10. Monday Night Football Theme Song:
Mondays suck. But for 18 Mondays a year, they suck a little less because we get Monday Night Football. Actually, now they’re doing a Wild Card playoff game on Monday Nights, so we now have 19 Mondays That Suck Less Than Normal Mondays. That’s a win for the boys.
The MNF theme song is a classic, one that every sports fan will instantly recognize. It has a little bit of a 70s-ish vibe to it, which harks back to the Old Days of Football. And who doesn’t like the Old Days of Football?
9. The Masters Theme Song:
“Hello friends, Jim Nantz here live from Augusta…”
The Masters is just different. It’s special. And that’s because it has special music.
The moment you see that first commercial for the Masters, and you hear this song start playing, you know that springtime is just around the corner, and you will soon be basking in the magical glow of Augusta National.
8. Sunday Night Football on NBC
When you hear the Sunday Night Football theme, you know you’re about to watch the biggest matchup of the week. You say goodbye to Scott Hanson and RedZone, you flip over to NBC for Football Night in America, and settle in for prime time. It’s a theme song befitting the moment. When you hear it, your ears perk up a bit. It just sounds so official and momentous. It lends credibility to the idea that, despite Sunday Night Football games being worth the same as any other game, somehow they’re more important than a normal game. The whole nation is watching. There are no other games on to distract you. This is THE GAME of the week.
You hear it, and you think of Al Michaels going, “Aaaaand it isssssss…. CAAAAUGHT!”
Unfortunately the reality is that the game ends up being Cowboys-Giants more often than we’d like, but whatever. The SNF theme song is iconic.
7. NFL on CBS:
While I think the Fox song is better than the CBS one by just a bit, for some reason the CBS theme just brings back better memories for me, personally. I just think I’ve watched better games on CBS, and that’s probably because CBS usually carries the AFC games, and the AFC for years had Brady and Manning. Plus the Steelers and Ravens are on CBS a lot, and now the Chiefs as well.
You hear it and you immediately know, shit’s going down.
6. NHL on NBC
I have so many memories of the Blackhawks winning Stanley Cups, and this song was playing throughout every one of them. That, and Chelsea Dagger, but that’s a Chicago-only thing. The legendary Doc Emrick on the call–it’s the unmistakable sound of playoff hockey. Sadly, Doc hung up the microphone after a long and storied career, and the NHL will now move to ESPN, so this classic song will be retired. Fortunately, ESPN has a really good hockey theme song (and Barry Melrose) so we’ll be in good hands going forward:
5. NBA on ESPN
I love the NBA on ESPN’s theme song. Even though they still use it today, for me, it just brings back so many memories of the LeBron Heat era, specifically the 2013 Finals. A slow-motion video montage of Mike Miller knocking down a three, LeBron backpedaling down the court, Mike Breen saying “BANG!,” Mark Jackson saying, “Momma, there goes that man!” while the NBA on ESPN theme plays in the background. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was the most entertaining era of NBA basketball of my lifetime. Even more than the Cavs-Warriors era, I think.
The NBA on ESPN’s theme song is just synonymous with high-stakes playoff basketball. The NBA playoffs would not hit the same without it.
4. NBA on NBC:
Unfortunately it’s no longer used since NBC no longer broadcasts the NBA, but this theme song needs to make a comeback somehow. Nelly even turned it into a song.
By the way, Football Rap is another thing that needs to make a comeback somehow. Remember Football Rap back in the 2000s? “Bring ‘Em Out” by TI, “Till I Collapse” by Eminem, “Cant’ Be Stopped” by Roy Jones Jr., “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor, “Here Comes the Boom” by Nelly and POD, “Take it to Da House,” by Trick Daddy, “Forever” by Drake, “Tear it Up” by Yung Wun, DMX, and David Banner… I could go on and on. Football Rap was the shit. Basically any rap song from a 2000s Madden Game. Oh, how could I forget the “Never Scared” remix by Bonecrusher. That might be the GOAT of all Football Rap songs.
3. NFL on FOX:
Beyond iconic. The Fox NFL theme song is an institution at this point. There is no theme song that better captures the essence of the sport it’s paired with than the NFL on FOX song. When I was a kid, I thought it was the NFL’s official theme music. And it should be. This song literally is the essence of football. It’s perfect in every way. Unfortunately it’s usually wasted on an afternoon Cowboys game, but that shouldn’t detract from how great this theme song is.
2. March Madness on CBS:
Just magical. It’s late March. The weather is just starting to get nice. The world is coming back to life after a long winter. You throw on a pair of shorts once the temperature hits 58. College basketball is on round the clock. Your bracket has been busted since the first 4pm on the first Thursday of the tournament, but you don’t care because March Madness is just the best. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
1. College football on CBS:
This is my absolute favorite. It’s the drums. Listen to those drums. Whoever is the drummer for this song, the dude was going absolutely ape-shit on those things. I always crank up the volume when they play this song on CBS. Nothing better captures the feeling of a Saturday afternoon down South. I miss Uncle Verne so much, though. He was the best. I’m not old enough to remember Keith Jackson, so to me Uncle Verne is and will always be the voice of college football. I like Brad Nessler a lot, though. He’s a great successor to Verne, but you can never truly replace a legend.
I don’t know why I like this one the best. Maybe it’s because I have a soft spot for college football. But this one is my #1.
Honorable Mention: MLB on FOX
I don’t really pay much attention to baseball anymore, but I used to love it when I was a kid back in the 2000s, and this was the definitive baseball theme song. Maybe the reason I don’t like baseball anymore is because the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball theme song sucks and is boring as shit. I hear it and I instantly start getting drowsy. Whatever the word is for the exact opposite of getting hyped up, that’s what the MLB on ESPN song does to me. It sounds like it should be the intro music to a PBS Frontline documentary.
FOX’s MLB theme song, on the other hand, is absolutely electric. I hear it, and I trick myself into thinking I actually want to watch baseball. I’m like, “Damn, this is about to be HYPE!” And then the game starts and it’s, y’know, baseball. But maybe, now that it’s October, if we get a playoff game at Fenway that’s close in the 7th or 8th inning, and Fox starts blasting this jam, it might move the needle for me. It might get juices going.
But only if this song is playing.