Zombie song will fade out

Zombie song will fade out


The bouncing associated with the popular football tune has raised concerns.

During last year's Ohio State game, the techno rhythm known as "Zombie Nation" hit the airwaves at Beaver Stadium nine times -- keeping the crowd pulsating to the music.

But it was also raising the eyebrows of stadium officials who questioned how safe the bouncing student section was in the 45-year-old stadium.

This season, Guido D'Elia, Penn State's director of marketing and branding, and other officials have started to phase new songs into Beaver Stadium's soundtrack, such as The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" and Blur's "Song 2," which invokes chants of "woohoo."

"We were concerned [at] the Ohio State game when you could feel the stadium moving or bouncing, and we cut it back," said D'Elia, a member of the committee that chooses which songs are played for home football games.

The song, correctly called "Kernkraft 400," by artist Zombie Nation, has now taken a back seat to the new songs. D'Elia said it has been played 3.75 times per game this year, as opposed to 10 to 12 times per game for "Seven Nation Army," and five times per game for "Song 2."

"I think you always have to be looking for some things to try and be a little different," D'Elia said, adding that last year, "Seven Nation Army" and "Song 2" weren't on Beaver Stadium's soundtrack at all.

The stadium's use of Zombie Nation and the resulting bouncing of the student section has even raised some interest from those within the academic community.

Architectural engineering professor Linda Hanagan and Ph.D. candidate Kelly Salyards have trekked out to Beaver Stadium for various home games over the last two seasons to monitor data coming in from eight accelerometers positioned on the underside of the stadium's student section.

"Beaver Stadium gives us a place to monitor loads, because people are jumping in there," Hanagan said.

During the games, they work -- underneath the metallic clanging of the bleachers and the shouts of the fans -- to secure information that they think will help future stadium designers predict the dynamic behavior of the structure they want to build.

"When engineers are designing stadiums in the future, they can understand how the structure will behave dynamically under these types of loadings," Salyards said.

Their most exciting time is when Zombie Nation booms over the speakers.

"It's pretty much the maximum amount of acceleration that we've recorded, during those episodes where everybody's jumping together," Salyards said.

Several students said they would be upset if Beaver Stadium staff stopped playing Zombie Nation "They shouldn't phase it out," said Mike Frascella (sophomore-finance). "I figure they haven't been playing it so much because we haven't been doing as well."

Justin High (junior-bioengineering) said he likes the song because "it gets the crowd going." He added that he feels safe during the melee that ensues while the song is played.

"I'd be more worried about someone falling on me than Beaver Stadium collapsing," he said.