Thursday, August 8, 2013
Behold the greatest fan song of all time
By Eamonn Brennan
Original college basketball-themed YouTube songs are not totally unusual in this crazy world of ours, but they typically involve a slideshow, a repurposed pop tune, and a winking sense of self-parody. They are usually not very good.
What I offer you today (via r/collegebasketball) is none of the above. It is an (apparently) original song. Its YouTube title is "IBleedBlueJoeSchoer," which is presumably a combination of the vocalist's name and the actual title of the song. It features zero zany graphics. It is not shot with inherent irony; it is instead almost heartbreakingly sincere.
It is a man and his rocking chair and his song, a song he decided to give to the world. This song is about his favorite basketball team, the University of Kentucky Wildcats. And it. is. awesome.
Let's make one thing clear: This is not some snarky, oh-let's-have-a-laugh-at-another-YouTube-goofball blog post. Nor is it one more ode to the ineffable craziness of the Kentucky fan. Those are valid responses, I guess, but I feel like they miss the point.
The point, of course, is love.
What else than love would drive an obviously proud man -- he sits in his rocking chair as a throne, as proud men do -- to don his colors and sing his own totally credible, distinctly folksy composition? What but love would urge him to share that video with the world? What else would cause him to write the song in the first place? I mean, do you even hear the lyrics?
My family thinks I'm crazy/ brother Richard and nephew too/ they don't understand/ a heart that bleeds big blue
I'm sorry, my friends, but that's capital-L Love -- sincere and honest love, life-defining love, the love that has driven a million other songwriters to write a million other songs, because it's the only way they've figured out how to pull it from themselves. If your first reflex is to laugh, you might as well be back in high school, making fun of the drama troupe, making yourself feel better, not even sure why. This dude is approximately 100,000 times cooler than you.
Sometimes I think the key to life is knowing who you are and what you love, and not spending a moment of your time worrying what the rest of the world thinks. If so, this man singing this song in his shiny old jacket has the whole shebang figured out. We could all learn a lot.
I do know one thing: If Kentucky fans don't pounce on this -- if this guy isn't singing at halftime of a game in Rupp Arena this season -- then I don't even know what world this is anymore.