We will rock you

CLEMSON - There are moments you remember for a while and then there are moments you remember for a lifetime.

Without question, it was a lifetime moment for those in Death Valley Saturday night around 11:00.

That was the time Assistant Athletic Director for Event Promotions, John Seketa, pressed play on the massive 110,000 watt sound system in Death Valley and the "We Will Rock You" moment occurred.

Message boards, YouTube (see below) and even some national media outlets have been buzzing this week about that point in the contest. Many fans refer to the 2005 Miami vs. Clemson game as the "Hells Bells" game because the AC/DC song was played at a key point in the contest that electrified the crowd. That resulted in the highest recorded decibel reading in the history of Death Valley.

It's a safe bet that the FSU game from Saturday night will be referred to as the "Rock You" game for years to come.

"I was just looking for a song" said Seketa. "There were others that we had planned on playing but they were not loud enough."

Of course, We Will Rock You; the 1977 hit by Queen has been used in sporting events for years but rarely do you hear the whole song. As luck would have it the music was started at just the right time and the official timeout on the field ran just long enough to get every note played.

The song, the timing, the significance of the moment, all culminated into what can only be described as a perfect storm of emotion.

"It's actually pretty quiet in our booth because we are inside but I could hear the crowd this time," said Seketa. "I opened the window to the booth and that's when I knew something special was happening."

Mainstream music is being used more and more during college sporting events as programs realize the effect in can have on the fans and, in turn, the game. Clemson University installed a new sound system as part of the West Zone project earlier this decade. It was upgraded again this year with an additional 16 subwoofers which produce 27,000 watts of bass. The result is a tool that can now be used to excite the crowd and the players.

Future expansion of the ground shaking system will likely include speakers located all the way around the stadium.

Seketa, now in his 23rd year at Clemson, says he gets most of the music from students and the players themselves. He also relies on a former intern, Daniel Tate. Tate has ties to those in NBA promotions who send him the latest songs used in arenas around the country.

Once the music has been screened, Seketa labels each tune as one that will be used on offense, defense, third down plays, timeouts, or kickoffs.

Seketa also works closely with the video promotions and the band.

"I can see the band from where I am and it's important that they get to play. Dr. [Mark] Spede and the entire band are awesome. They do an unbelievable job."

Seketa realizes that the music played is not a hit with everyone in attendance. Just like in any other setting, tastes and preferences differ from person to person.

However he also points out that the music of today will be widely accepted in five years just like the songs of yesteryear are now. It's important to stay current with the musical selections because the students respond to the music and the rest of the stadium responds to the students.

The university, of course, realizes this too.

"Dr. Phillips and President Barker understand that it (the music) is important to our students, players and recruits," Seketa said.

And, obviously ... to the fans as well.


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