Mariano Rivera Has a Surprising Fan in His Corner

Lady Gaga and Rivera are strange bedfellows

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Nov 4, 2009  |  Updated 4:18 PM EDT
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Mariano Rivera Has a Surprising Fan in His Corner

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There's a pretty good chance that Mariano Rivera, an avowed fan of gospel music who had never heard "Enter Sandman" before it became synonymous with his appearances late in Yankees games, has no idea who Lady GaGa is. But she knows Rivera, roots for him and even told MTV, via Baseball Think Factory, that she sees a bit of herself everytime he takes the mound to protect a lead.

"I've actually been making a lot of Yankee analogies in my interviews lately because I get asked, 'Do you feel pressure? How do you feel when someone says this? Or do you feel like you have to top yourself?' " she explained. "I say I do feel like I have to top myself. But I feel like I'm Rivera. I'm a closer."

While one shudders to imagine Rivera turning in his number 42 for an outfit like the one pictured here, there may be something to a linkage between these two vastly different people.

Not the rumors of transvestitism that have dogged GaGa nor the way she has craftily manufactured a persona that is both totally outlandish and popular with the masses, but if you delve into "Poker Face" do fit Rivera if you ignore what the song is really about. First of all, he's got one hell of a poker face and then check out these lyrics from the song.  

I wanna roll with him a hard pair we will be
A little gambling is fun when you're with me (I love it)
Russian Roulette is not the same without a gun
And baby when it's love if it's not rough it isn't fun, fun

Again, ignore what the song is really about and just think about Rivera. You wanna roll with him, even if it it's a gamble and there's very little more enjoyable than seeing Rivera settle a rough situation without losing his poker face. If that's the way things worked out on Wednesday night, there'd be little for Yankee fans to do than just dance.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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