After reading the Daily article about the piped-in music at the Big House (Reactions to the Big House’s New Beats, 09/17/2009), I simply have one request: enough already, make it stop! While I appreciate your marketing perspective of keeping up with the Jones’s and mimicking our peers, we already are the Leaders and Best! Must we really follow the rest and embrace every cliché, tacky habit of big time sports?
I was most upset by Assistant Athletic Director Mark Riordan’s comments about the need for music as we await the team running out of the tunnel. I’ve attended Michigan football games since 1986, and I still get goosebumps in those moments after the band ceases playing and 110,000 Wolverines anticipate the winged helmets bursting out of the tunnel and running under the Go Blue Banner. Does this invigorating, iconic moment really require accompaniment by 90s arena-rock like AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”? I suggest not. The band having just completed The Victors, impromptu chants of “Let’s Go Blue” throughout the stadium, and that quiet anticipation of the team emerging through the tunnel is a moment all true Wolverines cherish — punctuating it with trite music is hardly necessary. Seriously, “Sweet Caroline” and “Don’t Stop Believin'” are so cliché it’s almost laughable and embarrassing. We’re better than that. We’re Michigan!
I want to make it clear that I write this not as a curmudgeonly, gray-haired alum. I still consider myself to be a relatively young alum (age 33), and cherish the eight trips to Ann Arbor that I make each year from my home in Washington, D.C. to cheer on my beloved Wolverines on those fleeting Football Saturdays every fall.
Like so many other Michigan alums who live far away, our school’s rich tradition, spirit, enthusiasm and excellence provides endless pride. It is so disheartening that so many decision-makers feel we must chase every trend and fad that emerges from our Twittering, YouTube, reality TV world. “Temptation”, “Hawaiian War Chant”, “Let’s Go Blue”, “Bullwinkle”, “Varsity” and the legendary “Victors” are all we need on game days. Let Purdue, Rutgers and Oregon State have “Sweet Caroline” and “Don’t Stop Believin'”. Let’s embrace our history and tradition, let our amazing marching band fire up the crowd and let’s fill the Big House’s quiet moments with Michigan heritage, not Australian arena rock.