Bob’s wife Julie captured this photo of the ceremony, which she was only too happy to share with the rest of us in Chicago.

For whatever reason, the Yoo-Hoo ceremony was discontinued in the CFCL after 1991. But I say it’s never too late to bring it back … all it would take is some quick legislation by the Executive Committee, an approval by the league as a whole, and open spot in the Home Run Inn parking lot…

1 comment:

  1. Just don't go the extra step of freezing the YooHoo into ice cubes and I'll be all for it ...