NOTE: This was a blog originally posted Aug. 11, 2011 and has not been edited. Enjoy.
Friends, football season is nearly here, and the snowball of anticipation is flying down the hill. The first week of football is not a national holiday, and that is a travesty. Write your congressman.
But that is another blog entirely.
I am here today to celebrate one of the biggest factors in making high school football so unique: the atmosphere.
When the band strikes up the fight song and an entire town rises to its feet to belt out the alma mater, you know it’s Friday night in the fall. Throw a cannon blast in there to alert the people in the neighboring, rival town that you scored, and you have nirvana.
But there is one school that has all of you beat, and badly, in at least one area of atmospheric legend.
While at a game last year, the PA struck up a rap song. I had my head buried in my work; making sure the settings on my cameras were ready to go and my notepad was in an easily accessible place for rapid-fire jotting. And, full disclosure here, I am not at all fan of rap. So as the team ran out the song was little more than white noise to me.
And then, as if by miracle, a line from the song fluttered down from the speaker, swirled in the breeze, fell perfectly through my ear hole, and came to rest in my brain.
I dropped everything, figuratively. No, but seriously, I almost dropped a video camera that I would have had to sell my internal organs to pay off.
You have my attention now song. I am listening to make sure I heard right. Because if I heard right, this song is the best thing that has ever happened to any high school, ever.
Clear your mind of everything you thought you knew about the wonders of the earth and enjoy by watching the below video.
You think you have pride in your school? Guess again. How many high school garage bands are way too cool for school to write an original song that celebrates its hallowed halls? Try all of them. And how many rappers are laying down rhymes with grandiose bravado about their high school?
None of them are. Well, wait. That’s not entirely true. There is one Young Kash.
That’s right, Young Kash. You may recognize Young Kash on the 2010 Wichita West roster as senior receiver Joshua Martinez. Yes, he was on the team.
In the pantheon of things one can do to make oneself feel like the ultimate alpha male, taking the football field to your own song blasting on the PA is right up there.
This is cool on the same level as Roy Jones Jr.’s ring entrance against Clinton Woods in which Jones made his way to the ring to a one-song concert, rapping his own, "And Still."
You want to talk about confidence? You’ve got to be a pretty bad suh-muh-muh-gun to strap a microphone to your head and rap your own way into a prizefight.
The phenomenon of rap songs praising schools is nothing new. Name your major college and I’ll bet you they have a song. But this is the first high school song I’ve ever heard, and I love it.
My initial reaction was that making these songs mandatory in every school in Kansas should be the law, and that the KSHSAA should host an annual contest to determine a state champion school song.
But in the real world, this simply wouldn’t work the same in almost every other situation. What makes the Wichita West song such a masterpiece is its uniqueness. The element of surprise cracks you in the ribs. It is the fact that this is the last thing you thought you would hear, and that it takes a while to register.
It is perfect.
So go ahead and keep listening to the radio for the generic, popular song of the year and just make that your theme. But if you do attempt to come up with an original song, make sure you kick up to West, because the Pioneers own this racket.