"Forgive them for they know not what they're doin'."
------------------------------------------------------ THE SHOWMEN
For the third straight season, after much thinking and deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that South Carolina knows how to play baseball but again is not taking full advantage of the other most important part of the game - walk-up music.
Would Chipper Jones be a Hall-of-Famer without Ozzy's "Crazy Train?" Would Mariano Rivera be nearly as intimidating if he didn't trot in to Metallica's "Enter Sandman?" Who can stay sitting down when Grady Sizemore steps in, as Rage Against The Machine's "Killing in the Name Of" blasts from the stadium PA?
The Gamecocks are 22-5 and 7-2 in the SEC, a wonderful record for this point of the season. But it's about to get tougher.
The way to pave over those rough spots? Revamping the music. Some of the current songs are good and fit the players well, some could be tweaked, some really need to be discarded.
My suggestions. Thank me with any of the following top 11 items: Click.
(Note: I linked a video of each song. Some are the original cuts and have strong lyrics. You've been warned.)
DeSean Anderson: "Speedin Instrumentals," Rick Ross Click
Robert Beary: "Alive," P.O.D. Click
Jackie Bradley Jr.: "Bad," Michael Jackson Click
Greg Brodzinski: "Let's Go," Trick Daddy featuring Lil Jon Click
Alex Burrell: "Sweet Child O' Mine," Guns N' Roses Click
Will Casey: "Warrior," Kid Rock Click
Bryan Harper: "The Show Goes On," Lupe Fiasco Click
Patrick Harrington: "Pledge Allegiance to the Swag," T.I. featuring Rick Ross Click
Colby Holmes: "Down and Out," Tantric Click
Spencer Jordan: "It's Tricky," Run DMC Click
Forrest Koumas: "Never Gonna Get It," Sean Biggs featuring Akon and Topic Click
Evan Marzilli: "Maybach Music Part II," Rick Ross featuring T-Pain, Lil Wayne and Kanye West Click
Jose Mata: "Shut It Down," Pitbull Click
Adam Matthews: "My Kinda Party," Jason Aldean Click
Peter Mooney: "Hit 'Em High, Hit 'Em Low," JT Money Click
Adrian Morales: "We Fly High (Ballin')," Jim Jones Click
Logan Munson: "The Rising," Bruce Springstreen and the E Street Band Click
Steven Neff: "Overtime," Ace Hood featuring Akon and T-Pain Click
Erik Payne: "Bombs Over Baghdad," OutKast Click
Matt Price: "It's My Time," Fabolous featuring Jeremih Click
Dante Rosenberg: "Your Love," The Outfield Click
Michael Roth: "Sweet Dreams," La Bouche (pitch); "Theme from 'Bruno,'" Scooter Nessaja (bat) Click Click
Patrick Sullivan: "You're The Best Around," Joe Esposito Click
John Taylor: "Lights Out," Breaking Benjamin Click
Brady Thomas: "My Life, Your Entertainment," T.I. featuring Usher Click
Drake Thomason: "Original," Drake Thomason (clips of songs made into his personal mix)
Christian Walker: "Theme from 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,'" Will Smith Click
Jake Watson: "I Can't Stop," Flux Pavilion Click
Tyler Webb: "Paint It Black," The Rolling Stones Click
Adam Westmoreland: "Don't Let Me Fall," B.o.B. Click
Jake Williams: "Homecoming," Kanye West featuring Chris Martin Click
Scott Wingo: "Stuntin' Like My Daddy," Lil Wayne featuring Birdman Click
DeSean Anderson: Anderson hasn't been on the field much due to injuries and other issues, but the word (and the limited time I got to see him in the fall) was this kid can flat burn. I mean, out-run-a-jackrabbit BURN. Got to play something befitting that. The beginning of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's "Electricity" will get the heart racing every time (Click). And he gets cool points if the videoboard opens Anderson's profile with the clip from "Top Gun," featuring Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards saying, "I feel the need … the need … for speed."
Robert Beary: One of the best quotes on the team and a real contributor to the team's chemistry, Beary's gift for embellishment (and prodigious power at the plate) has made him quite the entertainer in his two years. It's why Bad Company's "Shooting Star" should be his walk-up music (Click), especially on the chorus. "Don't you know that you are a shooting star, don't you know?"
Jackie Bradley Jr.: A return to his music from last year ("Bad") after beginning with T.I.'s "I'm Back" was a good move, I thought, especially since Bradley Jr. can sting a double into the gap, go sliding into second, pop up and whisper, "Who's bad?" to the rest of the field. Good choice, but I stand by what I've been saying for the past two years. Theme from "The Natural" (Click, watch it until the end and try not to cry). He makes playing the outfield so effortless, so easy, that folks who haven't had the privilege of watching him for three years think he's hot-dogging (like the TV announcers at the school that begins with "F" and ends with "lorida"). I have never seen a player that knows where the ball is going to be as soon as it makes contact, and knows how hard he'll have to run to get there and what he'll have to do to glove it. It boggles the mind how he does it.
