Music is such an integral element of a player's pregame ritual.
For the past few weeks, I've been compiling a playlist from some of the AFC East's biggest names in hopes of providing readers a little glimpse into what gets players focused and their blood coursing.
Not everybody could provide a specific song for the playlist.
"I don't know if I technically have a go-to song, but I have a go-to artist," Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington said. "It would be Lil Wayne. I hit his beats. I'm more of a beat kind of guy than a lyrical guy. The beat is exciting, a party kind of beat. It gets you hyped and puts you in that mood."
Ricky Williams couldn't give me a song for the list because he listens to music devoid of lyrics.
"I don't listen to music when I'm in the locker room because it blocks me out from everything that's going on," Williams said. "On the bus from the hotel to the stadium I listen to ambient music, not a lot of words, just a beat with a little chanting. Something like you might hear at Starbucks. It's abstract and helps me get into a certain frame of mind."
Perhaps a couple seats away on the same charter bus, Dolphins left tackle Jake Long is listening to genres substantially more common around the NFL.
"On the drive in I'll listen to some country and relax a little bit," Long said. "When I'm getting taped I'll listen to AC/DC and Kid Rock and Metallica and Black Label Society, some hardcore stuff to get the juices flowing and get me excited."
Here's your AFC East pregame playlist, to which ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss contributed:
"Ambitionz as a Ridah" by Tupac Shakur (Bills receiver Lee Evans): "I've been listening to it since my college days. It's my all-time, go-to game day song. It gets me hyped."
"Thunderstruck" by AC/DC (Dolphins left tackle Jake Long): "I listen to it a lot. That one gets me going."
"Turn my Swag On" by Soldier Boy (Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski): "I just listen to the top hip-hop music."
"U Don't Know Me" by TI (Jets right tackle Damien Woody)
"Up All Night" by Drake (Bills safety Donte Whitner): "There's a line that song that says 'I love my team.' Anything that correlates with getting ready to play football."
"Right Above It" by Lil Wayne and Drake (Patriots safety Patrick Chung)
"The Frayed End of Sanity" by Metallica (Jets center Nick Mangold)
"Freak on a Leash" by Korn (Bills linebacker Paul Posluszny): "Not so much the words, but the instruments, the drums and guitars. I like how it builds up as the song goes on. It gets me pumped up."
"One Love" by Bob Marley (Jets safety Jim Leonhard): "I don't want to waste all of my energy in the pregame. You need some songs to calm you down, keep it mellow. Then maybe the next song jacks you up again."
"Tears of Joy" by Rick Ross (Patriots running back Fred Taylor): "A lot of times we don't realize we have people looking up to us. It puts me in a place where I remember my childhood, out there playing. Then I end up here. That song reminds me to ask 'What did I do to deserve this?' It gets me in one of those 'Nobody better mess with me' moods.' "
"Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi (Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington): "Old school."
"Lose Yourself" by Eminem (Jets tight end Dustin Keller)
"Jesus is All" by Fred Hammonds (Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby): "Just to get my soul right."
"I'm a King" by TI (Bills running back Fred Jackson)
"Public Service Announcement" by Jay-Z (Jets outside linebacker Jason Taylor)