Earlier this week, I posted the “This is Indiana” fan tribute video created by IU students Brice Fox and Daniel Weber. The video features Fox and Weber, clad in headbands with their muscle-free arms dangling out of tank tops, rapping about their love for Indiana basketball. While the song has a catchy beat, and I admit to randomly singing it around the office this week, it is undoubtedly among the cheesiest 3 minutes and 49 seconds of video uploaded to the Internet this week.
But Fox and Weber are not groundbreaking mix masters of sports-inspired musical cheese. Far from it. The sports fan music video tribute is nearly as old as the music video itself, and damn near as unintentionally hilarious as football analysis by Joe Theismann (though don’t tell that Deion).
After posting the “This is Indiana” video, I was inundated with links to other sports fan music video tributes while discussing the topic on Twitter and via email with various folks. While reviewing these inspired yet awful videos, I was struck by the applicability of an old cliche: the more things change, the more they stay the same.
In this post, I offer up two sports fan music video tributes – one from 1986 and one from 2010 – that show just how alike in spirit and unabashed cheese every video in this genre has been…and probably always will be.
The first video really should be placed in a time capsule as an example of what went wrong in the 1980s. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 80s. I was born in the 80s. I look back fondly on a lot of things from the 80s. This just doesn’t happen to be one of them.
As with most of these videos, I give them an “A” for genuine passion and effort. I also appreciate them for making me laugh. But my goodness, what the hell was wrong with these people? Especially this guy:
It’s really too bad. If this guy had just been born a couple of decades later, he would have been a shoo-in for the over serious balladeer in the Real Men of Genius commercial. Alas, he was forced to wear garish sweaters and sing for a studio band. Timing really is everything.
And has a song ever had a more forced rhyme structure than this one? Over and over it’s “New England…the Patriots and we…” and then whatever asstastic line that ends in an -ee sound comes after it. Surely someone could have come up with something better than this.
But therein lies the rub.
The Patriots video you just suffered through was made in 1986. It is now 2011. In 25 years, we haven’t really gotten any better than “New England, the Patriots and We”, and as evidence I present the video below.
What you are about to watch is called “Feelin So Fly Like a Cheesehead.” The video was apparently produced by a group of individuals called Higher Education. Perhaps I am being judgmental and unnecessarily presumptive in saying this, but I have to assume that name is some kind of ironic statement about the artists’ lives. Maybe, maybe not. (Hell, I write a sports blog and drive 500,000 pageviews to pictures like this for a living…so who am I talk?)
There are plenty of angles for mockery here, but I’ll just stick with the title. While it’s not as poorly formed grammatically as the Patriots video (which is ironic since it’s a rap video by a bunch of kids as opposed to a cheesy 80s tune by a bunch of old people), it makes very little sense. When The Offspring made “Pretty Fly for a White Guy” they were being ironic, because as we all know most white guys are not fly. But it appears as if the performers here actually want us to assume that cheeseheads are, in fact, fly.
While trying to wrap my primitive blogger mind around that obtuse concept, I think I started hallucinating somewhere around the 2:45 mark of the video because I could have sworn I heard a brief sample of Cotton Eye Joe. Wait, that was real? Oh. Hmm. Doesn’t really make much sense to me, but pretty fly for a cheesehead, I guess.
Also apparently fly for a cheesehead: skinny white dudes with massive gold chains!
And yes, he is dancing in front of a statue of Vince Lombardi, leading me to immediately think to myself:
But again, as with the Patriots fans’ video, I give Higher Education and everyone who helped them produce this plenty of props. The production value is outstanding, as is their passion for the Packers. And I’m not being sarcastic. As someone whose goal every day is to entertain sports fans and inspire them to think about and discuss the games and teams they love, I’d much rather live in a world where passionate sports make cheesy music videos than a world without these cheesy musical odes but also without the passion of sports fans.
So to Higher Education and all the dorky New Englanders from 1986, despite the snarky criticism above, your fervor for your teams gets a tip of the cap from us here at MSF. To everyone else, just remember that when the next cheesy sports fans music video tribute comes out it will just be following a trail that was blazed a long, long time ago. And now that most of these video feature white people rapping, we can all take solace in the knowledge that they cannot possibly get any cheesier.
(Unless, you know, the athletes themselves were to start making them…)