Awesome Music: Sports
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- Some of the most stirring and epic music comes from the soundtracks of NFL Films— especially those composed by Tom Hedden, David Robidoux, and Sam Spence. Perhaps the crowning example is Spence's "The Equalizer"; listen also to the even more Crazy Awesome Da Riffs Remix.
- The opening theme of the NFL on FOX. Inverted when it's being used for sports that it was not intended for at all (e.g. baseball, the "other" football, and golf of all things).
- Honorary mention goes to a marching band remix that Fox has used for college football and basketball.
- All of the other Fox themes have incorporated musical tropes from the NFL theme; such as the MLB theme (still used for FSN and Fox Sports 1 games), and the former NASCAR variant.
- NBC's Sunday Night Football theme is pretty damn epic. Not surprising considering it was composed by John Williams.
- The background song used when SNF recaps its first batch of the day's early games is also great for getting you pumped for football.
- The opening theme, as sung by Faith Hill (and, earlier, P!nk), was done To the Tune Of "I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett. The current Carrie Underwood version is a Suspiciously Similar Song. The lyrics are changed every week to fit the players. An example. Not to mention the gratuitous Product Placement.
- Related to the NFL: For some reason, ESPN uses two different themes for showing NFL highlights on SportsCenter. The reason this is so inexplicable is because one of them is so awesome it sounds like it came straight out of Super Smash Bros., and the other one isn't.
- ESPN and NFL: THIS theme song.
- The NFL on CBS used ES Posthumus to create this song for their weekly theme, but the really Awesome Music was the use of the same group's "Unstoppable" for the epic opening to the 2008 AFC Championship Game.
- Which was only topped when CBS provided a mashup between the ES Posthumus track and Jay-Z and Rihanna's "Run This Town" for Super Bowl XLIV. (download link)
- Think the Jay-Z and Rihanna mashup was great? Super Bowl XLVII takes it Up to Eleven when ES Posthumus gets mashed up with Queen.
- When CBS took over Thursday Night Football, one of the ES Posthumus composers penned a brand new theme which manages to be just as epic as the above examples.
- CBS Sports has had several other examples, among them their 1981-85 NFL theme, their 1976 NFL Today theme, the 1983 updated version, the "Pots and Pans" theme used between 1986-88, the theme used from the 1992 Super Bowl until CBS lost NFL coverage, then revived for the first five years after regaining NFL coverage, their 1983-88 NBA theme, their 1990-93 MLB theme, "One Shining Moment", used to close every NCAA basketball championship game since 1987, and last but not least, their Super Bowl XXI theme which has been used as their college football theme since 1987.
- ES Posthumus's Helmut Von Lichten has done other particularly epic CBS Sports themes, including its U.S. Open and PGA Championship themes.
- Possibly the most iconic sports intro ever, one that was used for more than 20 years on Monday Night Football (until its singer got into some controversy, and got dumped): "ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL???"
- Also from Monday Night Football: Johnny Pearson's "Heavy Action" (it's the theme without vocals if you're confused), borrowed from the BBC Superstars program. They don't use the original version anymore, though, but an amped-up version; Edd Kalehoff (of The Price Is Right fame) has done versions of "Heavy Action" as well.
- Then there's the original MNF theme music from the '70s, a funky organ-based instrumental called "Score!"
- The Super Bowl half time show used to be a great place for this having one every year between 1993 and 2004 but the one that has to top all others was the 2001 performance of "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith, they were joined by *NSYNC, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly. However, after the infamous Wardrobe Malfunction in 2004, they cut back on younger female performers to prevent a repeat occurrence.
- Super Bowl XXXVI. The USA is still reeling from 9/11; a memorial to those lost in the attacks goes up during U2's performance. During "Where The Streets Have No Name", Bono opens his jacket to reveal the sewn-in American flag right as he sings the line "And when I go there, I go there with you" — The implication being, "Don't worry, America. The world has your back. We'll help you get through this."
- It doesn't even have to be at half time. The Super Bowl XXXIX pre-game show had Black Eyed Peas, Charlie Daniels Band, Earth Wind and Fire, John Fogerty and Gretchen Wilson perform, culminating in them all joining in on "Where Is The Love". It was much better than the actual half time show which just saw Paul McCartney sitting at a piano and singing.
- This American football ad. Epic music is epic.
- Whenever you hear this music on an NFL game recap, you know it's going to be epic.
- The British broadcasts of (American) football in the 1980s and early 90s had the bombastic "Holding Out For A Hero" by Bonnie Tyler as its opening music, as bodies flew into each other and balls flew through the air. Stirring stuff.
- CBS' college football theme, which debuted for Super Bowl XXI and was repurposed the following year for college coverage.
- ESPN's college football theme. And then their new theme for the College Football Playoff.
