Style and Culture Writer, Blatant Homerism
The Venetian's Michael Flatley is known as the "Lord of the Dance." Others maintain that the best dancers in the world are groomed at The Royal School of Ballet in London. But for MoMo's mountains of money, nothing tops the moves being busted out every fall Saturday on college football fields. Whether it is a touchdown celebration or an impromptu sideline romp, La Bamba—"The Dance"—is one of those unique things that makes college football truly magical.
(Born to poverty.... Destined for stardom.... He lived the American dream. Dead Mexican poet Ritchie Valens and his fictional stereotype brother Bob Morales lived La Bamba, paving the way for future generations of great college football dancers.)
Remember college football in the go-go '80s? Guys like Jamelle Holieway, Michael Irvin and Joe Paterno showed the world how to let it all hang out. And where can we trace their roots back to? Easy: Legendary b-boys Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quinones (aka Ozone), Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers (aka Turbo) and friends in their 1984 movie sensation Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Inspired by the hypnotic moves of Turbo and Ozone, American society began to loosen its tie, kick off its shoes and undo its pants. Voilá, college football's celebration dance was born!
Possibly the greatest example of the power of the celebration dance occurred during the 2007 edition of the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. The Georgia Bulldogs did their thing in the end zone after an early touchdown against rival Florida. Watching this impromptu free-style immediately brought back memories of "Y'all aint ready! Y'all aint ready!" At the same time La Bamba was giving Georgia the psychological edge needed to finally get the proverbial "monkey of its back," the Dawgs demonstrated just how important cutting a rug can be in turning the tide of a rivalry game.
Seriously, can you name a better way to bring a team together than "breaking out?" Breakdancing and choreographed dancing in unison just seem to take teammates to a higher plane. Consider that just as college football is the ultimate team sport, competitive break dancing is the ultimate team dance. Coincidence? I think not. Think about how much closer these Longhorns must have grown busting out a little Soulja Boy while laying waste to South Florida in 2007.
Breakdancing doesn't just fire up players; it can ignite the crowd, too. Mega-recruit Moe Dampeer's time in Norman wasn't that long, but he did manage to leave Sooner fans with this iconic image in the fourth quarter of the 2004 Sugar Bowl.
Of course, as articulated so eloquently by Hawaii coach Greg McMackin, not all gridiron warriors believe that La Bamba's place is out on the field.
Still, when the weapon of choice is dance, it takes a neighborhood to save a neighborhood. And, in college football, it takes teamwork to dance your way to the top ranks of the elite.
(Editor's note: MoMo would like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that his contributions to Blatant Homerism made it the second-ranked college football blog in the Bloguin network. Earl the Pearl contributed to this article.)