The 50 Greatest Sports Songs of All Time (With Video)
Sports-related songs usually fall into one of three categories:
1) Hollywood Sports song.
2) Fan Sports songs.
3) Songs sung by Athletes.
(Curiously enough, only two from the third category made the list.)
The Hollywood category usually comes from a sports-themed movie.
How good the movie is and how well the song meshes with it will determine if it becomes a classic or not.
The Fan category is actually decided by the fans at live sporting events.
The DJ plays a tune and if it gets the crowd going crazy, he/she will add it to the play list.
If the people stay in their seats, the song is chucked.
So from those three categories, B/R gives you the most comprehensive sports song list ever!
Now, let's start the countdown.
NO. 50 - The Star Spangled Banner
During the first Persian Gulf War in 1991, Whitney Houston was chosen to sing our National Anthem before Superbowl XXV.
Her version of the Star Spangled banner caused the crowd to give her a teary-eyed standing ovation. It is widely considered as the greatest rendition ever performed at a sporting event.
But what fun would that be to give you that version?
Instead, here is CARL LEWIS, via Jim Rome.
This version will also bring you to tears. Trust me.
NO. 49 - Sandstorm by Darude
This Euro dance hit has found it's way into the hearts of millions of Americans.
I have to admit, I don't get the effect this song has on fans, but for some reason, when it comes on, the paying customers at almost every hockey arena go crazy.
My brother says he dances to it, when he's alone. Late at night.
Just thought I'd share.
NO. 48 - SportsCenter Theme
Come on, admit it.
You know it and could hum it for a nickel, if anyone asked you to.
For all previous generations of sports fans, the three and a half minute local news sports anchor at 11:26 was all we got in the way of highlights, until...
NO. 47 - Whoomp! (There It Is) by Tag Team
Anytime I am at a game and I hear this come on, I notice that it's the grandmothers who really enjoying saying "whoomp."
I hope it gets retired soon from all play lists, but until then it has to have it's spot amongst the rest of the arena anthems.
The people have spoken. Whoomp!
NO. 46 - Who Let the Dogs Out by Baha Men
Sure, blame me.
I'm the one that plays it at every freaking NBA game. It's my fault that everyone claims to hate this song, and yet it went platinum.
Somebody, somewhere must have bought a lot of copies.
Yes, it is No. 3 on Rolling Stone's Top 20 Most Annoying Songs of All Time.
And yet, it is a good question.
One that we may never know the answer too.
NO. 45 - Tubthumping by Chumbawumba
And yet another on Rolling Stone's Annoying list. And another song that was a number one hit in several countries, including this one.
According to Wikipedia, mixed martial artist Forrest Griffin, (pictured), chose this as his entrance song in UFC 106 against Tito Ortiz.
You tell him the song sucks. Let me know how that goes.
NO. 44 - Center Field by John Fogerty
John Fogerty's ode to baseball is cool, but the music video is even better.
Gotta love the lyrics, too.
"Put me in, coach. I'm ready to play!"
NO. 43 - Basketball by Kurtis Blow
I chose this picture because Kurtis Blow had Jheri curls and so did A.C. Green.
That's all I got.
Cool song though, huh?
NO. 42 - New York, New York by Frank Sinatra
I'll make this quick. I hate the Yankees, but I love this song.
And whether you are like me or not, no one ends a game better.
Mariano Rivera (more on him later) strikes out someone, then cue Old Blue Eyes.
Hate to admit it, but... kinda cool.
NO. 41 - Braves / Seminoles Tomahawk Chop
I know what you're thinking, it's not a song. But I would argue that it is definitely a tune.
Does it get the crowd crazy? Yes?
Is it a tradition in both Atlanta and at Florida State? Sure is.
Is it politically correct? Not for me to decide.
NO. 40 - Y.M.C.A. by The Village People
Not only have we all seen this played at live games, we've all done it.
Yes, I am accusing you of doing YMCA.
You were with your buds, libations were flowing and one of you stood up and started it, and the rest followed.
It's OK. It wasn't your fault.
Blame the Yankees.
NO. 39 - Talking Baseball by Terry Cashman
Terry Cashman is a song producer and former minor league baseball player who almost made it up to the bigs with the Detroit Tigers.
In 1981, he wrote a song about the great ball players of the past called "Talking Baseball, (Willie, Mickey and Duke)"
Initially the song didn't do much but it eventually caught on. So to ride the late popularity, Cashman rewrote the song for over two dozen MLB teams, featuring the best players of that teams past.
