From fan-produced team songs to the era when players gathered to perform fight songs together, this is some musical gold right here.
The NFL comes back tonight. And it’s all thanks to their ability to take one of the world’s richest pies and figure out a way to redivide it so the owners could celebrate in Monty Burns “We’re slightly richer!” style. I wanted to do an NFL-themed list… but one that wouldn’t alienate non-football fans the way my annual NFL picks lists oft do.
I almost never post a list where my two overarching thoughts are “I know I missed a lot of great options” and “people are going to effing murder me over this.” In fact, this list might be the first where I’ve believed both of those to be true.
It’s amazing just how many songs have been made through the years in tribute to NFL teams — or, in some cases, by the teams themselves. I picked 11 out of about 500 I could find… and probably 1,000 more that never crossed my radar. So, by all means, if I missed a classic, send it along for the follow-up list.
Two notes. One, I didn’t include the Super Bowl Shuffle because everyone knows it and it just would’ve been taking up a spot of another lesser-known song. And two, as a matter of policy, no Wiz Khalifa Black and Yellow parodies are on here. So there’s no Detroit Blue and Silver or Green Bay Green and Yellow or Jacksonville I Guess That’s a Sea Foam Teal and I Have No Idea What Our Other Color Is.
And now, 11 of the most brilliant and ridiculous NFL team tribute songs ever made. Enjoy.
1 | T-Pain’s Miami Dolphins Fight Song – Miami Dolphins (2009)
This is T-Pain’s version of the Miami Dolphins fight song (which, apparently, they stole from the Houston Oilers). Sure it’s repetitive and gratuitously auto-tuned to death… but I dare you to listen to it and then NOT find yourself singing it. Seriously. I started researching this list back on Tuesday and I have been singing the T-Pain version of the Miami Dolphins fight song on and off ever since. And I am completely indifferent toward the Dolphins (making them, by the way, the only one of Miami’s three big sports teams that I don’t have a vendetta against).
2 | Cuz the Blue Wave is on a Roll – Seattle Seahawks (1985)
Personally, I adore watching a video made by an NFL team that makes you nervously anticipate a gay porn scene breaking out at any moment.
3 | Steelers Ghostbusters – Pittsburgh Steelers (1995)
Any Ghostbusters parody that squeezes in organic shout-outs to Kordell Stewart and Neil O’Donnell makes this list. Especially a Ghostbusters parody made in the mid ’90s. Yes, I’m a Clevelander… but I’m a Ray Parker Jr. devotee first.
4 | Bernie, Bernie – Cleveland Browns (1986)
I get accused often of being Cleverocentric, which I can be — but this song would’ve made this list regardless of what city I was from. A lazy, low-energy Louie, Louie parody idol worshipping at the altar of Bernie Kosar? Who WOULDN’T want to hear that song?
(On a side note: My personal favorite Cleveland Browns song is from when the franchise came back in 1999 and Cleveland’s own Michael Stanley Band released the tremendous Here We Go Again. Not right for this list; right for me to listen to regularly until the day I die.)
5 | Fear Da Tiger – Cincinnati Bengals (2005)
It’s like another fine ’80s NFL team rap trainwreck — only it was made six years ago.
6 | Ram It – Los Angeles Rams (1986)
Set your phasers to double entendre! Many, but not all, of the double entendres seem intentional, for what it’s worth — I like to focus on the ones that seem unintentional. Example: One of the Rams players with a Kenny Loggins beard rapping: “I like to ram it, as you can see, nobody loves rammin’ anymore than me.”
(Make sure to stick around for Eric Dickerson’s cameo late in the video. He clearly didn’t show up the day they filmed this so it’s all done against a Rams helmet logo, like a WWF wrestler cutting a promo in the ’80s.)
7 | Red, White and Blue – Buffalo Bills (2011)
A well-done Bills tribute song over Skynyrd’s Red, White and Blue. I include it on the list because I’m not a Bills fan, but the emotional connection I made while listening to this song recount the Bills Super Bowl era made me want to kill myself.
8 | Silver and Black Attack – Los Angeles Raiders (1986)
I was considering this Ice Cube song Raider Nation… only he made it in 2009, two decades too late. This song should’ve been made by Ice Cube in his “Doughboy/NWA/St. Ides commercials” era… not his “Are We There Yet?/Tyler Perry’s buddy/Coors Light commercials” era.
So instead, enjoy Howie Long’s complete lack of rhythm as he painfully raps a long solo… and Marcus Allen being only slightly better.
9 | Hey, Hey Tampa Bay! – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1979)
My high school was very bad at football. We had a line in our fight song that went “We may win or lose the game, but we’ve got spirit just the same.” Years later, I’d tell my friend Gabe that lyric and he flipped out at that lack of competitiveness. “That’s a FIGHT song?” But, to my school’s credit, we were realistic.
And so was Tampa Bay. In the catchy original fight song for their very, very shaky expansion team they prominently featured the lyric: “We’re in trouble, that’s OK. We can pull it out! Because we know we’re on the top, we stand up, stand up and SHOUT!” Which is basically like a pro football team absorbing the “we may win or lose but we’ve got spirit” mantra. Good on you, Tampa Bay.
10 | Can’t Touch Us – Miami Dolphins (1991)
I really didn’t want to include two songs from the same team. But this one (and the previous one) just might be my two favorites on the entire list. This combines the best in NFL team rapping with the best in NFL song parody. A white guy (NOT Dan Marino) rapping MC Hammer parody lyrics… hefty linemen in Zubaz pants… a keytar… this really has it all.
Ya know, between these two Dolphins songs, Ace Ventura, and that one year before Ricky Williams went crazy that he carried me to a fantasy victory when I desperately needed the money, I could really see myself accidentally becoming a Dolphins fan.
11 | Miami – Minnesota Vikings (1998)
I hate to pile on the 1998 Vikings. But this unbelievable Will Smith parody was made in preparations for them to take their 15-1 regular season record and dominating team to the Super Bowl in Miami. Someone channel John Cusack and hold a boombox over your head to blast this outside of Gary Anderson’s house.
And, again, I know FOR A FACT I missed a great song for your team, so please send in a link non-confrontationally.