Songs That Should Be Permanently Retired from Sports
Fact: You'll never remember hearing good music at a sporting event.
We never notice when a stadium plays a decent mix of old and new hits, but we'll never forget a venue where the tunes slowly erode our will to live.
You'll never live down the time a stadium DJ played "Mambo No. 5" during warm-ups and then served up Soulja Boy Tell'em for dessert. That's a dangerous mix of overplayed awfulness that's annoying and hazardous to the entire fan experience.
With that said, the following are a selection of songs both new and old that should be permanently retired from sports venues around the globe. I've even provided some suitable candidates to replace them.
Sometimes you have to know when to walk away, Mr. DJ.
'Can't Hold Us' by Macklemore
It's played out, rambling and Macklemore himself doesn't even want it used in Oklahoma City because he's still salty about the SuperSonics leaving Seattle.
Fine by me. Mack doesn't like making money, which means we can skip this overwrought, worldbeat song and move on to a track that doesn't mention feeding amphetamines to sea creatures.
Worst Lyrics: "We put our hands up, like the ceiling can't hold us."
Ceilings don't hold anyone, Macklemore. Because they're ceilings.
Replace With: "Return of the Mack" by Mark Morrison.
"Can't Hold Us" even starts with Macklemore yelling "Return of the Mack!" The truth, however, is that the only Mack the world needs to return is Mark Morrison.
'Unbelievable' by EMF
Unless you're someone who enjoys Skip-Its and sitting in bean bag chairs with acid wash jeans, you're not going to miss this one.
"Unbelievable" by EMF isn't so much a filler song as it is a reminder to throw out the Princess Diana Beanie Baby sitting in your attic. Don't try putting it on Ebay. It's not going to work.
Worst Lyrics: "Oh! What the?"
Replace With: "Suck My Kiss" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
If you're going to play '90s rock, play some of the best.
'Crank That' by Soulja Boy
YOUUUUU don't want to hear this ever again, and neither does anyone else.
No one wants to crank that Batman or Spider-Man, either. Lets crank that solitude for the next 50 years and then die without remembering this song ever happened.
Worst Lyrics: "Haters get mad 'cuz I got me some Bathing Apes."
Replace With: Cats dying, velcro being pulled apart, a half sandwich hitting a wall...anything.
'Panama' by Van Halen
There is a time and place for "Panama."
The time is at the beginning of a Spring Break road trip, and the place is in the driver seat of a fire-apple convertible heading south. Panama is a strong song, but it can't be appreciated between innings at a baseball game. It's wasted here.
Worst Lyrics: The issue isn't the lyrics, it's the occasion.
Replace With: The Presidents of the United States of America's cover of "Video Killed the Radio Star."
'Who Let the Dogs Out?' by The Baha Men
No one let the dogs out. There are no dogs here. This is a place of business.
There's only one time when you can play "Who Let the Dogs Out?" at a stadium and get away with it, and that's during "Bark in the Park" day. In that case, we can all chuckle and then move on with our lives.
Worst Lyrics: (Indecipherable noises).
Replace With: "Atomic Dog" by George Clinton.
'The Y.M.C.A.' by the Village People
It's fun to stay there, and to be a functioning derelict!
The Village People had a solid run with this one, but it's time to scratch this song from the stadium playlist. If we can manage that much, we'll take the next step and lobby Congress for a state-sanctioned ban at your cousins' weddings.
Worst Lyrics: "They have everything there for young men to enjoy. You can hang out with all the boys."
Replace With: "One Night in Bangkok" by Murray Head.
If you're going to get weird with it, might as well take us to Thailand.
'Party Rock Anthem' by LMFAO
Every day I'm shuffling this song if it comes on my iTunes.
"Party Rock Anthem" was great when it came out, but the tread is long gone on this tire. At the moment, this anthem is in musical purgatory—a place where a song is no longer fresh, but too young to play as a throwback.
Worst Lyrics: "Stop—Hatin' is bad."
Replace With: "Rump Shaker" by Wreckx-n-Effect.
'Kernkraft 400' by Zombie Nation
You're not a zombie. You're just drunk and doing what other people are doing with their arms.
Worst Lyrics: ...
Replace With: "Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora.
This might be the most underrated song of the '80s. You've heard it before, you just don't know who sang it. It has all of the fun roaring, and none of the Kernkraft mindlessness.
'You Shook Me All Night Long' by AC/DC
I love this band and enjoy this song, but there are better AC/DC cuts to be played at a ball game.
Give me something with some tang to it—a little edge. Lets light some "TNT" in here. The build-up punches you square in the adrenal gland, and hearing 80,000 fans fist-pumping and yawping "OY! OY!" would scare the grease out of a visiting team.
Worst Lyrics: N/A
Replace With: "TNT" by AC/DC.
Just do it.
'Roar' by Katy Perry
We MAY be rid of it, but "Roar" by Katy Perry could still be playing at Cincinnati Bengals games.
It's still unclear who did it, but someone in the Bengals organization decided a pop song about the importance of overcoming your shyness would make a good pump-up anthem for a group of grown men who are paid to hit other men.
Luckily for humanity, Bengals fans ripped their organization a new one after their team ran onto the field to this sonic lollipop during their home-opener against the Steelers. The franchise has since promised to never play it again before the team takes the field. A halftime serenade, however, might still be in the cards.
Worst Lyrics: "I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath, scared to rock the vote and make a mess."
Replace With: Alien Ant Farm's cover of "Smooth Criminal."
Embrace the criminal jokes, Cincinnati. It's the only way to move on.
'Pump It Up' by Joe Budden
You could listen to a Joe Budden album, or you could just jump into a ceiling fan and save some time.
Worst Lyrics: "Ride, ride swamp dump off homie jump off."
Replace With: "Ruff Ryder's Anthem" by DMX.
If you're going to get mindlessly pumped, might as well listen to the master of that genre.
'Gangnam Style' by Psy
It had a good run, guys.
"Gangnam Style" was fun, but I'd doubt even Psy wants to climb up on his horse again at this point. The craze ended in 2012, and stadiums need to do the humane thing and take it to the shed.
Worst Lyrics: "Heyyyy sexy lady" are the worst lyrics by default, due to my inability to speak Korean.
Replace With: The Chicken Dance? Maybe "Lets Fighting Love" by the creators of South Park? They're both timeless classics.
'Dude (Looks Like a Lady)' by Aerosmith
Nothing gets you jacked up for the game like some good old-fashioned gender confusion, right everybody?
Worst Lyrics: N/A. I don't mind the lyrics as much as I mind the image Steven Tyler paints in my mind about a girl "pulling out her gun."
Replace With: "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
If this song doesn't make you imagine yourself flying low over Vietnamese rice paddies in a helicopter, we have nothing in common.
'Apache (Jump on It)' by the Sugar Hill Gang
Like the "Chicken Dance," but completely scattershot.
There are no rules when "Apache" comes on at the ballpark. Steps are missed, claps are fudged and none of the five people dancing have any clue what is going on. It's chaos.
Worst Lyrics: "Hot butter popcorn!"
Replace With: "September" by Earth Wind & Fire.
'All Star' by Smash Mouth
Ah, the crown jewel of overplayed pop songs at sporting events.
I was in middle school when this song came out, and I remember it being played at every game and outdoor function we had. That was nearly 15 years ago, and every once in a while you'll still hear this Kids Bop jam played at a local single-A baseball complex.
Worst Lyrics: "Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb."
Replace With: Anything involving Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
Did I miss a song? Join me on Twitter and tell me which need to go.
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