Sweet Caroline and Other Things That Need to Go Away

It was announced earlier this week that Penn State will be pulling Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline from Beaver Stadium’s gameday playlist. While the Altoona Mirror initially speculated that it was due to concern over lyrics that included "touching you, touching me" the Penn State Associate AD revealed that it had nothing to do with the "suggestive lyrics" and whole Sandusky angle. Instead, the song is simply being removed from the rotation due to some "updating."

That’s right guys. A song that includes the lyrics "hands, touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you" is conveniently being removed from gameday rotation after years because they just needed to "update" some of the music. It has absolutely nothing to do with the lyrics. This is all a coincidence.

Alas, getting upset about an assistant AD trying to bullshit everyone isn’t really the point of this article. The point is: Sweet Caroline doesn’t need to disappear from only Penn State’s gameday playlist, it needs to disappear from everyone’s playlist. Why? Because it’s a terrible love song and it has nothing to do with football. I mean sure, I enjoy karaoke and singing a song that I know absolutely no lyrics to aside from the chorus as much as the next person but really? Neil fucking Diamond? Why don’t we play some Rupert Holmes, Def Leppard or Kiss?

This got me thinking about what other things we’d like to see go away on a Big Ten gameday so I sent an e-mail out to the rest of the OTE writers and came up with this short list. If you don’t agree…too bad.

5. Michigan Fans Jingling Keys on EVERY PLAY

We get it Michigan fans, you own/rent/stole automobiles. That doesn’t mean you have to jingle your damn keys on EVERY SINGLE THIRD DOWN/KEY PLAY throughout the entire football game. Kickoff? That’s fine. On a crucial defensive series in the fourth quarter? Cool. On your first defensive series and every other time the opposing team has the ball? NO. Why can’t you just shout? I understand GM makes cars in Michigan. That doesn’t mean you need to pimp their products with your incessant noisemaking. Cut it out.

4. The Iowa Marching Band Playing "Hey Jude" at the End of the Third Quarter

Why? What does a song about John Lennon’s divorce from Cynthia Lennon have to do with anything? I enjoy Hey Jude. When I’m out having a good time I really enjoy the "na-na-na na" part. But that’s all wrong for a football game. It’s a song about loss, comforting that loss and making everyone feel better. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make me feel better. It makes me feel sad. It’s a deep song. It’s not something that belongs at a football game.

3. Nebraska’s ""Through these gates pass the Greatest Fans in College Football" Signage.

It’s pretty self-explanatory. Nothing makes your already pretentious fans look more pretentious than explicitly saying "we’re pretentious." Take it down. Besides, we all know Indiana has the greatest fans in college football.

2. The PA Announcer at TCF Bank saying "That’s Another Minnesota FIRST DOWN" After EVERY Minnesota First Down

Things that are rare: safeties, 50 yard field goals, kickoff returns for touchdowns and conference wins for Indiana. Things that aren’t rare: first downs. So no, Mr. TCF Bank PA Announcer, you don’t have to say "That’s another Minnesota FIRST DOWN" and expect the whole crowd to go along with you on the "First Down" part. It gets a little repetitive and it’s downright obnoxious. First downs aren’t that uncommon…unless Jordan Jefferson is your quarterback.

1. Ohio State and Seven Nation Army

Arguably the greatest offender is Ohio State fans/students chanting Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. Holy fucking hell. You guys don’t even attempt to sing the song. You just chant. And chant. And chant for no particular reason. And people chanting it hasn’t even been cool for like 6 years! There’s nothing I enjoy more than when an entire stadium gets involved in a little vocal showing. That’s why the O-H-I-O is so badass. But this is getting out of hand. It’s 4:30PM on a Wednesday afternoon and there’s a bunch of Ohio State bros chanting Seven Nation Army in Columbus just because they want to do Ohio State bro things. MAKE IT STOP.

So…what do you want to disappear from a Big Ten gameday? What annoys you? What grinds your gears?

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