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Arbitrary but fun, volume IV

Five or six years ago I went to a University of Illinois hockey game.  The visiting team took the ice first—I believe they were called “the visitors”—to the tune of the theme from Doctor Zhivago.  “Ha ha,” I said to myself.  “So Illinois attempts to demoralize its opponents by having them take their pregame warmup to music associated with figure skaters.  Music for swirly-men.  How emasculating.  Ha ha ha.” But then Illinois took the ice—to the theme from Rocky III, also known as “Eye of the Tiger,” by Survivor. 

At first I was merely embarrassed for Illinois, but on further reflection, I thought what a nightmare this would be if I were playing for Illinois.  It’s not merely that I don’t like “Eye of the Tiger,” or that I think of it as practically an unwitting parody of “motivational” music.  That much is true; anyone who wants to get me going by playing “Eye of the Tiger” might just as well subject me to a series of motivational posters featuring pictures of golf courses, mountains, hang gliders, and so forth.  No, the problem for me would go deeper than that; it’s a visceral, not an intellectual, matter.  “Eye of the Tiger” would actually derange my hand-eye coordination and turn my quadriceps to paste.  There is no way I could play hockey after hearing such a song.  In fact, even thinking about the song right now is messing with my fine motor apparatus and leading me to make all kinds of uncharatceristic typograhpical mitsakes.

However, “Eye of the Tiger” is not the worst sports-motivational song in the world.  There is, in fact, a rich vein of crappy sports-motivational songs, the very worst of which is the Albert Hammond/ John Bettis travesty, “One Moment in Time,” commissioned by NBC for the 1988 Olympics.  “Give me one moment in time/ When I’m more than I thought I could be/ When all of my dreams, they’re a heartbeat away/ And the answers, they’re all up to me.” Belted out at 110 dB by Whitney Houston, of course, to music at once turgid and grandiose.  You know the Olympic creed—citius, altius, fortius, right?  Faster, higher, stronger?  Well, if you wanted to make Olympic athletes slower, lower, and weaker, you couldn’t do better, better, better than to write “One Moment in Time.” It’s the kind of song that would make even the great Edwin Moses stumble, fall, and crawl off into the nearest Barcalounger (no wonder Moses picked up only a bronze in the 400m hurdles in Seoul).  Thanks, Messrs. Hammond and Bettis.  Way to go, guys.

Then there are people who try to psych themselves up by playing Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” which strikes me as not merely counterproductive but very possibly pathological. 

Now, if I’m going to listen to something to keep the senses sharp and get some adrenaline into the system five minutes before taking the ice, I’m going to listen to the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong.” I’m just saying.  I understand that this is a deeply personal matter, so I won’t be prescriptive about what constitutes good warmup music.  But maybe we can generate some suggestions as to which songs should be banned from all athletic competitions, or depictions or reproductions thereof, for the rest of recorded time.  I’ll open with “Eye of the Tiger,” “One Moment in Time,” and “In the Air Tonight.” You folks can take it from there.

Posted by on 05/13 at 11:16 AM
  1. a series of motivational posters featuring pictures of golf courses, mountains, hang gliders, and so forth

    You know about these guys, don’t you?

    Posted by HP  on  05/13  at  12:36 PM
  2. I’d like to start the ball rolling with “We are the Champions”.  If you are not the champions, then it is just wrong.  If you are the champions, why bother.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  12:36 PM
  3. Probably you should start here.

    Posted by ben wolfson  on  05/13  at  12:43 PM
  4. International Competition:  “Proud to be an American” by I don’t even know who (and I think that’s the title) because I turn it off everytime I hear it. 

    Domestic Competition: “We are Family.” Ugh.  To my everlasting shame the Pittsburgh Pirate wives used to dance to this tune on top of the dugout during the seventh inning stretch of all home games.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  12:44 PM
  5. I like AC/DC quite a bit—makes for good bike riding music, for example.

    But when I was a senior starting tackle for my High School football team, there was a junior who played “Highway to Hell” on his jambox EVERY SINGEL AFTERNOON before PRACTICE.  He was, unsurprisingly, a bit of a dork.  Worked really hard in practice, never got any better during an actual game.  Which is what you expect from someone who has to listen to AC/Dc to get cranked up before practice.

    But worst of all, for me, was that he made it impossible for me to listen to “Highway to Hell” for about ten years.

    OTOH, there was one guy who played linebacker who was a huge Krokus and Queensryhche fan, so it could have been whole lot worse if he had controlled a jambox.

    Posted by MoXmas  on  05/13  at  12:46 PM
  6. How could you forget about the most painful of all “inspirational” sports songs:  One Shining Moment - The Anthem of College Basketball?  Initially, I would always confuse this with “One Moment in Time”, but this is a horrible miscalculation, as “One Moment in Time” is a vastly superior song.  BTW, “One Shining Moment” has its own website, which I strongly suggest you check out (http://www.oneshiningmoment.com).  It is Unintentional Comedy at its highest level.  Some sample lyrics from the song: 

    The ball is tipped
    and there you are
    you’re running for your life
    you’re a shooting star
    And all the years
    no one knows
    just how hard you worked
    but now it shows…

    When I was in college, the intro to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” was the sports motivational song of choice for intramural battles.  The initial guitar line had a great energy to it.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  12:56 PM
  7. I’m guessing the 80s are going to dominate here, so I’ll nominate the Brent Musburger-Phyllis George era CBS habit of playing “Nobody Does It Better” under every highlight montage. 

    For myself, the Vibrators’ “Stiff Little Fingers”.

    Posted by Doghouse Riley  on  05/13  at  01:00 PM
  8. "We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister is easily one of the worst--and most misapplied--fight songs. The only way it even makes sense is if your team is crappy, and then it just sounds like the useless screech of a kid getting sand kicked in his face.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:14 PM
  9. Thanks for despair.com, HP!  I discovered the demotivators not long after joining a loathsome gym in the late 1990s that had nothing but motivational posters on every wall.  Me, I prefer things like this.

    Posted by Michael  on  05/13  at  01:14 PM
  10. As anti-motivational song for just about everything including sports, I nominate We Built This City by Jefferson Starship.

    The very idea that the Jefferson Airplane that gave us songs like Volunteers crashed to the ground and burst into flames only to see Jefferson Starship rise phoenix like out of the flames to give us McKrap like City weighs more on my mind more than the last trip to the drive thru window weighs on Grace Slick’s hips. Oy. Double Oy with Cheese, please.

