Third downs songs in football are played before the opposing team’s offense attempts a third-down conversion. Third downs songs are primarily used in college football but have been done in the NFL as well.
Third down songs can be a controversial topic among football fans as some love this tradition while others hate it.
One of the reasons some fans do not enjoy this tradition is because of the number of third downs in a game. If a college has chosen one song for third-down that means they are going to play it over and over again throughout the game.
If you happen to be sitting close to the college band you may find that this can become very irritating.
On the other side of the coin, many college football fans love third-down songs. Getting to chant along with the song is a great way to help out your team on game day.
Why do teams have third-down songs?
Now that you know what a third-down song is in football you may be wondering why teams participate in this tradition. Below we will break down why third-down songs are used in football.
Making it difficult for the offense to communicate
One of the main reasons that football teams use third-down songs is so the offense has trouble communicating.
It is for these reasons that third-down songs are played when the away team has a third down and not the home team.
Before each play, the quarterback will communicate the play to the rest of the players on the field. They will then use audible signals to change the play and snap the ball.
When the crowd is loud this can become incredibly hard to do. If the offense is not able to hear one another they will not be able to effectively communicate.
The third-down song will not be played while the offense is starting the play but it will play shortly beforehand. This will get the crowd loud which will continue into the start of the play.
This can be an effective way to cause a team to call a timeout. A great example of this was the crowd forcing a timeout to be called at Penn State before the ball had even been snapped for the first play.
Improving the atmosphere and game experience
Another reason that schools choose to use third-down songs is to improve the experience of the crowd.
Going to any sporting event you want the fans to have a great experience so they return for the next game.
Using a catchy third-down song fans are able to sing a long and get involved in the game.
Better yet if the fans are loud enough they will be able to affect the players on the field as we explained above.
This sort of fan involvement is what makes being a football fan so much fun.
Getting the band involved
The use of third-down songs in college also allows for the college band to get more involved.
It is no secret there is some pageantry involved in college football. Part of the pageantry is including a large college band playing songs throughout the game.
An opposing team’s third-down presents a great opportunity to do this. It allows the fans and the band to get involved in the game.
Many schools will use their marching band as their way to play the third-down song. Oftentimes this is done by doing renditions of popular pump up songs that will get the crowd going.