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Tako Tuesdays is Filing a Complaint

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I don’t want to have to disown you, so please help me out with this.

84th MLB All-Star Game Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

On Saturday afternoon, all the familiar sounds of Oregon football echoed throughout Autzen Stadium: the screams of 55,000+ fans, the Oregon Marching Band taking the best part of Star Wars Episode I and jamming it into your brains with glee, Don Essig’s sensual baritone. But there was one piece of last week’s Autzen experience that stood out.

Neil Diamond’s scourge upon humanity, “Sweet Caroline”, began to play.

Here’s my initial reaction:

Now, I’m not one of those fans who thinks that Oregon athletics should refrain from trying to add new things to the football atmosphere. But Sweet Caroline is not a new thing. It’s a bad song from almost 50 years ago, and one of the most tired sports tropes in the universe. It’s so dumb that it’s featured in the single worst commercial of 2017. Perhaps most importantly from a sports standpoint, it’s one of those things where one team has clear rights to it being “their thing”. To better illustrate this, here is:

A quick list of the least creative sports fan things, and who gets to use them

  • Sweet Caroline - The Boston Red Sox have full and unquestioned rights to this dumb song. It’s their eighth inning tradition, Neil Diamond’s sung it Any other fan base that tries it is a cheap imitator.
  • The “I Believe That We Will Win” chant - Primary rights go to the Naval Academy, who created it. Secondary rights go to US Soccer, who co-opted it first and most prominently. Tertiary rights go to Utah State, who went viral with their version of it and really sit it afire in the college sports scene. Any other fan base that tries it is a cheap imitator.
  • “Don’t Stop Believing” - The Chicago White Sox fully committed to this as their anthem on the way to a world championship in 2005, the San Francisco Giants co-opted it in 2010 by getting Journey’s lead singer Steve Perry - a Giants fan - leading the crowd in a sing-along during playoff games. The Detroit Red Wings also heavily use it at games due to the “born and raised in south Detroit” line. I think three sports teams is plenty, so let’s cap it there. Any other fan base that tries it is a cheap imitator.
  • “Rock and Roll, Part 2” - According to Wikipedia, it started in the NHL and branched out from there, most notably to the NFL, who banned it after songwriter Gary Glitter was convicted of downloading child porn. Oregon’s been doing it for a while, so we can keep doing it. Still, it’s not that original and kind of skeevy.
  • “Seven Nation Army” - Deadspin’s already recapped the history of this one, and according to them Penn State was the first college football team to use it in 2006. It’s now absolutely everywhere. It didn’t show up at Oregon until at least 2011, so we’re really late to the game on this one. At this point, anyone can use it, but it isn’t particularly interesting, so there’s gotta be a more unique song we can jump and yell OOOOO to, right?
  • The Wave - The Wave belongs first and foremost to Krazy George Henderson and the Oakland A’s, in a playoff game against the Yankees in 1981. This happened before a wave took place on Halloween of 1981 at Husky Stadium. This is important, because the Huskies claim they invented the Wave. In fact, they did not. So just to be clear: THE WASHINGTON HUSKIES DID NOT INVENT THE WAVE. Thank you. Anyway, everyone does the Wave, and generally I hate it because people try and start it while the game is going on, and not during a stoppage in action when there’s time to do silly crap like the Wave. It isn’t original, but looks really cool when well executed. So anyone can do the Wave, just do it at an appropriate time, and do it well.

Here’s really the crux of my problem with Sweet Caroline, apart from the fact that it’s a terrible song written by a grown man, about a child. Oregon doesn’t need to go around stealing somebody else’s signature traditions. We’ve got our own.

So, please, I’m begging you. Take Sweet Caroline, and get a little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now. A little bit softer now...