Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet

Album: Folie à Deux (2008)
Charted: 74

Songfacts®:

  • This song about infidelity and deception originally was going to name-drop former Major League Baseball player Pete Rose in the title. (Rose was blackballed from baseball after accusations that he gambled on games while both playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds.) Fall Out Boy changed the song's name because of concerns about the lawsuit brought against OutKast over their 1999 single "Rosa Parks" by the civil rights activist, who was name-dropped in the title. Bassist and primary lyricist Pete Wentz commented to Rolling Stone: "I wanted to see Pete Rose in Cooperstown. I was all about it."
  • At one time this was titled "Does Your Husband Know?"
  • Wentz married singer/actress Ashlee Simpson on May 17, 2008. The change in his circumstances influenced his writing, which is reflected on a number of songs on Folie à Deux, including this track. Frontman Patrick Stump explained to MTV News: "Swagger is a great way to describe it, because on the song, he's lyrically adopting a character that has swagger, so I wanted the music to have that swagger. The verse is so confident and funky and forward because the lyric is so full of itself. And then everything stops, and there's a piano breakdown, and it's very melancholy and sad and theatrical, and the lyric shifts to the doubt that's behind all that arrogance. And ultimately, I wanted the music - in conjunction with the lyric - to express that arrogance is usually a mask for terrible insecurity. What I took out of [the lyrics] was that there was something so compelling about the character in the song. Like in Silence of the Lambs, when Hannibal Lecter is talking about how he doesn't kill, he covets. The song is about that - the prowl of chasing a woman. I think it meant, like, this guy is cheating on his girlfriend, but he knows she's not cheating on him. There's this total 'looking into the mirror and trying to convince yourself of absolute lies' kind of thing. People ask all the time, 'Oh, Pete got married, how does that affect the record?' and I think, if anything, he just wanted to point out how lightly people are taking their marriages. No one seems to be worried about what's going on, they just want to have things."
  • Patrick Stump was caught listening to this song in public. The singer recalled to Rock Sound in a 2015 interview: "I rarely listen to our records, because it's a weird experience, and makes me feel like a dweeb. I was on a flight the other day, and had a moment of, 'Oh, I'll give this a listen, see how it's holding up'. I don't get recognized a lot, but there I am, playing this song for the first time in years, and the flight attendant noticed."
  • Directed by Shane Valdes, the music video for this song is called "A Weekend At Pete Rose's" and is based on the 1989 movie Weekend at Bernie's. In the film, Bernie is dead and two guys prop up his corpse and carry him around so he seems alive. In the Fall Out Boy video, Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith of Panic! At The Disco find Pete Wentz dead and do something similar.

    At the end of the video, a phone number flashes. Those who called it were connected to a service called SayNow, which let fans and artists exchange voicemails.

Comments: 1

  • Joey from North Barrington, IlWell since the title is obviously about Pete Rose according to the first songfact, here's my way of seeing it: From what I know, baseball players (like Rose) usually slide into home plate head-first (unlike other bases which are either run through or slid into feet-first). Cooperstown (town where the baseball hall of fame is) would be the "home plate" of his baseball career, and since Rose is sliding in on a bad bet (the ones he got caught for, this is a metaphor for a bad play to try to make it to home on) he ends up getting "out" or in actuality being blackballed from the league.
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