Athletes carry an aura of invincibility that seems to make their fans think that just because they can jump high, run like lightning or throw a ball the length of a small subdivision, that means they can do just about anything. This leads to the music industry automatically assuming that they can also sing.
Def Jef and DJ Eric Vaughn with the 1990 U.S. World Cup Soccer Team, ‘Victory’
The fact that this historic soccer powerhouse had more than a slight chance at making an appearance in the World Cup actually made the sport slightly interesting to us Yanks. This video celebrating their drive to the coveted Cup isn’t worth remembering, however. The team sang the chorus on this forgettable ‘Color Me Badd’-style lite hip hop track, which was written and produced by West Coast Rap All-Stars member Def Jef and DJ Eric Vaughn. (Fun fact: Def Jef went on to write the ‘That’s So Raven’ theme.) As if the painfully syrupy lyrics about winning and triumph weren’t bad enough, there’s also the music video which featured shirtless members of the team playfully kicking a ball on a private beach with no women in sight. It was basically the ‘Top Gun’ volleyball scene of sports-specific hip hop songs.
The 1993-94 New York Knicks, ‘Go New York Go’
Knicks fans will always love the 1993 Knickerbockers line-up, which included Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and Doc Rivers, among others. Unfortunately, this monotonous rap ballad that tried to convey the team’s greatness that brought them all the way to the Finals makes most fans wish they’d never heard those names in the first place–or their painful attempts to be musical frontmen.
The 1987 Calgary Flames, ‘Red Hot’
Not even the cutthroat world of bare knuckle hockey could resist the call of the music industry with this ultra-’80s rock ballad. The timing would’ve been sound if the song was good since Calgary was hosting the Olympic Winter Games that year and they had managed to snag a spot in the Smythe Finals. Their marketing team, however, decided to celebrate the team’s success by commissioning a music video which clearly utilized Journey’s costume and hair styling crew. All of the proceeds from the song went to charity, hopefully for the Society to Prevent the Growing of Mullets.
The 1988 Philadelphia Eagles, ‘Buddy’s Watchin’ You’
The saddest part of this rap music video featuring the Eagles’ biggest stars isn’t just the music. It’s the fact that they had more than three years to learn from the mistakes that the Bears, the 49ers and every other major league sports team that released a record in that time made and still managed to muck it up.
The 1986 Los Angeles Rams, ‘Let’s Ram It’
The LA Rams’ contribution to sports music history is a double-edged sword. It’s just hard to decide what is more tragically hilarious– the song’s awful musical quality or the team members’ inability to realize that phrases like “ramming all day and ramming all night” have more than one meaning.
The 1986 Los Angeles Dodgers, ‘Baseball Boogie’
The Dodgers have become one long sad story since the 1990s from their failure to live up to their long and storied tradition of winning dating back to their early days in Brooklyn to their recent battles in bankruptcy court
. Even their glory days get sadder after you’ve listened to their attempt at “music” with this very ’80s style ode to baseball that has less to do with the sport and more to do with the team members wearing hot pink jackets and doing awkward white guy dance moves. It’s also notable for featuring easily the least convincing Michael Jackson impersonator of all time.
The 1986 Los Angeles Raiders, ‘Silver and Black Attack’
The only thing more embarrassing than a pro-sports team’s attempt at praising their athletic prowess through song is failing to back it up with an actual winning record. These black and silver soldiers tried to silence their critics with their rap anthem ‘Silver and Black Attack,’ only to finish the season with a dismal 8-8 record. The worst part is we will no longer be able to watch football games on Fox without laughing beer and nacho cheese through our nose since we’ve seen former-Raider-turned-color-commentator Howie Long try to be an extremely poor man’s Vanilla Ice.
The 1984 San Francisco 49ers, ‘We’re the 49ers’
‘The Super Bowl Shuffle’ may have become the perennial sports novelty classic for its awesome badness, but The Bears weren’t the first team to punish their enemies with ear-bleeding, tone-deaf tunes. The year before the Bears big Super Bowl win, the famous 49ers, led by legendary quarterback Joe Montana, wrote their own little ditty and sang lead and background vocals after taking Super Bowl XIX away from the Miami Dolphins. The dated Casio synthesizer-infused pop song was so bad that it should have retroactively cost them points in the spread for the following season.
The 1986 New York Mets, ‘Get Metsmerized’
The unexplainable success of ‘The Super Bowl Shuffle’ started a trend where sports teams utilized what little talent they possessed to write, produce and perform their own pop songs. The ’86 New York Mets jumped on to the charts with this very awkward rap ditty featuring their starting lineup behind the mic. This not-so-motley posse featured an extremely tone deaf Dwight Gooden who raps way too fast for the song’s tempo (probably because his nose was chocked full of cocaine during the recording session) and a hilarious Rafael Santana who can barely speak English when he’s not trying to keep a beat.
The 1985 Chicago Bears, ‘Super Bowl Shuffle’
No list of the worst sports songs in history would be complete without this granddaddy of novelty sports epics. The 17-1 football powerhouse not only took home the Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl XX, but they also gave the world the notorious ‘Super Bowl Shuffle’ as well as a reason to make them give the trophy back to the league. This hit record from the “so bad it’s bad” column of your local music shop was sold to raise money for Chicago’s underprivileged and actually ended up going double platinum
. However, history hasn’t been as kind to the rapping all-stars’ one and only hit record. We can thank it for the legions of other sports teams who took a stab at one-hit wonderdom.