Lou Piniella was a New York Yankee baseball player from 1974-1984 and Yankee manager from 1986-1987 and in 1988. When he’d come up to the plate, the baseball announcers would explain about Yankee Stadium fans, “They’re not saying ‘boo,’ they’re saying ‘Lou.’”
Bill “Moose” Skowron (1930-2012) was a Yankee player from 1954-1962, and Yankee Stadium fans shouted “moose.” Sports Ilustrated said of Baltimore Orioles slugger Boog Powell in 1966, “Baltimore fans chant, ‘Boo-oog!’ when he’s going good, ‘Boo-oo!’ when he’s going bad.” Brooklyn-born Detroit Tigers star Lou Whitaker also received the “Lou!” chant in the late 1970s and in the 1980s.
The line has been used in sports besides baseball and even in politics. Football player Peyton Manning did a Mastercard television commercial in 2006 where he said, “They’re not saying ‘boo,’ they’re saying ‘mooooovers.’” In June 2012, after tea party Republicans booed Texas lieutenant governor and U.S. senate candidate David Dewhurst, Texas governor Rick Perry joked that they had instead been saying “Dew!”
Explaining the chant is such a cliché that a rhyme isn’t even needed for a joke, as in, “Yankee fans are not saying ‘boo,’ they’re saying ‘Alex Rodriguez.’”
Wikipedia: Lou Piniella
Louis Victor Piniella ( /piːnˈjeɪjɑː/ usually /pɨˈnɛlə/; born August 28, 1943) is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. He has been nicknamed “Sweet Lou,” both for his swing as a major league hitter and, facetiously, to describe his demeanor as a player and manager. He finished his managerial career ranked 14th all-time on the list of managerial wins.
. Baltimore Orioles (1964)
. Cleveland Indians (1968)
. Kansas City Royals (1969–1973)
. New York Yankees (1974–1984)
. New York Yankees (1986–1987, 1988)
. Cincinnati Reds (1990–1992)
. Seattle Mariners (1993–2002)
. Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2003–2005)
. Chicago Cubs (2007–2010)
July 18, 1966
Player Of The Week
In 1964 Baltimore’s John (Boog) Powell led the league in slugging (.606), hit 39 home runs, drove in 99 runs, batted .290 and was one of the key men in the Orioles’ third-place finish. (...) Baltimore fans chant, “Boo-oog!” when he’s going good, “Boo-oo!” when he’s going bad. “They have that ‘g’ back in there again,” Powell says happily.
3 March 1970, Omaha (NE) World-Herald, Conde Sargent column, pg. 21, col. 1:
TOURNEY clarification—Attention, smaller schools trying to mock the big-city yell sections. There is growing popularity in a chant that is supposed to be “You...You...You” at an opposing player who just committed a personal foul.
Trouble is, this cheer is like the old Yankee Stadium cheer for Bill “Moose” Skowron. The crowd always greeted Skowron with a big m-o-o-s-e, but often it sounded like a big roar of boos.
5 September 1972, The Evening Times (Trenton, NJ), “Boog’s Blatant Boo-Boos Salvage Split For Bombers” by Bus Saidt, pg. 18, col. 1:
BALTIMORE—Remember how it always used to sound like “Boo, Boo” when they greeted big Boog Powell as he walked up to the plate?
What it was for the big Baltimore Oriole first baseman was a salute and a play on the first three letters of his nickname.
That’s how it used to be. Not anymore.
25 November 1972, Sprinfield (MA) Union, “Mutters of a Brunswick Visitor: Was That Food or Football?” by Mike Bogen, pg. 27, col. 2:
How many times will Curt Gowdy explain to us next summer that the fans are yelling “Boog” not “Boo” when Boog Powell comes to the plate?
18 August 1976, Sioux Center (IA) News, “Moose Skowron interview,” pg. 10, col. 2:
SCN: I should have asked you this much earlier, but how did you get the nick-name “Moose”?
