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College Football's Soundtrack: 3rd Quarter Stretch and Post-Game

Note: This is part two of a two part blog on College Football Music. This blog focuses on 4th quarter songs and post-game music. The First blog covered pre-game music and in-game music.

Once a college football game is underway the drama on the field combined with the music in the stadium adds to the excitement for all the fans in the stadium. But even between quarters and when the game ends, the music doesn’t necessarily stop.

One tradition that has evolved in college football is what I'll call the 3rd quarter stretch between the 3rd and 4th quarter; college football’s answer to the 7th-inning stretch. One of the best-known traditions that highlighted the 3rd/4th quarter break was Wisconsin adopting the song “Jump Around” by House of Pain as an anthem heading into the 4th quarter. The Badger students have been jumping since at least 1998 (about 6 years after the song was released). What makes it really pop is the horn that introduces the song, a clarion call of sorts to get up and jump.

At Penn State the 3rd quarter stretch song is Sweet Caroline which was “borrowed” from the Boston Red Sox. After it was banned for a couple of seasons in 2012-13 for reasons no one in Penn State’s administration has yet revealed it returned to the rotation.

Even after the game ends there are post-game musical traditions. In 1982 on my first visit to Notre Dame I heard the famous fight song over and over again (despite losing to Penn State that day) what really stuck with me was the band playing the 1812 Overture at the end of the Game. It is an incredible piece of classical music and the students really responded to it.

After the games other schools that have sing-along musical traditions. At West Virginia the crowd sings the John Denver hit “Country Roads” the noise level rising when the crowd sings “Take me home, to the place I belong…West Virginia.”

Fans love to sing a song that features the name of their team in it. Like the WVU fans singing Country Roads, Alabama fans love singing along to “Sweet Home Alabama" (perhaps not as much as the post-game "Rammer Jammer" after they "just beat the hell out of you"). That being said you can bet despite a reference to Penn State in the rap anthem “It’s All About The Benjamins” they won’t ever play that part of the song in Beaver Stadium.

The Norman Rockwell moment College football post-game musical traditions generally involve the team and crowd singing the Alma Mater or similarly emotional song of note played by the band. Ohio State’s “Carmen Ohio” starts out slowly and builds in volume at the end. The “Eyes of Texas” is played to great emotion in Memorial Stadium in Austin for the Longhorns.

But there is no greater moment than after the Army/Navy game when both teams alternate singing the Army and Navy Alma Maters while their opponent and their fans stand in respect for one another. These young men, adversaries for this day, will ultimately all be on the same team defending our nation. Those moments of respect after the game serve to remind each other and all of us of that fact and of the seriousness of these young men’s purpose in life.

Only in college football…….

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