How crazy is that?
He even did a version for Homer Simpson. Watch it here:
NO. 38 - It Takes Two by Rob Base
I think it's the weird call back, (Yeah! Woo!) that makes this song still so popular after more than twenty years.
If Rob Base gets paid every time it's played at a basketball game, he might be the richest one hit wonder ever!
Special treat for you with this one... Big Guys dancing!
NO. 37 - Get Ready For This by 2 Unlimited
Another one of those stadium songs that drive the fans crazy.
I still don't get it.
One Youtube viewer commented that they want this playing at their funeral.
NO. 36 - I Love LA by Randy Newman
Apparently, folks in Los Angeles, including the young lady pictured, seem to be fond of their city.
They go even crazier when Randy Newman's classic is played at their sports venues.
NO. 35 - Hit The Road Jack by Ray Charles
This Ray Charles hit has been a staple in both baseball and basketball arenas for years.
Every time someone gets kicked out of the game, the Arena DJ decides to get cute.
I don't mind it because usually the cheerleaders dance along with it.
NO. 34 - All Star by Smashmouth
This is one of the new arena anthems. And it's showing up on a lot of team highlight films on Youtube as well.
It's light and catchy, so it might be around a while.
NO. 33 - Jump Around by House of Pain
You might not like rap.
In fact, you might not like rapping white guys in Celtics jerseys.
But when this song plays at the arena, everybody gets up.
I'm dancing now.
And since I am here to entertain, here is the Bollywood version.
NO. 32 - Wild Thing by X
Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn, from the movie Major League, is one of Charlie Sheen's best roles, in my opinion.
Nothing is better than when he comes out the bullpen and they start the song...
You know what your getting when the pitcher you are about to face has a nickname like that.
NO. 31 - Be Like Mike
Sometime I dream, that he is me...
I think those are the words.
When are LeBron or Kobe going to make catchy tunes like this?
NO. 30 - Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen
After the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction, Super Bowl halftime acts got a lot older and much less racy.
Luckily Superbowl XLIV decided to go with a classic.
Springsteen singing Born to Run.
NO. 29 - Let's Get it Started by The Black Eyed Peas
You will find more highlight videos on Youtube cut to this Black Eyed Peas song than probably any other out there.
The beat slowly builds which makes it great for getting stadiums rocking.
Watching the OKC teams highlight playing under this, makes you want to cheer for the Thunder.
NO. 28 - Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
We all know that certain teams, when out of their main market, are either loved or loathed by the rest of the country.
Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, LA Lakers come to mind. And of course, The Boston Red Sox.
One of Boston's traditions is to sing Sweet Caroline during the 8th inning of home games.
Again, you either love it or hate it.
NO. 27 - Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
Football fans, as well as rock fans, love to ride the crazy train.
They say if you watch the video closely you can see Coach Belichick playing air guitar in the back.
NO. 26 - Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N' Roses
I'll be perfectly honest. The first time I went to a Patriots game and they played this in the third quarter, people starting shaking the stands and it was a bit disturbing.
Mind you, I was there cheering for the Pats and I was still kind of jarred.
NO. 25 - Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones
Fans of all ages jump out of their seats when this comes on.
I don't know how it caught on at sports arenas, but it's catchy.
By the way, I just read the lyrics, and I have to say, they might be the first gangsta rappers.
Hey ho! Let's go!
Sounds like a mad pimp to me.
NO. 24 - Enter Sandman by Metallica
Okay, here's the scenario:
You're a badass.
Either in your mind or in fact. And you have to make a big entrance, what song do you go with?
Let's see, if you're the greatest major league closer ever, a WWE Wrestler, or a UFC or MMA fighter, there really isn't any other choice.
NO. 23 - Lose Yourself by Eminem
When Eminem wrote this, I'm sure he knew most of the people psyching themselves up wouldn't be rappers.
Lose Yourself was even quoted by Jodie Foster at a graduation commencement speech.
Countless athletes pump it into their headphones to get going before the big game.
I thought it only fitting to choose one of the most exciting games I have ever witnessed as the visuals to Em's sports inspiring new classic.
NO. 22 Monday Night Football Theme (Original)
This was the one anyone over 25 grew up listening to.
Once you heard those first few bars, you knew to run to your TV.
I am open to debating that this should be swapped with No. 20.
