Fight songs? For professional athletes? Doesn’t that seem a bit…collegiate?
Sure, the fight song may have originated in the US at the academic level (Boston College’s “For Boston” in 1885). No doubt that University fight songs are more recognized by the masses; Notre Dame’s Victory March and the University of Michigan’s “The Victors” come to my mind first. But if you’ve never been to a Lions game, or any NFL game for that matter, it’s tough to describe how a post-scoring song can amp the crowd up. Fortunately for us, we have one to be proud of that stands high above their NFC North rivals.
4. Green Bay Packers (2-14) – “Go! You Packers! Go!”
Hail, hail the gang’s all here to yell for you, And keep you going in your winning ways,
Hail, hail the gang’s all here to tell you too, That win or lose, we’ll always sing you praises Packers;
Go, you Packers, go and get ‘em, Go, you fighting fools upset ‘em,
Smash their line with all your might, A touchdown, Packers, Fight, Fight, Fight, Fight!
On, you Green (Blue) and Gold, to glory,
Win this game the same old story,
Fight, you Packers,
Fight, and bring the bacon home to Old Green Bay.
Finishing in last place in the division is the Packers with their fight song that was first played in 1931. Man, is this song ever uninspirational. For as old of a song this is, there isn’t much history to its lyrics. And I just can’t get over the fact that the term “bring the bacon home” is used. I’m not sure if this was used for comedic relief, but if this were an early 90′s sitcom, they forgot to cue the laugh track. Fight songs are supposed to display some form of team history and pride along with getting the crowd fired up, and I just don’t see it here. Sorry Pack, but for all the touchdowns you score, the ensuing celebration is lacking.
3. Chicago Bears (5-11) – “Bear Down, Chicago Bears”
Bear down, Chicago Bears, Make every play clear the way to victory.
Bear down, Chicago Bears, Put up a fight with a might so fearlessly.
We’ll never forget the way you thrilled the nation, With your T-formation.
Bear down, Chicago Bears, And let them know why you’re wearing the crown.
You’re the pride and joy of Illinois, Chicago Bears, bear down.
Believe me, I wanted to stick Chicago in last place just on principle, but this song offers some actual substance that its neighbor to the north does not. Yes, it sounds like a flute march from the American Revolution, and no, the “bear down” homonym isn’t cute or intimidating, but rather easy. What I do like is the reference to the T-formation, which displays historic relevance. And really, it’s inspring to be called the “pride and joy” of your own state.
2. Minnesota Vikings (12-4) – “Skol, Vikings”
Skol Vikings, let’s win this game,
Skol Vikings, honor your name,
Go get that first down,
Then get a touchdown.
Rock ‘em . . . Sock ‘em, Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Go Vikings, run up the score, You’ll hear us yell for more. . .
Skol, Vikings, let’s go!
“Skol, Vikings” had some real potential, and has been their only fight song since their introduction to the league in 1961. What sets this a couple notches above the others is its catchy melody paired with the Viking horns to lead it off. It’s short, sweet and ends on a high note that gets the blood pulsing. On top of this, it’s traditional, using Old Norse verbiage (“skol,” which translates to “cheers” or a salute to “good health”). However, I can’t help but think of elementary school football cheerleaders when “Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em” comes out of anyone’s mouth. Not to mention spelling out the word “Vikings.” It’s a fun song with a cool link to the mascot that I imagine gets the crazy Vikings’ fans on their feet, but some of the lyrics are just childish.
1. Detroit Lions (15-1) – “Gridiron Heroes”
Forward down the field,
A charging team that will not yield,
And when the Blue and Silver wave,
Stand and cheer the brave!
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Go hard win this game!
With honor you will keep your fame!
Down the field and gain,
A Lion victory!
Easily the divisional winner is here in Detroit. “Gridiron Heroes” is one of the oldest fight songs in the NFL, born back in 1934 when the Portsmouth Spartans became the Detroit Lions. The song is simple, fast, and to the point. No nonsense and no irrelevant banter. Both its title and words like “brave” and “fame” offer reasons for fans to be proud of the blue and silver, all the while providing an excuse to emphatically toast your neighbor’s beer. The best part of it is the epic ending, as the pitch heightens over “Lion’s victory” to everyone yelling “GO LIONS!”
How could any other city but Mo-Town have the best fight song to get the house rockin’?