One man is shelling out money to troll baseball fans using bar jukeboxes
Ever since Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Cardinals, one man has single-handedly trolled hundreds of unwavering baseball fans with the power of his smartphone. We got in touch to find out why.
He is only known to the public by his Twitter handle, “ClueHeywood,” and he's a native of Arizona. Like a significant number of baseball fans, he's turned off by those who root for the Cardinals. So, “ClueHeywood” decided it would be a good idea to make them miserable during this year’s NLDS by using his time and money to play “Go Cubs Go” in several bars filled with Cardinals fans. The best part? He didn't even have to leave his home—he was able to do it all from an app on his phone.
The stunt drew the attention of all corners of the internet, including MLB.com.
He’s back at it for the NLCS between the Mets and Cubs, and took some time out in his busy trolling schedule to tell us about his technique, motive and more.
How and when did this start?
I downloaded the AMI Barlink jukebox app a few years ago just to play music at my local bar. You get jukebox credits via credit card and can play music without leaving your barstool. I started to use it to prank other people at the bar... for example, a guy would go and start picking songs, and I'd slip in some sappy love song, like the theme from Titanic, and his friends would think he played it. After a while I noticed there was no location limitation, so I could play songs at any bar with an AMI jukebox anywhere in the country. I eventually made it interactive; My twitter followers would tweet me if they were at a bar with an AMI jukebox and I'd play a couple awful songs for them as a joke. My apologies to anyone out there who's heard "Total Eclipse of the Heart" three times in a row.
Driving to work before Game 4 of the Division Series it struck me that I could use this app to troll the ever-smug, ever-serious "Best Fans in Baseball." I started playing it anywhere I could in St. Louis, then tweeted about it, and it took off from there. It went viral and next thing I knew I was being called a "hero" by Cubs fans and several unprintable words by some Cardinals fans. To their credit, the vast majority of Cardinals fans I've heard from have been good sports. It's been crazy... I've seen coverage from outlets all over the U.S. and even the UK. I'm just some idiot with an app and an idea.
Are you a Cubs fan? What gave you the motivation to do this?
I have to admit I'm actually more of a Diamondbacks fan now, but the Cubs have always been my second favorite. Before Arizona got an expansion team in 1998 we would really only get broadcasts of Cubs games on a regular basis. I watched the team growing up through the '80s and '90s and remember all the high (and low) points during that time. So despite switching allegiances to the Diamondbacks, I still have a soft spot for the Cubs. I get to Wrigley any chance I have. I've probably been to 40 or so games there, including two series in September. They won every game I attended last month, so I sang along to "Go Cubs Go" a few times. I guess I just wanted to share that joy with Cardinals fans.
Take me through your night. When do you start requesting songs? Does it take a lot of time and effort? How exactly do you do this?
I started playing it about two hours before Game 4 at any St. Louis bar with an available jukebox, but I didn't play it during the game because I figured the bars would have the broadcast sound on during the game. So I started again after the Cubs won the series and continued well into the night. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort... if you enter the city in which you want to play songs, the app gives you a list of available bars. You pick a bar, search for and select "Go Cubs Go" and it's queued to play. A few times I could tell the bartender had skipped the song as it would only show as playing for a minute or so, then move on to the next song. That told me it was annoying Cardinals fans in the bar. So I kept playing it.
Can anyone do what you do?
It requires zero technical knowledge. Which is good because I have none. Anyone can do it.
How much money does it cost?
It varies from bar to bar but it's usually $0.50 to $1 per song. All in all I probably spent around $90 on songs on gameday. I played it a few times in New York bars before Game 1 of the NLCS, but unfortunately I haven't felt terribly joyful or confident after the first two games, so it's on hiatus for now.
Will this continue if the Cubs are eliminated? Have you ever thought of doing something similar with another sport or team?
I don't think I'll continue to do it considering the amount of money I've spent just to make strangers miserable. Also my other teams don't have well-known fight songs that might be available on internet jukeboxes. But now that the idea is out there I bet others will keep it going. I know a lot of people who've heard about the prank have downloaded the app, as last week I tweeted my location and invited people to play bad music for me. Turnabout is fair play. Anyway, the poor people in the bar I was in were subjected to Weird Al, Limp Bizkit, Tiny Tim, Ray Stevens, Mannheim Steamroller and the like for about three hours. So there are either a lot of people jukebox trolling now, or just one really angry Cardinals fan.