What’s Up With the THON Overall and Nickelback?

Last month, Will Martin was named the Overall Chairperson of THON 2013. This seemed like a pretty solid decision, as he was THON 2012’s OPP Overall and appeared very enthusiastic about THON. After he was announced as the THON 2013 Overall, I went back and read Ryan Kristobak’s profile on him. One part stuck out like a sore thumb:

OS: Great answer. Also, Kinjal told me to ask you about Nickelback…

WM: I’m a Nickelback fan. Which, no one else is, so… It’s a classic band. I grew up listening to it. And it’s always close to my heart. No matter what anyone says, they can’t break that from me.


I don’t like Nickelback. To hear that Will Martin, the Overall Chairperson of the world’s biggest student-run philanthropy, was a “Nickelback fan” was disheartening to me. How did this not come up in the Overall interview? Is there some sort of Nickelback-Industrial Complex within the THON Overall Committee? This trend disturbed me, and I had to get to the bottom of it.

After emailing Will directly, I gained more clarity on his position. “[My Nickelback passion is] definitely still present BUT has greatly decreased after being a part of the Overall Committee of THON 2012,” Will Told me. “I have tried to share my passion for their music but was unfortunately turned down multiple times.” Why was this not made public knowledge until now? In addition to raising over $10.5 million to combat pediatric cancer, THON also helped combat Nickelback fandom. Maybe Kevin Horne wouldn’t be so bitter if he knew about that.

Will also talked about how his (now weakened) Nickelback obsession will factor into THON 2013:

As for the THON Community, I feel that they couldn’t handle a large dose of Nickeback. I don’t think they are ready. Until then, I will listen and keep it to myself. Hoping for the day when people will understand.

Spiderman’s uncle once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” With this statement, Will is showcasing the utmost responsibility. He understands that most people think that Nickelback is a festering pile of dog shit, but he doesn’t let that cloud his judgment. He brushes off the haters, listens to music that makes him happy, and doesn’t force his Chad Kroeger-centric worldview on anyone. He taught me that I should judge a man not by his music taste but by his actions. We could all learn a thing or two from Will Martin.

Oh, and maybe it’s cool to like Nickelback now. Who even knows anymore?

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About the Author

Evan Kalikow

Evan Kalikow co-founded Onward State in November 2008 with Davis Shaver and Eli Glazier. Having previously served as a Writer, Editor, Standards Editor, and Community Manager, Evan is now a proud alumnus of both Onward State and Penn State. He was also named "Person of the Year" by Time Magazine in 2006.

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