    And speaking of planes possibly and disturbingly crashing to the ground . . .

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:16 PM
  11. I’ve been a fan of cycling for a number of years, and back when cycling coverage in the States was limited to 1/3 of a 30-minute Wide World of Sports show compressing the entire 3 weeks of the Tour de France into a musical montage that had nothing to do with the race and everything to do with pretty mountains and ‘human drama,’ none other than John Tesh scored and (if I remember correctly) narrated the resulting abomination.  His ‘music’ was more atmospheric than anthemic, but I remember having to stifle my gag impulse just to satisfy my desperate urge to see a glimpse of this great sporting spectacle.

    I can ride for more than two hours happily humming Rhett Miller’s “This Is What I Do” the whole time--it’s not exactly a good competition anthem, but it does energize.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:17 PM
  12. Sports-motivational music is closely related to war music.  Music to whip up the blood.  Bagpipes for the Celts, drums for the Berber mercenaries accompanying the Moorish conquest of Spain, brass bands for the Union Army.  Metal and hip hop are the pre-battle music genres of choice for most of our soldiers now.

    If I were a major leaguer going up to bat, I’d want them to play the opening riff of Zep’s “Four Sticks” as I strutted menacingly to the batter’s box.

    Posted by John S.  on  05/13  at  01:22 PM
  13. How does one explain how “Rock and Roll, Part II” by Gary Glitter and “We Will Rock You” by Queen have become sports anthems? Both have a catchy, foot-stomping beat, so I guess that’s really as far as it goes, intellectually; sports crowds just love clapping and stomping in unison, and these two songs deliver the perfect driving beat to make that possible..

    So let’s savor the irony: to see the last bastion of unbridled masculine machismo in popular culture, sports, connecting itself to that most unmanly and deliberately androgynous of music styles, good old ‘70s Glam Rock, is, well, deliciously cool.

    Somewhere—in heaven, hell, the great abyss of ether, or wherever—I am sure Freddy Mercury is smiling a naughty smile.

    Posted by mat  on  05/13  at  01:24 PM
  14. These aren’t “motivational” songs, they’re more along the lines of an “in your face” ditty but I would vote “Na Na Say Goodbye” and “Another One Bites The Dust” as tremendously annoying baseball fare.

    These could go away, soon…

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:25 PM
  15. I don’t so much care about what songs should be banned from sporting events as what songs should be banned from MY &!#@$# BRAIN.  Happens all the time, I’m trying to keep an even cadence on my bicycle, some song pops into my head, and then I CAN’T GET RID OF IT.

    One time, it was that Macy Gray song with the lyric “Try to say goodbye and I choke, try to walk away and I stumble,” which isn’t so terrible except for the fact that that’s the only part of the song I know, so it just played overandoverandoverandoverandoverandover…

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:27 PM
  16. Hey Tim, Re: Another One Bites the Dust.  Am I the only one who noticed that dust has the same opening bass line as Warren Zevon’s Night Train in the Shipping Yard ?

    Enter Sandman by Metallica needs to make a quick exit too.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:31 PM
  17. I start each commute with the Beastie Boys Sabotage.

    Posted by Roxanne  on  05/13  at  01:36 PM
  18. I just remembered the two sports “songs” that irritated me the most at games:  “Rock and Roll”, “Who let the Dogs Out” and the Tomahawk Chop.  There was a time in the early 90s that “Rock and Roll” was played at every PSU football game, and it drove me nuts.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:37 PM
  19. Whenever I need to get pumped up to close a big deal, or if I’m just headed to the gym, I pop in my cassingle of Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best.”

    It gives me that psychological edge I need to compete and win, but with the way things have been going here at the office lately, I’ve just about worn out my tape. If you know what I mean, pal. Does anyone know where I could pick up a new copy of that on cassette? I still haven’t made the switch over to CDs—I know, I know, get with the times ... but heck, by the time I update my entire collection the darn things’ll be obsolete, with the way those iPods are getting so popular these days.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:38 PM
  20. "Chariots of Fire”—Not bad as the original movie soundtrack, but coma-inducing when used anywhere else. 

    Especially draining of ones willingness to live when used over some sorry high school’s annual sports retrospective slide show.  Lord, have mercy.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:42 PM
  21. Be sure to order “Now THAT’S What I Call Played Out, Vol. 20!”

    Posted by norbizness  on  05/13  at  01:45 PM
  22. I start each commute with the Beastie Boys Sabotage.
    Noted: Roxanne has commenced the mutation of this thread to songs that motivate the self. 

    Me? I often crank the car up to strains anything by the Ramones.  Hey, ho, let’s go.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:45 PM
  23. It’s not exactly connected, but as a season-ticket holder for the San Francisco Giants, I can easily identify the worst ballpark music experience. Whenever there’s a post-game fireworks, and the time arrives to start shutting down the lights in order to begin the show, they always play “Lights” by Journey. Since Journey is the worst band in the history of pop music, this kinda gets on my nerves.

    Posted by Steven Rubio  on  05/13  at  01:46 PM
  24. Start Me Up is fine at a ball game, though they never quite seem get to the line about the dead man.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:52 PM
  25. Mat says: How does one explain how “Rock and Roll, Part II” by Gary Glitter

    Ah yeah: Gary Glitter: child-porn aficionado. I suppose I put the popularity of this song someplace along with right-wing apologia for statutory rapists.

    Vis-a-vis John S’s comment: the most disturbing motivational song-montage bit I’ve seen was a bunch of footage my brother, who’s an Air Force Major (a cardiologist, not a killer), had of US missiles and so forth blowing up people and things in our Afghanistan war, all set to some frat-metal chorus of “Let the bodies hit the floor” (looked it up: the band, Drowning Pool, and the song “Bodies,” which was popular on MTV in 2000 or so). Brother said this is what the troops watch to get excited before combat.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  01:56 PM
  26. The Seattle Mariners theme song used to be “Louie, Louie!” Warm-up, 7th-inning, etc. I don’t know if they still do this. Not the most annoying song in the world, but a bizarre fight song.

    For getting revved up, I like the Buzzcocks’ “Orgasm Addict.” And since it’s actually about self-gratification, there’s very little hidden irony. Also, their “Noise Annoys.”

