Top 5 Songs That Get Me Excited For The Big Game

(originally featured on the Oct. 17, 2008 show)

It’s funny how sometimes the planets align in just the right position for something apparently important to happen. When I first aired this list back in October, I was hours away from a trip to Penn State to watch the Nittany Lions take on Michigan, Maryland was finally coming home to Byrd Stadium for a matchup against Wake Forest, and my Phillies were about to begin the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers. Penn State beat the crap out of Michigan (the Wolverines really sucked this year, though), Maryland shut out Wake Forest, and as for the Fightin’ Phils… well, I’ll let Chase Utley handle this one for me.

Yeah, I’m still kind of on a high from the World Series. Hey, you would be too if you’d never ever seen one of your teams win anything ever… and then they won something.

Anyway, as I post this we are less than one week away from America’s favorite unofficial holiday — Super Bowl Sunday. If you’ve come here looking for insightful analysis on who I think will win the big one… well, you’ve come to the wrong place. Plus, I’m still a little bummed that the Eagles blew it in the NFC Championship Game again. But at least I’ve still got the Phillies.

In the spirit of the unofficial holiday season, I present to you my Top 5 Songs That Get Me Excited For The Big Game. Gentlemen, start your headbanging…

5. Muse, “Assassin”

One of the hardest-rocking songs of Muse’s career thus far, “Assassin” is one of those songs that grabs you by the throat from the get-go and only tightens its grip as time goes on until finally dropping you as abruptly as it took you. It’s pretty easy to picture your team coming out to this one with strobe lights flashing, fire shooting towards the sky/ceiling, and maybe even a cannon going off to give it that “1812 Overture” touch (V For Vendetta spoilers ahead). It’s also the first of several politically-charged songs on this list, because nothing says “sports fever” like lyrics about “destroy[ing] demonocracy.” And if you really think this list is getting any softer, you are sorely mistaken.

4. Rise Against, “State Of The Union”

Some songs have been described as short but sweet. “State Of The Union” is not one of those songs. There’s more anger and energy in this two-minute song than some people are able to express in a whole damn album. It’s by far the heaviest song on Siren Song Of The Counter Culture, and it’s also — you guessed it — very political. Frontman Tim McIlrath likes to dedicate this song to George W. Bush when Rise Against performs this one live, and — as you should probably expect from a band calling themselves Rise Against — it’s not the kind of song George W. Bush would like to have dedicated to him. Hard to believe this guy used to be in a band with none other than Fall Out Boy bassist Pete “I Named My Firstborn Son Bronx Mowgli” Wentz. I’m not kidding. The band was called Arma Angelus, their rotating lineup included all four current members of Fall Out Boy, and they sounded like this. And yes, that’s Wentz on lead vocals.

3. High On Fire, “Rumors Of War”

This band’s Myspace URL basically says it all — High On Fire slays. Pretty much everything about this band is badass — the tribal drumming, the riffs, the solos, Matt Pike’s snarling vocals, even their name and album titles and song titles… it’s all awesome. Anyone who manages to make it through a High On Fire song without feeling some kind of adrenaline rush must not have been paying attention. So why is this song only at #3?

2. Mastodon, “Blood & Thunder”

In the words of Forrest Gump, Thats all I really have to say about that.

In the words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

1. Rage Against The Machine, “Know Your Enemy”

Okay, so I’m a Terp homer. So what? The Maryland football team used to come out to this song at every home game at Byrd Stadium. They always came out at about the 45-second mark of this song where the full band kicks in, and the fireworks would go off, and someone would fire the cannon, and the crowd would go wild, and it was awesome. The Terps’ entrance music now is Saliva’s “Ladies And Gentlemen,” which isn’t even that band’s best “pump-up” song (that, of course, would be “Click Click Boom”) and only really makes me miss “Know Your Enemy” that much more. Rage Against The Machine? More like RAGE AGAINST THE OPPOSING TEAM, am I right? Am I right?

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