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Column: My hands are still down, a response

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When the "Daily" calls, you answer.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

I am not a journalism student.

Heck I am hardly a journalist.

So when I found my name in The Daily Northwestern, I'm not going to lie, I was pretty stoked. I mean, it's no SBNation, but it's close. It's like the Red Eye to Inside NU's Chicago Tribune.

The only thing that could make it cooler?

Getting mentioned in the opinion section of The Daily Northwestern, home to such hot takes as "bullying isn't good for kids," or "voting is important" or "vaccinations are good."

I do want to be clear that I think that The Daily Northwestern does provide some interesting commentaries, and their breadth of coverage on all NU sports is impressive. And perhaps it is unfair to mock those headlines. After all, character limits do exist, and the articles are well written.

But I do not think Meredith Goodman made very good points in her opinion piece on my opinion piece about "Put Your Hands Up In The Air."

Goodman indeed suggests that my original article is the exact thing that inspires her to write opinion pieces, so she can "publicly express my anger at ideas I disagreed with in a constructive way."

I personally can't see how my article could offend anyone, unless you are Danzel or Danzel's hairstylist. And if they are offended about me comparing his hairstyle to something similar to "getting his head stuck in a blender," I could care less, because they deserve it. TO JOG Y'ALL'S MEMORY:

Athletic Director Jim Phillips can probably be mad too, since he is almost undoubtedly significantly cooler than my portrayal of him.

My bad, Doc, we good?

I do take issue with some of Goodman's reasoning about why "Put Your Hands Up In The Air" is worthwhile. Goodman paints "Put Your Hands Up In The Air" and Wisconsin's "Jump Around" with the same brush. She writes, "just because traditions were made recently, or were requested or manufactured, doesn't make them any less valued."

But it so does.

The "Jump Around," while young, is as organic as any tradition can be. That's why it's so cool. I don't know what Medill students think of using Wikipedia as a source, but Wikipedia says that the Wisconsin Swimming & Diving Team would smuggle in a stereo and blast the song through megaphones in the student section, which turned the song into a campus anthem, then prompted the school to blast it before the fourth quarter.

That's, like, the exact opposite of what NU has done.

Unsurprisingly, it has also made "Jump Around" approximately 273 times cooler than what NU does.

Goodman describes the countdown before the introduction of the song, writing about "holding my breath for the celebrity guest...to pop on the screen." Celebrity might be a little aggressive a term for the likes of Tom Skilling and Doug McDermott, and I do love me some weather and McBuckets.

I also take issue with writing that the song and dance "reflects NU's unique personality." Northwestern football is not "the quirky little sibling" to the rest of the Big Ten, and even if it was, that's not something that you market yourself as. Everything NU has done since Gary Barnett was head football coach has been to establish themselves as a legitimate Big Ten team. It's in the new uniforms. It's in the creation of Randy Walker Way. It's in the new pump up videos. It's in the motto: "Chicago's Big Ten Team."  It's not "Chicago's Big Ten Quirky Little Sibling."  NU's students can be quirky during the week. That shouldn't extend to Saturday nights at Ryan Field. Then we should at least pretend to be as big, loud, and legit as the rest of the Big Ten.

But perhaps the most objectionable part of the article is towards the end:

At the end of the day, when I look around at my fellow students at NU football games, they enjoy "Put Your Hands Up in the Air" and look forward to it.

There are multiple things wrong with this:

  1. There are not enough students at football games to surround a person
  2. People don't actually enjoy "Put Your Hands Up In The Air"
  3. PEOPLE DON'T ENJOY "PUT YOUR HANDS UP IN THE AIR"

I have stats to back this up. Of the 96 comments posted on my original article, only three were openly supportive of the tradition. Even on a certain message board popular amongst alumni, there were but three commenters of the 20+ in the thread who enjoyed "Put Your Hands Up In The Air."

According to our man on the inside, former NU linebacker Nate Williams, "Put Your Hands Up In The Air" "is certainly the most mocked thing that goes on during gameday at Ryan Field inside of the locker room."  This is not very good. If the players don't like it, why is it a thing?  Isn't the end game to get the players pumped because the crowd is pumped?  If the defensive line is too busy laughing at the students, how are they supposed to get to the quarterback on a stunt pressure?

This is probably why NU hasn't made a bowl game in two years.

Here, look at this picture of the NU student section during "Put Your Hands Up In The Air."

handsintheair

The apathy is palpable. Like seriously, you can snag some sweet reaction images.

reaction1

Bruh, can you believe this?

reaction2

#4thQuarterWorstQuarter #Bored #HandsDown #IDontLikeDanzelsMusic

reaction3

I am having a lot of fun.

Plus, like, all of my friends don't like it, so ha.

If you like the "Put Your Hands Up In The Air," that's cool. You do you. But, please, let's not convince ourselves that the "tradition" is popular, enjoyable or cool to the majority of Ryan Field spectators. And if, like Goodman, you have "stayed at Ryan Field solely to see the countdown sequence" to Danzel's third-best single?

Well I'm just not sure we can be friends.