    Posted by Lee  on  05/13  at  01:58 PM
  27. How ‘bout that Rage Against the Machine song?  You know, the one with the heavy guitar, the indecipherable lyrics, and the overall noise quality of a hurricane?  You MUST know the song, right?!

    Actually, listening to Rage before a rugby game generally helped put me in the right frame of mine (seriously).

    Also, “Back in Black” might be work too, of course, if your team wears black.  Otherwise, not so much.  But then you might psych out the other team by being ironic!

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  02:01 PM
  28. We used to take the ice to “Shock the Monkey” by Peter Gabriel in the mid eighties.  It got the adrenaline pumping.  I was the goalie, so I appreciated the “cover me” when “I’m on my knees” aspect of the song.  Although there were several big defensemen that would have decapitated me for the “darlin’ please.”

    Posted by JimLeous  on  05/13  at  02:02 PM
  29. Can’t get into the spirit of the question, sorry. As for the flip side, Husker Du’s cover of “8 Miles High” is a great way to get the blood moving.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  02:06 PM
  30. (1) Sorry me2i81 (#24). Even at a ball game, Start Me Up is the #1 banishable song of all time.

    (2) MoXmas’s comment constitutes the third instance of Krokus-bashing in two days. Let’s give credit where it is due. They are a hard-working band whose rendition of American Woman KICKS ASS. Until Brian Johnson comes out with his version of No Sugar Tonight, they’ll be the Guess Who cover band to beat.

    (3) For some broader reflections on the subject of popular eudaemonics, I recommend Dave Hickey’s wonderful “Buying the World”, (available here in PDF and here in digital text) which I happened to come across yesterday.

    Posted by GForce  on  05/13  at  02:13 PM
  31. I always thought Tom Lehrer’s “Fight Fiercely, Harvard” was the end-all of this genre,
    a crushingly cunning topper over our embarrassingly dense Yale alumnus-potus, oops, musical counterpart, “Bulldog, Bulldog, Bow Wow Wow” (which, as Oligarchs of our “humor” magazine The Yale Record we shamelessly perverted to “old owl, old owl, hoot hoot hoot” in honor of our mascot).  After all, howonearth could lyrics like “When the sons of Eli break thro’ the line / That is the time to hail!” compete with “How we shall celebrate our victory: / We shall invite the whole team out for tea! How jolly!”

    But thenagain, my youth was a closed world.  Nevermind.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  02:20 PM
  32. This discussion brings back a terrible memory of having the Carpenter’s “I’m on the Top of the World” running unremittingly, unforgivingly through my head during a X-Country race. I ran badly; blood oozed spontaneously from my ears.

    And if I ever hear the Stones’s “Start Me Up” before a Ranger game again I swear I’ll ... Actually, at this point, I’d be happy just to see another Ranger game.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  02:20 PM
  33. Should definitely be banned from athletics:

    Ravel’s Bolero.

    Thank you very much Torville and Dean.

    In fact, how about banning the use of all classical music from sports? It’s too stupid for words.

    [And for motivating music--New Order, “World in Motion.” The English football (soccer) team’s song for the 1990 World Cup, wherein the footy team did not to as badly as usual. So it works.]

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  02:25 PM
  34. Ranting a little ways off the beaten topic… What the hell is wrong with me that I don’t listen to music and do stuff like everyone else? Lord knows I try—I like to listen to music and I could listen to a bunch more of it if I would only do it in situations where it’s not the only thing I’m doing—but no dice! If it’s music I like, I just stop doing the other thing and listen to the music, or I get aggravated that I can’t be paying more attention to the music, which keeps me from paying full attention to the other thing; if it’s music I don’t like, then I just get aggravated that there’s music I don’t like in my vicinity. Help! What can I do?


    Posted by Jeremy Osner  on  05/13  at  02:25 PM
  35. John.Tesh

    How could the NBA on NBC use his song as the theme song? Why?!?

    Posted by DocMara  on  05/13  at  02:27 PM
  36. You’ve never heard “Eye of the Tiger” done properly until you’ve heard my high school alma mater’s marching band butcher it, especially in the 4th quarter of a close game. They attempt to rip it out at about 180 beats per minute, and never catch up with themselves. HI-larious!

    Give Survivor credit for parodying themselves on that Starbucks TV ad recently, though. That was funny.

    What helped me get to the top of a really tough hill on a century ride: The Who “Baba O’Riley”. Then I was stuck on the song for 20 more miles…

    Posted by Jeff  on  05/13  at  02:30 PM
  37. Queen has a pretty good history for these songs.  I’ll skip the obvious ones and mention _Gimme the Prize_ from the _Highlander_ album, _Tear It Up_
    and _Action This Day_, among others.

    I’m glad MB mentioned _One Moment in Time._ That piece of rubbish was from the *second* Olympic album, a work of no recognizable merit.  On the other hand, the first Olympic album (for the 1984 Olympics) has (sadly) three mostly forgettable non-instrumentals, yet contains some of my favorite instrumental music.  _Power_ (the weightlifting theme) and _Grace_ (the gymnastics theme) are both worth the time and effort of seeking it out.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  02:32 PM
  38. This is for Steven Rubio and any other Journey haters out there.

    Posted by corndog  on  05/13  at  02:32 PM
  39. Listening to Mozart has supposedly boosted academic performance of children.  Maybe Mozart could boost athletic performance as well.  I hear it’s something about the logic and symmetry of the compositions.  I commiserate with you about those other “songs”.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  02:46 PM
  40. The absolute best use of “Eye of the Tiger” is to rev up a crowd of...walkers. Yes, that’s right. I’ve been to fundraising walks for breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and they play that song. (Is it because of the cancer survivor/band Survivor parallel?) At the ovarian cancer walk last weekend, the DJ kept playing “Eye of the Tiger,” and there were some men who just couldn’t help themselves, and they strutted instead of walking. No lie.

    Posted by Orange  on  05/13  at  02:46 PM
  41. I can’t stand “Bang The Drum All Day.” Blech. I was shocked when I found out that was Todd Rundgren.

