Last fall, when I was unemployed and lazying my way through my last semester at college, I had a lot of free time on my hands (as per my "No Class Before 2PM" rule). I spent most of that time watching 30 minute increments of ESPNews on repeat, and cherished Monday afternoons when they'd spend four hours recapping Sunday's game action. But at the top of each half hour, they'd play the adapted Miller "..AAAANNNND TWIIIIIINS!" song, with lyrics specific to that week's action. I'm sure you've seen it, and if you're reading this, you're obviously one of the few strong enough to keep from scooping your eyeballs out with a spoon. Just think -- every half hour, for four hours. That's eight times, not including the Sunday night premiere of the new song. Granted, it's what I get for being slothful enough to spend four straight hours watching football analysis, but the fact remains that that song has to go. And if that weren't bad enough, the latest in Monday Night Football's failed halftime experiments stole the exact same idea, except used "I Like It, I Love It" for its base. It takes a lot to make a man yearn for the "Sacked!" skits to come back, but that's exactly what I find myself doing.
It requires entirely too much faith to believe ESPN and the NFL will begin to understand the concept of demographics and what their audience is looking for -- see ESPN Mobile for further proof of that. I doubt they'll end the brilliantly clever idea of changing the lyrics to well-known songs to reflect the most recent NFL action. So instead of hoping for a utopian football-viewing experience where the networks don't treat me like a total jackass, I've decided to provide some ideas for songs ESPN can use. None of these will make the experience any less vomit-inducing, but they might provide some chuckles along the way.
1. Pussycat Dolls, "Don't Cha" - The "TWIIIIIIIIIIIINSSSS" song is from a Miller commercial. Coors is the official beer of the NFL. And ESPN has the "Budweiser Hot Seat." So why not associate with Heineken, as well? This song, as you're all well aware, is famous for getting sweaty bottles of beer to act all seductive, and has become one of the most recognizable songs of 2006.
SAMPLE LYRIC: "Don't cha wish you could throw like Tom Brady? Don't cha wanna kick like Jay Feely? Don't cha!? Don't cha wish your back was as good as LT? Don't cha love a field goal in OT? Don't cha?!"
2. U2, "Vertigo" - Another easily-recognizable mega-hit that got more plays during commercial breaks in '05 than even "Don't Cha" did in '06. U2 has already proven to be down with the NFL, as evidenced by their recent Super Bowl performance. And if anyone knows anything about Bono, it's that he's willing to shill out his music for a quick paycheck and marketing infamy.
SAMPLE LYRIC: "Larry! Johnson! (Hola!) Found a place called the Bills' endzone! It's everything Takeo wishes he didn't know. Polamalu makes a tackle you can feeEEEEEeeeeellllll. FeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEElllllllll! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!"
3. Dennis Haysbert, "Allstate Insurance Ads Guy" - OK, so this isn't really a song, but Haysbert's got sports ties with his role as Pedro Cerrano. Plus, I get amped everytime I hear him say "swoop & squat." It puts a little bit of a hop in my step. I think there'd be nothing better than Haysbert standing in the middle of a road, deadpanning NFL highlights in his monotone.
SAMPLE LYRIC: "Shaun Alexander takes the sweep. Mack Strong swings to his left and stops, planting his feet and blocking Brian Urlacher. It's called a swoop & squat." For the record, this would only work if Haysbert mentioned "swoop & squat" in each highlight.
4. Unknown, "Pepto Bismol Song" - My favorite ad campaign of the millenium, specifically the commercial with the breakdancers. You know the real song -- "Nausea! Heartburn! Indigestion! Upset stomach! Diarrhea!" It's simple, memorable, and easily adaptable. And if you think that this suggestion broaches absurdity, apparently you've never seen the actual songs ESPN uses from week to week. Bonus points if the breakdancers could be involved somehow.
SAMPLE LYRIC: "Palmer! Pressured! Gets the pass off! Houshmanzadeh! Incomplete!"
5. Unknown, "Snickers Song" - The mysterious man with the suit and acoustic guitar sits and asks a man if he can help him enjoy his Snickers bar more. He then proceeds to sing a tender and poetic song about its ingredients. I think this man can truly help us all enjoy the NFL a little more.
SAMPLE LYRIC: "Philip Rivers throws over outstretched arms of cornerbacks, Antoooooooonnnnio maaaakes the grab. Breaks a tackle, throws a stiff arm, hits the sideline, and now he's sprinting toooooooooo the hooouuuusssssseeeeee."