I like to think of myself as observant when it comes to taking in a sporting event. Whether it is in a full stadium of fans or in a near empty building. One of the aspects that always holds my attention is the music selection. In my opinion the music at a sporting event should complement the attitude of the fans and on some occasions enhance the experience. In no way should this translate to playing the same redundant, overused, and downright annoying songs during the breaks in the action. Submitted for your approval or your disdain, here are the top ten stadium songs which we would rather stab our eardrums with a rusty spork than listen to again while trying to enjoy the game. This is not necessarily a knock on the songs themslves, I am not one to rag on anyone's taste in music, some are songs I had enjoyed, some were not on my playlists so to speak, but all are now melodies I want stricken from stadiums everywhere.
10. "Sweet Caroline"- Neil Diamond
I have no problem with Neil Diamond, and I mean that. The man can croon, and he still is rocking decades later. He even lost $150 million in his divorce and said of his ex-wife, "She's worth every penny." Furthermore I even enjoy this song, but it has turned into one of those where every stadium thinks it is their special little tradition to play it during the game. Look no further than Boston Red Sox fans screaming it out. Down here in North Carolina, people seem to think that they have lordship over the song even though Diamond is clearly speaking of a woman he probably had intimate relations with and not the Tarheel state. I prefer Neil's story behind the song in Will Ferrell's words:
When everyone screams out the "Oh,Oh,Oh" I want to be like Glenn Guglia in the Wedding Singer and say, "Ok, great, we all know the words to the song."
9. "Hell's Bells"- ACDC
I know it seems blasphemous to list a group such as ACDC on this list and it really is not their fault, but this song has become the token "our team is tough and mean and this is the play where we prove it" song. It usually occurs on a football field on third down when the home stadium wants the crowd to get into the game. The problem as been that it has begun being played on every third down at every stadium. Trevor Hoffman came out to the song while he was in San Diego which was cool because that was his thing, but then everyone added the song to the stadium playlist and played it early and often during the games. The final straw may have been when ESPN seemingly bought the entire ACDC collection and began using it in commercials, pre-game line-ups, going to commercial breaks, and anything else they could slap it on. I know ACDC rocks and all that, but I would like to see this song relegated to concerts, VH1 countdowns, and Guitar Hero.
8. "Welcome to the Jungle"- Guns N' Roses
As soon as this song starts everyone knows what it is. I kind of feel bad for the Bengals, and not just in the usual they suck ever since Boomer left way, when I see what has happened to this song inside the sports arena. It used to have relevance and meaning, you see the Bengals stadium was refered to as the jungle because they were named after tigers and such. Like many songs at the bottom of this list, I did not mind it on its own, but now it is the generic go-to song for almost every kick-off, tip-off, team taking the field, or any other beginning of a sporting event. I remember when the video came out they would not show it on daytime television because of the "scary" images it portrayed. Like any song, hearing it over and over again and seeing throngs of people enjoying it dulls the edge. Besides there are far better GNR songs to play at our sporting events and I'm not talking about November Rain.
7. "Imperial March"- Star Wars(John Williams)
This one is mainly featured in college games where bands attempt to blow people away by playing the Darth Vader theme from the movies. Oh no look out, that team has the toughened spirit of a young Hayden Christensen! The song used to represent something kind of cool back in the day, but now it is way overplayed and is sadly the staple of many college bands in football and basketball except for Wisconsin, where I believe their main staple is "Nothing But A Good Time". The other thing that is bothersome about this one is that the bands usually sound like crap when playing the march, which takes away from its overall effect. The Lego band does it much better anyway:
6. "Cotton Eye Joe"- Rednex
There really is no explanation required. The song grates on your ears and you end up wanting to strangle someone. I prefer not to look around when this song comes on because you are almost guaranteed to see a large, overweight, white person jumping around to this tune. I would like the youtube video so you could relive the horror of the song, but even the video is too much to take, even with a girl on a mechanical bull, you can look here(slightly NSFW) if you are into that sort of thing, sicko.
5. "Unbelievable" -EMF
Wow, did you see that play! That is one of the most exciting plays I have ever seen transpire on a competitive field of play, if only there was some way to express my amazement through song. This song needs to die. I do not know if the sound guys at the stadium think they are obliged to play a song like this after some big pay or they think it is clever given the title or what, but maybe there are other songs that can fit the bill. This song was a hit back in the 1990s and had a good run, but once it began to get overplayed ad nauseum it became a hated moment anytime it blared on the sound system. Also annoying is when they play just the soundbite of the singer(if that's called singing) saying the song title. It hit a new all-time low when some ad wizards gave us crumbelievable...
4. "Whoomp There It Is"- Tag Team/ "Who Let the Dogs Out"- Baha Men
These two songs belong together because they are both equal in their surge into pop culture and my desire to burn every copy of them still in existence. You really would think that the songs would go away after their initial popularity, yet you are still likely to hear either one at some point in a sports season. Can these songs just go to their rightful place in the music graveyard with the Macarena? It just goes to show make a mockery of what hip-hop is supposed to be, mix in snazzy catch-phrase, and put it to a roughly pop beat and there you go, a one-hit wonder made in heaven. Still don't think these songs are outdated and make white people look awkward? I give you Mitt Romney..
3. "YMCA"- The Village People
It is somewhat inconceivable that a song like this still finds its way into sports venues around the country year after year. I don't think most people realize what the song is all about. It is not about how great your local YMCA is for harnassing the energy of a youthful generation of males doing various physical activities and good deeds, it's about how great it is to head down to the YMCA and pick up guys. Before you rush to judgment, no this is not a slam on gays or gay culture, it is a slam n hearing this song while I'm trying to enjoy a sporting event. I guess it makes some people feel great to be able to master the complex and secretive dance that is involved with song. In truth the "dance" is not even a dance it is a series of arm gestures. I have no beef with the Village People or their fine catalog of work, but save this song for the weddings, or the 7th-grade dance, or the dancefloor, not for time-killing during a break in the action at a sporting event.
And in case you are wondering, yes I have danced to this song once in my life. It was on a cruise right after I graduated from college. I was involved in a 'Olympics' competition on the boat featuring various random events and our team needed a win in this event for the points, which was coming up with a unique dance to this song. Luckily one of our group members had experience dancing to the tune from when she was younger in a dance class(she was the Indian) and gave us the choreography. Did we win that event? Damn right.
2. "Kernkraft 400"- Zombie Nation
The name of this song may not be recognizable, but as soon as you hear it you know what it is. This song has managed to infiltrate every level of sporting events. It is played all the time, in a variety of situations: when something good happens, during a timeout, when a rally is taking place, before kickoff, etc. The song has quickly dethroned Darude's "Sandstorm" as the techno king of overplayed sports anthems. Still wondering what song I'm speaking of, take a look at some old resident evil clips and listen:
1. "Rock and Roll Part 2"- Gary Glitter
Die! Why won't this song die! If you have been watching/attending sporting events over the past 25 some odd years like I have then you have heard this song more times than you probably care to. Whether it is pumped into the stadium by loudspeaker or a college band is blowing it shrilly from their brass, I cannot stand this song. I'm guessing the reason it caught on so well is the part where everyone can shout out "Hey!" over and over again. I have come to accept there is no getting away from this song and each time I hear it the walls of my skull ache in agony. Even when Gary Glitter ran into "legal" trouble the song could not be quelled in the stadiums. Play the video for the song if you must, if not just to remind you of how annoying it is, then to wonder how people can be amazed that this man has done bad things to children. I can honestly say the mark Gary Glitter is leaving on the world has not made it a better place, for sports fans or for children.