So which University of Utah fight song would President David Pershing side with at tonight’s football season opener — traditional Utah Man or the tweaked Utah fan version?
Citing his "awful" singing voice, Pershing will stick to the piano, U. spokeswoman Maria O’Mara said in a Thursday email.
After much-debated updates, the U. will put the new anthem in play tonight against the Idaho State Bengals at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Here are five things to know about the new song:
1. What’s different?
The university tweaked the following lines:
"I’m a Utah Man" > "I’m a Utah fan"
"Our coeds are the fairest" > "Our students are the finest"
"No other gang of college men..." > "No rival band of college fans..."
2. Why the change?
School officials changed the lyrics in July after student leaders said the 1904 tune should reflect modern times and the school’s diversity. About 1,300 comments flooded into Pershing’s office as officials weighed the move.
3. What do students and alumni think?
More than four in five commenters said the university should keep tradition intact by leaving the song alone, according to a Salt Lake Tribune analysis of the emails and Facebook comments.
But others, including the U.’s then-Associated Students President Sam Ortiz, said the update is crucial in order to include women and honor the school’s diversity.
4. Will I get in trouble for singing the old version?
No. Both versions of the song are acceptable, Pershing has said in recent weeks. But from this summer forward, written lyrics published by the U. will show only the new edition.
5. Have other universities altered their fight songs?
Yes, and for a handful of reasons. Some nixed references to former rivals after changing conferences. Others ditched terms they said were offensive. Still more schools reworked the words to include women.
Some considered updates but backed off after criticism from fans. In 2003, New Mexico State University fans booed an attempt from some alumni to rework the booze line "we’ll buy a keg of booze and drink it to the Aggies ‘til we wobble in our shoes."
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