- And ABC's college football theme from the 90's; it was revived for ABC's revived Saturday Night Football, and later became the main theme for all of ESPN's college football games.
- The ACC Network, a group of local TV stations in the mid-Atlantic and South which syndicate Atlantic Coast Conference football and basketball.
- The themes for MLB on Fox, used from 1996 to 2006 and now revived in 2014:
- CBS' MLB theme used from 1990-93, which was brought back in 2015 (after an absence of 22 years) for the network's college baseball coverage.
- NBC's MLB theme used from 1986-89.
- ABC's Monday Night Baseball theme from the '80s.
- The MLB Network MLB Tonight theme, brought to you by E.S. Posthumus. Compare and contrast with ESPN's Baseball Tonight theme.
- This Week in Baseball had a great opening theme ("Jet Set", originally composed for the NBC game show Jackpot) and closing theme ("Gathering Crowds").
- Sportsnet up in Canada introduced an unexpectedly epic orchestral theme for its Toronto Blue Jays games in 2012.
- Baseball closers nowadays often enter games to hard rock/metal songs, the best known being Trevor Hoffman coming onto the field to "Hell's Bells" and Mariano Rivera entering to "Enter Sandman".
- The intro for the NBA on NBC.
- The song is called "Roundball Rock", written by John Tesh of all people. After they lost the NBA to ESPN, the fans nostalgically rejoiced when NBC revived it for their coverage of basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics. NBC Sports was the king of this trope during the 1990s. Consider Gridiron Dreams (also by John Tesh), John Colby's 1993 NFL Live! Theme, the actual game intro theme, and finally Randy Edelman's classic used the last three years NBC had AFC coverage. Between 1992 and 1996, the close during the last game of the NBA Finals featured "Winning It All" for the British rock band The Outfield (this example from 1996).
- The NBA on CBS theme from the 1980s.
- Dolores Claman's "Hockey Theme", considered by many to be Canada's real national anthem. Used for 40 years on Hockey Night in Canada and currently on TSN's NHL coverage.
- Who says Americans can't come up with their own hockey theme? This theme has accompanied the NHL on NBC since 2006.
- The old theme when ESPN had coverage of the NHL. Game version here. With the move of the NCAA Frozen Four final to ESPN proper in 2014, they brought it back for its coverage.
- Ladies and gentleman, for your auditory pleasure, The New York Rangers Goal Song.
- It doesn't get much better than the Official UEFA Champions League Theme, adapted by Tony Britten from George Frederic Handel's coronation anthem "Zadok the Priest". And "Zadok the Priest" has itself been used for every British coronation since George II in 1727. The Bible verses that make up the lyrics have been recited at every English, then British coronation since Edgar in 973, so Tony Britten was following a truly awesome lead. To borrow the words of BBC Radio 5 commentator Alan Green as it played before the 2011 final:
"Don't you just love that anthem? Doesn't it... make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? You feel special!"
- The theme tune for Long Runner summary show Match of the Day was voted the most recognisable theme tune in British television history in 2010, and with such an immediately catchy, upbeat brass fanfare, it's not hard to see why it's so memorable.
- ESPN's majestic World Cup 2010 theme by Lisle Moore. The EURO 2012/2014 World Cup intro remix didn't diminish its power and the proper 2014 version adds a spirited Latin beat.
- The 2010 World Cup Anthem seen here. Pure, unbridled joy and triumph.
- "Three Lions" by The Lightning Seeds, Frank Skinner, and David Baddiel, so much so that the line "Football's Coming Home" (especially during England's Euro '96 campaign, held on English soil, and where they went out in the semis, on penalties) can be heard at most England matches these days, and the song consistently charts every World Cup, in some cases consigning the official song to obscurity.
- The old Pride FC opening theme. If the pure epic scale of that track doesn't make you want to go out and punch brick walls down with your bare fists, you may not be human, observe!
- New Order's "World In Motion", written for the English campaign at The World Cup in 1990, is quite inspiring, even if you're not English. It was their only #1 hit in their native UK (this coming from the band which made "Blue Monday"!).
- Thankfully, Fox did not use its theme for the other kind of football for the 2015 Women's World Cup, electing to instead go with a majestic theme that wouldn't sound out of place during the Olympics. Bonus points go to their image song, "Beautiful Life", made by second-last American Idol winner Nick Fradiani.
- The English Premier League Anthem in the mid-2000s - for many fans rarely matched by the quality of the football.
- The opening theme music for ABC's Wide World of Sports. Combined with Jim McKay's narration, and you have the perfect representation of "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat!" (Cue poor ol' Vinko Bogataj going off the ski jump...)
- The now-retired BBC Grandstand.
