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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

Best and worst stadium songs



AxlRemember the good old days when sports stadium music consisted of a faceless, nameless guy pounding out Lady of Spain on the organ? Then it changed. Someone sang Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Them Goodbye and the next thing you know, we’re being blasted out of our seats by rock 'n’ roll songs that have become just as much of the sports culture as popcorn, hot dogs and the Star-Spangled Banner before every game.

You know them all because you hear them every single time you go to a Rays game or a Lightning game or any sporting event.

So today, we look at stadium songs, jock rock, sports anthems, whatever you want to call them. We look at the songs we hate, the ones we love and the ones that we tell everyone we hate but deep down love.

Ten classic stadium songs we hate
1. Rock and Roll, Part 2
We grew tired of this song about 10 years ago and now can’t listen to it at all knowing its performer, Gary Glitter, is a convicted child molester.
2. Glory Days
Let’s be clear. We love, love, love Bruce Springsteen, but this song is awful. “He could throw that speedball by you. Make you look like a fool boy.’’ Really, Bruce, speedball? Have you ever even watched a baseball game?
3. Blitzkrieg Bop
This Ramone’s classic hit opens with “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!’’ After hearing it 4-billion times, our response is, “No thanks, we’re just going to hang out here.’’
4. Sweet Home Alabama
We’re probably un-American for listing this song, but here’s why: In the song, Lynyrd Skynyrd takes a shot at Neil Young. And any enemy of Neil Young is an enemy of ours.
5. Mony Mony
We hated the original version. We hate the Billy Idol cover even more. In fact, if we were listing all the songs ever written, Idol’s version of this Tommy James train wreck would rank right behind Charlene’s I’ve Never Been to Me, Ray Stevens’ Ahab the Arab and anything by Mike + the Mechanics.
6. Centerfield
Like Springsteen, John Fogerty is fine by us. And when Centerfield came out in 1985, it signified Fogerty’s big comeback. But somehow every high school and minor-league baseball team with a crummy sound system insists on playing this song over. And over. And over. The only time we can actually stand it anymore is when it’s played in Bull Durham.
7. We Are the Champions, Another One Bites the Dust, We Will Rock You
We always thought Queen was a little overrated, but when we hear these songs, we just get annoyed because we believe, deep down, that they wrote these songs specifically to get played in stadiums. That’s cheating.
How did this song become such a stadium mainstay? What, because it has dance moves that a 2-year-old can memorize? So does the Hokey Pokey, the Chicken Dance Song and Macarena. While we’re at it, add those three to the list.
9. Cotton Eye Joe
Quite possibly the most annoying song ever, a cornball mixture of techno and hillbilly, often made worse by some wingnut trying to get on Jumbotron who looks like Larry the Cable Guy. And dances like him, too.
10. Unbelievable
This EMF song pretty much lost us when you hear Andrew Dice Clay singing, “Ohhh!’’

Ten stadium anthems that we still love
1. Welcome to the Jungle

Hands down, by far, no doubt about it the best stadium song ever. If this Guns N’ Roses effort doesn’t get you pumped up when your hear Axl Rose’s monster screech over Slash’s guitar at the beginning, you should be back at the home getting ready for your after-dinner Jell-O.
2. Seven Nation Army
We don’t hear this White Stripes hit at many stadiums, but we have heard it at Tropicana Field and now we wonder why we don’t hear it at more stadiums.
3. The Hockey Song
You know this — ''The good old hockey game, is the best game you can name, and the best game you can name, is the good old hockey game.’’ You can tell that writer Stompin’ Tom Connors actually loves and knows the game.
4. Push It
This Salt-N-Pepa song really serves no purpose at a game, but when you hear “Oohh baby, baby … baby, baby’’ you can’t help but start singing along.
5. Anything by AC/DC
Hells Bells, Shoot to Thrill, You Shook Me All Night Long, Thunderstruck, TNT. Doesn’t matter. We love them all.
6. Start Me Up
True, this is about the 100th-best song the Rolling Stones ever did, but if you don’t hear it at the start of a game, it feels like something’s wrong, like you locked you keys in your car or left the oven on or something.
7. Sirius
This is the Alan Parsons song that the Chicago Bulls play when they introduce the starting lineups. You only hear the first couple minutes, but that’s enough. Every time we hear it, we think of Michael Jordan.
8. Enter Sandman
The buildup in the first minute of this Metallica song gets you so fired up that you’re ready to put on some pads and go hit somebody.
9. Crazy Train
If you can’t find a copy of Enter Sandman, this Ozzy Osbourne song will do the trick. Hey, it was the theme of the New England Patriots and it worked out pretty well for them.
10. Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Still a classic. Seriously, do you know anybody who doesn’t like this song?

Five guilty pleasures (songs that we’re embarrassed to admit we still like)
1. Kiss Me

Stadiums always play this Sixpence None the Richer song when they put couples on the screen and force them to kiss. We especially like it when they show a couple not romantically involved. You can tell the guy is up for a smooch and actually thinks for a second that he might get one, but the girl shakes her head, waves her hands and mouths the words, “We’re just friends.’’
2. Celebration
Kool & the Gang
3. Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It
Will Smith
4. We Like to Party
5. U Can’t Touch This
MC Hammer

[Last modified: Monday, June 14, 2010 2:42pm]


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