By now you know that the SEC Network has released short teaser videos for each of the teams in the SEC. Some are fantastic, others are not. Each of them attempts to highlight the traditions, flavor, and passion of each member school.
Let's see how they did. We'll start with the SEC West.
The video starts with the sonorous voice of Bear Bryant explaining that if everyone does something all together they'd win a national championship or something or other. He neglects to mention that recruiting 256 scholarship athletes so that other teams can't field them against you doesn't hurt, but so what: MOTIVATION
. This monologue is set over a montage of normal, everyday people in and about Tuscaloosa going about their normal, everyday lives WHILE WEARING HOUNDSTOOTH. Houndstooth shorts, houndstooth hats, houndstooth bowties, houndstooth umbrellas, even houndstooth dance recital outfits... you get the idea. I think this is supposed to represent how the entire community works together to ensure those Alabama national titles. A better representation of that would have been open wallets, blank checks, and car salesman tossing keys to young football players, but what the hell do I know? The houndstooth is even more mystifying when you realize that Bear mainly wore plaid hats. Trying to figure out Alabama football is like trying to contain the Russian army, you might not understand it, it may seem dysfunctional, but the best thing to do is just get the hell out of its way once it starts towards you.
In which a potbellied man in overalls attempts to teach us how to do the 'Pig-Sooie cheer. The only way to make this a bit more stereotypical would be to have Dueling Banjo's
playing in the background. Points for showing the inside of the stadium during game day and points for focusing on one of the SEC's most unique cheers. However I've never found this cheer particularly threatening or even annoying. Maybe it's because I love pork barbecue and it makes me hungry. The video also features a tasty looking pig in a cage and various Arkansas fans doing the cheer. Apparently they have an 18 wheeler flatbed truck that drives around the sidelines during game day to direct cheers. What could go wrong with that?
If I were an Auburn fan I'd be pissed. Auburn has tons of tradition and they have that whole confused 'Tiger' or 'War Eagle' thing going on as well. I mean, I don't even like Auburn but I have to give them props for the whole 'eagle flying-in-at-the-beginning-of-the-game thing', why not show that? No, instead they show shaky footage of a post-win Toomer's Corner that was shot from a passing car. Granted, the amount of toilet paper used is staggering and it must do wonders for the local Walmart's profit margin. However to somebody outside of the SEC this simply looks like a frat party gone horribly, horribly wrong. (Come to think of it... that's not a bad description of Auburn) I'm betting they didn't even film this footage themselves, it looks as if they just Googled 'Auburn Toilet Paper Rolling' and used the first YouTube result they found. For extra clumsiness they tacked on Gordon MacRae singing 'Oh What a Beautiful Day
.' My guess is that this was the work of unpaid interns.
I don't really think of hip-hop and LSU together all that often, much less Guru's jazz-laced tribute to lounging. Anyone that's seen an LSU game at night knows that 'laid-back' isn't exactly the vibe. However, in this spot it works as we spend a day lounging in Mike the Tiger's enclosure as the world moves on around it. The game day atmosphere at Death Valley is shown briefly, as is some really bad tiger artwork. None of this really matters however, as the real point of this clip is to show the nation that LSU is crazy enough to keep a real m-f'ing Tiger just because it's cool. Showing how similar the mentality of SEC school's are to that of Russian mafia kingpen's will go a long way into helping the rest of the nation really understand what's going on down here.
5. Ole Miss
Congrats to ESPN for getting this one right. In its spot on Ole Miss we see the Grove in all its glory, tailgating by chandelier, chocolate covered strawberries, pretty girls in nice dresses, frat boys in bowties, and oak covered brick walkways. We see them enormous amount of energy and detail that Ole Miss fans pour into tailgating and socializing prior to an Ole Miss football game. All to the tune of Wilson Pickett's Land Of 1000 Dances
. At no point do we see an actual football, football uniform, football field, or even an exterior shot of the football stadium. Well played ESPN, well played.
6. Mississippi State
It's important to show that the SEC is more than just about football. For the SEC West that means they have to figure out what to do with Mississippi State. Although they're not even close to the most successful SEC baseball program MSU has the interesting distinction of not actually finishing their stadium, thereby allowing people in pickup trucks to backup to the left-field wall and watch themselves a free game. Over time this has become an elaborate tradition featuring trucks with built-in bleachers full of cowbell ringing fans. It's a nice story and I don't know what else you'd show for MSU, perhaps the elaborate painting and craft decoration of a ceremonial cowbell?
7. Texas A&M
I'm not alone in thinking that ATM is a little...um...weird
. It is possible to have too many traditions... I can just imagine the ESPN producers with a bulletin board full of Post-it notes trying to figure out which bat-shit insane tradition to cover. My guess would've been the midnight cheer practices that their fan base does while the rest of the SEC is out getting drunk, but no they decided instead to tell the moving story of a boy and his dog. Apparently her name is Ms. Reveille, and she's the highest ranking member of the cadets. Honestly I don't know exactly how or when that happened and I'm not really sure I want to. All I know is that everybody seems to be cool with this dude sharing a bed with a collie, looking at her longingly as he grooms her, and taking her to class with him so she can have the shit bored out of her during Fluid Dynamics 403. Later she runs across the field after the team has entered. It's a heartwarming story but they left out the ending where she gets rabies and our hero is forced to put her down by his Pa. 'Gig 'Em'
he whispers as he pulls the trigger, his eyes red with tears.
I'll do the SEC East tomorrow...