Sam Mellinger

The Chiefs are changing their TD song and here is why we should all be happy about it

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson celebrated with fans and teammates after scoring on an interception return.
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson celebrated with fans and teammates after scoring on an interception return. jsleezer@kcstar.com

You may have seen where the Chiefs are changing their touchdown song this year and, well, many people are angry.

I guess I get it, on one level. People don’t like change, especially change from something so definitionally tied to good memories as the song played after their favorite team scores a touchdown.

The song is simple: a drum beat, a bare guitar riff, and a “Hey!” Every afternoon, mothers lullaby their babies to sleep with more complicated songs.

It even comes with a laughably basic name: Rock & Roll, Part 2.

But, dangit, there’s something catchy about it, and the Chiefs have played a cover version of the song after touchdowns at Arrowhead Stadium for long enough that it sort of blends into the gameday experience, like the smell of charcoal in the parking lot or wide receivers not catching touchdowns.

So, yeah. I get why people want the song back.

But, just so we’re clear, playing that song means paying a man currently serving time for sexual abuse against young girls.

I know people often don’t like to mix sports with the real world, but if you’re among those angry about the song switch, doesn’t knowing that Gary Glitter — who has a long history of child-sex offenses — takes in a reported $250,000 in annual performance royalties for the song change your mind a little bit?

Teams across American professional sports have filled their stadiums with the song, but the Chiefs’ decision follows a general trend. Three years ago, the Patriots wanted to play the song at the Super Bowl, but the NFL would not allow it.

Glitter’s disgusting past gives the Chiefs reason to update the fan experience, which the team will do through a public vote. It’s similar to what the Royals did with the sixth-inning song. I loved that the Royals changed their song, but that was just because I was sick of “Friends in Low Places,” and thought it was an amazingly horrible choice for a self-respecting sports team.

Keeping money away from a convicted sexual predator of children is a far better reason to change the song.

Anyway, the Chiefs have come up with three finalists, and will play them during the home preseason games. How much fans hear the songs in the stadium probably depends on how much Chase Daniel is allowed to throw passes against backups.

The finalists:

1. “Hey, Kansas City!” by David George & A Crooked Mile.

2. “Song 2” by Blur.

3. “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool.

No. 3 is clearly the best choice, FYI.

To reach Sam Mellinger, call 816-234-4365 or send email to smellinger@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @mellinger. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com.

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