- NBC Sports had a great instrumental theme in the '70s, used for its NFL coverage as well as college football, baseball, hockey, etc. It was so popular that a group called Midnite Flite turned the piece into a big disco hit called "Don't Turn Away".
- Australian Rules Football's unofficial anthem, "Up There, Cazaly".
- And its follow up, "One Day in September", which incorporates "Up There Cazaly".
- Then there's the music Channel Ten used for its coverage from 2002-2006, Hunters & Collectors' epic Holy Grail. Even after it was no longer used in coverage, indeed even after Ten lost the rights, it is still associated with football and has been played live in AFL Grand Final pre-match entertainment.
- The traditionalists don't like The Fremantle Dockers theme, but give 'em all the old Freo heave-ho!
- Same goes for the West Coast Eagles song, "We're Flying High"
- For a more traditional, but still awesome, footy song, there's the Western Bulldogs' theme, "Sons of the West".
- Good old Collingwood forever, they know how to play the game...
- The Greater Western Sydney Giants' theme. Too bad they have to win a game for it to get played.
- Richmond's "Tigerland".
- "Evolve", the official song of the Evolution Championship Series, the biggest fighting game tournament in the world. Most famously, its closing beat combined with vocalist Kana's One-Woman Wail serves as the theme for the intro bumpers on Evo streams.
- "Up There, Cazaly" was created by Channel 7 as an attempt to outdo Channel 9's Cricket theme, "C'mon, Aussie, C'mon".
- The 1983/84 version manages the impressive feat of subverting the Bragging Theme Tune by building up Pakistan and the West Indies as major threats to Australia, while still managing to inspire Patriotic Fervor.
- The instrumental theme for Channel 9's cricket broadcasts is short, but awesome.
- As is the 2000's rock version.
- Channel 10 uses AC/DC's "TNT" for the Big Bash League.
- As should be becoming evident by the now, the BBC has a reputation for sporting theme tunes that pass into the English sporting consciousness. Here is "Soul Limbo" by Booker T & the MG's, the definitive intro to Test Match Cricket.
- While not as awesome, "Mambo no. 5" was still a catchy intro when Channel 4 acquired the rights.
- "Howzat" by 1970s Australian rock band Sherbet was used as a popular choice of song for limited-overs cricket matches.
- When FOX Sports won the rights to broadcast United States Golf Association events from 2015 to 2026, people feared they would use the network's NFL theme for golf. Their fears were put aside when the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in Washington State came around, and FOX debuted this.
- Yanni is a popular choice for TV networks' sports themes, and for good reason: "In Celebration of Man" (NBC's USGA Championships theme) and his PGA theme for CBS are both epic.
- Before the running of the Kentucky Derby horse race, it is tradition to play the Stephen Foster song "My Old Kentucky Home." And during this, the entire crowd in the stands (which is usually well over 100,000 people) joins in and sings along. They even put the lyrics on the TV screens, so those watching at home can join in.
- Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain", used for BBC's Formula 1 coverage This fan intro shows why it's so good. THIS is how it was reintroduced when the BBC got the rights back off ITV. Having not heard "The Chain" as the theme tune for 13 years, and not being sure if they were going to bring it back or not... CMoA?
- In Brazil, Globo uses an original fanfare for F1 that's also awesome. And repurposed a good song by one of Keith Mansfield's former bands for one of their sports shows.
- The BBC's outro to the 2010 Formula One season had some pretty epic music to go with the video. So epic that Sky Sports F1 have used it as their theme tune since taking over the main coverage.
- The FIA's F1 jingle that plays 5 mins before the race was pretty awesome back in the 90's.
- The Indianapolis 500 traditionally opens with the singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana". Since the early '70s this has almost always been done by actor Jim Nabors (of Gomer Pyle fame).
- Almost every TV broadcast of the Olympics qualifies. For example, CTV's 2010/2012 theme, CBC's coverage of Athens 2004, and NBC's coverage of Beijing 2008.
- The 1998 Olympic Games' opening ceremony. Beethoven's Ode to Joy performed simultaneously on five continents.
- The BBC's opening sequence for the 2008 games broadcasts was pretty epic. It's also by the creative duo behind the Gorillaz.
- Both versions of "Summon The Heroes", John Williams music for the summer Olympic Games.
- Unfortunately, "I Believe", the "official" vocal version of CTV's theme, was an Award Bait Song that ended up becoming the Most Annoying Sound since it was overplayed in exactly every other promo for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Thankfully, it wasn't used as much for London.
- The instrumental version of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Theme - by Howard Shore, no less - as well as their Medals Ceremony music.
- Leo Arnaud's "Bugler's Dream". Though not made for the Olympics, it has played in every American Olympic broadcast since 1968 (and is currently the only non-John Williams theme NBC plays during the Olympics).