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Music that rocks the crowd

Every school has a unique way to enter the arena of sport.

Think about it.

Look at the professional level first. Teams run out of a tunnel as their names are announced over the loudspeaker and some rocked-out song blares over the PA system.

In college you have the unique entrances.

The much-despised Irish walk down a staircase while patting a sign that says "Champions are made, not born."

Ohio State takes the field arm in arm.

Maryland rubs a statue of a Terrapin while Clemson strokes a shamrock before running down the hill to the stadium.

And who can forget the Florida State Seminoles entrance?

Chief Osceola takes the field atop his trusty mount, Renegade and tosses a flaming spear into the ground at the 50 yard line.

That's how you let the opposition know who's house it is.

Even Troy has gotten into the theatrical field entrance business. Against Missouri earlier this season, the Trojans had an inflated TSU helmet with smoke billowing out of the front, fireworks blaring and Creed's "Are You Ready?" blasting over the loud speakers.

All these things show how music and sports go hand-in-hand sometimes.

Sometimes they don't. Look at people like Ron Artest, Shaquille O'Neal and Deion Sanders all trying to be rap stars. That's not right.

But, there are times when the right music can bring the fans to their feet and get them pumped to be there no matter how bad the team is that's playing.

Believe me, I've seen some bad teams play.

I've covered sports now for a few years and in my spare time, I've had the opportunity to make a list of some of the best songs that have been played.

These are the songs that not only got the crowd fired up, but have also got the team jacked and ready to bang heads.

The list is in no particular order.

Mississippi State took the field against Troy with Boom! by POD playing and Billy the Bulldog riding his doghouse down the field with the team. The fans erupted in cheers and cowbells.

My family raised me going to Auburn games and I've had the opportunity to see many different Auburn teams. But recently, when Jordan-Hare stopped being Jordan-Hare Stadium and started being known as "The Jungle," were they able to capture the intensity that comes with college football. The Tigers take the field now with a Tiger's roar and a cloud of smoke and 85,000 people screaming `War Eagleˆ at the top of their lungs. It was almost as thrilling as listening to 102,000 scream Rocky Top.

There are other songs that work here like "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns and Roses, "Song 2" by Blur, or "Enter Sandman" by Metallica to name a few.

But, not all music is done professionally.

Standing on a high school football field's sideline waiting for a game to start, no matter where I am a chill always runs down my spine when a team bursts through their "run-through" and takes the field with the fans screaming and chanting. Whether it's "Stand Up and Cheer," or "Hooray for (insert team name here)" or "Eye of the Tiger" it's all exciting and gets the kids that are playing the sport pumped up and ready to go light somebody up.

More recently I had the opportunity to watch Georgiana play host to McKenzie in basketball. Georgiana's basketball team hit the court with "Let's Go" by Trik Daddy blaring over the one speaker. While the bass from the song drowned most of the music out, it was still worth it to see a whole section of bleachers standing up singing and dancing to the song.

Along the same lines, during Fort Dale's Thanksgiving Tournament, the Eagles cheering section turned Ozzie Osborne's Crazy Train into their anthem as one person began pounding out the opening drum beats on an actual bass drum while the rest of the group joined in with the song's opening.

These are just a few examples of a trend that has gone on for a multitude of years. They say music can tame the savage beast but music can also amp the beast up enough to go out and have an awesome game.

It's that simple.

Griffin Pritchard is the sports editor of the Greenville Advocate, he can be reached by phone at 382-3111 or via email at griffin.pritchard@greenvilleadvocate.com