Sweet Caroline Revisited: Popular Song May or May Not be Part of Homecoming Football Game
One of the highlights of Penn State's homecoming weekend will be the Nittany Lions' football game against Michigan.
You can bet PSU will be keyed up for the 5-0 Wolverines. Less certain, is whether the homecoming crowd will be serenaded with Neil Diamond's classic song "Sweet Caroline."
If you were at Beaver Stadium for the Kent State game, you know firsthand that the crowd went wild when the popular tune was played over the sound system for the first time in many games.
Sweet Caroline's return also got a lot of attention in the media with many news services filing reports about the song.
LehighValleyLive.com predicted that most fans won't remember the Kent State game. "But for many of the Penn State fans in attendance, the return of "Sweet Caroline" to Beaver Stadium will make the game a memorable one," says the news service.
StateCollege.com conducted an informal poll which generated several hundred responses. Ninety percent of respondents said yes, when asked if Sweet Caroline should be played at every Penn State home game.
However, that appears unlikely to happen. Jeff Nelson, spokesperson for Penn State's athletic department says the song, "will likely be played again this season, but not every game, as music selection changes with each game."
The song has become something of an anthem at Penn State games over the past several years. The university dropped Sweet Caroline from the stadium playlist in 2011.
Many fans suspect that decision had to do with the lyrics "Hands, touchin' hands Reachin' out, touchin' me, touchin' you." The speculation was the lyrics may have been considered inappropriate in light of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Penn State officials say the song was removed as part of the usual process of rotating songs in and out of the playlist.
Board of trustee member Anthony Lubrano says he's still "puzzled" by the decision to remove Sweet Caroline from the game day experience. Considering its popularity here and across the country, Lubrano says, "I see no reason to stop playing it so long as it is in such great demand."
Fellow board member Ted Brown has been a strong proponent for bringing Sweet Caroline back. Should the tune by played at every home game? Brown tells StateCollege.com, "Based on the overwhelming response that I got, every game would be best."
Look below to see video of the crowd singing along to Sweet Caroline during the Kent State game in Beaver Stadium.