Posted by Jason Diamond
For whatever reason, America hasn’t gotten wise to the fact that writing sports songs is a losing cause. We cling to this idea that writing an anthem about the local sports team–one that will be sung by millions of fans for years to come—is really a doable thing.
Yesterday at Popdust, Maura Johnston gave us the latest in a string of really terrible and unnecessary sport songs, “This is Boston!”
Aside from this being another embarrassing example of some white guy trying to rap, the lyrics are fucking terrible, and seem to want to talk about the glory that was the Sox glory year of 2004.
Maura makes mention of the equally embarrassingly bad 2006 New York Mets song, “Our Team, Our Time,” which is basically the 2006-starting lineup to the team whose time it actually wasn’t, since they went on to be swept by the St. Louis Cardinals.
This might be a stretch, but I believe that the decline in well-written team anthems could actually be viewed as a good commentary on how low this country is sinking in terms of culture. We hold the athletes who play sports up to such high standards after we reward them with ridiculously high paying contracts, why can’t we do the same for the songs we sing about our teams?
It’s really hard to find anything good about the previously mentioned 2006 ode to the ill-fated team from Queens. It’s even harder when you compare it to the original fight song that originally appeared in 1962, “Meet the Mets.”
How can you not love that? And how could you not love the cover Yo La Tengo did?
As much as it pains me to say this, I know where to directly lay the blame for the last quarter century of incredibly shitty sport songs: The 1985 Chicago Bears.
The Super Bowl Shuffle is a masterpiece. I realize the fact that I’m a lifelong Chicago Bears fan might make that a biased statement, but it’s catchy and if I may go out on a limb here: the Super Bowl Shuffle sits between Blondie’s “Rapture” and the Run D.M.C./Aerosmith version of “Walk This Way,” in terms of rap songs penetrating mainstream radio before rap was as culturally accepted as it is today.
But no matter how much I love it, no matter how much money it raised to feed homeless people in Chicago, if I could pull a Quantum Leap, and go back in time to stop this song from being made, I’d give it serious consideration because of all the total shit it spawned.
1.”New England, the Patriots and We” by fans of the New England Patriots
Had Minor Threat not beaten them to it, I think this song could have been titled “Guilty of Being White.” Incidentally, this is the same team that was walloped by the Chicago Bears who started the whole nasty trend.
2. “All the Way” by Eddie Vedder
As a diehard Chicago Cubs fan, this song makes me want to throw up. It would have been better had Vedder reintroduced Jeremy into the equation, and had him go on a killing spree after he realized that he’d spend his entire life not seeing the Cubs win a World Series.
3. “Come on You Reds” by Status Quo
I once had a thing for a girl from Manchester, and I figured I should learn the fight song to her beloved Man. United if I was going to get her to like me. Finding this song by the ultimate boogie rock band was sort of a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I learned the song, a curse because I had to listen to this awful shit over and over, only to find out the girl had a boyfriend back in England.
4. “Silver and Black Attack” by the Los Angeles Raiders
Since I’m scared shitless of Raiders fan, I’ll let you judge. Also, this is based on a Stryper song. I think that’s kinda awesome…
5. “Raider Nation” by Ice Cube
Since Ice Cube has become a punk who only makes Disney movies, I feel a little safer making fun of this song. I hope the ghost of Eazy-E haunts him for this shit.
6. “On Fire” by some dad in Philadelphia.
I actually can’t make fun of this song either since the dude did it to a Bo Diddley/Strangeloves beat. Also, I can’t stop saying to myself, “That might be Kurt Vile’s father!”
7. “The Oil’s Back in Town” by Corb Lund
I know I said that this whole rant was about America’s failings as a country, but this guy’s location says Canada, his music says American redneck.
Way to shit on a dynasty, bro. Go have sex with a Palin.
8. “Green and Yellow” by Lil Wayne
What the hell does Weezy know about Green Bay? He’s from New Orleans.
9. “Fear Da Tigers” by Bootsy Collins and the Cincinnati Bengals.
When this song came out, even George Clinton thought it was a terrible idea, and George Clinton gets arrested for possessing crack nearly every other week.
10. The Boston Celtics “Pride Song”
All roads to shitty team songs seem to lead back to Boston, don’t they?
You missed a really awful one, the 1990 US World Cup soccer team’s music video, featuring a bunch of shirtless dudes on the beach and OJ Simpson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o73qnXFP7e8
Great article…I’m a northern Californian who didn’t follow the Bears, and yet I can still recite most of “Superbowl Shuffle” by heart all these years later, so I don’t know what that means. (Full props to Dan and his World Cup link, too…I was nearly in tears, it’s a must-see. Lyrics straight out of an Afterschool Special, guys doing the Running Man on the beach, just a masterpiece. But what on earth was future Hockey Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille doing there, singing in the booth with OJ and the gang at the end? Poor Luc!)
Anyway, I bring you the epic “You Can’t Stop A Flame When It’s Red Hot,” commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Calgary Flames in 1987:
Imagine one of those mid-80s Michelob Light commercials, but with mimed trombone playing, bad lip-synching, polo shirts, and (more) mullets. Yikes.
Have you seen Prince’s fight song for the Vikings? It belongs on this list.
Bryan: I couldn’t bring myself to experience that sort of thing. Plus, I hate the Vikings.
Elizabeth: I’d heard of that song, but never heard or saw the video. Thank you