July 8th, 2005

Tom Lehrer is Smug


Oh dear. Over the last work break, someone in the room discovered the Brass Bonanza website. It's a super tribute to the Hartford Whalers. Even if you've never heard their victory song, you're gonna get it stuck in your head for the rest of the day (I think groggenspiel would enjoy it, by the way.) As far as hockey teams went, us Western Massachusetts kids pretty much followed the Whalers, as they were the nearest NHL franchise. The Bruins were ok, but they were for Boston kids. And they actually won some games every now and then. The Whalers were crummy but lovable. The Springfield Indians took up the slack in the later days of the Whalers' dynasty, but they were AHL and then they turned into the Falcons when I wasn't looking.

So several of us sat around the harsh white glow of these flatscreen monitors and took a pleasant trip down memory lane for a few minutes, then got back to work.
Tom Lehrer is Smug

A Few Inspiring Sports Program Themes

In a previous comment regarding hockey theme music, zrblm mentioned the theme to Hockey Night in Canada, the one piece of music that has the uncanny ability make an entire unruly mob of hockey-loving Canadians (well, as unruly as a mob of Canadians can get) to stop whatever they're doing and stand at attention. I called it the Unofficial Canadian Anthem (besides whatever Anne Murray is singing at the time.)

Then I realized that Americans don't really have an sports-related equivalent to that theme music. Oh, sure, we have lots of sports-related theme songs, yes, but none of them has that kind of awesome power, none of them is that beloved by us down in the Lower 48 (and our friends in Hawaii and Alaska.) I tried to think of a few themes that come close, with my criteria being instantly recognizable by a large segment of the population (presumably) and enduring enough to withstand program changes and format changes and host changes and whatnot. "Are You Ready For Some Football?" doesn't count. Unfortunately, I couldn't come up with any real current choices that satisfied all these criteria. The closest I could think of was FOX Sports' theme, but it's really not all that inspiring. So instead, I came up with a list of A Few Somewhat Inspiring Sports Program Themes. They really gotta make you want to sit up and watch and beat your chest and throw your empties at Howard Cosell. They are, in no particular order:
  • ABC's Monday Night Football fanfare theme (dun-dun-dun-DUNNNN! dun-dun-dun-DUN-DUNNNNN!) I think this is the closest thing to Hockey Night in Canada that we have. But it lacks the all-encompassing, uh, all-encompassingness.
  • ABC's Wide World of Sports intro (all together, now: "Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport: The thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat. The human drama of athletic competition! THIS is ABC's Wide World of Sports!")
  • CBS' NBA theme for the 80s (If you can't remember it, just pretend you're on the floor of the Boston Garden and say "Hi, I'm Brent Musburger...")
  • The theme to This Week in Baseball before Mel "How About That?" Allen died.

What do you think?