「マー君」こと田中将大のライバル 「カイエン青山」って誰?

現在、楽天の田中将大が、破竹の20連勝を記録しているが、田中の"かつての"ライバルといえば、甲子園決勝という舞台で大熱戦を繰り広げた現・日本ハムの斎藤佑樹。愛称だけなら、田中の"マー君"以上に有名だったのが、斎藤の"ハンカチ王子"だが、その斎藤がネット上ではなぜか「カイエン青山」と呼ばれているのをご存知だろうか。


田中と斎藤が甲子園で投げ合ったのは、2006年の夏。早稲田実業のエースとして大会に出場した斎藤は、決勝でエース・田中率いる駒大苫小牧を延長再試合の末に下して、見事優勝を勝ち取った。その時に斎藤の名を世に知らしめたのが"ハンカチ王子"という愛称だったのだ。

そんな"ハンカチ王子"という立派な愛称を持つ斎藤が、なぜ「カイエン」と呼ばれているのか? それは斎藤が、あるドキュメンタリー番組に出演した時の発言に起因する。

その番組は、注目の選手としてプロ入りしながら、なかなか結果を出せずに苦しむ斎藤の"素"の部分に注目し、それをドキュメンタリー形式で紹介したもの。放送では、移動中に青山の街を取った斎藤が、街を眺めながら、

「あっ、カレラ。ポルシェ!」
「カイエン乗りてぇー」
「青山ってすっげぇおしゃれだと思うんですけど。(中略)青山に土地買うってやばいっすか?」

と、つぶやくシーンが含まれており、これが「調子にノッてる」とネット住民の間で一気に広まった。以後ネット上では、斎藤の話題が登場するたびに、「カイエン」もしくは「カイエン青山」といった書き込みが登場する状態が続いているのだ。

ちなみに「カイエン」とは、高級ドイツ車・ポルシェの5ドアタイプのスポーツカーで、公式サイトによれば、お値段は774万円。

現時点では二軍でくすぶっているとはいえ、今季推定年俸は3500万円、しかも入団時には契約金1億円を稼いでいる斎藤にしてみれば、決して法外な買い物とは言えないが、ネット住民にとっては"ハンカチ王子"という爽やかな愛称を持つ彼が、「ポルシェ」「青山」と、欲望ギラギラの姿を見せたことに、驚きを感じたようだ。

【参照リンク】
・斎藤佑樹「カイエン乗りてぇ。青山に土地買うってやばいっすか?」-ニコニコ動画
http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm19220815
・カイエン-ポルシェ公式サイト
http://www.porsche.com/japan/jp/models/cayenne/cayenne/ 

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