Greg Brodzinski: Not bad, with the sample of "Crazy Train" in there, but perhaps not the greatest choice. After a brief look at the theme song from "Jersey Shore" (The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Brodzinski is from Turnersville, N.J., nowhere near the shore), I'll have to go with "Chantilly Lace" (Click). Written and performed by The Big Bopper. Get it?
Alex Burrell: Can't deny any GN'R song for pumping-up consideration, but got to go with something else. A faster laid-down rhythm to the old Charlie Brown music, with some interesting lyrics, all titled "Hurly Burly" by Man Man. (Click). Keep in mind how Burrell's name is pronounced here in the lovely Deep South.
Will Casey: Move to the 1:40 mark. You'll understand. Click. Repeat that about five times, that will work.
Bryan Harper: I approached the interview this way. First day of fall practice, I told him I would ask about his brother (No. 1 draft pick Bryce Harper) once, and then never talk about him again. I stayed true to my word. Too bad other media folks haven't. Harper is a great quote, a good pitcher and often willing to experiment with his facial hair, much to the delight of our photographers. Yet he'll always run into some dummy at practice, simply there for a sound bite, who asks, "What's it like to have Bryce Harper as your brother?" For that reason, got to go with Collective Soul's "Heavy" (Click). Because even though Bryce is his brother, his reputation is an Everest on Bryan's shoulders.
Patrick Harrington: Really wished he would have stayed healthy this season because everyone would have seen what I saw in practice -- this man is going to be a player. He went with the ever-popular "swag" in the title of his choice ("swag" is to the baseball team via Twitter as "shawty" is to a certain offensive lineman) but I like a choice that illustrates what he will be to the Gamecocks next year and beyond. Click.
Colby Holmes: Started with his music from last year (Linkin Park's "Papercut"), then switched to Tantric. I know I'll take mounds of crap for this, but got to go with this -- Click. Hey, he found his way to the starting rotation, just like the detective found clues! (I know it's weak).
Spencer Jordan: Good song from the age when rap was still relatively original (as in, didn't have to use a pre-existing sample but for only two songs on a standard LP). Might as well leave it.
Forrest Koumas: Stop all the "Pitch, Forrest, Pitch" suggestions there. How cliché. And unoriginal. It offends me as a comedian. Koumas throws hard, is a nasty competitor and will be an all-conference pitcher perhaps as soon as this year. And he's from Lugoff-Elgin High School (the Demons). Bullet for My Valentine's "Waking the Demon" Click. Naturally.
Evan Marzilli: Who needs to pick entrance music when you can play better than anything you could possibly pick? Click.
Jose Mata: A good choice to revert back to his 2010 music after beginning with a Tinie Tempah selection (notice how he's pitched much better since? Coincidence?). The guy got seven wins last year out of the bullpen, meaning he'd come in during a tie or where USC was losing, and begin feasting on the remnants while his teammates picked him up. Thus, the nickname "Vulture." Pendulum wrote a song titled the song with some fitting lyrics. Click.
Adam Matthews: Gotta say, his choice is one of those songs that worms its way in and won't leave your brain until something better comes along (I always have to hum "Dixie" to myself to get rid of the stuck songs). And it's fitting, since he's done a great job hitting leadoff and the chorus says, "Let's get this thing started, it's my kinda party." But thinking of the nickname I tagged him with - A-Bomb, or Kid Dynamite - let's go with "Boom" by P.O.D. Click. "Here comes the Boom, ready or not, here comes the boys from the South."
Peter Mooney: Good selection, considering Mooney is starting to spray the ball all over the field for doubles and even a home run, and is fielding balls low and high before throwing them on to first. I can't think of anything better.
Adrian Morales: Another player who shifted songs mid-season, starting with Will Smith's "Miami" before changing to Jim Jones. Excellent move. Christian Walker is always going to hit ahead of Morales, and he has Will Smith. You can't have two Will Smith songs in one lineup. That's a travesty equivalent to paying good money to hear Jimmy Buffett. I say Morales needs to switch again. Ray Tanner is always referring to him as a general in the field, a guy who is so keen on the game's intricacies that the coaching staff only tells him to stop on occasion. Gary Moore's "Military Man" Click. One of those tasty guitar licks would do just fine.
Logan Munson: Can't go wrong with Bruce, but after going from high school in South Carolina to two years at North Carolina and then back to South Carolina, might as well go with the obvious. Click. Munson can settle once and for all what the real Carolina is.