    If I were planning to get into a fight, I’d probably listen to “Pow (Forward Riddim)” by Lethal B. It got banned from clubs in Essex, because brawls kept breaking out.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  03:06 PM
  42. As far as songs that run some risk of being played at a normal sporting event, my nominee would have to be Winner Takes it All by Sammy Hagar from the Over the Top Soundtrack.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, Over the Top was a Sylvester Stallone flick about a father reconnecting with his son while struggling to win an armwrestling championship (tagline: Lincoln Hawk will fight for his son the only way he knows how...).  Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be a parody.  Awful movie, cheesy song, and I occasionally do hear it.  Very sad.

    For strange music to use to start a hockey game, my team (mostly jaded grad students and a few faculty and alums) went up to Maine to play an undergraduate club team there.  Not only were they frighteningly color-coordinated (we’re talking matching scrunchies), but they came out on the ice to Wannabe by the Spice Girls.  The warm up included Oops… I Did it Again by Britney Spears, as well as several boy band numbers (also, inexplicably, Crazy Train).  I don’ t think anyone from my team remembers what happened in that game, but we still have nightmares about the music.

    Posted by Marita  on  05/13  at  03:14 PM
  43. "These aren’t “motivational” songs, they’re more along the lines of an “in your face” ditty but I would vote “Na Na Say Goodbye” and “Another One Bites The Dust” as tremendously annoying baseball fare. “

    I still remember the year that the Detroit Lions started their season 6-0.  “Another One Bites the Dust” was played as each team they faced went down to defeat.  Then, they fell apart, losing almost every game after that.  The fans started singing “Another One Kicked Our Butts”.  A sense of humor is important in a fan.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  03:24 PM
  44. Hm, “One Moment In Time” is my personal second-least-favorite tune ever. The first is “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which incidentally came out the same year. Damn you, 1988.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  03:30 PM
  45. A song that should be banned from sports events not because it’s demotivational, but because it’s just wrong:  “Blitzkrieg Bop”

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  04:28 PM
  46. No one has mentioned the heinous theme music from “Rocky.” This, too, must be banned.

    “Wind Beneath My Wings” is one of the most utterly cringey songs EVER.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  04:32 PM
  47. By the way, the Oakland A’s finally stopped playing “When the Lights Go Down on the City” when they turn the stadium lights down for fireworks, but the Giants still do it.  Just asking:  Do other cities by other bays use this awful Journey relic that way?  Boston?  Tampa?  Green?

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  04:33 PM
  48. I am really tired of hearing “LLLLEEEEETS GET RRRREEADDDY TO RRRRUUUUMMBLE” at sporting events followed by that annoying mid 90s dance track. 

    I could also do without the snippet Blur’s Song 2 (you know WOO HOO followed by power chords and brit mumble-screams).

    Though I intensely missed professional hockey this year, I must say these two songs predominate at my hometown team’s rink (Buffalo Sabres) and it drove me nuts whenever I went to a game.

    So, those get my vote.

    Posted by Jon S  on  05/13  at  04:39 PM
  49. Michael, you are truly a “cult stud” even if you didn’t write that headline. I mean, could Roger Kimball ever have come up with such a splendid exercise; I think not.

    That moment of hauteur you draw induced by any hockey team that would take the ice to the strains of Maurice Jarre doing epic love story against backdrop of Russian revolution, only to be toppled from your high horse by your team making its appearance accompanied by the theme from “Rocky,” and in it’s III rd incarnation, yet, will have me gigling all day, I can already tell. And “swirly-men,” I will not soon forget swirly-men.

    On to my own arbitrary picks: Anything by Phil Collins: Any selection from the Vangellis score for “Chariots Of Fire,” although SCTV took care of that unpleansantness with it’s own brilliant video version, “Chariots of Eggs,” about an inspiring egg holding race: much as I have loved Bette Midler, “Wind Beneath My Wings” can deplete your will to live: anything from Flashdance, although the one with the lyric, “she’s a maniac” for sure.

    Posted by Leah A  on  05/13  at  04:45 PM
  50. I’m not quite sure what kind of “sports” Carnival Cruise Lines is trying to promote, but Iggy Pop’s Lust For life has to be one of the best unintended motivational messages. I mean, whenever I vacation on Carnival, I shoot only the best herion.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  04:50 PM
  51. I am a writer, and occasionally I am called upon to speak in public. Whenever this misfortune befalls me, I get through it by listening to Big Daddy Kane’s “Raw” in headphones, at absurd volume, just before stepping up to the microphone. It doesn’t have particularly motivation-oriented lyrics; it’s from the era when almost every rap song was about how the rapper in question was the greatest rapper that there had ever been. But Kane’s confident tone (and the amazing James Brown sample that underpins it) is what makes the track one of the best from the golden era of hip-hop (that’s 1986-1992, if you’re wondering).

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  05:08 PM
  52. isn’t ‘we are the champions’ queen’s anthem for gay rights? i always chuckle when i see all these manly men hugging each other in victory while ‘we are the champions’ is playing.

    what about that alan parsons project tune? the one used to announce the chicago bulls starting lineup? i think it was off of stereotomy. the sj sharks started using it soon after that and i think every team had it blaring for at least one season during the 1990s.

    straying a bit from the topic, but: let’s have one more slow motion turning point scene in a movie that uses ‘carmina burana’ to deliciously dramatic effect. and for my wedding, i’m going to request ‘every breath you take’ because i stalked my wife for a whole year before i finally asked her out.

    Posted by random  on  05/13  at  05:12 PM
  53. I apologize for redundency if someone above mentioned either of these.  Two of the major universities in Southern California battled for years to link their righteousness to Hollywood.  In so doing two pretty dark rally songs were purloined from film, one by Alfred Newman--Conquest, the other by Gershwin for UCLA.  These remain repugnant to this day, oft used by all manner of promotional events, high school sports, even the NBA and MLB in that region. 

