Pre-Game Tunes: What's in YOUR Headphones?

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Pre-Game Tunes: What's in YOUR Headphones?

The classic pre-game football locker room camera shot will always include at least a handful of guys wearing their headphones—sometimes eyes closed and motionless, other times with a slight bob of the head to the beat.

Ever wonder what they’re listening to?

I can’t see one of those pre-game shots of the locker room without asking myself what might be playing on their iPods.  Whatever music it happens to be, it must be working for them.  So far for me, listening to Neil Diamond pre-game hasn’t gotten me anywhere. 

Ok, I may be kidding about the Neil Diamond part.  Maybe.  Ok, I really am.  Promise.

While thousands of collegiate and NFL football stars everywhere are rocking out to their own tunes to get pumped for the game, dare I say millions of us mediocre intramural-champion-wannabes are doing the same thing en route to our flag football showdown with the guys from the next dorm over.

I can imagine that no matter the level—NFL, NCAA, or campus intramural all-star—there is a wide variety of music that gets played to get players psyched for the big game.

The natural tendency may be to think that football = screaming lyrics, usually in an incomprehensible way, to the oh-so-soothing melodies of double bass pounding and heavy, death metal guitar riffs. 

Is this always the case?  Doubtfully, but then again, I can’t tell what they’re listening to.

All I can tell you is my personal pre-game song of choice.  I have to give credit where credit is due, and this credit is going to Madden 2003.  Thanks to John Madden, the music and arts connoisseur himself, Madden 2003 was stacked with great hits, including the opening song, Andrew W.K.’s “Party Hard”.

Never before has this——had anything to do with football, until the musical genius of John Madden brought football and Andrew W.K. together like never before.

Bleached jeans? Check.  Plain white tee shirt? Check.  Neck-snapping, hair-whipping, head banging?  Double check. 

To heck with the graphics, Madden 2003 was the king of its class, all thanks to Andrew W.K., whose song “Party Hard” holds the world record for only song ever written to be played with one single chord.

Maybe it’s the nostalgia of getting together with my high school friends for a good round of Madden before heading out on a weekend night for some football at the park, but “Party Hard” has become the epitome of pre-game football tunes. 

Invariably, I would get beat by no fewer than four touchdowns at Madden, but who cares?  Just restart the game and head bang right along with Andrew W.K. and suddenly that triple digit blowout doesn’t sting near as bad.

I’m not sure whether or not this is now a confession or a simple statement, but without fail, I’ll be listening to Andrew W.K. on the way to every one of my flag football games. 

What songs do you listen to before the big game?  C’mon, tell us.  We know you have them.  If it’s Celine Dion, keep it to yourself.  If it’s anything else, let us know.  We want to know what’s in those headphones or playing in your car.

In the meantime, while I don’t think my music will be catapulting my play to NCAA or NFL levels, there is one thing I know, and that is, “when it’s time to party, we will party hard.” 

Thanks, Andrew.  And thanks to you, John Madden.  Without you two, head banging while playing football would never be possible. 

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