Zach Collier's CWS National Anthem Performance Canceled After 'Horns Down' Gesture

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 14, 2022

OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JUNE 30:  Members of the ground ready the field before the start of the Vanderbilt Commodores and Mississippi St. Bulldogs game three of the College World Series Championship at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 30, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Not only will the "Horns Down" gesture on the football field likely be punishable by a 15-yard penalty, but it might also cost you a notable singing gig.

The NCAA confirmed to ESPN's Dave Wilson that Zach Collier was denied the opportunity to perform the national anthem at the men's College World Series because he did the Horns Down before a women's College World Series softball game between Texas and Oklahoma State:

"The performance of the national anthem during NCAA championship events is a solemn moment for reflection and mutual respect for all championship participants and fans in attendance. Following his national anthem performance during the Women's College World Series—during which the performer inappropriately supported one participating team, taunted the other team, and disrupted participating student-athletes and coaches by attempting to interact with them—he was asked not to perform during the Men's College World Series."

Collier is a graduate of Texas A&M and told Wilson he wanted to engage in a little friendly banter with an in-state rival.

"I'm an Aggie; Texas was playing," he said. "I was going to give them a 'Go Pokes' and then a Horns Down after the anthem. And that's exactly what I did. And three hours after I sang the anthem, I got an email saying that I wasn't scheduled to sing for the men's College World Series anymore."

Every attempt to root out Horns Down is a perfect case of the Streisand effect in action. Tell a fan or player they can't do something to goad the opposition, and it will only want to make them do that thing more.

Mike Finger @mikefinger

There is no phenomenon in sports like the horns down. It is universal.

Collier, for one, was unrepentant and told Wilson: "I don't think anybody's going to stop me from doing it."