Steven Neff: On his third song of the year (he started with Eric Church's "A Lotta Boot Left To Fill" and I know I heard Crossfade's "Cold" once), Neff is going with his current choice of "Overtime." Lyrics say, "Yea, cause it's now or never, I'm gone put it on the line," which certainly describes Neff's career and how he's finally obtained a weekend spot (if he can just get healthy again). How about another career-describer? Just the opening of Aerosmith's "Full Circle" (Click) would do.
Erik Payne: The frenetic pace of "Bombs Over Baghdad" is a pump-up-the-crowd selection, to be sure, but how could anyone not want to play off the last name? Three Days Grace's "Pain" Click. "Pain, I can't get enough."
Matt Price: What an outstanding, clever and witty use of "The Price is Right" theme to first introduce USC's closer running into the pen! Glad USC thought of it (AHEM, and notice the date. Click. I can pick up the royalty check at the next press conference). "It's My Time" is a nice selection, but I have a better one. The opening to Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold" (Click), especially set to a highlight video of Price pitching, culminating with a slo-mo replay of him striking out UCLA's Niko Gallego with the bases loaded during the College World Series as the drum beats melt into the main opening, would be fantastic.
Dante Rosenberg: I think it must be something with the catchers that they have to choose classic rock (Brady Thomas' first selection was Eddie Money, which followed The Scorpions last year). Rosenberg went along that line, but I'd suggest for him what I suggested for Erik Payne. Got the last name, use it. And it's classic rock. Click.
Michael Roth: The choice was no surprise. It really wasn't. Roth is the kind of guy that will choose something so off-beat it has to be funny. That's why he goes with La Bouche for pitching and a movie theme, but not just any movie theme ("Bruno") for batting. Considering Roth's gift of being supremely intelligent (huge numbers, GPA-wise, in the business major) and also his gift of being cheerfully oblivious to the pressure of being a No. 1 starter, why not Weird Al Yankovic's "Dare to be Stupid?" Click
Patrick Sullivan: Kudos for choosing a song that makes us all re-live "The Karate Kid." Really, I mean it. I can't wait to hear it again tonight when he starts against USC Upstate. No need to change it.
John Taylor: Very good choice, considering the way he's pitched this year. The man has been so automatic that I'm already writing about a win if the Gamecocks take a lead into the seventh inning, knowing that Taylor and Matt Price are the best 1-2 combination since peanut butter met chocolate. Taylor - 5-foot-10, 175 pounds on a good day - isn't the most intimidating presence, but his arm certainly is. That's why it would be a delightful bit of irony to open with Jimmy Dean's "Big Bad John" Click. Batters would laugh, then mope their way back to the dugout.
Brady Thomas: He shed the classic rock for T.I. and I like the song title. Kind of describes Thomas' career. Here's another one - Default's "Count on Me" Click. Nobody I would want to see standing at the plate with the game on the line than Thomas. He is a master of the clutch hit.
Drake Thomason: I haven't heard his music yet, but I'd like to humbly suggest he shed it altogether. Click (Sorry for all the other stuff in there. Just pay attention to the Seinfeld references. Piece them together, it would be a masterful intro video).
Christian Walker: It's cool the way the fans and players get into waving their arms whenever Walker comes to the plate - it reminds of how the Arkansas fans do it for their players at their park. And it's a nice little reference - Walker's hometown of Limerick, Pa., is west of Philadelphia. Still, I have to suggest an old WWE standby, the music of the world's most dangerous man, Ken Shamrock Click. Think of that bell ringing right as Walker taps his bat on the plate. Got goosebumps yet?
Jake Watson: He's playing the year as a backup infielder, learning the tools and trade behind Scott Wingo. Easy. Click.
Tyler Webb: I'll be honest. I was considering the theme from "Duck Tales" because it had the character of Webby in it. Then I decided not to since Webb probably wouldn't appreciate being compared to a girl duck who wears a pink bow on her head. Never wrong to pick a Stones song, and considering how Webb likes to try to hit the corners of the plate, "Paint it Black" is fitting. But how about The Roots' "Web" (Click)?
Adam Westmoreland: No, not Go West. No, not Kanye West. No, not The Big Show's entrance music. Let's go with some Skynyrd, bo, considering Westmoreland is still looking for the answer to put it all together. "Can you help me find my way?" Click
Jake Williams: He's been waiting, and he got his chance to play. I like the "Homecoming" theme, but how about something saying, "I've been patiently waiting in line?" Click.
Scott Wingo: Love the reference to his dad for the Clemson series, but now that it's over, got to switch it up. Something to describe Wingo's passion, his loyalty to the program, his representation as THE USC ballplayer - got it. Click. "You'll never forget my name."
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