NC Stateâ€™s athletic department is currently taking votes for a sing-along anthem to be played between the third and fourth quarters at Carter-Finley Stadium. You can find the article and vote here.
Letâ€™s take a look at the 3 songs mentioned in the first paragraph of the gopack.com article. First, â€œSweet Carolineâ€ was played at Red Sox games because Fenwayâ€™s music director had heard it played at other sporting events and would play it at random late in the game if the Sox were winning. The fans soon began to anticipate the song as a good luck charm and is now a tradition.
Second, â€œHang On Sloopyâ€ was played at Ohio State because a marching band member convinced the band director to let the marching band play the song. The crowd at the Horseshoe had a positive reaction so the band started to play it at every game and is now a tradition.
And third, House of Painâ€™s â€œJump Aroundâ€ (not Van Halenâ€™s â€œJumpâ€ as initally stated in the article. Imagine that, sloppy editing on gopack.com although it is now fixed) just happened to be played at Wisconsin in an ugly game against Purdue. It pumped up the crowd and the team and is now a tradition.
Notice a theme? None of these traditions were manufactured. A song just happened to be played at the stadium, the crowd liked it, so they played it again next game and now it is played every game. It just happened naturally, there were no polls or votes or anyone telling the fans what song they are supposed to like.
So NC Stateâ€™s athletic department, on the cutting edge as usual, is trying to manufacture traditions because other teams are doing it too (see also the new wolf statue in the tunnel. The Cranberries album â€œEverybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Canâ€™t We?â€ must be popular in the athletic department these days). Although, Iâ€™m not sure how we were going to naturally create a tradition when the jumbotron is usually playing a Fox 50 commercial, the wacky donkey House-Autry ad, win Chuck’s Truck or reminders to recycle (even though it is a worthwhile cause).
Now letâ€™s take a look at the 5 finalist songs. Iâ€™m a big music fan, I may not be up on every new indie band but my iPod has a pretty wide range of music. So this is my take on these songs, you may or may not agree, I understand music taste is subjective.
First, â€œHey Babyâ€ by Bruce Channel. Decent choice, Iâ€™m neutral on this song. It’s not on my iPod but I don’t hate it either. Along with the Sugarhill Gangâ€™s â€œApacheâ€ it seems to have caught on some with the student section. Of course, instead of letting these songs catch on naturally we have to go through the official voting process.
Second, â€œYou Give Love A Bad Nameâ€ by Bon Jovi. Really? Thatâ€™s not even the best Bon Jovi option, I would have gone with â€œLivin’ On A Prayerâ€. If we have to have some 80s hair metal, why not Ozzyâ€™s â€œBark At The Moonâ€ which would at least tie in with our mascot.
Third, â€œSong of the Southâ€ by Alabama. I know some of Alabamaâ€™s stuff, like the mountain music that grandma and grandpa used to play. But I have to admit I was not at all familiar with this song. Which adds a degree of difficulty for singing along plus are you really going to get the crowd to sing â€œDaddy was a veteran, a southern democrat, They oughta get a rich man to vote like thatâ€? And nothing against country music, but it also plays into the redneck/tractor stereotype.
Fourth, â€œI Wonâ€™t Back Downâ€ by Tom Petty. Iâ€™ll say up front that I am a big Tom Petty fan, I celebrate the guy’s entire catalog. When you get a packed crowd at Walnut Creek singing along to the chorus itâ€™s actually pretty cool and the lyrics are fitting and pretty easy to remember. But as much as I love this song, it just doesnâ€™t strike me as a football pump you up type song or more of a fun song like â€œHey Babyâ€ and â€œApacheâ€.
Fifth, â€œStart Me Upâ€ by the Rolling Stones. Starts off with another classic Stones riff but after the first line can you honestly sing the rest of the verse off the top of your head? Neither can I and Iâ€™ve probably heard the song at every Hurricanes game Iâ€™ve been to over the past 10 years. In its defense, the line in the chorus â€œYou make a grown man cryâ€ is actually pretty fitting for State athletics. But either nobody in the athletic department bothered to take the time to read the lyrics or Mick Jaggerâ€™s sexual innuendos went completely over their head. Just a sample of some of the lyrics are â€œI’ve been running hot, You got me ticking gonna blow my topâ€œ or â€œIf you rough it up, If you like it you can slide it up, slide it upâ€ and of course â€œYou make a dead man comeâ€. Sounds like a perfect sing-along with your kids at the game doesnâ€™t it?
Another problem I have with the finalists is that none of the songs have any sort of connection to the school. For example, as a WVU fan, â€œCountry Roadsâ€ is a perfect song for Mountaineer Field, John Denver even played it live when the stadium was dedicated. There may not be a lot of wolf songs but just off the top of my head there are the aforementioned â€œBark At The Moonâ€, Warren Zevonâ€™s â€œWerewolves of Londonâ€, Duran Duranâ€™s â€œHungry Like The Wolfâ€, Metallicaâ€™s â€œOf Wolf And Manâ€, Whitesnakeâ€™s â€œStill Of The Nightâ€ and oldies like Sam the Sham and the Pharaohâ€™s â€œLiâ€™l Red Riding Hoodâ€ and â€œWerewolfâ€ by the Frantics (although more of an instrumental). At least a song like one of those would be unique and fitting and not just some song drawn out of a hat.
I can anticipate this being a colossal failure with half the crowd not even paying attention that weâ€™re supposed to be singing now and the other half not knowing the words. And sprinkled in will be those of us who will refuse to participate on the grounds that manufactured new traditions like this have a high probability of lame.