Ex-linebacker writes 'stadium thumper' song for WVU
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Former Mountaineer linebacker Grant Wiley has written what he calls a "stadium thumper'' for his alma mater, a song he thinks West Virginia University should play at every football game to pump up the crowd.
The electronic fusion "Mountaineer Nation'' beats what Wiley says he and his teammates used to run onto the field with -- "Hey, Mr. DJ.''
"It was this Madonna song,'' he told West Virginia Public Broadcasting. "We're out there, and we're in this mindset of killing the other team -- the opposition -- and we have Madonna blaring over the loudspeakers. And it used to drive me crazy.''
Wiley grew up in Trappe, Pa., and played with the Mountaineers until 2003, and he remains the school leader in tackles, solo tackles and forced fumbles. But his NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings never took off, and he left the game after suffering a serious shoulder injury.
"I wanted to leave the game with my legs intact and body functional,'' he said, "because I knew there was a lot more life to live after football.''
Wiley studied acting in New York and landed a few gigs, then eventually met friend Daniel Ochoa. They formed their fledgling band, Gn8, soon afterward.
"Mountaineer Nation,'' which played at Milan Puskar Stadium before the recent Gold-Blue Game, was their first song.
Wiley said it was inspired by WVU's blood-pumping 70-33 win over Clemson in the January 2012 Orange Bowl.
"I said we are going to the Big 12, we need some kind of rally song that the state and university can embrace and inject into the atmosphere of the game on game day, whether it is in the Coliseum, soccer stadium, baseball stadium, wherever. Something that everybody can rally around and feed off of,'' Wiley said.
But "Mountaineer Nation,'' with its chant of "throw yo' hands up,'' is a far cry from the song that is played at home football games.
The one that gets tens of thousands of fans singing every time is the John Denver classic, "Take Me Home, Country Roads.''