Among the 4,287 ways college football beats the living beaver snot out of pro football—e.g., cheerleaders with real breasts, teams that don't pack up and leave at midnight, mascots who actually bite—the best is fight songs. As they say in Texas, a good fight song'll give you chill bumps. Your star and your coach may leave, but your fight song never will. Even at 96, on her death bed, with the pastor reading from the Good Book, a true college fan, upon hearing her fight song played on the horn of a passing Winnebago, will leap up and bellow from the bottom of her bellower:
Kick 'em right in the knee!
Yeah, fight songs are corny, and their lyrics make no sense. So how come if you go up to a 300-pound Duluth mechanic and sing the Minnesota fight song, which includes the tender phrase Rah, Rah, Rah! For Ski-U-Mah, he may begin weeping into his socket wrenches?
The best fight song in all college football is, of course, Colorado's (my ol' alma mater), and the worst is Nebraska's (steroid-guzzling rival). Here's how the Cornhuskers' fight song goes in our house:
There is no place like Nebraska,
(Which isn't as bad as what my brother-in-law, who went to Oklahoma, taught his kids: Whenever they went number two, they were to look into the bowl as they flushed and say, "See ya in Lincoln!")
Most people begrudgingly concede that either Notre Dame's (Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame) or Wisconsin's (On, Wisconsin!) fight song stirs something deep within them. Me, I like Michigan's.
Hail! to the victors valiant
Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes
Hail! Hail! to Michigan,
The champions of the West!
Problem is, that's pretty much the whole song, repeated over and over. What do you want from the state that gave you the K-Car? Still, it's better than Oklahoma's, which consists almost entirely of the words boomer and sooner.