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Let's Get Weird

By John King, 12/14/15, 3:45PM CST


A peak behind the curtain of college hockey’s strangest new tradition

Creation No. 0013

Kubrick. Tarantino. Pacheco.

OK, that might be a bit strong, but Devin Pacheco, the assistant director of Marketing at the University of Minnesota, has created a masterpiece of his own.

Pacheco is the man behind “Let’s Get Weird,” a :60-second psychedelic pop-culture mash-up video that runs on the jumbotron around the five-minute mark of the second period of conference home games at Mariucci arena. When asked to describe “Let’s Get Weird,” Pacheco’s answer is perfectly obtuse: “It’s something that completely doesn’t make sense, and that’s why it makes sense.”

Inspired by a Dallas Stars’ fan engagement, the “Let’s Get Weird” video is pure insanity. It’s like holding the Internet’s hair while it vomits, break dancing, and attending a professional wrestling match—all at the same time. It’s pure madness. 

Naturally the next question is, how did this come to be? How does a storied hockey program that dates back to 1921 endorse a product that’s more Miley than Mariucci?

“We were looking at the five-minute mark of the second period,” said Pacheco, “for whatever reason, our building tended to get quiet at that time. We knew we needed to get out of the box, because we can’t have it dead when the team comes out to start the second period. Then we wanted to see how far we could push it.”

And push it they did. The pure lunacy of “Let’s Get Weird” could induce a seizure, get you pregnant, and start a riot. The tradition debuted last season, and has become a fan favorite in just a year. At the recent Big Ten home opener, Pacheco even upped the ante passing out 500 Mexican luchador wrestling masks to fans and bringing in streamer canons. 

Pacheco and his team compile the “Let’s Get Weird” video from pop-culture and current events during the week, sometimes finishing the final edit the day of the game. The 60-second video itself changes for every game and is kept under lock and key by Pacheco—never distributed or placed on YouTube. “We want that viral moment,” said Pacheco, “the only way you’re going to get the full experience is at Mariucci Arena.” In fact, the only real traces of “Let’s Get Weird” that exists on the Internet are a few iPhone clips filmed by fans which, while giving you a sense of the video, don’t do justice to the overall experience.

Some of the more popular footage in “Let’s Get Weird” features old-school professional wrestlers with ties to the University of Minnesota like Ric Flair and Brock Lesnar, including a gem of a clip of The Nature Boy warming up the crowd, “We are in the Twin Cities, and baby we are lookin’ good. Whoo!” Pacheco acknowledged a heavy WCW and WWE influence to his videos: “As weird as it is, for some reason wrestling footage really works.”

Before joining the Gophers, Pacheco worked with Manhattanville College and the New York Rangers but has found his true home at the University of Minnesota. “My expectation is to be here for a long time,” said Pacheco. “I love being like the Wizard of Oz. I’ll never put the team in a bad light, and I get to put my stamp on things from behind the scenes.”

While it remains unclear if “Let’s Get Weird” will become a long-term tradition in the vein of the University of Wisconsin’s “Jump Around,” Pacheco admits they’re onto something. “We didn’t know if it would stick or not. As of right now, it’s going to stick for a while.” As for what Pacheco might be planning for “Let’s Get Weird” for the rest of the season, he was appropriately vague. “I have some things up my sleeve. I’m not going to say too much, but I’ll be breaking out some new things throughout the season.”


The crowd getting into it at Mariucci

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