Friday, February 27, 2009


If a break-dancing giant in a featureless William Shatner mask can teach us anything, it’s that America still leads the world in the exportation of its only valuable resource – pregame player introductions. Ladies and gentlemen, Sport is War and in the 21st century we can’t have War without lasers, smoke, explosions and a hip-hop soundtrack. And blimps are back but they’re miniaturized and sponsored by Geico. And slam-dunking bears, also, if you live in Canada.

Of course, I have a problem with this. Pregame introductions are the opposite of what is needed at team sporting events. They inflate the individual and diminish the team. The players should run onto the field or court together (possibly through a giant, hand-painted paper sign, if the budget allows). The starters should head-butt a few times, the refs should blow the whistle, and then it’s game on.
But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the only non-hip-hop/Metallica song they play during the pregame introductions. It’s the one that goes…

(A choir singing a foreign language, perhaps Latin)


(Repeat, louder and a pitch higher)

Or just listen to this.

Up until this weekend, I didn’t think this was a real song. Well, I knew it was a real song, but I was under the impression that hadn’t existed until Michael Bay needed a Gothic sounding trailer soundtrack. So somebody wrote it for him about 15 years ago. And even if the “melody” was some classical arrangement that I was too un-cultured to know about, at least the lyrics have to be fake. It works a little too perfectly for unimaginative editing. Set to this song, slow-motion alien gun fights with lots of diving look just as good as rapid-fire cuts of a robot disemboweling a coed’s system of mighty human organs.

Turns out I’m wrong on all counts. First of all, it’s a real song called O Fortuna. Second, the music was composed in the 1930’s. Finally, the lyrics are not only genuine Latin but they were written 800 years ago. And they’re kinda bad-ass:

Fate - monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel,
stand malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.

OK. The lyrics are officially the best part of this song. Any player or director wanting to introduce themselves or their movie should have the song re-recorded with the English translation. It displays the proper level of despair you intend to deliver upon your on-court/box office rival. But not for team sports. Only golf and maybe tennis

Or you can go the route that the makers of Wolverine movie. Make up some crappy sounding song and have a choir chant the name of the most popular man in the country, over and over. It’s about 35 seconds in.


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