MS: When I was eight years old, my grandfather shaved off all my hair and I was compeltely bald and when I got outside, everybody in the neighborhood started calling me “Mussolini.” At that time, he was the dictator of Italy, and as years went on, through grammar school, high scool, and college, that name stayed with me. And I’ve always had a flat-top, and I know it’s going to come back some day. I don’t have to worry about a hair-dryer or a hair-blower, and I’ve always had a flat-top. That’s how the name stayed with me, and at Yankee Stadium, they started giving me the moose-call, and when we came to Chicago, they did a little bit. My grandmother was watching on TV and she thought they were booing me, but it wasn’t a boo. I could tell the difference. When I hit into two double plays I know it was a boo call, but they’d encourage me by giving me the moose-call.
The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary:
A cyclopedic reference to more than 7,000 words, names, phrases, and slang expressions that define the game, its heritage, culture, and variations
By Paul Dickson
New York, NY: Harcourt Brace & Co.
“Looooo” A cheer that commonly accompanied plate appearances by batters named Lou or Lew, such as that accorded Lou Piniella at Yankee Stadium and Lou Whitaker at Tiger Stadium. It is notable because the uninitiated often mistook the cheer as a boo. Similar cheers include “Moooooooookie” (for Mookie Wilson) and “Dewwwwwwwwey” (for Dwight Evans).
New Yawk Tawk:
A Dictionary of New York City Expressions
By Robert Hendrickson
Edison, NJ: Castle Books
Looooo... It sounded like a boo, but it wasn’t. This was the famous cheer New York Yankee fans used in recent memory to greet their great favorite Lou Piniella when he came to bat.
CTA Nominee, Best Commercial: Peyton Manning, Sprint
Jan 29, 2007 – 10:29 PM
This CTA Award is presented for the best commercial played heavily during NFL programming during the 2006/2007 season.
Peyton Manning could’ve had a couple of entries in this ... I also liked his MasterCard commercial (they’re not saying “boo,” they’re saying “mooooovers"), but I went with this one instead, because ... well, you just can’t beat that mustache.
ESPN asks “why was Tim Tebow booed at Yankees game?”
2012-04-17 12:46:20 PM
Their not saying ‘boo’, sir. They are saying ‘Tebow-oo’.
New York (NY) Times
Bill Skowron, Slugger in Yankee Golden Era, Dies at 81
By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN
Published: April 27, 2012
Bill Skowron, the slugging first baseman who played on seven pennant-winning teams with the Yankees in the 1950s and early ’60s, died on Friday in Arlington Heights, Ill. He was 81.
Fans liked to chant his nickname when he came to bat, which could sometimes confuse the nonfans. “When I played for the White Sox,” he once told Baseball Digest, “my grandmother thought everyone in the crowd was going boo. I said: ‘No, Grandma, it’s all right. They like me. They’re saying Moose.’ She was so relieved.”
Straight Dope Message Board
Origin of “They’re not saying boo...”
05-09-2012, 09:26 AM
We’ve discussed this in other threads before.
I’m 51, and the first guy I ever heard getting the “Boo” treatment was indeed John Wesley “Boog” Powell, the old 1st baseman of the Baltimore Orioles.
However, I have older relatives who remember fans at Yankee Stadium chanting “Moooooose” for Bill “Moose” Skowron, the Yanks’ 1st baseman, back in the Fifties.
So, it goes back at LEAST as far as Moose Skowron… maybe much farther than that.
05-09-2012, 08:04 PM
I can confirm that we would cheer “Looooooou” for Lou Piniella back in the ‘70s, and cause much confusion to stadium newcomers who were afraid that people were booing our left fielder. Lou played for the Yankees from 1974 to 1984.
Roundup: Texas democrats, Republicans vow to win 2012 election
3:16pm (ET) 06/27/2012 Xinhua
At the Republican Party Convention in Fort Worth this month, Republicans in sync with more right-wing, anti-government views and Tea Party alliances were heard booing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s support for more moderate candidate David Dewhurst. Dewhurst and Perry, who opened the convention, later claimed the audience was cheering for “Dew,” not saying “boo”.