The Patriots are five-point favorites over the Eagles in the Super Bowl, according to Vegas. Know what? That’s fine. In Philadelphia, we like being underestimated. We want to be the underdogs. May the odds be never in our favor. With that, here’s a little playlist to get you pumped for the big game. Some are underdog anthems. Some are historical curiosities. At least one made the list just because it mentions eagles. Play these loud.
1. Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger”
Total cliché, right? Right. What, am I supposed to ignore the famous stuff? This is football, not stump-the band. Besides, this 1982 hit and Rocky III theme song still does what it’s supposed to: Get the adrenaline going. (Just ask Kevin Hart.)
2. Meek Mill, “Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)”
Pompous, politically incorrect and currently incarcerated, Meek Mill’s not the easiest guy to love but, hell, neither are the rest of us. According to a million articles, the Eagles have been using this track by the North Philly rapper to get psyched in the locker room. Why not? It’s righteous and defiant and it’s got a killer beat once it gets going. “Like that little engine, I could.”
3. The Roots, “The Fire/Fly Eagles Fly”
You’d never know it from the Fox broadcast, but Black Thought, Questlove and company played the halftime show at the NFC Championship game against the Vikings. They did a good job working “Gonna Fly Now” into the mix, too.
4. DiskothiQ, “Eagles”
Here’s a deep cut. In 1999, So-Cal lo-fi band DiskothiQ released their cult-favorite Football Albums, dedicating a song to each team in the NFL. They did us proud: “Picture the scene, the silver and green / There’s blood on their hands / There’s blood in the stands / They drink till they’re sick / They whip out their—” I think you see where they’re going with it.
5. The Misfits, “Where Eagles Dare”
Just a good solid punk fight song that happens to mention eagles. Danzig screams “I ain't no goddamn son of a bitch” a bunch of times, which is cool.
6. McFadden & Whitehead, “Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now (The Philadelphia Eagles Version)”
The disco-soul duo came up with several versions of their 1979 smash hit, including ones for the Phils and Sixers. This Eagles iteration, recorded for the ’80-’81 season, featured a chorus of cheerleaders and some football-themed lyrics: “I know they’ve got so many yards to go / but where they’ll end up—that Super Bowl.” Dick Vermeil gets a shoutout, too.
7. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson”
A too-realistic underdog story from the pre-Willennial heroes of Philly hip-hop. Sure, Will Smith lost this round, but he went on to play Muhammad Ali, who totally would’ve beat Tyson. So. Yay.
8. Pink, “Get the Party Started”
Why Pink? Because she’s from Philly. And she’s singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. And this song’s all about getting pumped up. And this list was turning into a dude fest.
9. The 1988 Philadelphia Eagles, “Buddy's Watchin' You”
Okay, let’s pause for a good chuckle. The ’88 Eagles players paid awkward tribute to coach Buddy Ryan with this unforgettable if egregiously uncool song—and pretty much killed the “rapping football team” trend. Jerome Brown, Randall Cunningham, Mike Quick, Luis Zendejas, Reggie White, Andre Waters and their assorted caterpillar mustaches all took turns on the mic. The kicker had the funniest verse: “Luis Zendejas / I kick field goals / Am I nervous? / Yeah, I suppose.” Hey, it was for charity. One year later, Zendejas was a Cowboy and the alleged the target of Buddy Ryan’s ire in the infamous Bounty Bowl. Was he nervous? I suppose.
10. Harry Kalas, “High Hopes”
Yeah it’s baseball and yeah it’s a sentimental choice, but the legendary Phillies announcer was tapping into this city’s underdog spirit when he started leading the crowd in this old chestnut, long before the team won the championship. “High Hopes” started out as a Sinatra hit in the late ’50s, and lots of old crooners took a crack at it, from Sammy Davis Jr. to Doris Day, but I grew up watching Laverne and Shirley cheer each other up with it on re-runs. Despite its shoddy sound quality, Harry’s 2008 version was the best, because it was the first time we’d actually seen that ant move the rubber tree plant.
Check out more of our Super Bowl coverage:
- Local Boston Markets get a name change for the Super Bowl: Philly Market
- Survey says gay men overwhelmingly support the Eagles. Nick Foles? Not so much.
- Awesome photos of Eagles fans celebrating on Broad Street Sunday night
- Local doughnut shop bans New England-themed treats till after the Super Bowl