Behind The Music: How Michigan picks songs for its football practices
The DJs set their songs, surfing through iTunes, CDs and MP3s in order to put together a compilation of music each day for Michigan football practice.
At a college football program, there should be no surprise that the selections aren't at random. In fact, there are two people in charge.
Recruiting coordinator Chris Singletary and external relations administrative assistant Dusty Rutledge split the roles of music selector and sound guy for the Wolverines. Their duties range from meeting with coaches about potential musical themes to having a quick coordination of playing the “Ole, Ole” song when the kickers line up for field goals.
The playlist is at 300 songs and growing, almost all coming as suggestions from players and coaches ranging from rap to the Four Tops to a recent play during stretching, “Cotton-Eyed Joe.”
“That was the weirdest,” Singletary said. “The kickers and the specialists, that’s their request. They love that song.”
A HILARIOUSLY DISTURBING COTTON-EYED JOE VIDEO
They’ve had varied playlists, too. In one practice, the soundtrack bounced from “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” by Twisted Sister to “Swing” by Savage. The only rule is this - the music played is clean and without cursing.
Otherwise, players and coaches can submit whatever they want. Other programs play music during practice as well, but not every program allows players to have such a large say in what is played.
“Whatever we need to do to get practice going the way Coach Rod wants it to go and have the players juiced up and having some fun while they are working hard,” Singletary said. “That’s one of the things they did at West Virginia and brought it here and the players seem to really love it. It’s a change of pace for everybody and it’s fun.”
That was evident during recent practices as offensive linemen seemed to be moving during stretching in some coordination to “Cotton-Eyed Joe” and Greg Mathews appeared to be dancing around as a way to loosen up before catching punts.
Not to say there isn’t a purpose behind it. The music is being used at points to teach quarterbacks to speak up in huddles and to simulate crowd noise. For every “Stanky Legg” during a stretching drill, Singletary and Rutledge also work in “Jump Around,” which is a staple at Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium and “”Kernkraft 400,” (better known as Zombie Nation, which is actually the artist), a popular Penn State pick.
INSIDE CAMP RANDALL WITH JUMP AROUND:
“When you hear those things also, it teaches them how to deal with the crowd noise and with distractions,” Singletary said. “With the offense, how the quarterback’s really got to be loud on the signals from the sidelines and that nature and also to get their voices up so that the rest of the linemen can hear what they are saying and the receivers.
“So at the end of the day, there is a method to the madness.”
PENN STATE AFTER SACKING NOTRE DAME'S JIMMY CLAUSEN IN 2007: