Pregame Playlist Pump Ups

Mediano calls out to the team mid game. 
Image Credit: The Orion

Mediano calls out to the team mid game. Image Credit: The Orion

George Johnston

It’s a ballet of balance nobody sees, but everybody hears at the Chico State athletics games. Playlists must be prudently constructed to warm up the Wildcat teams, while also serving as fuel to excite those attending the sporting events.

Jeff Kragel, marketing director for the Chico State athletics program, oversees what music is played at athletic events. Kragel has been a member of the Chico State athletics department for 13 years and has found the athletes’ and fans’ differences in music to be a difficult compromise.

Kragel at work answering his emails Photo credit: George Johnston


Before a game, each Chico State team submits a playlist for their warmups to the athletics department. The playlists have to be approved by Kragel before they can be played.

Although Kragel wants the athletes to have a choice in the music that is played, he tries to prevent songs featuring heavy rap from being included in the warmup playlists. The high amount of obscenities that are commonly spread throughout the songs makes it difficult to allow a family-friendly experience.

Kragel has noticed several differences in music preferences among the athletic teams at Chico State. While the basketball team tends to lean more toward hip-hop, men’s baseball has a steady rotation of country music they prefer to be played.

Chico State soccer player Pooja Patel said that the team tries to match the music to both their own taste, as well as their fans.

“We try to put fun songs and throw back songs in there,” Patel explained.

Pooja Patel says if a song hits her just right, she will catch herself singing to it on the feild Photo credit: George Johnston

A study done by the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine found when athletes listen to music their heartbeats increased while warming up. According to the study, listening to music before and during a game can lead to better performances by athletes.

Chico State volleyball player Olivia Mediano said that the music pumps her up before games and helps her get focused.

“I think that music helps you get excited to play and may also help you calm your nerves because it helps get some of the pressure of playing a game off your shoulders,” Mediano said.

With fans and athletes depending on music to pump them up for game day, the importance of satisfying both cannot be overlooked. Keeping everyone happy and excited about the game is an important part of the job Kragel oversees and is a big contributor to the Wildcats’ atmosphere.

“You want to play music that your audience can relate to, or at least identify with so they’re entertained and feeling happy,” Kragel said.

Those attending Chico State games might hear some of these songs Photo credit: George Johnston


George Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or @gjohnston786 on Twitter.