When the Dolphins and Steelers take the field to inaugurate the 2006 season, they will do so amid much pomp and circumstance. Cheerleaders shall cheer. Kickers shall kick. John Madden shall claw at the clasp of his trousers, sighing in frustration when his mayonnaise-slicked digits render the task unfeasible.
|Hey, you're gone! Gary Glitter gets the boot. (Provided to SportsLine)|
As a result, the NFL has instructed its stadium P.A. guys and gals to refrain from playing the song. Doing so would send the wrong message, as opposed to allowing Chris Henry to take the field after an offseason spent waving guns around and getting popped for drunken driving.
Anyway, the real issue here is that stadium music has become incredibly stale.
You hear the same eight songs at a Giants football game that you do at a Giants baseball game. The Arizona and St. Louis Cardinals share both an avian moniker and an affinity for Gonna Fly Now (from Rocky). I've never attended a Cleveland Browns game -- and the good Lord willing, I never will -- but I bet a shiny nickel that Bachman-Turner Overdrive's Taking Care of Business is the first song played following those rare instances in which an opponent's third-down effort is met with more than token resistance.
So here are a few other musical suggestions for the suddenly Glitter-free NFL. Get ready for this ...
Add: No Surrender, by Bruce Springsteen. Forget the driving backbeat and punchy, nostalgic verses. It is simply not possible to find a chorus more in line with the tightly monitored lunacy the NFL encourages than "we made a promise we swore we'd always remember/no retreat, baby, no surrender."
Ditch: Born to Be Wild, by Steppenwolf. Along those same lines, "Like a true nature child/we were born, born to be wild" means nuthin' to nobody, outside of commune dwellers perpetually on the lookout for a poncho and some kind bud. Take a bath, you damn hippie.
Get it on: Naughty By Nature's O.P.P.. That stands for "Other People's Punters," right? The sound you just heard was Dave Zastudil's heart happily thumping beneath its Under Armour.
Get it off: Baha Men's Who Let the Dogs Out. I'll tell you who let the dogs out, Doris -- your demented old bat of a mother. Separately, remember when the Metsies hired these guys to play before a World Series game in 2000? It will take five consecutive championships and maybe a top-three showing at the Kentucky Derby before the franchise lives that fateful choice down.
Blast: It's Raining Men, by the Weather Girls. Nobody wants to hear this song, ever, in a stadium or at a day spa or during psychological warfare designed to spring a wayward dictator from his heavily fortified compound. But let's say you're the music coordinator for the Bengals. Your team has been manhandled by the Steelers for something in the neighborhood of 162 consecutive seasons. When the Steelers defense runs through the Paul Brown Stadium tunnel on Dec. 31, why not greet them with the chorus of It's Raining Men? It's not like you can piss off Joey Porter beyond his naturally feral state, anyway.
Pass: Chumbawamba's Tubthumping (the "I get knocked down, but I get up again" song). Of course, the NFL might take issue with the verses about vodka and whiskey drinks, and initiate a search for upbeat songs that mention Tang in their chorus. The league oughta just put Tipper Gore on the payroll and let her parse Whoomp! (There It Is) and I Like It Like That for potentially objectionable lyric content.
Crank: Song 2, by Blur. Woo-hoo, indeed. A general rule: The louder the song, the less it matters what message or sentiment it attempts to convey.