Even grown men were convinced to don silly hats, wave pom poms and perform giddy antics in front of a camera during the University of South Florida’s first fight song video contest, over the past four months.
According to Ayo Taylor Dixon, a director in the Athletic Department who helped organize the contest, USF’s intention was to create a way to attach the sense of pride and tradition USF fans have to the words of the song.
“We wanted to wrap the raw emotion for the fight song because people are usually singing it at an exciting time,” said Dixon.
Despite this objective for enthusiasm, some fans looked as if they had a bad breakfast before filming. In one video, a college student mumbled the words in a monotone voice while occasionally shifting his eyes sheepishly to make sure no one was watching.
This performance was not the norm. Many of the videos were entertaining and even comical. They ranged from animated students shooting a video of themselves singing at the top of their lungs in a dorm room, to shy children giggling and running away from the camera, to large companies that even included backdrops and special lighting in their videos.
Krista Kutash, a professor and director in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, said their video consisted of about 20 faculty members. She said it was harder to convince the men to sing, especially when they added cue cards for swaying and other theatrics in the video, but they had some real troupers who helped them make the video fun.
For Kutash, making the video went beyond quirky merriment though.
“It’s important that students understand tradition at school is carried out by students and faculty,” says Kutash.
All of their group wore the OUR shirts that are sold in the bookstore every year to show unity.
Although their group had more traditional values in mind when they began shooting their videos, some of their members got so engaged with filming the videos, they decided to make more for each of their departments. Catherine Batsche, the dean of the college, merged all six of the videos created to make one longer video.
The contest, which has been going on since June, closed recently to begin the selection process. Many of the videos are now on the contest’s website and the top three chosen by the selection committee are being voted on. The top three spots went to groups from Hooters, Pepin Distributing, and Sage Publishing. The winner and six runner-ups will have their videos shown on the video board at Raymond James stadium during a home game.