You've Got To Pump It Up
Don't you know, pump it up.
The year is 2004.
Despite losing to a mediocre Ohio State team, Michigan is co-Big Ten Champions, earning the Rose Bowl tiebreaker with a head-to-head win over co-champs Iowa.
The Wolverines have made it by the skin of their teeth, needing a late Tyler Ecker touchdown to win by three against Minnesota and unfathomable heroics from Braylon Edwards to slip past Michigan State in triple overtime. Their backfield is comprised of two true freshmen, quarterback Chad Henne and running back Mike Hart.
Meanwhile, in dance clubs around the world, partiers are exhorted to “Pump It Up” by a spiky-haired Belgian named Danzel. It’s difficult to be more of a certain time than the song’s music video:
I was a junior in high school. I wore loose-fitting hoodies that often promoted ska bands, because I liked ska and was even in a ska band. I owned a pair of Old Navy orange cargo pants that zipped off at the knees to convert into tube-like shorts. I used a tape deck aux cord to listen to mp3s of Rjd2 in my grandma’s old Honda Accord.
I hadn’t heard of Danzel. Even if I had, I can’t fathom I would’ve imagined revisiting any of this in 2021, let alone having good reason to tie it all together.
It is 2021. I’m on day four of “Pump It Up” being wormed into my ear. I speak only in variations of “Pump It Up,” telling the dog “you’ve got to talk a walk, don’t you know, take a walk,” and threatening the stability of my relationships with family and friends, human and animal.
Danzel looks like this and seems like a chill dude:
Meanwhile, Michigan is Big Ten Champions.