Few college football traditions can match up to the Tennessee Volunteers' "Running Through the T," but that timeless tradition could be better.
Think about it. Do you even know what song is being played when the players and coaches, led by Smokey the bluetick coonhound, storm the field in Neyland Stadium?
It's the Vols' fight song (And when I say fight song, I mean it in a technical sense because we all know what song really resounds across 100,000 plus orange-clad fans.).
The song that's being played is "Down the Field," the official fight song of the University of Tennessee. Ugh!
My college roommate, a diehard Virginia Tech fan, showed me the electric entrance the Hokies have. It didn't take long to realize the main difference between theirs and Tennessee's...
...the usage of some badass metal music before playing the school's fight song (You won't be able to hear Metallica's "Enter Sandman" being played in the video because the crowd loses their minds so quickly after hearing the first few guitar strokes.).
Take a journey with me over the next few slides and really try to imagine the scenarios I lay out. You'll get chill bumps if you're a real Vol.
We'll need some Jumbotron cooperation with these entrances.
0:00: Have a montage of clips showing the individual players getting ready, stretching and nodding in that awesome way that so many of them do from previous games and practices.
0:15: Mix in some diehard fans that are screaming their lungs out and a clip of coach Derek Dooley screaming at a ref or pumping his fist after a touchdown.
0:28: Show a live shot of the players coming down the tunnel, getting ready to burst onto the field.
0:35-0:38: Vamp that part of the song and let the players run through the T followed immediately by "Rocky Top." "Down the Field" has been trashed.
0:00: Montage of players struggling through weightlifting, bleeding on the sideline, gritting their teeth through a big hit.
0:10: Add some voiceovers of coach Derek Dooley's pregame speeches, perhaps live. Something that talks about eliminating weakness, et cetera.
0:21: Clips of successful offensive plays and maybe an interception or two can run on the Jumbotron. Let's save the big stuff for next..
0:31: The biggest hit of the year rolls on the screen now, maybe three of four times. Include any offensive plays where a Vol runs over an opponent.
0:42: The Vols run through the T to meet a frenzied crowd ready for a brawl.
0:27: Start the music here after the weird intro. Scenes from the Vol Walk, the Pride's march to the stadium and other pre-game stuff should be played on the Jumbotron.
0:38: Those same players that were in the Vol Walk are now in the locker room (theatrically filmed), gearing up and getting focused. Coach Derek Dooley is shown looking like a man on a mission. The increase intensity of the music matches.
0:48: Once again, the music matches. The big hit is aligned with the once suit-wearing, locker room-preparing, players ripping into their opponents with ferocity.
0:59: Now we see those players in real life sprinting through the T while we head bang and scream at the other team.
Can't you see the play on words,"Vols on Parade"?
2:55: Let's get past all those silly lyrics and get right to that awesome guitar riff. No need for Jumbotron involvement. We have our pom-poms swirling overhead.
3:06: The Jumbotron can get involved now. A sweeping view of the orange and white shirts, hats and pom-poms swirling is shown. The unique sight juxtaposed with the (for now) soft guitar strokes looks almost like the fans are calling for their team to come do battle.
3:16: Don't forget! The new dubbing of the song says "Vols on Parade". Show the players walking down the tunnel live mixed with big plays from recent games. Live-Recorded-Live-Recorded.
3:28: Finally! The guitar octave riffs that we've been begging for are playing over the speakers. "Vols on Parade" is being screamed over and over. Be sure to vamp this part, lest the song just end.
3:40: Our Vols "parade" onto the field, hopefully not doing the air guitar to such an awesome song.
Slightly less violent but just as powerful. This is actually the intro I'd prefer.
0:00: This one isn't about the Jumbotron. It's all about the fans. We know the song. We start chanting, "Ahh ahhh ahhhh!"
0:15: Well-trained fans will know to steadily increase the volume.
0:30: Now you, your dad and his dad add the "THUNDER!" to the end of "Ahh ahhh ahhhh!" A live shot of the players smacking the "I will give my all for Tennessee today!" sign is shown.
0:51: Smokey leads the Tennessee football team through the T to a crowd that's ready to be thunderstruck.