Are you ready for Super Bowl XLVII? It all goes down on Sunday, February 3 as the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers face off in a battle of the brothers: John Harbaugh, who coaches the Ravens, and Jim Harburgh, who coaches the 49ers. Plus, the star of Lip-Sync Gate, Beyoncé, will be performing on the halftime show.
Lots of songs about sports have made the charts, from baseball to basketball to boxing, and even a few singles about football have been released. Though they’re few and far between, three such songs to mention either the game, the league or a team have scored first-downs on top of the turf we like to call the Billboard Hot 100. Chances are, you probably only remember the last one highlighted here, and it’s probably not in a good way. Regardless, people bought them (even if it was only a few people) and here how’s they positioned themselves in the lineup. Hut, hut, hike!
“THE FOOTBALL CARD”, Glenn Sutton (1979) (#46)
This country and folk singer got a novelty hit in 1979 talking about his unhealthy relationship with betting on football games, which ends up with him sobbing at the end of the song. I’m guessing you can figure out how that ended up. Sutton’s song debuted on the Hot 100 on January 6 at #70 before climbing to #46 two weeks later. It spent another week there, then nose-dived to #91, and all bets were off when the record dropped straight out of the countdown. He never charted again, though he did continue to write songs for other artists. Sutton passed away in 2007.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS IN THE NFL”, Willis “The Guard” & Vigorish (1980) (#82)
If you’re a fan of pop music and video games, you’re probably familiar with “Pac-Man Fever” by Buckner & Garcia. The duo took that song to #9 on the Hot 100 in 1982 largely from big sales. About a year and a half prior to that song, the duo recorded this novelty record as Willis The Guard & Vigorish, which was a rewrite of the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas. You know the one: “‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,” yada yada yada. Well, imagine that with football-related references circa 1980. The song entered the Hot 100 on December 26, 1980, debuting at #82, and that was it. It was gone the next week as if it was never there at all. Of course, with the duo’s arcade action in 1982, no wonder this song is forgotten about. Garcia passed away in 2011, though he and Buckner are credited for a song on the Wreck-It Ralph soundtrack.
“THE SUPER BOWL SHUFFLE”, Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew (1986) (#41)
Before LMFAO shuffled their way into our hearts, it was Da Bears who recorded this nearly six-minute rap record in anticipation for their appearance in Super Bowl XX. A portion of the sales from it went to charity, benefitting needy families in the Chicago area. The song debuted on the Hot 100 on January 11 in the #92 position and slowly moved up the chart. Well, the Chicago Bears ending up beating the New England Patriots during the Super Bowl that year by a score of 46-10, and after the game was played on January 26, the record exploded. By the chart dated February 8, it took a leap from 56-41, almost exclusively through sales points. In fact, it broke the top 30 on the sales chart for that one week. Alas, after spending another week at #41, the song started falling and was out of the top 100 by March. It was one of the only singles during that era to be certified Platinum without becoming a top-40 hit. Today, I suppose it’s just fun to laugh at, and remember that for a hot minute, a whole football team could rise to the occasion and rap their way to one of the biggest sports-related songs ever.
Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a #1 song on the Hot 100 from 2011, “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa. Though the title doesn’t specifically mention football, the NFL or the Super Bowl, Khalifa wrote the song with the Pittsburgh Steelers in mind, whose team colors are, technically, black and gold. Hey, I’m not going to fault him if his shade of color is off. The Steelers went to Super Bowl XLV that year, but lost to the Green Bay Packers, 31-25. You might wanna take a listen to “The Boys Of Fall” by Kenny Chesney as well. Written about playing high school football, it went to #1 on the Country chart in 2010.
Have any other football songs that you enjoy leading up to the big game? Let me know! You can post in the comments or find me on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.