    For some still as yet unexplained reason, we, on the UCLA waterpolo team in the 60’s(we were the best in the country) started our warmups for games with either of Herb Alpert’s two albums: Whipped Cream or South of the Border--it was actually depressing after a couple of years.  And a word to Shannon, for a while we produced the Tour of Nevada City Bike Classic during its peak with LeMond and a young Armstrong.  In ‘84, at the height of the Bush years, we started the criterion with Hendrix version of the National Anthem--we were loudly booed and asked by the sponsors to not to ever do that again.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  05:28 PM
  54. The Vikings have managed to ruin “Welcome to the Jungle” for me. I have maintained for many years that they need to ditch it and use “Immigrant Song” by Zep.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  05:40 PM
  55. At the end of any Wembley final there was always a montage of Rockin all Over the World by Status Quo Simply The Best and We are the Champions. When Wembley closed and all finals moved to The Millenium Stadium in Cardiff (by the way we’re talking ‘proper’ football here - the original version, and also Rugby League -the best sport in the world)the people in charge forgot to change the stoopid montage. Year after Year, final after final yawwwwwwn. All three songs should be hunted down and eliminated by people in protective sound-proofed suits like a rogue virus. Simply the Best is a kind of tautology. It claims to be the best but actually is the worst. We are the Champions is NOT a gay rights anthem (as someone above writes). One gay member of a band does not force every note of their output to have a gay subtext. It does, however have a crap subtext and, come to think of it, a crap text. Rockin all Over the World? Status Quo are a peculiar British institution. A bit like hanging, they went on for ages until society gradually realised that they were morally indefensible and culturally anachronistic. 

    Rugby League - the best sport in the world - ramps up each game with an endless repetition of the riff from Kashmir. I think it’s a re-edited version of the Pdiddy Jimmy page rehash. It has portentiousness, tension and brilliant pent up excitement. It’s also good for shagging.

    n.b. for the unitiated and culturally starved i.e. Americans. Rugby League is an excessively violent version of Rugby. It has all the unnecessary stops and starts and pointless technical rules taken out and involves a collision every three seconds or so , quicksilver pace and skill, large amounts of violence and above all, no wussy protective clothing.

    As for myself. I tend to listen to Central Park in The Dark for motivation. I believe that calmness, not testosterone, is the main element of success. Failing that Mama Said Knock You Out, Rebel Without a Pause or One Armed Scissor also works.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  06:00 PM
  56. Ditto to everything Queen. Ditto to anything ever on a Rocky movie soundtrack. Triple-molto-mega ditto to all things Phil Collins.

    L.A. edition: 1) I never, ever want to hear “I Love L.A.” again. And I like Randy Newman. 2) Also, yeah, please make the Trojan marching band quit playing that damned song over and over after every &*^%$ down. 3) I was liking “Welcome to the Jungle” when Gagne comes out of the bullpen, but with L.A. baseball crowds acting like Raider Nation lately, I say it’s become a little too apt.

    Posted by Kathy  on  05/13  at  06:21 PM
  57. Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks. 

    On a separate note, what do you suppose curlers listen to before a match?

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  06:27 PM
  58. “Eye of the Tiger,” “One Moment in Time,” and “In the Air Tonight” are the freakin’ trifecta of athletic enervation; “Chariots of Fire” rounds out the superfecta. Insipid squaddelly-dook. Even neologisms cannot adequately convey my disgust and strong feeling.

    For the category of lesser-infringements: I once heard the women in the final heat of the 100-yd freestyle at 2000 Nike Cup Swim Meet being led to the blocks with “American Woman” blaring. Not exactly apropos. Or the endless recycling of Paul Simon’s Graceland CD during the wee hours of pre-race set up at the 1999 USAT nat’l championships. Enough to turn one against mbaqanga music. And oddly enough, the UNC men’s basketball team chose Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” as their psych-song this year. I don’t know about them, but that song would get me psyched for, um, a slightly different kind of exercise. Michael, I gotta figure the Illinois men’s team probably chose something like AC/DC’s “Hells Bells”?

    Evan: I am so sorry to hear about the Macy Gray invasion. Next time, try humming “Girl from Ipanema”; it’s my tried-and-true stuck-song buster. If you gotta get one phrase stuck in your head during a spin, I highly recommend Kool & The Gang’s “Get Down on It.” You can speed it up or down to cadence AND get retro-silly at the same time!

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  06:35 PM
  59. Oh yeah, one more thing.  Is “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” a sports motivational song, since, technically, it invites the other side to do violence, while all we get to do is “get right back up on [our] feet again?”

    I only ask because Pat Benetar is way too hot to say anything bad about, “Love is a Battlefield” (and its video) notwithstanding.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  06:36 PM
  60. Hm. I for one do feel ready to scrimmage when I hear Glitter’s “The Hey Song,” or even Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F.” I’m also partial to the World Cup ‘98 theme song ("La cour des grands"), but only out of nostalgia for a Pittsburgh radio parody of it that ridiculed ex-Steeler Bubby Brister, who told an interviewer that the hardest part about playing in Pgh had been “the wind coming in off the lake.”

    For more general motivation (and a ready-made prom theme), try “F*** Like a Beast” by W.A.S.P.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  06:45 PM
  61. (1) Sorry me2i81 (#24). Even at a ball game, Start Me Up is the #1 banishable song of all time.

    Could be; I’ve probably been to three baseball games in the last 15 years. Start Me Up, We Will Rock You et. al. seem to be in the category of “decent songs gone bad through inappropriate use,” which is a different category than Eye of the Tiger.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  07:37 PM
  62. Last comment, promise, but Seth G’s F*** Like a Beast comment got me thinking about a song that always makes me *wish* I were back at my middle-linebacker spot, just before the first snap, ready to take names: 

    “Head Like a Hole,” by Nine Inch Nails. 

    Abso-friggin-lutely bestial, that song.  I love it.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  07:38 PM
  63. Ahhh - despair.com. My favorite was always

    Adversity: That which doesn’t kill you merely postpones the inevitable.

    The musical cliche that is “The Lonely Bull” is the one I would outlaw. It’s an insult to the bull to play it in reference to a man in a sporting event…

    Also from my childhood - I remember hearing Vince Giuaraldi’s (can’t remember now how his name is spelled) “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” and feeling like I could fly.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  09:15 PM
  64. How did absolutely nobody mention the most horrid song on earth: Europe’s The Final Countdown? Always played in a 4th quarter/9th inning in which there is little chance of the home team winning - do they play that just so to tell folks “C’mon, you’re losing, get out, you don’t have to go home but ya can’t stay here?”

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  09:21 PM
  65. There was an interminable period in the 70’s-early 80’s when it seemed like every basketball team in the US ran on the court to the theme from “Star Wars”.  Imagine my horror when I first saw The Pretenders come out on stage to the same music their first time around in NY. (Yeah, they had the
    laser lights too).  I tried really hard to take them seriously after that, but how could I?

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  09:47 PM
  66. Since Journey is the worst band in the history of pop music, this kinda gets on my nerves.

