April 5, 2007

The Winning Jam: Music of Cornell Athletes

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The booming bass and thunderous claps on Queen’s “We Will Rock You” can always drive a stadium of thousands wild. When Gary Glitter’s guitars wail and cymbals crash on the ubiquitous “Rock and Roll Part 2,” no one misses one of those classic “Hey’s!” Remember the days of The Baja Men? Because frankly, I still don’t know “who let those dogs out.”
Stadium music is undeniably part of a winning sports experience. But beneath the anthems and epic cheers that rally fans, a soundtrack exists that drives the athletes to win. What is it that Cornell Athletes listen to?
“If you play certain songs enough [before games], it kind of gets you in the right mindset,” said Matt McMonagle ’07, co-captain of the Men’s Lacrosse team. “As a team, [hearing music] definitely helps the focus. When you hear these songs you know it’s time to go.” And as the best Lacrosse team in the country, it must be listening to something special.
Each player has their own reason to listen to music before games, some “to get pumped up, others to mellow out” said Brian Kaufman ’08, tri-captain of the Baseball team. Hopefully, our teams have found the winning mix.

Music: Techno, Heavy and Classic Rock
Team Song(s): “Taking Care of Buissness” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “Enter Sandman” by Metallica and various songs by Audioslave.
During winter practices in the gym, Techno generally pulsates to get the team into a good rhythm. A mix of artists is played, but Daft Punk is often featured, says Preston O’Connell ’08.

Music: Pop
Team Song(s): “We like to sing ‘I Want to Dance with Somebody’ by Whitney Houston at the top of our lungs before games” co-captain Lauren Battaglia ’07 said.
The team generally listens to Fergie, Gwen Stefani and Whitney Houston to warm up before games.

Women’s Tennis
Music: Rap and Country
Team Song(s): “Take a Look at My Girlfriend” by Supertramp.
“We Love Sean Paul,” Elizabeth Googe ’09.

Men’s Tennis
Muisc: ’80s Rock and Rap
Team Song(s): “Heart of a Champion” by Nelly.
“We listen to a very eclectic music mix” said Josh Raff ’07.
Men’s and women’s Tennis often practice at the same time, sharing a CD player, and often there are disputes over what music to play. Although Googe, says that her team “loves Sean Paul,” Raff insists, “We hate Sean Paul.”

Music: Everything
Team Song(s): According to tri-captain Sarah Wilfred ’07, during practice, most of the team listens to their own iPods, while many of the athletes listen to nothing at all.

Men’s Lacrosse
Music: Rap and Techno
Team Song(s): “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan and “Make It Rain” by Fat Joe.
“There’s this song from the movie 300, I think it’s called ‘Fever dream’ [by Tyler Bates]” McMonagle said. “Last year, we were really into this song called ‘Streamline [by Newton].’ You know, the one in the Pepsi Commercial with Jimmy Fallon dancing.”
“Actually it’s a funny story about ‘Streamline.’ When we played Duke last year, they had a good song on their mix after the game and we heard it and started listening to it a lot. It got put into our mix.”
“Then this year again they had a good song and we stole it for our mix. That was actually ‘What a Feeling’.”
“We actually instituted a policy that we have a DJ who puts the music on. It’s Christian Patrick, he’s a sophomore; we just play his iPod in the locker room. No one can change the song he puts on but you can make requests and he’ll make a playlist. [Co-captain] Mitch Belisle ’07 has a playlist that we usually listen to before games.”
“Well after we lose we usually don’t play anything, it’s pretty quiet. After we win though, we always listen to ‘Hurricaine’ [by Bob Dylan] a couple of times. It’s been going [on] ever since I’ve been here.”

Women’s Lacrosse
Music: A mix
Team Song(s): “The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani.
When asked why the team listens to Stefani, Lindsey Moore ’07 said, “it’s upbeat. Our coaches are kind of sick of it, though.”

Music: Rock and Hypnotists(?!)
Team Song: “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar and hypnotist, Travis Fox.
Famous for the line, “Tick tock like a grandfather clock,” hypnotist Travis Fox helps calm the golf team before matches, Chad Bernstein ’08 said.
On their drives down to tournaments, sometimes six to seven hour rides, the golf team generally listens to a mix of music, typically stuff to relax.

Music: A mix
Team Song(s): “That rap song that starts out, ‘My life be like ohhh ahhh, ohhh ahhh.’ [I] don’t remember who made it,” Kaufman said.
“There are bound to be arguments. Blake Hamilton, Brant Mckown and I all love country and try to keep it on.”

Sun Assistant Sports Editors Cory Bennett, Harrison D. Sanford and Lance Williams contributed to this story.