I'm just gonna come right out and say it - college football is the best sport in the world. Unlike professional sports, where lockouts and strikes by multimillionaires are commonplace and players allegedly collude to form all-star teams in an attempt to "earn" an easy ring (I'm looking at you, LeBron), college football is steeped in history and tradition, with rivalries dating back to the 1800s.
College football has the most passionate fans and the most exciting regular season of any sport. Say what you will about the lack of a playoff, but with only two teams out of 120 getting a shot at a national championship at the end of the season, literally every game counts. You can't say that about the NFL, where just last year the then-undefeated Colts turned up their noses at a chance to make history and opted to rest their starters for the second half of a "meaningless" late-season game with a playoff berth already clinched.
March Madness might be the most exciting three weeks in sports, but it comes at the expense of a virtually meaningless regular season. When two Top 10 teams in college football square off in the regular season, the implications are enormous. When it happens in college basketball, it's greeted mostly with yawns of disinterest, since both teams will ultimately be in the "Big Dance" anyway.
"That's all well and good," you might be thinking to yourself right now, "but why the hell am I reading this in a music blog?"
Well, it just so happens that yet another reason why college football is so incredibly awesome is because of the marching bands and fight songs. Virtually every school in the NCAA features a marching band at home football games. The primary functions of marching bands are to provide pregame and halftime entertainment and keep the crowd fired up during the game, usually by playing the school fight song and a handful of other numbers after scores and big plays. Classic fight songs like Army's "On Brave Old Army Team," Michigan's "The Victors," USC's "Fight On," and Navy's "Anchors Aweigh" have come to epitomize the college football experience.
Not all fight songs are created equal, however. In fact, some of them are boring, repetitive, and downright annoying, especially when played ad nauseum after what seems like every three-yard gain. With that in mind, I have compiled a list of college football's most annoying marching band songs. Not all of these are the school's official fight song, but they all rear their ugly heads far too often on any given Saturday, forcing you to keep your thumb hovering over the mute button whenever any of these teams is on TV. Finally, in keeping with the college football tradition of arithmetic ineptitude, this Top 10 list actually features 11 songs. So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Lamest/Most Annoying College Football Marching Band Songs.
In a vacuum, this song is actually a great fight song, but with the Fighting Irish being on TV every week, pretty much everyone that's not a Domer die-hard has had more than enough of this song. Plus, the title is just too ironic, considering the Irish's woeful start this season.
There's really not anything particularly annoying about either of these songs, but they have to be two of the most unfortunately named fight songs in college football history. The former sounds like it's encouraging the team to lose, and the latter sounds like the title of a Wiggles song. Double fail for the Hurrigangstas.
As a University of Colorado graduate and lifelong Buffaloes fan, I might be a little biased on this one, but I'm including this song on this list not because I personally find it grating as hell, but mainly because its title is patently false. There are, in fact, several places exactly like Nebraska - they're called Kansas, Iowa and South Dakota. Even the line "Where the girls are the fairest, the boys are the squarest" is only half true, as anyone who's spent time perusing the Tempe 12 calendar can attest. ASU might have a mediocre football team and a forgettable fight song, but the girls there are a helluva lot fairer than the ones in Lincoln.
Texas might not be as universally loathed as Notre Dame, but they're pretty close. They've already killed one conference (the Southwest Conference) and crippled another (the Big XII). The fact that their alma mater is sung to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad" isn't exactly helping their case.
Just to show that I'm not totally biased, I've included this song, which is a favorite among many marching bands, CU's included. Originally written by Gary Glitter in 1972, this song has become ubiquitous at sporting events around the globe, making it one of the most played-out songs in the history of music. The CU version, with its fan-improvised finale of "Fuck 'em up, fuck 'em up, go CU," appeals directly to the rebellious 13-year-old boy in all of us ("Ooh, look at me, I just said 'fuck'"), but this Alabama version that specifically calls out Tennessee might be the dorkiest one of them all. Alabama Rammer Jammer (Hey Vols) by mdub5000
This isn't really a fight song so much as a band-induced cheer, but boy, is it annoying. Combine this incessant chant with four straight years of the college football media collectively sucking Tim Tebow's cock, and you can see why televised Florida games have left a foul taste in the mouths of most college football fans outside the Sunshine State.
UT fans love this song. That's why the band plays the hell out of it. Everyone else hates it. Like, really, really hates it. A lot.
"Fight On" might be one of the best fight songs, but this is easily one of the worst. It basically consists of three notes, played over and over until you want to grab the nearest sharp object and jab it into your ear repeatedly. No wonder fans of opposing teams have taken to mocking the songs with the lyrics "This is the only song we know, it's boring and it's slow."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
On January 2, 2008, I had the misfortune of attending the Fiesta Bowl. Even though I was in a suite with free food and beer, what should have been an awesome evening was marred by this one horrible song. OU lost the game by 20 points, but as many times as we heard this song, you'd have thought they were winning by 50. Every score, every first down, every defensive stop, hell, every single break in the action seemed to inspire OU's band to fire this one up again. And again. And again. Not only do they play the shit out of it, but it's not even their song. They ripped it off from Yale. Finally, the lyrics are just fucking inane. "Boomer sooner, boomer sooner, boomer sooner, boomer sooner." Dear God, please make it stop.
Aside from being vaguely racist, this is, quite simply, the most annoying college football marching band song of all time. It has no lyrics, consisting only of a stereotypical Native American war chant. FSU fans perform the "tomahawk chop" motion with their arms while chanting, a tradition that was later co-opted by Atlanta Braves fans, much to the dismay of the sports-watching world. Other Indian-themed sports teams have mimicked it as well, but nobody does it as obnoxiously, or with such maddening frequency, as the FSU marching band. They might be the world's largest marching band, but they also have the world's shittiest fight song.
Note: I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to FightMusic.com, a website that has compiled hundreds of college football fight songs in one convenient database. I'd also like to thank my fellow college football geeks at The One Board for helping me flesh out this list. Go Buffs!