The Response to the Southeastern Conference’s New Football Season Theme Song Was Swift and Brutal

In the heat of summer, sometimes it’s easy to forget that college football season is just around the corner. The Southeastern Conference (SEC), home of the best college football in all the land, is holding its annual Media Days next week, and ahead of that preview for the 2022 season, the conference announced a theme song for the season that it had commissioned.

The SEC teamed up with one of the flavors of the moment, Walker Hayes. Hayes is a country singer-songwriter who toiled for years only to achieve moderate success until he hit gold (actually triple-platinum) last year with the annoying country-pop single “Fancy Like,” which became a mega-hit when TikTok users got their hands on it.

Hayes came up with a song entitled “Y’all Life,” and the SEC hyped it as what “just might be the song of football season.” The SEC and Hayes even tweeted out the video on Friday.

Screenshot of deleted tweet
Screenshot of deleted tweet

Here’s the thing: this song is so awful that it makes “Fancy Like” sound like Mozart.

“Y’all Life” is a slice of inane bro-country-pop crap that sounds like Hayes used an AI bot to write the lyrics. You can feel your brain cells dying as you listen.

And the video is even worse. It looks like some carpetbaggers determined that they knew everything they needed to know about the South from watching about 15 minutes of an episode of Friday Night Lights.

The first verse centers on what looks more like a high school football atmosphere than a college game, with Hayes serving as coach of one of the teams (poor kids). The second verse takes place in a church service, with Hayes in the choir singing with a three-ring binder in his hands. Maybe it’s just me, but doing church as tongue-in-cheek is a bad look — and it doesn’t work.

In between shots, we get the tackiest part of all: product placement. Hayes drives a brand new Ford Bronco around a dirt track, at one point driving by a Progressive Insurance banner that the camera lingers on a little too long.

Flashback: What’s Wrong with Country Music Today?

Look, I love the South — so much so that I wrote a book about it (shameless plug alert). I love football and Jesus and everything about the South, but nothing in the song or video rings true for me.

And I’m not the only one who didn’t care for “Y’all Life.” The verdict from the Twitterverse was swift and downright brutal.

SEC football fans and fans of music that doesn’t suck responded so quickly that both the SEC and Hayes deleted their tweets. Does this mean that “Y’all Life” is dead? Doubtful. After all, there’s no telling how much money the SEC (and, um, sponsors) put up for this nonsense that some people call a “song.” But if we SEC fans have to put up with this tripe all season, it’s gonna be a long fall, even for winning teams.

Don’t believe me? Check it out, but stay away from sharp objects.

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