Back in 1985 the Chicago Bears unleashed the song “The Super Bowl Shuffle” upon the world. There was even a video in which most of the players danced awkwardly and badly and a few even pretended to play instruments. It was a rap tune, just to make things even more embarrassing. If there is anything more embarrassing than Jim McMahon rapping it might be Steve Fuller rapping. The thing is that they went on to win the Super Bowl and I think that was a good thing otherwise that video would have been REALLY embarrassing. However, on behalf of Chicago I would like to apologize for unleashing the “Super Bowl Shuffle” upon the rest of you.
The Bears are having another good season. They won seven games in a row. Then they lost to Miami. They lost to Miami the year they won the whole thing too. However, the Bears now have to go on this bizarre extended east coast run to play both New York teams and the New England Patriots. Of course the Bears beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl that year and I only bring that up just to rub salt into the wounds of New Englanders. It’s a small wound considering they have gone on to win something like twelve Super Bowls and they have Tom Brady. We have Rex Grossman who may or may not be the best quarterback the Bears have ever had since some guy with the first name Syd back in the 40s.
So, I think maybe it’s time for a new Bears theme. Mostly because it’s time to put away the Chicago Bears of 1985 and move on to something else. Yes, they were a great team. There has rarely been anything as scary in the game of football as that defense. Mike Singeltary staring with those crazy wide eyes had to have been enough to make some offensive linemen and quarterbacks wet themselves. However, it is now 2006. That means it is now past twenty years since that team took the field. You would be hard-pressed to even find where William “Refrigerator” Perry is right now. It’s time to start a new era.
There is a radio show here in Chicago run by a guy named Jonathon Brandmeier. It’s a morning show and the guy is kind of a radio legend. He has a contest going now where listeners can submit songs that will eventually be voted as the best and the winner gets five grand. Of course because the station hasn’t gotten official NFL approval for the thing when he talks about the contest he can’t even mention the fact that the song is for the Chicago Bears. He has been playing clips from those who have submitted things already. There seems to be a consistent problem with them, however, and I think that people have forgotten what a sports anthem should be.
It wasn’t always this way. Back when the group Queen wrote the song “We Will Rock You” they made a conscious effort to construct the song so it would be stomped and chanted during soccer matches. I have no idea if Gary “Vietnam Pedophile” Glitter actually knew his song would become an anthem or not, but it did.
People are very confused by “American Idol” I think. This would be another reason why I think that show is evil. The songs I have heard from this contest so far are not anthems. These are not songs inebriated football fans would want to sing along and dance along with in unreasonably cold weather with their shirts off. For all of the general badness of “The Super Bowl Shuffle” the damn thing was a song you could dance to in a stadium and chant along with during a game. I think that may be the key to sports anthems and that would be that the song should be kind of crappy.
The songs submitted so far have people belting out these ridiculous heart-felt songs about the Bears. Who in the hell is going to sit there with their pot-belly hanging out from their worn out Bears jersey while holding a beer and sing out some sort of ballad about Brian Urlacher? No one, would be the answer to that particular question.
Just look at some of the anthems. While “We Will Rock You” is also a great rock song it is ridiculously simple. It is a bunch of people stomping and clapping while the singer chants trash-talk. The chorus is easy to chant and is, in fact, the title of the song. Then there’s a great guitar solo that soused sports fans can air-guitar to.
“Who Let the Dogs Out” has to be the most inane song ever created. It sits right along side with such classic bad-song gems like “The Macarena” and that song where the guy sings about all of the women he has slept with. Still the fact is that “Who Let the Dogs Out” is easy to remember. You can chant along with it and make those barking noises. Nothing says “anthem” like making animal noises.
There have been accidental anthems. The key to the anthem is the simplicity. Some guy wrote this song about a guy singing to this woman who was cheating on him. He wanted her to go ahead and kiss him good-bye. When it became obvious this was a potential hit he created this group called Steam and released “Na-Na-Hey-Hey” for everyone else to chant as pitchers leave the field during White Sox home games. Why does it work? Because the song lyrics are simple and stupid and even juvenile and easy to chant and remember and not some long loving dissertation about the wonders of Rex Grossman’s throwing arm.
Previous anthems have always been simple. “Bear Down Chicago Bears” is a rather simple song and has to be one of the earlier sports anthem songs to achieve some sort of popularity. I don’t know the exact history and origins of the sports anthem because I am just not ambitious enough to look it up but I am betting it started as something for cheerleaders to do on the sidelines. Chanting cheers and easy-to-follow anthems are very close cousins.
So, we need a new anthem here in Chicago. It should be simple. It should be something you can sing along with. It should not be something that some young wannabe Carrie Underwood will sing and look like she might be straining a muscle while singing it. It should be something a working stiff wearing an out-of-fashion winter coat while wearing a stupid foam bear’s head on his own head instead of something warm.
So, come on Chicago. Let’s put something together. I want to see a video with Peanut Tillman dancing before the end of the year.