MOVE OVER, Gary Glitter.
The sports anthem of the moment is Who Let the Dogs Out, a raucous reggae dance number by the Bahamian funk group Baha Men that has replaced Glitter's Rock and Roll, Part II as the jam of choice in stadiums and locker rooms across the country. The Mariners were the first to jump on the doggy wagon. Catcher Joe Oliver began using Dogs as his theme song during his at bats at Safeco Field this summer, but shortstop Alex Rodriguez, who was nicknamed Big Dog in high school, quickly co-opted it. ("He flat-out stole it," says Oliver.) It has since evolved into the Mariners' equivalent of the 1979 Pirates' We Are Family; it's blasted over the P.A. system during games and in the clubhouse after every win. The Baha Men themselves belted it out from a stage behind Safeco's centerfield fence at a game between the Mariners and the Royals last week.
Other teams getting in touch with their inner pooch include the White Sox, whose clubhouse deejay James Baldwin says, "It's a bit repetitive, but it's a catchy repetitive"; the San Francisco Giants, who booked the Baha Men for a gig at Pac Bell Park on Sept. 21; and the St. Louis Cardinals, who have started playing the tune in their locker room before games. The Redskins have dubbed their defensive line the Dogs, and during their season opener against the Panthers, FedEx Field's speakers barked the song after big hits. Most appropriately, the Browns have enlisted the Baha Men for a December halftime show. It's certain to be a Dawg-eat-Dogs affair.