The "Vedder Cup" backlash

Richard Heathcote

* No actual research was done in process of writing this post. ** I might not get the joke

So Padres blogger Left Coast Bias created the Vedder Cup (with help) and with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. The Vedder Cup goes to the winner of the interleague season series between the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners. It only existed in our collective imagination until recently, when LCB actually had a trophy made.

Why the Vedder Cup? Well lifelong Cubs fan Eddie Vedder spent some of his young adulthood in San Diego before moving to Seattle to become the lead singer of Pearl Jam. It's that simple. It's a name of a famous guy that is a link between the two cities. It's just as ridiculous as Bud Selig declaring the Padres and Mariners "Natural Rivals". The subtext of the joke is that we're taking something seriously that isn't serious.

I think it became a thing on twitter and in the blogosphere a couple years ago. This week it went mainstream with its billion mentions during the last two Fox Sports San Diego broadcasts. It happened so frequently that I hoped someone would edit the broadcast and compile everytime "Vedder Cup" was said, like someone did with every curse word from The Big Lebowski.

Now in my opinion, it's kind of cool that FSSD is aware of what Padres fans are talking about. It's a validating. Still there's no doubt they went a little overboard with Vedder Cup, but that's kind of the point of their Social Media Tuesday. They try to get a hashtag trending in San Diego and viewers interacting on the web. It worked.

It also annoyed the sh_t out of a vocal minority of the viewers because jokes like this are best used sparingly. One of those taking the joke seriously was the UT's John Maffei.

‘VEDDER CUP’ NO PEARL OF AN IDEA FOR FOX SPORTS SAN DIEGO | UTSanDiego.com

The Vedder Cup, FSSD said, makes sense because rocker Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam went to San Dieguito High and gained fame in Seattle. Talk about stupid, made-up, filler slop.

I see his point, but don't get why those who defend the Vedder Cup are angry about the article. I saw people saying Maffei doesn't get the joke or didn't do his research. What more is there to get? What's to research exactly? He's taking the Cup seriously. He seriously hates it. He's not alone, there was quite the backlash on Twitter. To me this was the point. It feels good to troll. You may say he's taking it too seriously. I submit to you, that if you're mad at Maffei, you're taking it too seriously.

I also see it like this, the bloggers and fans that originated and first used the "Vedder Cup" are like the fans at games that try to start The Wave at a baseball game. They're really excited about it. The problem is they want to force you to be excited about it too when you're just trying to watch the game without being distracted. See the parallel?

What happened over the past two days is that The Wave circled the ballpark. It affected every FSSD viewer and Twitter user, not just a section of the ballpark or corner of the internet. Now I must say it's got to feel pretty darn good to see something that you started accepted by the masses, whether it be the Vedder Cup or the The Wave. It's not easy to get the majority of fans to work together as a team.

The funny thing to me isn't the Vedder Cup because it wasn't much of an LOL type joke to begin with (wasn't meant to be), it's that the people getting the most joy out of the Cup are the ones that speak most disparagingly about The Wave when to me they're one in the same.

Me? I think the Vedder Cup is harmless. I like the fact that fans invent their own ways to cheer for their team. Good or bad they're active. That's why I love The Wave it's so organic and pure. Fans decide when it starts and when it stops. The Vedder Cup has stopped for the season but you better believe we'll be hearing about it again next year, because there's a good portion of fans that want to see it continue.

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