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Terps Rock Out

If you're like me, nothing gets you in the mood for full-contact athletics like slow pop songs about doomed relationships. Luckily for us, we have a football team to support: the University of Maryland Terrapins.

Yes, that's right, when the school's athletics Web site offered up to the world its pre-game music poll last week, the three choices were the Stones' "Start Me Up" (old and hackneyed, but perfectly acceptable), the Black Eyed Peas' "Let's Get it Started" (nee "Let's Get Retarded," and also acceptable if hackneyed) and Phil Collins's "In the Air Tonight." C'mon, go listen to that audio clip. You know you want to.

To understand just how appropriate the last choices is, consider the following lyrics:

Well if you told me you were drowning I would not lend a hand. I've seen your face before my friend But I don't know if you know who I am.

Garh! I could run through a goalpost after hearing that! Testosterone is virtually squirting out of my eyeballs just thinking about it! A much-respected Maryland msgboard poster put it best:

Nothing pumps kids up these days like an old, bald British drummer singing an adult contemporary song from the 80's about someone drowning...

There was also a fourth choice, "Surprise Me!" although I wasn't clear if this was "Surprise Me Again" by Haircut 100, or "Surprise Me" by The Beloved.

Anyhow, the last time I checked the poll results on mid-afternoon Saturday, the Peas had a narrow lead over the Stones, "Surprise Me!" was hanging around in third, and Phil Collins was in last place with 114 votes, two of which had come from yours truly. (Boss, if you're reading this, I know we reporters are no longer permitted to vote for all-star gamers or hall of famers or stuff like that, but I thought you might not mind if I voted for Phil Collins. Twice.) (Other suggestions from the msgboarders included AC/DC, Europe, Metallica and Public Enemy, which would all be great choices if we were living in, say, 1933.)

This week's poll is up and, tragically, "In the Air Tonight" has been replaced by Metallica's "Enter Sandman," which is off to an enormous lead. Vote here.

As noted in a comment below, at least two ACC schools already use that little ditty; here are some clips of the Hokies' introductory montages, which have been set to "Enter Sandman" since 2000.

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 5, 2006; 2:01 PM ET
Categories:  College Football  
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As you can see in the link below, both UVA and Tech use Sandman (presumably the Mettalica version) so maybe the Terps can go with a less will known cover version - Pat Boone or the Mighty Mighyty Bosstones would be my suggestions.

Posted by: Mark | September 5, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Living in 1933? Do you mean 1993? Or are you arguing that Public Enemy was really a Weimar-era group at heart?

(Slightly) more seriously, it seems that sports-rock is always behind the times. Witness the enduring appeal of "We Will Rock You", etc. If they used current songs to fire up the crowd, would it still be sports?

Posted by: Josh | September 5, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine do a swinging version of Enter Sandman. It's on the album "Aperitif for Destruction."

Richard Cheese is one hep cat.

Posted by: El Diablo | September 5, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Josh--I just thought 1933 sounded better than 1993, although in truth "Can't Do Nuttin' for Ya Man" sounds like it could have been a Depression anthem. Sort of a Yip Harburg kind of deal.

Mark or anyone else--know any other songs that college football teams use? I'm trying to get a list together. I just talked to Georgia Tech Director of Marketing Scott McLaren, who said their intro was "Kencraft Zombie Nation," although he didn't know which part was the band and which part was the song. He poked around and figured out that the song is "Kernkraft 400" and the band is "Zombie Nation." You know the song; it's on one of the Jock Jams....listen here:

Scott's take: "Our students start jumping and hopping around and things like that....It's that synthesizer stuff. It's got a little bit of that--for lack of a better word, and this shows my age--'mosh pit' kind of feel." Word.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | September 5, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

We used an edited version of "In the Air Tonight" last year. It was the Nonpoint cover instead of the Phil Collins original, and I cut out all the relationship stuff... it was basically just the chorus and the drum hook.

It rawked.

I always wanted to spell it that way.

Posted by: Mike | September 5, 2006 3:26 PM | Report abuse

It's good to see that Maryland is still striving to be Virginia Tech. How does it go? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Posted by: Dave | September 5, 2006 3:43 PM | Report abuse

can u say bestest blog mt everest?

Posted by: thigh master | September 5, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Those Maryland kids got outsmarted by the stadium staff.

Ever since the kids started "singing" the socalled "banned" song Rock and Roll Part II, the staff has been trying to figure out ways to distract the kids from doing the song (football and basketball alike). They've done everything from elongating pregame shows to having a PA announcer trying to "pump up the crowd."

Now they're just playing 90's pop-rock diddy's overly loud during "singing" times.

Posted by: James | September 5, 2006 4:48 PM | Report abuse

What ever happened to "Welcome to the Jungle"?

Yeah, it's just as old and overplayed, but so what? It sets a mood.

Posted by: Caps Nut | September 6, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

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