So if you're any kind of patriotic American, you stayed up late to watch the US Mens National Soccer Team do their best work of the Klinsmann era last night. They were fluid, they were dynamic, they scored a couple of awesome goals and should have had a couple more, they kept a clean sheet - everything you could ask from a match, really.
And then there was the crowd. Seattle is the best soccer town in America - this is a fact, and it is indisputable after last night - and they brought the noise. It's not on YouTube yet as far as I can tell, but on your DVR (you did DVR the match right?) or (if you have it) on WatchESPN here, go to the 70-minute mark of the match. And just watch. And listen.
This is something I've had in mind for a couple of years now, even before the coming of CJF. Look: we are not a typical SEC school. In fact, a lot of people don't consider us a real SEC school at all, least of all the paste-eating nerds of EA Sports (judging by the NCAA 2014 team ratings. See if I buy that now). Not to mince words: we are hands-down the smartest and wittiest fan base of the league, so we should take advantage of that fact. If anybody can do synchronized chanting and singing, it's us, right? Music City, for crying out loud.
Think about it. Pre-game, the student section unfurls an enormous black banner with a huge gold anchor that reaches from the top of the stands to the bottom. Then 40,000 fans are holding up black-and-gold scarves over their heads singing along with the national anthem at the top of their lungs. As the teams line up for kickoff chanting a Utah State-style "I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN" at full voice. Then as we go on defense, that synchronized clap - my God, it sounded like a freakin' gunshot punctuating otherwise silence. We stall on offense, settle for a field goal, the whole stadium is singing "ROCK ME MAMA LIKE A WAGON WHEEL, ROCK ME MAMA ANY WAY YOU FEEL," you know damn well you know all the words. The students can let fly with "IF I HAD THE WINGS OF AN EAGLE, IF I HAD THE TAIL OF A CROW, I'D FLY MYSELF STRAIGHT OVER NEYLAND, AND SHIT ON THOSE BASTARDS BELOW!" (That was going full blast at the 17-minute mark last night, and ESPN just let it go.) And if you need some loud drumming to keep the crowd together, well, we have a whole damn marching band, right?
In fact, the band could well be the linchpin to this whole thing. Have the drum major calling cheers and songs, have the band lead off, have the students follow along with the band and the crowd follow along with the students. In about 10 seconds, everyone's synced up. Teamwork makes the dream work, etc etc. Plus, in the fourth quarter against Tennessee last year, how much would you have loved to hear clearly over the ESPN announcers a chant of "YOU'RE NOT GOING TO A BOWL, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO A BOWL, YOU'RE NOT GOING, YOU'RE NOT GOING, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO A BOWL"? Hell, even if we're getting our clock cleaned by Alabama, what's to prevent a chorus of "WE WILL HAVE SOME FRIES WITH THAT, DOO DAH, DOO DAH, WE WILL HAVE SOME FRIES WITH THAT, THANK YOU AND KEEP THE CHANGE." Try it! I'm sure somebody else could finish "EIGHT BLIND REFS, EIGHT BLIND REFS, SEE HOW THEY'RE DUMB, SEE HOW THEY'RE DUMB."
You get the idea. All it takes is a few repurposed singalongs from Vacation Bible School, some determined coordination, and just like that, Vanderbilt football is must-see TV for casual fans all over the country who want to see what kind of antics the Robber Barons are up to this week - and a nightmare for visiting fans who have to sit through three and a half hours of this nonsense, win or lose.
You'd love it. TV would love it. The players would almost certainly get a kick out of a loud raucous focused crowd having fun week in and week out. Do it. Embrace your inner hooligan. Make the terraces ring. Sing along with me: "TYLER BRAY, SUPERSTAR, THROWS AT THE DUMPSTER AND HITS A CAR!"