Reminder: The EDSBS Charity Bowl is rolling and tiding and rolling tides. Donate HERE.
There's a good chance it's happened to you in recent years. You're attending or watching a sporting event. The house is full, the fans are amped. It's going to be a good game. The energy is electric. And then. [deep sigh]
This particular video is from 2011, and that crap was played out then, but has it stopped? My god, if only. The song's usage in sporting events has a whole lengthy section on Wikipedia. Penn State fans seem to claim some odd ownership of it, but it's popular with the Miami Heat, Baltimore Ravens, New York Knicks and Nebraska Cornhuskers, just to name a few.
How? How did we get to this point? How, in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand And Fifteen, did a little song by this Edward-Scissorhands-lookin' indie-rock scarecrow become the dominant soundtrack to every major sporting event?
According to my deep, dedicated research, the song's usage as a sporting anthem began in 2003 with Belgian soccer team Club Brugge KV, before spreading across European soccer and eventually to American, and world, domination.
Listen, the Belgians seem like they've got a pretty good thing going on over there, in that all I know about them is chocolate, beer, waffles, fries and bureaucracy. That's an 80% completion rate with a tremendous yards-per-catch. "In Bruges" is the most likeable Colin Farrell has ever been. Our beloved, primarily Southern/Midwestern bloodsport deserves better, though, than to have its pageantry overrun by the tastes of a-decade-ago-Eurozone soccer partisans.
"But I like indie rock!", you insist. "I think the irony of having college football games soundtracked by the kids who were smoking cloves outside the bandroom during the games in high school is delightful, and we should embrace it!"
Okay. Fine. But I'm still sick of this goddamned song, so let's workshop some alternates, K?
FUGAZI, "WAITING ROOM"
See, this works. Same sort of heavy-bass intro. Catchy as hell. Also, Ian MacKaye has long been known for his anti-corporate activism and veganism, and I got an ad for Outback Steakhouse when I clicked on the YouTube video. That's the kind of cognitive dissonance this sport was built on! No? This doesn't work for you? I've got more!
LEONARD COHEN, "FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN"
You could totally chant that opening synth if you tried. What's more, listen to these lyrics!
They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom
For trying to change the system from within
I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
You're telling me that's not about Delany getting Rutgers into the Power 5?
SPLIT ENZ, "SIX MONTHS IN A LEAKY BOAT"
Pick it up at 2:18. Again, we're all about chantable synths here today. Plus, "six months in a leaky boat" is the title of the 2014 South Carolina highlights video. Heck, I think that might be a young OBC dancing around there in the sailor hat. Hard to tell. The '80s were a busy decade. Moving on.
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, "THE SOUND OF SETTLING"
What's that? Your computer's bogging down? I should embed more YouTube links? YOU GOT IT, FRIENDS.
SUFJAN STEVENS, "CASIMIR PULASKI DAY"
Pick it up around 3:03. If you're creative (read: drunk) enough, you could easily chant that mandolin part. (NOTE: I don't know if that's a mandolin or what it is, don't @ me). And sure, the song's about a girlfriend dying, but if you squint, "with my shirt tucked in and my shoes untied, I am crying in the bathroom" sure sounds like it's about the second half of Ole Miss's season last year.
MANIC STREET PREACHERS, "IF YOU TOLERATE THIS YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE NEXT"
Very chanty after 3:35. Also, the song's title is an apt description of my position on why, despite my wife's entire family going to Purdue, my son will not be allowed to.
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS, "THIS YEAR"
The basic melody of this song is every bit as amplifiable as The White Stripes to stadium volume. And "I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me" is too widely applicable to what we're doing here to even pin it on one fanbase. This is the one, if you ask me, there's nothing that would work better to be chanted by 100,000 fans than-
[brick flies through window with YouTube link tied around it]
BIG TYMERS, "STILL FLY"
Screw the rest of this college radio crap. Big Tymers in '15. Save us, Mannie Fresh, you're our only hope.