    Being in a confessional mood I have to acknowledge that I actually saw Journey live in 1976 at the Werner Von Braun Civic Center (yes that Werner Von Braun) in Huntsville, AL where I lived for a few years. They sucked so hard that they came on to do an encore and one of them said “We thought we’d do another song even though you didn’t like us very much.” I don’t believe <s>The Duck</s> Steve Perry was their singer at the time.

    Speaking of Von Braun, the only time (other than his valedictory speech when he left Huntsville for NASA headquarters in Washington, DC) that anyone in my family saw him was at a Montgomery Ward’s store in Huntsville. He ran into the store wearing a swimsuit, tee shirt and a pair of flip-flops.

    To paraphrase another (IMHO incredibly overrated and very mediocre) band, what a long strange trip it must have been for him from Peenemunde to the Parkway City Mall.

    Posted by Randy Paul  on  05/13  at  10:06 PM
  67. Darn! Is Typepad the only one that reads strikeout (<s></s>winktags anymore?

    Posted by Randy Paul  on  05/13  at  10:07 PM
  68. Chumbawumba’s “I Get Knocked Down” must fit in here somewhere, at least in the overused category, especially in UK football, and particularly in Leeds.  Not a bad song though.  So I guess I’m not really playing by the rules, but all the truly bad sports songs have been taken already, I think.

    As for songs that rev me up, I find “I Move On” from the _Chicago_ soundtrack oddly motivational on a long run, especially in the final miles.  What gets me is the combination of the tempo, the bad-girl gumption, and all the road and running metaphors, like “There’s no doubt we’re well cut out to run life’s marathon: we just move on!”

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  10:10 PM
  69. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person in the universe who thinks that the first three Journey albums (pre Steve Perry) are great.  They were merely a Santana spinoff at the time and I liked their singer a lot, before they replaced him with the castrato.

    As for Gary Glitter, I recently enjoyed the spectacle of about 100 prepubescent cheerleaders doing a routine to Rock and Roll during halftime at a Bulls game - not sure whether anyone else saw the irony.

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  10:22 PM
  70. 1. Gersh: Yes, you are the only person in the universe who thinks that. Thanks for asking!
    2. Overused in sports: The opening bars of Animotion’s “Obsession” have been used too often to create an artificial sense of excitement when showing highlight clips of games on TV.
    3. You wanna know why UFO aliens kipnap people and rape ‘em and suchlike? “Sometimes when we touch”—The aliens hate that song SO MUCH!!!! Please, stop the insanity!

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  10:57 PM
  71. *Snort* What th’?-- Oh, right: I’m in MB’s comment section.  Sorry, I’ve been asleep for a couple of weeks, and have much to catch up on.  Only had time for a quick scroll through the 70 preceding submissions, but did y’all really overlook “Takin’ Care of Business,” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive?  Is that one just a Portland Trail Blazers thang?

    Posted by  on  05/13  at  11:28 PM
  72. This is an easy one, and I’m so glad you asked:

    Detroit Red Wings game, two years before the last Stanley Cup run.  I’m with my friend whose dad gets all the good tickets, and we have giant gallon-sized cups of beer and peanuts and he tries telling me over the din about his love life and I’m happy for him.  It’s all good, and to make it better, that song starts: a piano..."chum chum chum CHUM-CHUM, chum chum chum CHUM-CHUM.” Its a song from the seventies, and everyone knows it.  It’s so good that everyone’s rockin’ and swayin’ and throwing up their hands and waiting for the puck to drop and you think even the players themselves are slow getting back to center ice because they want to hear they guy sing:  “Oh What a Night!!!!!!!!” And that’s where it all ends, because right then you realize that he’s not singing about THIS night, about the game or being together with this crowd and these friends and the beer and the peanuts.  Instead, he’s singing about a night in late December back in ‘63.  A night that apparently ended too soon, during which he apparently had sex with a lady.  And that, I’m afraid, is the damn worst sports motivational song in the history of recorded music.

    Posted by BP  on  05/13  at  11:43 PM
  73. I think the whole rap against “Eye of the Tiger” that you, Michael, and all the rest here, have going is a bit too cool for school.  Honest! 
    The Rocky training segments and the songs that go with them-- even (or especially) the cheese from Rocky 4-- are pretty fantastic, especially when it comes to feeling all charged up while you’re watching TV.  The problem comes when you’re actually training.  The burst of adrenaline when any Rocky song plays while you’re running sprints, for example, is enough to make you want to stop: it’s a blowout.  This, I think, is the real issue here.
    There are songs for getting pumped up to (you know: anything by Ravel, George Thorogood, Tool, or whatever); and there are songs for sustaining--rather than exhausting-- physical exertion.  I find that the best example of physical exertion to music is expressed in the scene from Silence of the Lambs, where Hannibal Lecter is bludgeoning the policeman while conducting.  Is this not the best motivational use of music?

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  12:03 AM
  74. When the lights go down in the city, I hope nobody turns those lights back on for Journey.  Ouch.  Pain. The Summit of Suck.

    Recommended song: Will remove all other songs from head immediately.  Without fail. Even overplayed everywhere Who songs.  And what song is that? The Isley Brothers: It’s Your Thing

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  12:39 AM
  75. isn’t ‘we are the champions’ queen’s anthem for gay rights? i always chuckle when i see all these manly men hugging each other in victory while ‘we are the champions’ is playing.

    I wasn’t there, but I understand my hardcore fundamentalist sister-in-law (hardcore like got upset when she found out HM read Harry Potter) put on quite a show lipsynching YMCA (with arm motions) at the party the night before my wedding.

    Posted by julia  on  05/14  at  12:42 AM
  76. OK, so I’m a new blog whore and this is one of the best comment threads ever. And I’m a professional musician (Local 47) so I can help.

    “Song for the day” is the malady in question and I recommend the McDonalds ad from the 80’s:

    “You deserve a break today,
    So come on and get a way,
    To McDonalds,
    We do it all for you hoo hoo”

    Any annoying song in your head, sing that…

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  02:02 AM
  77. Michael -

    I’ve noticed that these “Arbitrary but Fun” postings generate a boatload of comments. 

    90GB last month?  Maybe in May you’ll have an arbitrary but fun 180GB of usage.

