It’s an understatement to say that the Queen City is roaring right now thanks to the Super Bowl-bound Cincinnati Bengals. Everywhere you go there are tiger stripes, orange gear and hometown-proud folks rocking their version of quarterback Joe Burrow’s signature tinted Tony Stark shades.
And while Joey Franchise has cemented his new BFF status with his favorite rapper, Kid Cudi, the Cleveland-bred MC isn’t the only one pumping out “Who Dey” energy these days. Jim Peterik, the co-writer of Survivor‘s 1982 Grammy-winning Billboard No. 1 smash “Eye of the Tiger,” is feeling it too. In celebration of the Bengals’ first trip to the big game in more than three decades, the 71-year-old rocker — and current guitarist in Pride of Lions and Ides of March — has re-written the Rocky III pump-up anthem in support of the boys in orange and black.
“There is so much tiger energy in the air this year. We’ve got the 40th anniversary of ‘The Eye of the Tiger,’ it’s the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Tiger and we have star quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow of the LSU tigers taking the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl,” said Peterik — the Survivor co-founder who penned the song with the group’s guitarist, Frankie Sullivan — as he punctuated his tribute with an unplugged version of the track’s stirring guitar refrain.
“Joe Burrow has the eye of the tiger and he’s going to bring this one home for Cincinnati!” Peterik added before singing the song’s familiar, blood-stirring chorus, “It’s the eye of the tiger/ It’s the thrill of the fight/ Rising up to the challenge of our rival/ And the last known survivor/ Stalks his prey in the night/ And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger.”
“I may not be the biggest football fan, but when the Bengals are at the Super Bowl, I know who I’m rooting for! Joe Burrow’s got the EYE OF THE TIGER – this one’s for you!” Peterik wrote alongside the video, which ends with him singing some revamped lyrics — “Joe Burrow got the eye of the tiger/ The Bengals got the eye of the tiger” — while sporting an orange blazer to go with his tiger-striped shirt and acoustic guitar.
“Eye of the Tiger” spent six consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1982, was nominated for an Oscar and earned the band a best rock performance by a duo or group with vocals at the 25th Grammy Awards. The Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams at 6:30 ET on Sunday on NBC.
Watch Peterik’s video below.