Power Ranking the Best Songs in Sports

We’ve already covered the most embarrassing examples of walkout or walkup songs in sports, but what about the best songs? From college football to baseball to mixed martial arts, let’s talk about some of the best use of music in sports.

#10 “Ain’t No Sunshine” – DMX, Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva’s walkout at UFC 148 still brings me chills when I think about it. You could cut the tension in the arena that night with a knife. “Ain’t No Sunshine” only added to that sentiment, especially with Silva’s hated rival Chael Sonnen awaiting him in the cage. A perfect piece of music to accompany a legend to the Octagon.

#9 “Enter Sandman” – Metallica, Mariano Rivera, Virginia Tech Football

The only reason that “Enter Sandman” doesn’t rank higher on this list? Overuse. Both former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and the Virginia Tech Hokies football team use the song for their entrances. Unfortunately, so do several other sports figures. With that said, I love the scenes of Lane Stadium coming alive to the song and that’s enough for it to find it’s way on to my list

#8 “The Foggy Dew” – Sinead O’Connor & The Chieftains + “Hypnotize” – The Notorious B.I.G., Conor McGregor

No matter how you feel about the fighter in question, when Sinead O’Connor’s voice comes over the speakers singing “The Foggy Dew” you know action is about to happen in the cage. In the edited version, McGregor uses transitions into a hip-hop classic in Biggie’s “Hypnotize”. The one-two punch makes for one of the best uses of entrance music in sports.

#7 “Sweet Caroline” – Neil Diamond, Boston Red Sox

“Sweet Caroline” always felt like a bit of a weird fit for sports and yet the crowd goes absolutely wild for the tune at Fenway Park. Played preceding the bottom of the eighth in Boston, the feel-good tune induces a sing-along every time. It may not be the typical sports jam, but when it gets this strong of a reaction it deserves a mention among the best songs in sports.

#6 “Chelsea Dagger” – The Fratellis, Chicago Blackhawks

Bias alert. As a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, I firmly believe that “Chelsea Dagger” holds the top spot in the NHL goal song rankings. The whimsical chanting of the “da da das” after hearing the goal horn go off gets me going. The video above from the 2015 Hawks celebrations with “Chelsea Dagger” blaring through the speakers encapsulates what makes this song so endearing to me.

#5 “Narco” – Timmy Trumpet, Edwin Diaz

Edwin Diaz’s walk from the bullpen to the mound became a cultural phenomenon in the back half of the 2022 MLB season. Mets fans went nuts for Timmy Trumpet’s “Narco”. The rest of the league, even rivals of the Mets, seemed to enjoy the moment. “Narco” may be the newest entry on the list, but the top five ranking in the best songs in sports power ranking is well deserved.

#4 “Jump Around” – House of Pain, Wisconsin Football

Attending a Wisconsin football game and bouncing to “Jump Around” before the start of the fourth quarter would mean crossing off a bucket list item of mine. A lot of teams have tried copying the tradition, but it’s hard to replicate just how quickly the song took over. The crowd immediately gets hyped up when it comes on; a perfect use of music for the fourth quarter in tight games.

#3 “Country Roads” – John Denver, West Virginia Football

My bias makes another appearance for this entry, but having witnessed the crowd at Milan Puskar Stadium sing “Country Roads” after a win firsthand in 2022, it’s a magical scene. The whole stadium in Morgantown joins in. The West Virginia anthem induces chills when you hear it sung by 50,000-plus Mountaineer faithful.

#2 “Rocky Top” – Osborne Brothers, University of Tennessee Athletics

We’re sticking around Appalachian football for our number-two entry on this power ranking. Detractors would argue that “Rocky Top” is played entirely too much at Tennessee football games. I understand the criticism. However, the adoption of a bluegrass tune as a college football anthem speaks to my heart and as much as I hope to not hear it too much when Texas A&M plays at Neyland Stadium in 2023 – I am honor bound to include the song high on my list. An absolute banger indeed.

#1 “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – Gerry and the Pacemakers, Liverpool FC

Hard to believe that a show tune from a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical would become one of the most iconic pieces of music in all of sports and yet here we are. When local Liverpool band Gerry and the Pacemakers released a recording of the song, it quickly gained popularity at Anfield. The rest was history. Liverpool supporters quickly adopted the song as their own and it became an anthem of the club. As much as it hurts my Tottenham heart to admit it, I firmly believe this song to be incredibly iconic and a no-brainer for the number-one spot in this best songs in sports power ranking.

Honorable Mentions: “Seven Nation Army” – The White Stripes(Miscellaneous Teams), “We Will Rock You” – Queen(Miscellaneous Teams), “Renegade” – Styx (Pittsburgh Steelers), “Neck” – LSU Band, “Dixieland Delight” – Alabama (Alabama Football), “Shipping Up To Boston” – Dropkick Murphys (Forrest Griffin), “Sandstorm” – Darude (South Carolina Football)

What songs did we miss? Let us know on social media at Pokatok_Fest now!

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