    You’re doing a terrible job of pushing people away from your blog.  Keep up the bad work.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  03:03 AM
  78. (OT and i’m sorry, but--)

    HEY M. BERUBE! Librarian here, i just wanted to give you a heads up to some possible incoming tourists from overseas.

    i referenced your “Coalition of Me” essay in trying to discuss some of the, um, quirks? of in-fighting amongst the US left, on this international group-bloggy thing that some folks are attempting. i also quoted a couple graphs and posted a link to your archives...i have probably managed, in one swell foop to alienate all of the non-US folk there, and also violate some kind of unwritten bloggy rule here in domestic blogmerica, in doing this.

    but, well, as we have been learning over there, it takes time and patience to properly house-train Americans these days.

    if you want to check that i properly cited you, here is the link:

    and NO, i will not cop to blog-whoring, it isn’t a blog, and it isn’t mine, and i am not asking anyone to go there, i just want to make sure i don’t plagiarize you or anything!

    ducking now,

    Posted by Librarian  on  05/14  at  05:49 AM
  79. Auburn (Tigers) football has been using “Eye of the Tiger” since before I moved here seven years ago, and in an effort to further hype the gullible -I mean fans- added “Welcome to the Jungle” for a while.

    When I’m starting a long road trip like Auburn to State College I’ll often start out with that ultimate road song, “Born to be Wild”.  Actually Boston’s “Don’t Look Back”, and the Doors “L.A. Woman” works pretty well too.  “Riders on the Storm” sets the mood for a long trip at night.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  10:29 AM
  80. Chumbawumba’s “I Get Knocked Down” must fit in here somewhere, at least in the overused category, especially in UK football, and particularly in Leeds.  Not a bad song though.  So I guess I’m not really playing by the rules, but all the truly bad sports songs have been taken already, I think.

    You know what I’d like to hear at a sporting event if I ever had the misfortune to be at one again? The Chumbawumba song that ends “...and the cycle of hungry children / will keep on going round / until we burn the multinationals to the ground.”

    Incoherent metaphor aside, I still find that song moving in a way that I never found, say, anything by Consolidated (to speak of a virtually contemporary earnest leftist dance group) moving.

    Or, hell, if they’re playing Iggy Pop, why not follow Lust for Life with TV Eye? Nothing I find more motivational that a song about getting checked out by a transvestite.

    Ah well: if there’s one thing this thread has taught me it’s something I already know. 80s Top 40 sucks.

    And, if anyone knows one, I’d love to read something about the mainstreaming of the Ramones. I know it happened sometime in the last 10 years, but I can’t count on all my limbs and their extremities the number of times I’ve heard ‘I Wanna be Sedated’ in grocery stores and child-friendly restaurants. Just weird.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  10:32 AM
  81. When Rickey Henderson was a Seattle Mariner he used to walk to the plate to the opening of “Theme from Shaft.” Waaaaaaaaaay cool.

    Myself, I’d go for “London Calling.”

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  11:46 AM
  82. Obviously not overplayed, since everyone thankfully forgot about it, but Manfred Mann’s Earth Band recorded “The Runner” for the LA Olympics and squeezed it onto their otherwise excellent Somewhere in Africa. No surprise that when it came out on CD, that song was no longer there.

    North of the border, Stompin’ Tom Connors’ “The Hockey Song” has started to wear out its welcome with me, but I’m still keen to hear “Frozen Puck to the Head” by Captain Tractor. “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)” as performed by The Nylons has also worn thin up here.


    Posted by Murph  on  05/14  at  11:53 AM
  83. Don’t curlers listen to “Ice, Ice, Baby”?

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  12:53 PM
  84. or maybe curlers like “Dust My Broom”....

    Back on track, anybody else tired of “Centerfield’? I like it, just tired of it. And as a SoCal child of the ‘60s, I always get a thrill from the Dodgers’ radio theme “It’s a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame”.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  01:04 PM
  85. The Vikings have managed to ruin Welcome to the Jungle for me. I have maintained for many years that they need to ditch it and use Immigrant Song by Zep.

    Why the hell would the Vikings use “Welcome to the Jungle?” My beloved Bengals were last good when that song came out, and so they started calling Riverfront Stadium “The Jungle” and playing “Welcome to the Jungle” during games. It’s gotten pretty old and annoying, but it’s hard to develop cool new traditions when you haven’t made the playoffs in 15 years (maybe this year...).

    They don’t play the Cincinnati Bengals Fight Song anymore at games, which is too bad. It’s a polka (or whatever the German version of oom-pah music is called), and the lyrics are totally ridiculous: “Hear that Bengals growlin’, mean and anger-y / Here he comes a-prowlin’, lean and hunger-y / An offensive brute, run, pass or boot / And defensively, he’s rough! tough!”

    Have you suggested “Immigrant Song” to the Vikings PR people or anything? That would be an awesome song for them to use. It’s distinctive, exciting and actually about vikings. (At this job I used to have at a painting factory, one of the foremen would do the battle cry when it was time to take our smoke break, which doesn’t have much to do wtih anything, but I can’t hear that song without thinking of that.)

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  01:04 PM
  86. When Joe Cole used to play for West Ham, they used to play Spandau Ballet’s “Gold” whenever he scored.  Yes, Spandau Ballet.  I guess b/c “Cole” was what drunk Londoners pronounced when they thought about saying “goal” and “gold” at the same time.  Except it really sounded like a thousand phlegmy morons yelling “Currrrrrrrrerrrrrm!” It wasn’t that inspirational, apparently, since WH usually lost. 

    The most inspiring thing I ever heard was Sinatra’s “New York, New York” at the end of every Yanks game.  ‘Cos it inspired me to get the fuck out of the stadium.

    Posted by Jason  on  05/14  at  02:34 PM
  87. "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar” by Hellen Reddy is at the top of my supposed-to-be-uplifiting-but-makes-me-want-to-gag list.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  03:01 PM
  88. "Koi kahe kehta rahe,” from the absurd if amicable film “Dil Chahta Hai” is also over-played.

    If I go to another cricket match where they play it between overs, I’ll impale myself on the wicket.

    Posted by Amardeep  on  05/14  at  03:25 PM
  89. is it possible to have managed 87 comments, and no one has put forward:

    WHOOOOO let the dogs out!?
    hwroof! whroof! roof-roof-roof!!!

    can’t be, i must have missed it up there someplace.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  03:28 PM
  90. Anyone else find it ironic that a couple of the sporting cliches are from “Queen”, which had a gay frontman? Says much about the subtext for the supposedly macho world of sports.

    I have a soft spot for the Olympic theme that ABC always used (they are the only network whose Olympic coverage generally has not been moronic).

    The one silver lining here is that you know that almost all high school marching bands and most of their college counterparts will butcher anything and the campier schools will turn the pseudo-macho, pseudo-uplifting crap into something showtune-esque.

    OTOH, cut UIUC a break--wasn’t Survivor a Chicago-based band? Bad “Journey” or “Queen” songs would be less excusable, of course.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  03:54 PM
  91. Librarian—someone mentioned “Who let the dogs out” in passing, but no one highlighted it.

    And speaking of which, I just ran a 10K today that had music blaring pre- and post-race and I was very nearly able to say proudly that not *one* of the above bad songs were played, that runners were much too cool for that.  Alas, right before they shut off the music to give out the awards they played “Who let the dogs out.” Then again, we all look pretty mutt-like after a race, so perhaps it was appropriate.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  04:33 PM
  92. mmmm… taste the bitterness.

    lemme inject some positive vibes into this. the sharks subtle use of the jaws theme during power plays works for me every time. love it.

    damn i miss hockey.

    am i still being positive?

    Posted by random  on  05/14  at  04:37 PM
  93. Anything by John Phillips Sousa. Ever.

    Posted by drs  on  05/14  at  05:10 PM
  94. Michael: How you met up with the immigration people yet? Don’t forget to photocopy the forms to bring back. A lot of people feel just like you!

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  06:35 PM
  95. a quiz that needs musical accompaniment. 


    in the spirit of quizilla and others.. something to entertain your friends and enemies over the weekend.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  07:06 PM
  96. Well, I actually wasn’t asking, but thanks for letting me know.  Now I know what all of the strange looks are for.  I almost may be the only person in the universe whose favorite Pixies album is Trompe le Monde, but you don’t have to answer that one.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  08:40 PM
  97. 1. No thanks necessary, Gersh. Just doing my job, that’s all.
    2. Who are these “Pixies” you speak of, Gersh?

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  09:39 PM
  98. Anything by John Phillips Sousa. Ever.

    Always excepting the Flying Circus theme music—that would be awesome to hear at a sporting event.

    Posted by Jeremy Osner  on  05/14  at  10:06 PM
  99. The Liberty Bell March, that is.

    Posted by Jeremy Osner  on  05/14  at  10:09 PM
  100. Gersh, I may be the only one who most prefers Pixies” Death to the Pixies.  Why?  When I need a good crank up of thrashing goodness, I turn it up on “Velouria.”

    hold my head
    we’ll trampoline
    finally through the roof
    on to somewhere near
    and far in time
    her covering
    travelling career
    she can really move
    oh velveteen!

    my velouria, my velouria
    even i’ll adore you
    my velouria

    Must go now.  Have already sucked up much Berube Bandwidth.  Oy.

    Posted by  on  05/14  at  10:27 PM
  101. Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland has been overused by television for sporting events.

    Posted by Randy Paul  on  05/14  at  11:18 PM
  102. “Wind Beneath My Wings” is one of the most utterly cringey songs EVER.

    “Wind Between My Cheeks,” I calls it.

    Posted by  on  05/15  at  10:41 AM
  103. old- “Cold as Ice"-- Foreigner.
    “Rock You Like A Hurricane"-- Scorpions

    new- “Let’s Get It Started"-- Black Eyed Peas
    “I Can Go The Distance"-- Michael Bolton (sporting the ever-brilliant line “I know every mile / Will be worth my while / I can go the distance today!")

    as for the BEST pump-up song ever-- whether it be for sports or for just plain old angst-- is “The Rat” by the Walkmen. No doubt.

    Posted by  on  05/15  at  07:44 PM
  104. Yep, “The Rat” is every bit as good as “Everlong.” Jeez, Nick, this is eerie.  Apparently we both understand that really fast sixteenths are critical to the musical pumping-up process.  I wonder if there’s a gene for that.

    And “Let’s Get it Started” is just perfect for getting it stopped.  Likewise, “Start it Up,” in retrospect, sounds like a touching acknowledgement on the part of the Stones that from 1980 onward, they would require a little extra assistance in that department.

    Posted by Michael  on  05/15  at  10:24 PM
  105. Maybe this is what curlers listen to:



    Posted by Murph  on  05/15  at  10:45 PM
  106. My highschool basketball team used to open their pre-game warm-ups with REO Speedwagon’s “Time for Me to Fly”. I played hockey so I thought it was hilarious. My friends on the basketball team didn’t see it that way. I don’t know how many games it cost them but they hated it. It was completely embarrasing. You see, I went to a private school that was somewhere between tony and white bread. Our team was already fighting the preppie image (which runs somewhat counter to the basketball aesthetic). It didn’t help that we had a conservative Christian basketball coach who seemed not to notice that short shorts were no longer acceptable attire for men. Then to open with the whitest, dorkiest music available. It was hell. For them. As I said, I found it rather enjoyable. At the time, other teams were warming up to rap, their school drum corps, or anything with a beat and a bit of funk. Not our short-short wearing, couldn’t wait for the music to stop so they could crawl back into their skin, dorks. Thanks for the opportunity to relive those happy times!

    Posted by  on  05/16  at  11:25 AM
  107. Is it technically called “Man in Motion,” or “Theme to St. Elmo’s Fire”?  Either way, gag.

    For a truly motivational warmup, nothing beats “Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting,” provided, of course, that nobody is actually Kung-Fu Fighting.

    Posted by jenniebee  on  05/16  at  03:43 PM
  108. i don’t have anything else to add to this thread, you all are so damn clever.  but i suggest for a future thread songs that are overplayed that have come to define bands that in fact had many great songs.

    i nominate “ever fallen in love (with someone you shouldn’t have fallen in love with) by the buzzcocks, if you see what i mean.

    Posted by Robert Green  on  05/16  at  06:06 PM
  109. Hey Michael,

    Sorry to be so late to your party

    Can you set up this thread as a ‘match the comment to the age of the commenter’ quiz?

    My entry:  “I know a little” and “You got that right!” by Skynyrd, right before taking a test…

    Posted by  on  05/18  at  12:33 PM
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