Over break, I was flipping through channels when I stumbled upon a replay of the Ricky Hatton-Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match on HBO.
Having read several articles about the mass invasion of Brits who had flown to Las Vegas to support the Manchester-born Hatton, I was curious to see what the atmosphere of the fight was like.
What caught my eye-or more appropriately, my ear- is that the British fans like to sing. A lot.
They belted "God Save the Queen." They crooned "Blue Moon," Hatton's entrance tune. And during the fight, they kept serenading their beloved fighter with a version of "Winter Wonderland," which included lyrics such as "There's only one Ricky Hatton." (They also booed "The Star Spangled Banner," but that's because they're losers and still bitter about 1776).
In short, the sing-a-long atmosphere was both pretty cool and intimidating and something that I feel the Crazies should bring to Cameron.
For starters, I would scrap the performers and a capella groups that are brought in to sing the national anthem and just have the pep band strike up the melody and let the fans take it from there. Nothing beats 9,314 people on their feet, singing an song with the unique ability to get a crowd pumped up and rearing to go.
Additionally, before adding any new material to the Crazies' choral repertoire, it would be helpful for the student section to master some more basic material-i.e. the fight song and the alma mater.
While I'm all for telling the Tar Holes to consume their own poop, it's always a little awkward when the fans suddenly go silent because they don't know the next line (hint: it's "turn on the steam, team").
Also, the only part of "Dear Old Duke" I-and seemingly everyone else-know by heart is the section where the trumpets go "Da Da Da!" Hopefully someone can add these lyrics to the next edition of the cheer sheet.
Now that the traditional standards are taken care of, it's time get creative. One possibility is to come up with a "theme" song to which the crowd can sing along-think Liverpool's "You'll Never Walk Alone" or the Red Sox "Sweet Caroline."
Although one could argue that "Hey Baby" has already cornered that niche, a lot of other schools use it and it's not peppy enough. Looking over a series of "Best of" lists, I circled AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long," Whitesnake's "Here We Go Again" and Real McCoy "Another Night." Or, in honor of all of our carpetbaggers who cheered "Let's Go Giants" last Sunday, "New York, New York."
As for players' anthems, I've got a couple ideas. And, yes, I am a huge tool:
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To the chorus of "Take On Me": Taylor King (hit a three!), Taylor King! He is on!
To the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat": Greg, Greg, Greg Paulus, driving down the lane! Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, throw it down the drain.
Okay, so my suggestions are extremely lame (and that could be an understatement). But I really do think that more singing and chanting would be a great way to make Cameron an even more hostile environment-and in an inoffensive fashion that is also in good taste. And who knows-if the Crazies really get it down, they could even begin singing in the round.
So turn on the steam, team, and sing, Blue Devils, sing.