Nickelback rock anthem to replace ‘Sweet Caroline’


By Dan Sostek / Assistant Sports Editor

Editor’s note: This is a satirical story.

Diamonds aren’t forever. At least Neil Diamond’s legacy at Pitt isn’t.

Pitt announced on Tuesday that the singer-songwriter’s hit “Sweet Caroline” will no longer signal the culmination of the third quarter of home football games at Heinz Field.

Replacing Diamond’s swaying tune on gamedays will be a song with more generational appeal: “How You Remind Me” by the Canadian rock group Nickelback.

“We felt that this was the biggest fish to fry at Heinz field,” Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said. “While finding the next athletic director is extremely important, finding a new fourth quarter song was a more pressing need. And what better band to lead Pitt into a new era of athletics than Nickelback?”

The Nickelback hit single was selected by a selection committee that included Gallagher, Pitt chief-of-staff and post-grunge aficionado Kathy Humphrey and an outside consultant — American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest. 

The committee selected “How You Remind Me” over other options, such as Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open” and Weird Al Yankovic’s “Amish Paradise.”

The artistic credibility of Nickelback trumped the other competitive singles, according to the committee.

“There’s just something about their sound,” Gallagher said. “Their gruffness and grittiness are a perfect match for high-octane football.”

According to Nielsen Soundscan, “How You Remind Me” was the most played song on American radio last decade, being played 1.2 million times from 2001-2009. It was also named the top rock song of the 2000s by Billboard.

Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger, who penned the song in 2001, shared his enthusiasm about Pitt’s choice.

“I’m just so excited for this opportunity, Panthers,” Kroeger said. “It’s been a tough year. Our newest album No Fixed Address didn’t do as well as we would have liked. But this makes up for that and more.”

Kroeger said the University also offered him the chance to sing the National Anthem for any game of his choice at Heinz Field, but he declined, citing dedication to his homeland of Canada.

Since the announcement, the student reception has been lukewarm, as the majority of Pitt attendees are unsure about the choice.

“Nickelback?” junior finance major Adam Stapp moaned, “What is this, sixth grade?”

Some critics professed allegiance to other gifted rock/metal bands. 

“I’m personally more of a Staind fan myself,” sophomore Charles Martin said. “I would have been more in favor of ‘It’s Been Awhile.’”

Still, a small portion of the student population has lauded the boldness and bravery of the change.

“I have never been more excited to link arms and sway at a football game,” junior music therapy major Sean Cook said. “I’m proud of Pitt for recognizing lyrical genius yet again, and it’s about time Nickelback returned to the public consciousness in a positive light.”

Surprisingly, a renowned Pitt alum also vocalized his support of the song.

“If I could pick one song to represent my time at Pitt, it would probably be [Nickelback’s hit song] ‘Photograph,’” former Pitt tight end and NFL Hall-of-Famer Mike Ditka said. “But ‘How You Remind Me’ is a more than acceptable alternative. I can’t wait to rock out to it next season.”

While there hasn’t been an official comment from any current Pitt football players or coaches, Kroeger’s single “Hero” could be heard blasting from the UPMC Sports Performance Complex.

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