So, I was watching some college football this afternoon, when the stadium started playing the top song on this list during a crucial, late-game video review. I wanted to either turn off the TV or throw something at it, but I had to know whether the touchdown would be called back, so I sat through an agonizing two minutes till the ref put down his headset to make the call. This incident got me thinking about other songs I can’t stand hearing at sporting events. As a fan of both sports and music, it’s rare that the tunes played at a game truly satisfy me, but these songs in particular really get me riled up, and not in a good way.
10. Anything by Nickelback
Now, I’m not an elite athlete by any stretch, but I just can’t imagine anyone who is getting fired up by Nickelback. Rather than being inspired to achieve greatness, I’d be focused on just how much this band sucks, to the point that if I was playing first base and the batter came to the plate with a Nickelback tune playing, I’d probably pull a Bill Buckner when the ball was hit my way, then proceed to punch the base-runner in the face for having such crappy taste in music.
9. “YMCA” by The Village People
C’mon man, this is the 21st century. Does anybody still think the YMCA is a popular dance–aside from stadium DJs? As far as sporting dance crazes go, this one is worse than The Wave, the Chicken Dance and the Macarena–combined!
8. “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd/ “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver
Unless you’re actually in Alabama, or some other backwoods, dirt-poor, redneck country-bumpkin hoedown, these songs should not be played in public. Yes, I’m talking to you, Calgary Saddledome DJ…
7. “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex
While this probably doesn’t get as much airplay at the ballpark as it did in the 90′s, this Swedish sack of shit song has sure had a lot more staying power than “Whoomp There It Is” or “Who Let the Dogs Out?”. I haven’t been to a Flames home game in a couple years, but I know they were using this song as the musical accompaniment to their “Make Some Noise – Fanometer” well into the aught’s.
6. “Breaking the Law”/”Living After Midnight”/”You Got Another Thing Comin’” by Judas Priest
Maybe if the arenas stopped playing these songs at sporting events, Judas Priest would be less compelled to play them on their arena tours. Rob Halford doesn’t even sing “Breaking the Law” live anymore, letting the fans do all the work. That’s how sick of it he is! (Gimme “Sinner,” “Exciter” or “The Ripper” over those three tunes any day!)
5. “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones
Don’t get me wrong, the Ramones wrote lotsa great, catchy, memorable songs. But this wasn’t one of them. Johnny Ramone musta electrocuted himself on the intro, cuz he just bangs out the same scratchy guitar static for the duration, while Joey, fresh off a glue-sniffin’ session, garbles out garbage lyrics like “They’re pilin’ in the back seat/They generate steam heat”. What’s truly sad is that for most of those kids who wear Ramones shirts purchased from Hot Topic, this is the only Ramones song they know.
4. “Freeze Frame” by the J. Geils Band
This putrid pile of 80′s pop would probably be a forgotten novelty if it hadn’t been adopted as the “Official Instant Replay Song” by several NFL stadiums. Whenever there’s an important call to review, it’s almost a given that we’ll be bombarded by “I could see it was a rough cut Tuesday/Slow motion weekdays stare me down…” Makes me wonder if the refs are equipped with noise-cancelling headphones in the booth.
3. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
I don’t get it, when did this song become associated with sporting events–and why!? I could swear that I’d never hear it when I started going to Flames games in the 90′s. I mean, it’s bad enough if someone sings this one at a karaoke bar–a whole arena full of people singing it is even worse!
2. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister
When I was a kid, I used to think this song was pretty badass. That was before it started appearing everywhere from Broadway musicals to allergy-medicine commercials. Not to mention that it’s usually the first choice for “Visiting Team Just Scored a Goal/Touchdown Music” at many a football field and hockey rink. This song sure lives up to its name now–I can’t take it anymore!
1. “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
Long before Glee brought this song back into everybody’s living room, it was being blared at obscene volumes at sporting events across the continent. The worst is in Detroit, where they mute the second line of the second verse so the crowd can scream “Growing up in Soooouth Deeetroooiiit!” I actually had to hit the mute button on the OSU-Michigan game on account of this shit. And here’s hoping they realign the Red Wings to the Eastern Conference next year so I don’t hafta watch ‘em host Calgary more than once a season. That is, as long as the Jets haven’t adopted “Takin’ Care of Business” by Winnipeg’s own Randy Bachman as their official in-game anthem…
While I wouldn’t put them on this list, I gotta say that the Flames have kinda ruined “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash and “Shot Down in Flames” by AC/DC for me, songs which are overused at the Saddledome for celebratory purposes. But at least I can still listen to them. After line-dancing to “TNT” in Grade 10 gym class, I can’t stand that song anymore. (It was one of AC/DC’s most overrated, anyways…)
Of course, I can’t really comment on which songs are played to death at Rogers Centre or the ACC, as I only go to games at those facilities when Calgary’s in town. It does seem like the former’s the only place that still plays that 80′s rap song “Jump On It” nowadays though, and I have seen some drunken Argos fans (both of them) shake their asses to it. Male Argos fans, mind you!