The best sports songs fire everyone up, from athletes to fans.
The music gets the blood flowing, enhancing the atmosphere by getting the crowd ready to cheer and the players excited to compete.
Some songs have been around for more than a century, while some have existed for just a few years.
Some are classic, some are appropriated to fit a tradition (i.e. “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway Park) and some should never be heard anywhere at anytime (i.e. “Who Let the Dogs Out” and “YMCA”).
Here are ten of the best sports songs ever.
10. “Enter Sandman,” Metallica. If it’s good enough for Mariano Rivera, the New York Yankees’ All-Star relief pitcher who enters each game to this music, it should be good enough for everyone.
9. “Thunderstruck,” AC/DC. Really, any song by AC/DC would do from “Hell’s Bells” to “Back in Black.” Personally, “Thunderstruck” strikes a chord because the American League champion Detroit Tigers began the game with this song.
8. “We Will Rock You,” Queen. Like AC/DC, Queen has a number of songs that are great for sports, including “We Are the Champions.” But “We Will Rock You” works from Little League to the major leagues, from football to hockey, and it can be chanted on its own without any accompaniment.
7. “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky),” Bill Conti. Sure, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” still resonates at arenas across the country. But “Gonna Fly Now” is the ultimate underdog song, one that makes fans believe victory is always possible.
6. “Centerfield,” John Fogerty. This song gave hope to Little League outfielders everywhere, transforming a position where lesser athletes were stuck into a cool place to play. Now, “Centerfield” just makes you want to play ball.
5. “Jump Around,” House of Pain. Fans and players start jumping when House of Pain’s hit blares from the speakers. It gets the crowd amped to cheer and athletes pumped to play. The ultimate kickoff song, though “Welcome to the Jungle” is a good runner-up.
4. “Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye),” Steam. The gloating song. Although not one that exemplifies good sportsmanship, “Na Na Hey Hey” seals a victory with an exclamation point.
3. “Shout,” The Isley Brothers. Fans can sing along, and they don’t even need to know the words. Perfect for everything from the NHL to the NFL to MLB and from the minors to the majors.
2. “The Victors.” Some will argue that there are better college fight songs, such as “On Wisconsin.” Some will say they can’t stand Michigan. But the “Victors” symbolizes college football, stirring passions that are true throughout the nation. For Michigan haters, sing it to mock the Wolverines every time they lose. That gives it a satisfying kick.
1. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” An oldie but goodie. Maybe it doesn’t amp players up, but it invokes family, community, teamwork and tradition, traits that transcend baseball and sports.