Don’t come near Syracuse cornerback Julian Whigham with Florida State’s trademark war chant, at least not this week.
“It’s the most annoying sound to deal with, and it makes you want to punch somebody,” Whigham told Syracuse.com on Tuesday.
This weekend, Syracuse travels to Florida State for the first time since 2013. Whigham, a Florida native, was part of that '13 Syracuse team, so he remembers the war chant well. (Whigham suffered a severe injury during the first quarter of that game and was hospitalized.)
For the Syracuse players who will be experiencing Doak Campbell Stadium for the first time, however, coach Scott Shafer has piped in the war chant during practices this week.
It’s having the desired effect on Whigham, who sounds intent on preventing the FSU band from striking up the brass section.
“That is the most annoying thing to hear,” Whigham said to Syracuse.com. “I hate Florida State because of it. Before I didn't really have any problem with Florida State. We just played them, all right, game on the schedule. I really hate playing them because I have to listen to that more.
“Guys just be humming it to themselves. It is the worst. I want to choke Seamus [Shanley], my lockermate. He was singing it to himself right after practice [Tuesday].”
Whigham might be in the minority in the Orange locker room, however. Along with Shanley, wide receiver Steve Ishmael doesn’t seem to mind the chant, although he also hopes it is only played sparingly throughout the game.
“Most definitely it's stuck in my head,” he said. “Just hearing the excitement from the fans just excites me. I love going to away games because once you make a play the crowd is silent. They can't play the music.”
The Florida State band strikes up the war chant at just about every opportunity. It’s as notorious as "Rocky Top" at games in Knoxville against Tennessee.
Maybe Whigham would feel differently about the war chant if he ever entered Neyland Stadium as an opponent. Or, maybe not -- USA Today says the war chant is one of the six most annoying fan chants in sports.