South Carolina football fans have been part of one of college football’s best gameday traditions for almost 15 years. While the long-standing 2001: A Space Odyssey entrance was already among the best in the country, the addition of Sandstorm to the Gamecock gameday experience has taken things to the next level at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Contrary to popular belief, the 2009 Ole Miss victory was not the “birth of Sandstorm,” but it was the first game in which the South Carolina football media team played the song repeatedly. The crowd loved it, and a new tradition was born.
By the time the 2011 season started, Sandstorm was part of the opening kickoff. By the end of the year, it was utilized during every kickoff. Before Steve Spurrier left town in 2015, Sandstorm was played during the majority of the dead balls during critical moments of the game, and the signature white towels had become part of the show.
This Saturday, though, Sandstorm will be a little extra special.
Darude, the artist who created Sandstorm, will be in attendance when South Carolina football takes on Kentucky. Darude will play a pregame concert at 4:00 in Carolina Park (with Sandstorm sure to be part of the setlist), and he will be the celebrity guest starter for the pregame “Game-Cock” chant.
During an interview on 107.5 The Game this week, Darude spoke about how excited he was to witness his song as such a pivotal part of a Williams-Brice gameday experience. He told the station’s Bill Gunter, Preston Thorne, and Jennifer Jenson that he has been aware of the Gamecock program using his song for a while and he thinks it is “incredible” to see his track loved by so many.
South Carolina football media mastermind Justin King will be sure to have some of his team with cameras on Darude for the first Sandstorm of the game. The Finnish artist told the 107.5 team that he can’t wait to watch the crowd and to give high fives to “whoever would want to do that.”