Change the Music…Please!!!

When word came the other day that Hank Williams Jr. was being sidelined by ESPN from his song that opens Monday Night Football, due to intemperate remarks about President Obama, I had a reaction that I hope mirrored that of other college football fans:
“Great. Now can they do the same to that ridiculous song that opens ESPN College

You know, the one with the country group, guitars twanging — warning that “We’re comin’ ….to your cit-y.”
Boy, it just fairly screams college football, doesn’t it?

One can almost picture the clueless TV exec charged with selecting the open music. “Well, it’s a football show, so it’s GOT to have a country theme song, right?”
First of all, dudes, in college it’s really more about campus than city.
The “performers” in the number look like they might be headed to a pig roast….a stock-car race….anywhere but a college campus.
To satisfy my curiosity, I did the research.
And I found that, for the sixth consecutive year, the GameDay theme song video features a country duo known as Big & Rich.  Comprised of Big Kenny (aka William Kenneth Alphin) and John Rich.
My sources tell me “Alphin was raised on a farm” before going to Nashville; while Rich’s educational pursuits appear to include having “graduated from Dickson County (TN) Senior High” before moving to Nashville.
This weekend, my oldest daughter (Kerry, ND ’07) and her fellow Ph.D. candidates will host a colloquium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Classical Languages, bringing in like-minded scholars from across the country.
Meanwhile, unfortunately, viewers of ESPN College GameDay will hear:
“And if ya wanna little bang in yah ying yang,
If ya wanna little zing in yah zing zang,
If ya wanna little ching in yah chang chang.”
(These are fairly rough translations. I should have consulted a Ph.D. in Linguistics.)
Having been around college students the past decade as my daughters went through ND and beyond, I don’t believe I heard anyone utter the term “zing zang.”
So what would work better?
Quick answer: anything.
But, in the interest of actually trying to help:
No music says college football like marching band.
Too conventional, you say?  Then make it hip, unusual.  Change the setting, create a unique vibe.

Like the cool collaboration between the Notre Dame Band and the Grammy-winning alt rock group OK Go of a couple of years back. (The ND Band caught OK Go’s attention with their memorable performance of the group’s song Here It Goes Again, treadmills and all, at the LA Coliseum in 2008).
If you need a refresher, check out their This Too Shall Pass video, where they are accompanied by a good share of the Band of the Fighting Irish.
Works for me.