It’s time to retire “Sirius.”
Yeah, I said it.
And I’ll say more: The Husker Tunnel Walk song is boring, tired and, yes, stolen.
I know Husker Nation loves tradition as much as football itself, but playing Alan Parsons Project’s synthesizer masterpiece isn’t even a classic Husker tradition like the Blackshirts or the sellout streak or the option of running to the truck at halftime for a quick beer.
Plus the Bulls did it first. We stole it.
Yes, the Huskers swiped “Sirius” from the Chicago Bulls, who famously used the song starting in 1990 to introduce Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and three other guys during their epic run of championships.
(Did I mention that the Kansas City Chiefs used it for a decade starting in 1989? And that WWF wrestler Ricky Steamboat did so in the ’80s, too. Let that settle in for a second.)
I understand why Nebraska jumped on it. It was a great song that got people pumped, and it was symbolic of reaching the pinnacle of athletics during the mid-1990s. It makes sense the Huskers wanted to replicate it when they were having major success at the same time.
But back to my point: It’s not original.
And at this point, it’s tired. It’s played out. Be honest with yourself right now: It’s one of the most overplayed songs in sports.
We can do better.
At last weekend’s spring game, I was much more excited to see Scott Frost and his team take the field to Gary Clark Jr.’s version of “Come Together,” something new and fresh and exciting for a new era.
What could replace “Sirius”? This music critic pondered “Come Together” and 10 other options. (Can’t see the songs? Click here)
10 songs to replace “Sirius” for the Tunnel Walk
Pros: Oh, that riff. Clark’s a modern guitar god, and his work hits hard. Plus the message hits home after a few coaching eras worth of turbulence. Cons: It’s from the “Justice League” movie, which — depending on your views — could taint its existence.
Pros: Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump! Light ‘em up! I’m on fiiiiiiiiiire! This song has everything you need to get pumped. I want to run through walls right now. Cons: It’s kind of random jargon. Its name is way too wordy. And mileage may vary on Fall Out Boy.
Pros: Nothing can hold us back, and the remix is, dare I say it, harder-hitting than the original, much like we wish the Frost-era Huskers will be. Cons: Probably a little slow to start, but maybe that early part of the song can be used to smolder in the tunnel a little bit.
Pros: Hear those stomps and claps, and you start hopping, ready to rush the field. I envision the entire crowd on their feet doing the same. Cons: Takes too long to get to the chorus, which is the big pump-up part. Plus his line about “Little bit of humble, little bit of cautious,” isn’t what you want in a song about never giving up.
Pros: Those claps have everyone on their feet and the players getting all jacked up for the game. Cons: Its slower pace might be better for a slow march onto the field rather than the typical charge into battle that’s required in football.
Pros: Has the slow build of “Sirius,” the payoff of a thumping bass drop and big melodies perfect for a stadium full of screaming fans. Cons: The payoff isn’t quite as good as it could be right off the bat. The whole song kind of builds and builds to something bigger. But perhaps editing the song slightly to start closer to its big close would solve the problem.
Pros: There’s not a harder-hitting hip-hop song, and the mix of the blaring horns, DMX’s gruff proclamations about how he’s gonna pop and go, let it go. Plus the throwing-the-bones gesture from the Blackshirts matches up nicely. Cons: There are a few. He barks like a dog. There are a lot of F-bombs. Oh, and DMX is currently in prison.
Pros: Handclaps. Sirens. A rising melody. Slamming lyrics. Cons: A few F-bombs and lyrics that are about anything but victory and sports. Plus, it’s by the renowned “21st century schizoid man” himself.
Pros: The cover of the Motley Crue song has everything you need: a rev-up to a kick-in-the-chest guitar riff. Plus, this version hits harder than the original. Cons: It’s basically about getting high. Maybe not the best message.
Songs I didn’t pick
“Bodies,” Drowning Pool: I get the sentiment of “letting the bodies hit the floor,” but it’s way too aggressive for Memorial Stadium.
“Boom,” P.O.D.: “Here comes the boom?” Yeah, yeah. Fun chorus. But the rest of the song doesn’t really live up to that one part.
“Lose Yourself,” Eminem: I love the sentiment, but it’s too slow for the Tunnel Walk.
“Rock & Roll Part II,” Gary Glitter: Uh, Glitter spent time in prison for child sex offenses. No thanks.
“We Will Rock You,” “Enter Sandman,” “Thunderstruck,” “Crazy Train” and many, many others: Good songs, but they’re overplayed, especially at football games.
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