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Cranks for the Memories
Pablo S. Torre
November 19, 2007
An infectious new arena anthem has some raunchy lyrics
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November 19, 2007

Cranks For The Memories

An infectious new arena anthem has some raunchy lyrics

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How do sports stars fit in? A Spice Girl reunion means ... TV show that should be canceled Language I'd like to learn Most I've paid for a suit Favorite pickup line
MATT BONNER Spurs F A 1990s revival A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila Mandarin Never more than $1,000 Want to go climb Mount Washington with me?
AARON KAMPMAN Packers DE I don't even know who the Spice Girls (top) are Dancing with the Stars Either Mandarin or Telugu $250 Want to carry my books?
BRENDAN HAYWOOD Wizards C A lot of pretty faces House of Payne French $1,000 I don't have one. Just my smile
TODD REESING Jayhawks QB PAAARTY! Most reality shows French. Chicks dig it $350. I like to look sharp Did you see the game on Saturday?

THE RAPPER Soulja Boy's chart-topping stadium anthem, Crank That, is as Pavlovian as it is percussive. The opening beats spur NFL, NBA and college crowds across the country into a dance called the Superman—and it's not just fans and mascots who are performing. Hall of Famers ( Jerry Rice, at Georgetown's Midnight Madness event), Pro Bowlers (the Chicago Bears' Devin Hester), rookies (the Golden State Warriors' Brandan Wright) and 59-year-old college coaches ( Wisconsin's Bo Ryan) can be seen doing the dance on YouTube. The 17-year-old Soulja Boy himself headlined Texas Tech's Midnight Madness celebration last month and has filmed a promo for the Cleveland Browns, and he says that many NFL teams have invited him "to come over and do the Superman."

It's a Macarena for the new millennium, but do normally conservative sports officials, who have been hypersensitive to decency issues since Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, understand what's behind the fun? Apparently not. It's widely known among younger Soulja Boy fans that Superman, in the context of the song, is slang for a sexual act that cannot be described in the pages of SI. (The Crank That lyrics contain the line "Superman dat ho," though the version played in most arenas replaces "ho" with "ohhhh.") Yet several public relations officials for NBA and NFL franchises reached by SI said that while Crank That is typically played at least once per game at their venues, they weren't aware of any lewd implications. "We try to be careful, but there haven't been any complaints," says Teresa Shear, the Denver Broncos' director of game-day entertainment.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says his league had a laissez-faire policy on what can be heard over stadium loudspeakers. Once music has been deemed suitable for radio, the decisions on what to play, he says, are up to the teams, with "no directive and no mandate from the league." It could be that those who know what the lyrics mean aren't offended by them and those who might be offended are oblivious to the craze. Aiello told SI that its question about the rapper was the first time he had heard of Soulja Boy.

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