So this is gonna be a slightly unusual FanPost, because it has absolutely nothing to do with sports action. Well, I should clarify. It doesn't have to do with the actual games, with plays, stats, turnovers, positives or negatives. It has everything to do with pre-game hype, and how I think the WFU athletic department has been woefully remiss in several decisions in things like music and video packages lately. Allow me to stress that I mean no disrespect to the people who work on these things, and I'm not exactly sure how things like licensing work with regards to music shakes out. This FanPost is written with the assumption that all pieces of music mentioned could be successfully obtained and utilized legally. That said, read after the jump for specific points of frustration and suggestions for improvement.So let's start with football. I will say I like the usage of Sick Puppies' "You're Going Down" in the video package before the team comes out onto the field. It's fierce, it's hard, the lyrics fit the attitude of a football game, and actually the video itself is really well put together too. The part that kills me is that they don't use "Enter Sandman" anymore. You could argue it's overused, but if it were up to me, they'd air the YGD video package, let it marinate for a few seconds, THEN begin "Enter Sandman". It's an iconic song, it's absolutely perfect, and I honestly feel like the crowds got a lot louder when things slowly built with "Enter Sandman" and absolutely exploded once the team finally burst out onto the field. There's a happy medium between changing things up and sticking to the old adage of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Unfortunately with football, I think they misfired with finding this happy medium.
Sick Puppies - You're Going Down (via emimusic)
Here's the part of the post where I'm going to contradict myself a bit. With basketball, I feel like they REALLY need to change things up. I hate to say it, but I think this season's pregame video for hoops is woefully underwhelming, with Kanye West's "Power" providing a rather vanilla backdrop for a rather vanilla video package. Now I will say I understand that because it's such a young team, it's tough to find enough video highlights to make a really "meaty" video package yet, but maybe they can change thing up midseason, starting with perhaps a big ACC game.
Another thing with regards to video packages: I like when the highlights shown in the packages INCLUDE crowd noise or, if it was on TV, reactions of the announcers to the big plays. Heck, you could even use radio calls by Stan Cotten to shore things up. I just feel like hearing those reactions help to create a "big" feel and helps to sell just how spectacular those plays are. For a REALLY awesome example of what I'm talking about, check out this 2008-2009 Highlight Reel created by YouTube user deaconbasketball in preparation for that year's NCAA Tourney:
Wake Forest Basketball Highlights 2008-2009 (via deaconbasketball)
Obviously, the results were disappointing on the court, but holy cow, what a job encapsulating the season and emphasizing just how special that team was and what they were capable of while also creating a grand feel. I still watch that highlight reel semi-regularly, just because I think it's got everything to be expected from a hype package.
Now, to talk a little more about music. Sorry guys, but I think "Welcome To The Jungle" is absolutely played out, and isn't as good for capturing the vibe you want for a hoops game. I've got TONS of suggestions here. This first one could be applied to either sport: I've said for a long time I think it would be really awesome for Wake to utilize "The Ecstasy of Gold" by Ennio Morricone in some capacity. There aren't too many big name schools that utilize gold as prominently as Wake does (Purdue is the one I can think of) and I think it would be a really cool nod to that, not to mention it's a unique piece of music that I don't think I've ever heard used in a sporting event capacity. You've got several options. You could use an edit of the original version for an opening of a video package before a harder piece of music kicks in:
Ecstasy of Gold - The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Theme (Ennio Morricone) (via JokerRecordings)
You could use Metallica's guitar-driven cover (actually they did this cover because Metallica has come out to the original version at their concerts since the early days of the band):
Metallica Ecstasy of Gold (FULL VERSION) (via whiplash505)
OR you could use the hip-hop styling of the beat from Jay-Z's "Blueprint 2", say for maybe hoops starting lineups:
Jay-z Blueprint 2 (Nas Diss) Instrumental (via ifaison)
Another suggestion for hoops starting lineups would be the instrumental from Fort Minor's "All Night":
Fort Minor - All Night (Official Instrumental) (via linkinparkMikeShinod)
It's got a chunky beat, big sound, and it grooves. I really feel like basketball is a game much more connected (for a myriad of reasons) to hip-hop, and I don't know about you guys, but it just feels right to me to utilize a hip-hop beat for hoops starting lineups. I mean, we already use a lot more hip-hop in the early pregame arena playlist, so clearly it's not just me who feels that way.
Another more general suggestion that's a little more out there as far as whether the crowds would get into it or not is utilizing the band Pendulum. I have a hard time tracking down a specific song of theirs that would be best, but Pendulum is a primarily drum and bass group that also utilizes a LOT of rock elements and even a bit of hip-hop stylings in a track or two. They're more electronically-influenced than the other suggestions I've made, but I think the right track used in the right capacity could work really well. The music is fast, it's driving, and it focuses heavily on beats and grooves, which in my opinion is basically the POINT of music used in sports stadiums. Anybody curious about Pendulum is very much encouraged to look at live performances since they're all really good and honestly tend to capture the "goal" of the music (get crowds up, hyped, jumping, dancing, and generally energetic) even better than the studio versions.
One thing I can directly point to is an element I LOVE from the rendition of "Hold Your Colour" (they're Australian) from the Brixton Academy concert, something that unfortunately isn't isn't in the original studio version. The guitar intro captures a "calm before the storm" vibe very similar to what "Sirius" did for those legendary Bulls teams in the NBA. Observe the first 50, instrumental seconds here:
Pendulum - Hold Your Colour Live @ Brixton Academy (via EdwardTheNutsOne)
See what I mean? That might be good for like, an intro for something before transitioning to another piece of music.
As you guys can see, my ideas are very similar to my musical tastes. Far reaching, diverse, and not necessarily very well defined. But the point is, the art of pregame hype is something that I feel sometimes gets all but ignored. It's not necessarily integral to success, but getting an energized, loud crowd is a very important part of the game, and pregame hype choices with music, video, even lighting might seem frivolous, but I think they can go a long way in getting the right energy in the crowd. Actually, I think the year we used E.S. Posthumus's "Unstoppable" in hoops was a GREAT example of things done right:
E.S. Posthumus - Unstoppable (single) (via jjhahnjj)
Feel free to call me crazy or tell me I'm making much ado about nothing, I just thought I'd share my musings with the BSD community, since it's something I've been contemplating for a while, and I thought this would be a fun interlude from worrying about games and bowl eligibility and stats and coaches and all of that. As always, comments/questions/suggestions are always welcome, and as always, GO DEACS.