NO. 21 - We're Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister
If I was an Arena DJ and I wanted to get the folks riled up into a really good lather, I'd play this every time there's a bad call.
Of course, that might lead to riots, but it would be a hell of a good time.
NO. 20 - Are You Ready For Some Football? by Hank Williams Jr.
Hank Williams Jr. goes through quite a bit to personalize each one of those games. I'm sure he's paid well, though.
But to answer your question, Hank..
Yes, I'm always ready for some football.
NO. 19 - Celebration by Kool & the Gang
If you are a sports fan you want to hear this song playing at the end of your team's game.
It's timeless and everyone should know the words by now.
NO. 18 - Another One Bites The Dust by Queen
I wish I got to hear them live.
This is perfect for making fun of a vanquished opponent.
Not sure who that woman is, but it doesn't look like her team is doing too well.
NO. 17 - Living in America by James Brown
I feel good!
Eye to eye, nation to nation.
I think this song is underrated, because the other Rocky songs are so good.
But come on. It's the Godfather of Soul!
NO. 16 One Shining Moment by Luther Vandross
Every year, after all our brackets have been busted, we still watch the final game just so we can hear this...
(Even if Duke does win it all. I'm kidding)
NO. 15 Super Bowl Shuffle by the 1985 Chicago Bears
Name me a team this year that has the intestinal fortitude to make a music video about winning the Super Bowl in Week 10 of the regular season.
There aren't any.
But remember, they weren't here to start no trouble...
NO. 14 - We Are The Champions by Queen
This song is the reason why we play the games.
Actually, we only vicariously play the game, but it's the reason why we get the checks and the ring.
Well, we don't get those, either.
But we can still sing the song, damn it!
NO. 13 - Kung Fu Fighting by Carl Douglas
Every time there is a lull in the action, or a time out, you can guarantee the Arena DJ will cue up Kung Fu Fighting.
And like trained lab rats, we stare up at the jumbo tron and laugh.
Fun times for all.
NO. 12 - Bugler's Dream by Leo Arnaud
I know the name sounds funny. Growing up, we all just knew it as the Olympic theme song.
But you knew it when you heard it.
NO. 11 - You're The Best (Around) by Joe Esposito
Nothing can top this original.
Everyone, together now...
"It's over Johnny, you did it! Get him a body bag... yeah!"
NO. 10 - La Copa De La Vida (Cup of Life) by Ricky Martin
Although there should probably be more international songs on here, it would be a mistake to not include the greatest World Cup song of all time.
The song was one of Ricky Martin's biggest hits and went to number one in several different countries.
NO. 9 - Round Ball Rock by John Tesh
I don't know how to feel about this video, but I know I love the song.
Some might say it's too high on the list, but watch the passion of Tesh and tell me I'm wrong to feel it too.
You can't avoid the Passion of Tesh, people.
Bow kata bom bow.
Now dribble the imaginary ball, and it's ON!
NO. 8 - Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti
Everyone knows it. I'm not sure if it shouldn't be higher.
Makes you want to run up some stairs, doesn't it?
NO. 7 - Kiss Him Goodbye by Steam
Sometimes sports brings out the worst in us.
It brings out the kick the other man when he's down part of us....
But sometimes you just can't help it, you know.
Which is why we love this song so much.
NO. 6 - Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
OK, you're team is down five, with two minutes left in the game.
Your backs are against the wall, but you still have the faith.
So what happens when you hear this come on over the speakers?
You smile, right?
NO. 5 Rock and Roll, Part 2 by Gary Glitter
No one knows the words, but everyone knows when to say hey!
No one worries about the strange individual who actually came up with the song, but everyone loves when it comes on at the game.
That's all that matters.
NO. 4 - Take Me Out To The Ballgame
We are getting to the best of the best, folks.
You ever notice how everybody gives that guy who won't sing a dirty look?
Try to never be that guy.
NO. 3 - Chariots of Fire (Theme)
I don't know many people who've seen the whole thing. But everybody knows the theme song.
And everybody has run in slow motion, imitating it, right?
Or is that just me?
NO. 2 - We Will Rock You! by Queen
Queen ends up with three songs on the countdown, making them the ultimate sports band.
It's almost impossible to hear this song without wanting to get up and chant.
NO. 1 - Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor
Maybe not a unanimous choice, but definitely understandable, right?
Great music, great lyrics, and easy to sing along.
It's the Eye of the Tiger!