Welcome back to football season, my friends.
On Saturday, the Huskers take the field in Memorial Stadium. And next week, the NFL kicks off with three nights of football.
To help get you in the mood to see long passes and hear the clack of shoulder pads, I scoured my music catalog and clicked through playlists to find the best football songs.
Some of these songs are directly related to the games you’re going to watch (theme songs and tributes) and others are just tunes about the gridiron and its players.
12. “The Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney
Lyrically, this is a fantastic great song about memories of watching football, playing football, being a football fan — experiencing football. Unfortunately for Chesney, down-tempo songs do better describing a slower-moving sport such as baseball.
11. “All Kinds of Time” by Fountains of Wayne
As often happens when you’re actually playing football, time slows down. Six seconds can feel like four and a half minutes. Fountains of Wayne turn that slow-motion feeling into a song that captures one play: a blitzing defense, a quarterback scrambling and, finally, an open man.
10. “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” by Hank Williams Jr.
Before he turned it into “Are You Ready For Some Football,” Hank Jr. did this song, which is just about a perfect description of every time I have ever hosted a Husker viewing party at my own house.
9. “Monday Night Football Theme”
You’ll hear it countless times over the NFL season on promos, ads and during the actual games, but that four-note melody lets you know that football is coming. It’s unmistakable.
8. “Three Great Alabama Icons” by Drive-By Truckers
Only a third of the song is about football, but the verse about Bear Bryant is about the love of football and men who know how to win it.
7. “The Super Bowl Shuffle” by the 1985 Chicago Bears
Not the best football song ever because it’s actually kind of bad. So bad and silly that it’s amazing, right?
6. “Fall of the Star High School Running Back” by The Mountain Goats
At only two minutes long, this song tracks the life of a star football player with everything going for him. Then in his junior year, he blows his knee out and later gets arrested for selling drugs. A sad story, but it sounds like several we’ve heard before.
5. “Heart of a Champion” by Nelly and Lincoln University
Perfect for your workout playlist (seriously, add it and thank me later), this tune features a second verse about football and a lot of lines about being the best you can be.
4. “Classic Battle” by Sam Spence
Anyone who has ever seen a production by NFL Films knows this music: The smart, classically-styled string melodies that play over old footage of running backs leaping linebackers and catching long, impossible passes for the touchdown. It’s so ingrained in me that I hear this song when I recall favorite plays in my head.
3. “The Last Game of the Season” by David Geddes
If you’re not moved by this song about a boy and his dad and the last game of the season, you are dead inside. I’m not ashamed to admit it gives me chills.
2. “Green and Yellow” by Lil Wayne
Even if you’re not a fan of the Packers, you have to acknowledge the genius of this reworking of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” full of references to Aaron Rodgers, Vince Lombardi and cheese as well as disses on the Bears, Ben Roethlisberger and Dallas.
1. “Not as Much as Football” by Mojo Nixon
“Do you love me more than the Huskers?” Not sure any Husker fan, man or woman, wants to hear that from their significant other during the season, but some of you undoubtedly will. Psychobilly icon Mojo Nixon runs through a list of things that come in second to his lady. But does he love her as much as football? No. No, he does not.
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