Top 10 Tuesday: The Ten Best Sports Team Anthems
By Leo Howell
Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports 10/1/2011
It’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday. This week, we’re going to take a look at the 10 best sports team anthems. I will be a bit broad with my definition of an anthem here, and basically define this category as “A song about a sports team, or a song that fans of a sports team identify strongly with.” Let’s start with a few that didn’t make the cut.
Hey, Hey, Tampa Bay – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The ultimate 70’s/80’s pop hit about our beloved Buccaneers just doesn’t stand the test of time. Check out the YouTube video linked above and you’ll find out really soon just how awkward the song sounds 35 years later.
(Insert name of team) #1! – Various Teams
I have heard multiple teams that use this song, but I have decided to link to my favorite version, the one that celebrates just how “Number One” the Houston Oilers were. RIP, Oilers.
You’ll Never Walk Alone – Liverpool FC and Celtic FC, among others
This is actually a pretty epic song, but it doesn’t get me ready for football/soccer. Plus, I really, really like to hate on Liverpool. So the song doesn’t make the cut for the top 10, but check it out. I’m sure it raises goosebumps when you hear all the fans singing it together in person.
And now for the top 10!
10. New York, New York – New York Yankees
The Yankees lucked into having one of the most legendary singers of all time give them the perfect anthem that fits their team so well. A rich, old school song for a team that makes a living by spending and winning the old school way. Frank Sinatra’s New York New York is painful to hear as a Rays fan, but is admittedly a great team anthem.
9. Hymns and Arias – Swansea City AFC
I will admit to a bit of homerism including this song on the list, but it gives me goosebumps when I hear it. The true sign of how patriotic soccer can be, Welsh club Swansea City represents itself by singing the hit tune of a Welsh Comedian. The song was ironically meant to be a anthem for Welsh rugby matches, but caught on with the Swans over time, as well. The chorus even has a reference to an old Welsh Christmas Carol sung in the original language. But that’s not the only misplaced song to catch on with a soccer team…
8. Forever Blowing Bubbles – West Ham United
“I’m forever blowing bubbles/Pretty bubbles in the air/They fly so high, nearly reach the sky/Then like my dreams they fade and die” sounds like the ironic humor you might find in a Monty Python movie. But the Hammers of West Ham United have claimed it as their anthem, and it’s surprisingly epic to hear. Fans will blow bubbles and sing their teams’ song as they prepare for a match or celebrate a win. Not sure why such a depressing chorus is used, but West Ham hasn’t been known as the model of consistency lately, either.
7. Welcome to Tampa – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The updated Buccaneers fight song was more entertaining than the 80’s version, and came in the lead up to the Buccaneers’ best season in 2002. “Cuz the Glazers want a Super Bowl Ring this year” was the chorus of a song that would go on to be the anthem of the NFL Champion Pewter Pirates. The rapper parodied “Welcome to Atlanta” originally made famous by Jermaine Dupree and Ludacris, and instead of hearing the “King of the South” rap about his distaste for police, “Welcome to Tampa” features a shoutout for most of the key players of the Tampa Bay roster in 2002. “Sapp, Brooks, John Lynch and all 3 Johnsons…” (Bonus points for anyone who can name all 3 Johnsons he refers to, without cheating)
Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
6. The Tomahawk Chop – Atlanta Braves and Florida State Seminoles
While it’s not a true, full-length song, the war chant and chop that spurs on these Native American named teams is amazing to hear. A crowd full of fans joined in the chant makes for an incredible atmosphere, and because there’s no words to learn, it catches on quickly and gets loud in a hurry.
5. Enter Sandman – Virginia Tech Hokies
This is one you have to see first hand to believe. The Hokie faithful go wild for Enter Sandman by Metallica, and the press box wisely plays it when the fans need to get fired up.
4. Zombie Nation – Boston Bruins
Known to Bruins fans as the goal song, this really weird electronic song is the anthem of celebration for every time the B’s score a goal. It has spread to other venues as well, and is certainly a fun song for getting a crowd hyped up, but the Bruins certainly are most well known for this strange sports anthem.
3. Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Chicago Cubs
There may be no better tradition in baseball’s most traditional sport. Not the best song ever written, but it does its job to bring some joy to a fanbase that needs all the joy it can get lately.
2. Jump Around – Wisconsin Badgers
When the crowd at Camp Randall Stadium gets into it, they make for the greatest scene in all of sports. Even opposing players get into it. The song has been used in stadiums and arenas everywhere, but no one does it like the Badgers. If you’ve never seen it before, check out the video. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.
You might not know the name of the song. But you know the song. “FROM NORTH CAROLINA, Number 23, Michael Jordan!” is really all you need to know here. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, click the link above.
So what did I miss? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think are some of the best sports team anthems!