Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's All In A Song

I was watching the Chicago Blackhawks beat the hated Detroit Red Wings in overtime last night and really got into the atmosphere of the game. So I turned the television sound way up and lived in the moment. When Chicago scored the game winning goal, the whole place erupted and my girlfriend immediately walked into the other room and purchased 'Chelsea Dagger' by the Fratellis which is the song played whenever the home team Blackhawks score a goal.

I don't know if it was the celebratory mood or if she actually enjoyed the song, but she wanted to relive that moment over and over again. That got me thinking about sports songs and how they can shape our lives.

We all know the basic ones: the Queen double track of 'We Will Rock You' and 'We Are The Champions', '
Shout' by the Isley Brothers, and Rock and Roll Part II by Gary Glitter (also know as da da da duh, HEY!). But every team and stadium has it's own selection to get the crowed revved up.

If you're at a Red Sox game, you'll hear 'Sweet Caroline' played. The Packers play Todd Rundgren's 'Bang on the Drum All Day' after a touchdown.

It must be hard to pick a good original song to play at a sports stadium. You have to find one that both allows the players equanimity, but also gets the crowd involved.

Some songs are great at just that which is why they're played at every sporting event. Nothing gets me going before kickoff of a football game like 'Welcome to the Jungle'. Metalica's 'Enter Sandman' is made for a closer to enter a baseball game.

Others are tailor made for one player or team. Any time I hear that bell start ringing at the beginning of "Hell's Bells" by AC/DC, the only person that comes to mind is Trevor Hoffman as he comes out of the San Diego bullpen to finish the opponent off.

Goal, touchdown, home run songs....they vary from stadium to stadium. You might hear The Who one place, 'Song 2' by Blur in another. And if there's a kid at the stadium that day, it probably leaves an impression on them.

To this day I know that when I was a kid, I would hear 'Dirty Laundry' by Don Henley at Mavericks games and 'The Cotton-Eyed Joe' (the original, not the techno version) at Texas Rangers games.

As a watch the NBA Finals now, I see all of the pre-game introductions and it takes me back to whenever I watched the Chicago Bulls on television. They would be introduced with a song I didn't even know (Sirius by the Alan Parson's Project), but it made me a Bulls fan from my couch:






It's all about the music played at the stadium. Maybe someone should play the Carpenters just to screw with everyone, but I'm guessing we're more likely to hear some Van Halen. It's just what works. If you have any great memories of songs at sporting events, let me know.

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