Call me crazy, but one of my favorite things about sports is the walk-up song.
Maybe it is the romantic in me, but I just enjoy the finer things in life.
In addition to building a solid wrestling program, Butte High coach Cory Johnston introduced the walk-up song to Mining City sports a few years ago.
At home duals, each Butte High athlete enters the dark arena with the spotlight on him. The wrestler also has his very own walk-up song to help fire up the wrestler and the home crowd.
Johnston bringing the walk-up song to town was the single-best addition to sports in Butte over the last 20 years. Other wrestling teams saw what the Bulldogs were doing and immediately announced their intentions of copying it.
Last summer, that wrestling walk-up song spread into baseball, when players of the Butte Miners and Butte Muckers approached each at bat with his own song blasting over the speakers.
The walk-up song was the perfect addition to the baseball season, and it helped bring out the personality of the players who laughed their way to the best baseball summer Butte has seen in years.
Aidan Lee went to bat with Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” and Eric Hart walked up to the theme from the TV show “The Office.” Ryan Wahl came out to Van Halen.
Big Zach Tierney, however, had them all beat by walking out to John Cena’s theme song. He wrestles to the same song.
Of course, Tierney is big and strong enough to enter to the song “I Feel Pretty” from Westside Story, and nobody is going to say a word to him.
When it comes to baseball, Shane Victorino easily had the best walk-up song of all time. He entered to “Three Little Birds” by the great Bob Marley and The Wailers, and Boston Red Sox fans knew that every little thing really was always going to be alright.
It truly was a thing of beauty to see the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” enter the batter’s box. Fans of the Detroit Tigers, though, probably still cry when they hear that song.
Current Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi made the worst choice for his walk-up song. He enters to “I Love This Life” by the country band LOCASH.
The song is OK, as far as crappy contemporary country music goes, but it is just silly that a guy with the nickname “Benny” does not enter to “Benny and the Jets” by Elton John.
Wrestling, though, is what made walk-up songs great. Mainly, it is professional wrestling that perfected the art.
According to wrestling superfan Davey Dunmire, who I think still believes the WWE is real, nobody was better than the Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H or the Road Warriors.
When it comes to real wrestling, though, the Bulldogs are only getting their walk-up song half right. They are all playing the right music, but they need to work on their entrances.
Maybe it was the lack of the big crowd when Butte High opened the season with a 69-6 win over Missoula Hellgate at the Butte Civic Center, but something was missing.
Butte High’s wrestlers all enter the same way, with a small-step job while holding their arms like they are a T-Rex. None seemed comfortable in the spotlight.
Our boys need a little more shake and bake. They need more Hulk Hogan in their steps because the walk-up song is about so much more than the song. It is about attitude.
“Stone Cold is the intro and attitude they should carry onto the mat with them,” Dunmire said of the Bulldogs. “He is a bad (man).”
The Undertaker also has a great entrance. He looks mean, scary and, quite frankly, as revolting as his nickname might suggest. While he is slowly walking to the ring, it almost looks like he is floating through the fog.
It truly is creepy. But an awesome form of creepy. He makes Jason Voorhees look like a teddy bear.
Unfortunately, the Undertaker’s entrance lasts about 10 minutes, so that is probably out of the question. We cannot have our wrestling duals lasting 9 hours.
Plus, if Tierney were to walk onto the mat like the Undertaker, his opponent would soil himself. So would his opponent’s dad.
In case you have not noticed, Tierney is also a very baaaaad man, but in a very awesome sense.
One other thing was missing from the walk-up songs in Butte High’s first dual. They were missing the girls.
This season marks the first for girls’ wrestling in Montana. Girls have wrestled against boys in the past. This year they get their own teams.
Butte High has 10 girls out for the team. Unfortunately, Hellgate only brought two girls to town.
That will happen for a lot of duals for the Bulldogs, so Butte High’s girls will pick up matches by wrestling against their teammates. These matches, unfortunately, are classified as exhibition matches, and exhibitions matches come with little pomp and circumstance.
Before the boys beat the bejesus out of the Knights, fans were treated to a pair of girls’ matches. As the smoke was settling on Butte High’s win, they got two more.
It could be because of time constraints or just the label “exhibition,” but the Butte High girls did not get to enter the arena to their own song before their matches, and that is too bad.
However, as the season moves on, the girls will have walk-up songs (as they did in the Purple and White dual), and they is a great thing.
For one thing, Butte High senior Rylinn Mullaney really needs a walk-up song.
While she was wrestling against teammates in the opener, Mullaney easily won two matches at the Civic Center, and the crowd loved her. She demonstrated skill and aggression and attitude.
Throw in the fact that Mullaney was the team manager for the boys before the girls finally got to have their own teams, and Mullaney just might be one of my favorite Butte High wrestlers of all time.
Here’s what she told Butte Sports writer Bruce Sayler after her wins:
“I decided to give it a try. I love it. I love the adrenaline rush, the physical exercise – the hardest sport I’ve ever done. When I was the manager, I would watch and get super, super excited and wonder what it would be like to have everyone up in the seats watching you. Now, I get to feel it.”
What song will blare over the speakers as Mullaney walks up to the mat?
I cannot wait to find out the answer to that. I cannot wait to see what song all the Butte High girls play when they enter the arena.
But you better believe they will be awesome. They will show off the personality of the wrestlers, and they will be full of attitude.
The boys will probably learn a thing or two.
I just hope one of the girls enters like the Undertaker. It will be worth the 10-minute delay in action to see something so creepily awesome.
If Mullaney went that route, her opponent’s father better be wearing his Depend Absorbent Underwear.
He just might soil himself.
— Bill Foley, who never leaves the house without his Depend Absorbent Underwear, writes a column that usually appears Tuesdays on ButteSports.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/Foles74