Improving the Michigan Football Game Day Experience: Part One, Music

Look. It's the off season. There is nothing fun to write about unless you're into following around 18 year-old kids and offering them candy to discuss their college choice. If you're doing that, shame on you. Leave that to the professionals. They have official looking pieces of paper that keep people from calling the cops. You don't. Perv. Anyway, here at Maize n Brew we'll be looking over the past season for things that can obviously, and not so obviously, be improved to make Michigan Football and watching Michigan Football that much better. We've never really thought this stuff through. I'm telling you it's god-awful genius! So, Dave Brandon, feel free to use any or all of our suggestions. Just make sure to thank us with a luxury box. I hear a few are still available.

As far back as the Big Ten Media Kick off music at Michigan Stadium was a topic of discussion. Whether it was behind the scenes or our in the open, it was clear that Michigan Stadium would, for the first time ever, have piped in music. There was wailing and much gnashing of teeth for all corners of the Mich'o'sphere, but mostly from Brian. Noooo RAWK MUSIK!

I'll put this out there: Personally, I like the stuff. When it's good. Only when it's good. The best example I can give is the Jagr-led Washington Capitals* at the MCI Worlcomm Verizon Center, whose PA dude put together the most awesome montage-collages of heavy metal/death rock this pathetic planet has ever known. That Caps intro would melt your face right into your beer cup. Sure they had the faux-organ (or, forgan, if you will), but they kept the majority of the music deafening and awesome. They knew their target audience and they fed it guitar heavy ROK like you'd feed makrel to a trained seal. We ate it up.

With that mindset, or at least with what I hope was originally that mindset, Michigan allowed music to be blared in the Big House. Lots of it.

And it was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

You there. Mr. Stadium-Music-Player-Selector-Guy. If you ever play the full intro to "Lose Yourself" by Eminem in Michigan Stadium again I take no responsibility for what happens next. Playing the intro piano rift is about as motivating as slamming your nuts in a car door. And at a time that our football team needs pump up music you're playing a slow moving song about a guy who chokes onstage. Real good. Yes. He's from 8 Mile. Yes. It's close to Ann Arbor physically. That doesn't make it a good thing to play. Ever.

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And what the hell was up with playing Journey? I get it, "Don't Stop Believing" has the word "Detroit" in it and it worked for the Chicago White Sox in '05 (Which I still don't get. It's a song about people from Detroit. I guess "Sweet Home Alabama" was taken by the Phillies). But it's a baseball song. It's slow and boring. Just like the game. It fits in baseball. Not in a sport where maiming someone is a cause for celebration and flexing your enormous bicepts for the camera. Danzig. Motorhead. Wu Tang. They glorify pain in the abstract. Journey glorifies a lonely studio apartment life. Why you would ever play this is beyond me.

But all of the crappy moosak played this year paled in comparison to playing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" late in a football game. First, this is not 1967. Second, this is not a sport played by women pining after a lost lover. It is a sport played by men intent upon inflicting enough pain on one another to make future generations walk with a limp. Third, this is BIG 11 TEN FUCKING FOOTBAW!!! Good lord man. Diani Ross and the Supremes? At a football game? Turn in what's left of your masculinity and do promos for American Idol and listen to your Michael McDonald album for the 182nd time. Play "Ain't no Moutain" again and I will Yamo Burn Your Office to the Ground.

Third-party-facepalm_medium

Look, music is an excellent motivator. You know it. I know it. When you're finishing a set of squats or a long bike ride or a long run, you hit that button until something with a heavy beat and energy comes pulsating into your cranium. Athletes love it for practice and for preparation. So why not have it in the stadium? There really isn't a reason. The right sound sets a tone.

Sure there's the band. I love the band. I was in the band (for all of three games!). But until there's a way to position the band so that everyone in the stadium can hear it, only a portion of the Stadium can hear them. Over in Section 18, you can barely hear the Band at all. Until the Band is moved back to the field and allowed to wrap around one of the endzone corners, we're not going to be able to do much with them. Put them in the endzone if you have to. It works. But right now, the Band is tradition, entertainment for the student section and opposite sections, and really quiet for the rest of us.

The only way you get music to the whole Stadium, at the same time, is through speakers. It's just a fact of life. So instead of fearing change, embrace it. Let's pick some good stuff and go with it.

Acceptable Metal Music

Obviously, there is a wealth of excellent guitar and bass heavy heathen music that will do the trick. Just a couple personal favorites.

Guns n Roses: Paradise City, Nitetrain, Welcome to the Jungle
Motley Crue: Kickstart My Heart, Dr. Feelgood
AC/DC: Thunderstuck, Back in Black, Shoot To Thrill, Highway to Hell, Hells Bells (Defense only), Rock n Roll Train
Motorhead: Ace of Spades
Quiet Riot: Metal Health (opening scream only)
Metalica: Enter Sandman (Defense only)
KISS: Detroit Rock City

Acceptable Rap/Hip Hop

As always, I will differ to our Hip Hop Holla Back, Straight Bangin, as the final say, but here are some artists of note.

Nas
Ghostface Killa
Busta Ryhmes
Timbaland
Lil Wayne
Wu Tang

Now, there is of course, room for humor in PA announcing. Whether it's a horrible joke from the state police, a score from a school you've never heard of, or simply leaving the mike on while farting, sometimes that helps bring the crowd back into the game. So how bout "Breakin the Law" by Judas Priest for penalties? "Why can't we be friends" for personal fouls? "Mama's little helper" when the refs screws us? "Sympathy for the Devil" when Tressel's around? "Play that Funky Music White Boy" for Tate Forcier and the "Speed Racer" Theme for Denard Robinson? This stuff isn't rocket sciene.

Look, music at games can be a good thing. It really can. But not the way you did it last year. Last year it was so awful that if I'd been closer to the press box I would've tried to climb up into it to stop this madness. It killed the mood in the Stadium. It made us look at each other with a face normally reserved for situations such as "Is that smell coming from your pants?" It actually made us angry at the Stadium. It was horrible. The timing couldn't have been worse. The music selection was basically the playlist I'd expect to find on an elevator in Hell. It just didn't work.

I've given you things to work with. Now fix it.

* Jaromir Jagr. Not Jagrmeister, you lushes.

**(P.S. This is in jest. Ever since the Federal Government raided our Maize n Compound in central Montana, we've running low on our ability to do anything besides write pro se appeals to the 7th Circuit and try to avoid showering. So, seriously, chill out. We hate the music selections. We're harmless. But we want the music situation fixed).

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