On Jan. 16, in the days following the N.C. State men’s basketball team’s victory over then-No. 1 Duke, I wrote an article about the video that aired before player introductions for the Wolfpack.
N.C. State athletic officials introduced the video, featuring the P.O.D. song “Boom,” in the conference schedule’s home opener against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. They used “Boom” again as the introductory film for the next two home games.
I argued originally to keep the video featuring the tagline “This is our State” where it was during the non-conference schedule. Either remove “Boom” or play the new video at a different point during the basketball game, I wrote.
As I entered PNC Arena and took my seat on the baseline for the contest against the baby blue abomination of the Atlantic Coast Conference, I expected nothing better than the humdrum “Boom” video, following the amazing “Our State” video before the national anthem.
I expected mediocrity. I expected the status quo. But I saw a new video – a fantastic new video!
After the State student body finished jeering the visiting rivals, the lights went down as Mr. and Mrs. Wuf took center court to make their traditional howls. The giant screen showed the nighttime skyline of the city of Raleigh after the howling concluded, and a remixed techno version of the iconic semi-acoustic guitar riff in the White Stripes song “Seven Nation Army” began playing. Instantly, the hungry Wolfpack crowd responded.
As the tune broke down and momentarily paused, the video showed head coach Mark Gottfried pumping up the players inside the locker room.
“We didn’t come here to be second.”
The beat returned while the screen showed highlights from previous games, including the memorable upset of the Blue Devils. The video concluded with the well-known “Wolfpack in the house” yell.
This video gave the team and fans the three-point shot they needed as the prelude to what became the massacre of the vermin that had dared to step into PNC Arena that fateful day. N.C. State officials had previously integrated “Seven Nation Army” into State’s game-day tradition as a way to energize the already-pumped crowd, usually when the opposing team took a timeout following a large-scoring run for the Pack.
The beat has brought many State fans to their feet to jump and yell as the video did on that fateful day when it debuted. My only complaint: Why didn’t officials introduce this video sooner?
As the season progresses, the team will need to continue to succeed at home, and the fans will need to stay behind the team and help rally the players to victory. Cheering plays a critical role, and no other video in the N.C. State athletics repertoire, besides the “Our State” video, has generated that sort of reaction, especially not “Boom.”
“Seven Nation Army” is no longer about the “seven nation army.” The song now empowers legions of students and fans to stand up and support the University, its athletic teams and its legacy. The song and video say never accept the status quo and always strive to go above and beyond the expectations of those who have come before them. “Seven Nation Army” says never let anyone stop us from succeeding.
That song now speaks to the army that is the Wolfpack.