This is arguably the best time of the year to be a sports fan. Both hockey and basketball are just starting their playoffs, and we’re just getting started with baseball. Whether you’re watching the Senators continue their impressive run into the playoffs, the Spurs hoping to repeat as champions, or the beginning of another long Mets season, these songs will be heard hyping up the crowds in arenas and stadiums all across North America. (P.S. No “Dr. Who” on this list.)
Blur – “Song 2”
There’s nothing better to psych up a crowd than a great sing-along song. Teams like the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers have tried writing their own sing-along songs, full of “woah”s and “doop”s. But there’s truly nothing better than yelling out a loud “WOOOO HOOOOOOOO” to get the crowd really pumped, and Blur’s “Song 2” delivers.
Motorhead – “The Game”
This song was originally written for WWE wrestler Triple H, but the opening bars of this song generate quite the amount of hype. Lemmy proclaims that it is “time to play the game”, quite fitting for a sporting event. Quite a few pro sports teams rock this song, The Nets play it before a new quarter, and the Bruins have worked it into their stadium rotation as well. In the mid-2000’s, former Astros closer Brad Lidge used to walk out to this, back when he was lights-out. Some other sports teams have started using music written for wrestling, including the Senators, and Kansas City Royals, but nothing comes close to the hype “The Game” produces.
U2 – “Where The Streets Have No Name”
The subtle keys. The slight strum of the electric guitar. The tempo moving from 4/4 to 3/4 and Edge’s guitar ignites. It’s one of the greatest openings to a song, a beginning that gets the blood flowing whether heard at a hockey game or live in concert. While none of us are Vancouver Canucks fans, using just the instrumental part is a brilliant way to open a hockey game, as you can see below. And as a bonus feature, we’ve included a live version of the song so you can see the energy it puts into the crowd.
The White Stripes – “Seven Nation Army”
“Ooh ah ah ah oooh ooooh! Ooh ah ah ah oooh ooooh!” Not everyone knows the lyrics to The White Stripes’ anthemic tune, but everyone knows the chorus. It’s played at sporting games across the planet, but no set of fans does it better than the students and alumni of the University of Michigan. Check it out below.
House of Pain – “Jump Around”
One of the most iconic hip hop songs of all-time that is still played at house parties, clubs, and, of course, sporting events. You’ll hear at basketball games when there’s a jump ball, and it is always played at some point during The University of Wisconsin Badgers football games. Imagine 80,000 fans jumping in unison – actually just see it below along with the official video. Even the opposition gets into it. AWESOME!
Metallica – “Enter Sandman”
Metallica’s seminal “Enter Sandman” is a crowd pleaser. The heavy bass line and the notorious guitar riff. The Virginia Tech Hokies football team use it as their entrance, but this song will forever be associated with New York Yankees great Mariano Riveria. When he entered the game, it was lights out.
Phish – “Wilson”
One of the greatest jam bands in history have rocked out to “Wilson” for nearly thirty years, but it’s reach a new legendary status thanks to Seattle Seahawks fans, who now chant this song in honor of their quarterback Russell Wilson. Whether it’s at the football game or in concert, Phish can’t get away from the “Wilson” chants.
Neil Diamond – “Sweet Caroline”
What wakes up a boring game? Neil Diamond of course! Between commercial breaks, before an inbounds pass or a faceoff, or during halftime or intermission, this song is surely going to be played at every arena and nearly every game. It’s a crowd pleaser to its core as fans utter those iconic lyrics and even some will probably get in the aisles and do their best Neil Diamond impersonation. “Sweet Caroline! Bah bah bah!” The University of Pittsburgh rendition is pretty awesome.
Europe – “Final Countdown”
It’s the waning minutes of a close game. The home team is inbounding the ball or there’s a key faceoff to the left of the goaltender or maybe the opposition is driving the field to get in position to score the winning points. Regardless of the situation, you’re going to hear Joey Tempest’s voice holler, “It’s the Final Countdown!”, and then that familiar keyboard comes in. Let’s hope for a lot of close games in this year’s playoffs so that we can hear this awesome song.
Queen – “We Will Rock You” & “We Are The Champions”
Arguably the most iconic sports song is Queen’s “We Will Rock You”. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, it was pretty much the only song that was played. It pumped up the crowd, motivated the home team, and just created an explosive energy in the arena or stadium. Even today, it’s a song that gets people excited. And just for a bonus, “We Are The Champions” since an NHL and NBA champion will be anointed soon. Long live Freddie Mercury!
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