There’s the immortal “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”. Terry Cashman had “Talkin’ Baseball”. CCR frontman John Fogerty scored a solo hit with “Center Field”. You can find “Van Lingle Mungo” in jazz fake books. As befits a game with 150+ years of history behind it, baseball has inspired many musical musings. Even basketball, a game with a much smaller historical footprint, has made something of a mark on the musical landscape: Grover Washington Jr.’s “Let It Flow (For Doctor J)”. Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball”. And…this thing.
But football hasn’t had the same impact in the world of music as the other two major American team sports. Which is not to say there’s been no impact whatsoever. If we look closer, we can find some instances where gridiron and melody crossed streams in, shall we say, notable instances. So as we delve into the week nine picks, let’s look at the ways in which football and music have merged over the decades.
Kansas City @ Dallas – the Zeke suspension finally rears its head
Denver @ Philadelphia – I’d say take the under if this was played in Denver
Oakland @ Miami – on the bright side, they’ll score some points this week
“The Autumn Wind”. Maybe you didn’t know it by name, but if you grew up with NFL Films Presents, you know it by heart. It’s even more stirring with John Facenda’s narration setting the scene. Here, restart the music and read this passage, imagining it in Facenda’s voice:
With February’s frigid chill in it’s full surge, Glibertarians.com entered the World Wide Web with a savage force equalled by few. Armed with world-class misanthropy and supported by a compliment of orphans, the Glibs contributors hit the ground running in their inaugural campaign. Swiss Servator’s signature narrowed gazes condemned rank punnery and facile jokes with ease. Sloopy’s sports linkage and fierce Ohio State fandom set a precise tone every morning. Heroic Mulatto’s YouTube finds seldom failed to shake the reader from his doldrums. And Sugarfree’s lurid, frank depictions of political pique and peccadillo shocked and appalled even the most jaded of readers.
Cincinnati @ Jacksonville – The Jags defensive front will rule the day
Baltimore @ Tennessee – The Ravens can’t win on the road if the opponent is worth a damn
The Steelers might have a bye this week, but by God’s grace, we’ll never have a bye from the musical stylings of Terry Bradshaw. If I’m being honest, I like his singing better than his play at QB. 212 TDs, 210 INTs, 51.9% completion percentage? Jeez.
Indianapolis @ Houston – Apparently, Matt Schaub is destined to own the Texans’ QB records forever
Cincinnati @ Jacksonville – The Jags formidable defense shines at home
Baltimore @ Tennessee
Before they were the Tennessee Titans, they were the Tennessee Oilers. Before that, they were the Houston Oilers. And they had a famous fight song. Being a creative musician-type myself, I can only marvel at the way the songwriter ingeniously crafted a sound so reminiscent of the Bayou City. The way the lyrics pull the listener into Harris County with a charm and specificity worthy of Arlen, Sondheim, Dylan…well, give it a listen and prepare to be amazed.
Buffalo 21 @ NY Jets 34 (F – 11/2)
Oakland @ Miami
I’ve shared this before, but it’s definitely worth a repost. To the extent that I have a favorite team, it’s the Houston Texans; I don’t exactly live and die with the results of their games. But teenaged Junior definitely died with each of those four straight Super Bowl losses. That was the last time I could honestly say I had a favorite football team, and I miss those days.
Arizona @ San Francisco – Into the win column, boys!
LA Rams @ NY Giants – Your week nine upset special
Washington @ Seattle – The Redskins’ weaknesses are starting to show
Without any notable song I can connect to this division, this seems as good a time as any to discuss “Heavy Action”. It wasn’t even written for football, but for NFL fans it is inextricably linked to the gridiron game. “Heavy Action” has been a part of NFL TV broadcasts for 42 years and counting. Still don’t know what it is? Alright, here’s your link.
I’m hosting a Super Bowl party at my apartment come February. Fair warning: “Heavy Action” will be playing on a continuous loop, and the party starts at 10 AM.
Detroit @ Green Bay – On the plus side, the Ravens matchup that our OMWC and SP will attend is looking up for the Ravens
The year was 1985, and 1985 in the NFL was all about the Chicago Bears. For good and for…whatever this was. Honestly, “The Superbowl Shuffle” was such a masterpiece of cringe it deserves its own post. Perhaps later…?
Atlanta @ Carolina – The Falcons’ slide continues…
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans – …as does the Saints surge
I’ll come clean and admit that I’m running out of songs. It’s not my fault; the teams in the NFC South don’t have much of a musical heritage. In Carolina, they bang a bass drum before games; the Atlanta Falcons had ties to MC Hammer in the early 90s, which is a much greater shame than their Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. Tampa Bay’s formative years were far too embarrassing to write songs about, and while New Orleans is world-famous for a distinctive style of jazz, it hasn’t really bled into the football team. So here’s some Super Bowl halftime music from Up With People to fill the void.
Kansas City @ Dalllas
Denver @ Philadelphia
LA Rams @ NY Giants
Washington @ Seattle
In honor of the team with the best record in the NFL, here’s an appropriate song.
Week 8: 10-2 (Yeeeeeaaah, boyeeee!)