Professional football finally returns on Thursday night (Sept. 4) when the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers square off in the first game of the regular season. Football season means that the weather is getting cooler, school is back in session, and of course, it’s time to shout along to your favorite NFL fight songs.
Most NFL teams possess some sort of official sing-along, a ubiquitous, relatively ancient rallying cry that helps bound fans together. Let’s admit it: a lot of them are pretty stale! However, some teams have fight songs worth remembering regardless of your hometown, be it for clever turns-of-phrases, fun solos and, of course, the hard-fought T-Pain remix. Behold: Billboard.com’s ranking of the 10 best NFL fight songs.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers, “Here We Go”
A steady rocker that has had its lyrics updated since its creation 20 years ago, “Here We Go” is a fun listen, if falling a little short of timelessness. After all, the current version has the line “We’ll go to Mendenhall to get a touchdown/And if you get in his way, he’s gonna knock you around” — a sentiment that no longer holds up, and was never too factual to begin with.
9. Detroit Lions, “Lions Fight Song”
With a line that reads more like a fortune cookie than a football declaration (“With honor you will keep your fame”) and a reliance on the word “yield” in the first rhyme, the Lions possess the thinking man’s fight song — although they still find time for a fun ‘Rah! Rah! Rah!’ chant in the middle.
8. Philadelphia Eagles, “Fly Eagles Fly”
Super-short and instantly memorable, “Fly Eagles Fly” works more like a great jingle than a great fight song. There’s not much musical pizzazz, but everybody at an Eagles game knows all the words.
7. Oakland Raiders, “The Autumn Wind”
A pirate’s constitution with a spoken-word intro, “The Autumn Wind” is a deeply badass rallying cry that you can’t really sing along to, unfortunately. It’s one of a kind, and hopefully makes up for the Raiders’ horrible past decade, at least a little bit.
6. Chicago Bears, “Bear Down, Chicago Bears”
Get it? “Bear” down? It’s more than a little corny and the arrangement is pretty straightforward, but “Bear Down” smacks of history, and the line “We’ll never forget the way you thrilled the nation/With your T-formation” remains pure genius. Until the Bears’ fight song officially changes to the Super Bowl Shuffle, this does just fine.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, “Hey Hey, Tampa Bay”
An unabashed 70’s throwback that you could sneak onto any solid-gold disco compilation, the Bucs fight song is highlighted by some kicky horns and the nonchalant line, “We’re in trouble? That’s okay! We can pull it out.” Not a very practical rally, but a sunny attitude nonetheless.
4. San Diego Chargers, “San Diego Super Chargers”
There’s a staggering amount of emotion embedded in the “San Diego Super Chargers” rally, and enough lightning references (“high-volt play,” “we’ll light up the sky”) to make the song sound almost Zeusian. Oh, and did someone say SAXOPHONE SOLO? More, please.
3. New Orleans Saints, “When The Saints Go Marching In”
You have to hand it to the New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees and co. have an awesome pre-existing song to use as an official fight song. Throw in a couple of “Who dat?” chants, and the Saints fans can boast something both classic and contemporary.
2. Buffalo Bills, “Shout”
Okay, so the Bills have just taken the Isley Brothers’ “Shout,” tossed a couple of “Bills” into the lyrics, and made that their fight song? Highly unoriginal, but gleefully perfect. Well, almost perfect: imagine if they had similarly adapted Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills”! The NFL needs some more R&B girl group jams, after all.
1. Miami Dolphins, “Dolphins Fight Song”
Banjo? Check. Melodies and vocals reminiscent of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”? Check. Fun to sing along to the original version AND the T-Pain remix? Check, and check. The only way the Dolphins’ fight song could be improved is if it somehow incorporated Dan Marino’s appearance in “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.” Nevertheless, Miami owns the best NFL fight song, and, as promised, here’s T-Pain’s version: