To commemorate the release of ESPN The Magazine's Feb. 18 Music Issue, this week we will be taking a look back at some of the worst sports-related music moments of all time.
Every great sports team needs a song to immortalize its greatness, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong.
By now, your local JV basketball team has probably already uploaded some "rap anthem" to YouTube, hoping to become the next viral sensation. Tell those whippersnappers they have a huge mountain to fall down if they ever want to be remembered as one of the worst team anthems of all time. Their forefathers have set a very low bar, indeed.
We went back to the ’80s heyday of terrible sports music to put together this list of songs that are so bad that they're ... yeah, they're pretty much bad.
5. "Super Bowl Shuffle" by the Chicago Bears (1985)
• Sample lyric: “Now I'm as smooth as a chocolate swirl/I dance a little funky, so watch me girl/There's not one here that does it like me/My Super Bowl Shuffle will set you free”
The song that started it all. This is basically the sports anthem equivalent of the Beatles' arriving at JFK Airport in 1964. Or something like that. But the Bears’ song, recorded prior to their 1985 Super Bowl win, did spark sports' cheesy-anthem trend. Unlike the copycats that followed, the "Shuffle" was a mainstream hit, peaking at No. 41 on the Billboard chart and even earning the team a Grammy nomination. Yes, you read that correctly. And you were mad that "Call Me Maybe" got nominated this year ...
4. "Red Hot" by the Calgary Flames (1987)
• Sample lyric: “You can’t touch a flame when it’s red hot/You can’t put the fire out”
If you need to explain the 1980s to someone and have only 3 minutes, 45 seconds to do so, this is the video you should show them. Lip-syncing! Pretending to play instruments! Mullets! Creepy mustaches! Synthesizers! Inexplicable intensity! This video has it all.
3. "The Seminole Rap" by the Florida State Football Team (1988)
• Sample lyric: “Hey, we are the Seminoles of Florida State/We know we’re good, some say we’re great/Our goal is simple: best in the land/Rocking to the beat of the Marchin’ Chiefs band”
Released before the start of the 1988 season, the preseason No. 1-ranked Florida State football team decided to put its PG-rated trash-talking to a beat. Following the tradition of seemingly every football team in the 1980s, the Noles declared their prowess using an awkward, rhythm-less pseudo-rap cadence. Unfortunately, Florida State seemed to put more effort in its rap and video than football and was completely manhandled, 31-0, by Miami in its season opener. Probably because the Canes wanted to ensure we wouldn’t be subjected to another FSU rap. (Note: This video might also be blamed for Deion Sanders' thinking he could pursue a music career.)
2. "Buddy’s Watchin You" by the Philadelphia Eagles (1988)
• Sample lyric: “I can kick field goals/Am I nervous? Yeah, I suppose/I win the game by hitting the mark/This game’s over before it starts”
You can’t really blame the Eagles for this. It was practically a requirement for football teams to have a song by this point. In fact, maybe we should give them credit for resisting the urge to release one for almost three years. On the other hand, it took them three years to put this together? (Spoiler alert: For maximum LOLs, skip ahead to the 1:03 mark. It involves a kicker trying to rap.)
1. "Ram It" by the L.A. Rams (1986)
• Sample lyric: “I like to ram it, as you can see/Nobody likes ramming more than me”
This song and video are so tragically bad, they’re almost genius. Or just really, really bad. We’re not sure which is worse here -- the painful-to-watch choreography or the possibility that the players are unaware of the poorly disguised sexual innuendo laced throughout the entire song. Either way, the combination of the lyrics, the dance moves and the low-budget production value easily vaults "Ram It" to the top spot on this countdown. Congrats, guys. You earned it.