Super Bowl XLVIII Playlist: Matching Seahawks & Broncos Players to Songs
By Scott T. Sterling
The impending Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks has scalpers feeling blue with the ticket resale market being the softest it’s been in years. But for diehard football fans who are happy enough to watch it anywhere but in frigid New Jersey, it’s shaping up to be a match for the ages.
The game presents multiple story lines, from the almost superhuman comeback of Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning after neck fusion surgery to the game’s vociferous counterpoint and pundit darling Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who shocked and upset legions of fans with his explosive post-game interview with Erin Andrews after the NFC Championship game (although Andrews herself called it “awesome”).
The colorful cast of characters set to populate this year’s big game come with a palpable rhythm which inspired this player (and coach) playlist, utilizing artists and songs reflective of those towering personalities and, in some cases, egos.
Peyton Manning = Kenny Chesney’s “The Boys of Fall”
(Kevin C. Cox/Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Few players personify the spirit of football more perfectly than Manning. The future Hall of Fame QB is a major fan of country music, and is known for being friendly with such artists as Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney, who penned this ode to football known to make grown men cry that might as well be Manning’s theme song.
Demaryius Thomas = Immortal Technique’s “Leaving the Past”
(Streeter Lecka/Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Thomas’ story of growing up in a harsh environment is well documented. He’s the only player whose mother and grandmother will be watching the Super Bowl from prison (both are behind bars for cocaine distribution). His football prowess allowed him to elevate from his grim surroundings to become a star player, which makes this track from underground rapper Immortal Technique a powerful reflection of Thomas’ own trajectory.
Wes Welker = Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive”
(Maddie Meyer/Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
After becoming a star receiver with the New England Patriots, Welker found himself on the Broncos after he was unable to reach a contract agreement with his old team. Becoming one of Manning’s favorite targets, he helped the Broncos defeat his former franchise in the AFC Championship en route to the Super Bowl. “Welcome to the new age” indeed.
Champ Bailey = Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”
(Scott Halleran/Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
This 15-season NFL veteran is considered among the best cornerbacks to play the game, a future Hall of Fame defender revered as a hero even among his pro contemporaries. Despite his stellar career, this is Bailey’s first shot at a Super Bowl. As his playing days draw closer to an end, it could very well be his only chance to perform on the game’s biggest stage. All eyes will be on him to see how he rises to the occasion. Cue Eminem.
Coach John Fox = James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing”
(Doug Pensinger/Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
The Broncos will be the second team Fox will have led to the Super Bowl, taking his former team, the Carolina Panthers, to Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2003, where they lost to the New England Patriots. While his Broncos had an outstanding season this year, it was extremely challenging for its leader, with Fox missing four games after an episode on a North Carolina golf course resulted in the coach having aortic valve replacement surgery. Now he’s back and feeling better than ever, ready to march his troops to the promised land.
Russell Wilson = Phish’s “Wilson”
(Grant Halverson/Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
While the Seahawks’ young QB might resemble a Thriller-era Michael Jackson, the only song choice for him is “Wilson,” a song by legendary jam band Phish that grew organically into a fan phenomenon that resulted in it becoming Wilson’s personal theme song that’s played when he takes the field in his home stadium.
Richard Sherman = Kanye West’s “I Am a God”
(Kevin C. Cox/Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
The all-pro cornerback incited endless headlines and controversy for launching into a tirade during an on-air interview just moments after securing his team’s trip to the Super Bowl with a tremendous play against adversary Michael Crabtree of the San Francisco 49ers. Calling himself “the best corner in the game,” this Kanye West track was the obvious choice.
Marshawn Lynch = Breakwater’s “Release the Beast”
(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Lynch created a stir at the Super Bowl’s Media Day by avoiding most interviews, stating that he’s “just about that action.” He’s let his play do his talking this season, going into “Beast Mode”and running through opposing defenses like the second coming of NFL legend Earl Campbell with the ferocity of the Hulk. The Skittles-loving running back will surely “release the beast” at the big game, hence this old-school dance tracks that will sound most familiar to fans of Daft Punk, who sampled the tune for the group’s own hit, “Robot Rock.”
Kam Chancellor = Jay Z’s “Show Me What You Got”
(Otto Greule Jr/Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
The hard-hitting strong safety leads the Seahawks’ feared “Legion of Boom” defense, which played such a large part in the team’s success leading to this year’s Super Bowl appearance. He’ll be daring Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ impressive receiving corps to challenge his abilities on the field, which makes this Jay Z favorite a most appropriate anthem for Chancellor at this weekend’s pivotal game.
Coach Pete Carroll = Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us”
(Otto Greule Jr/Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
In a way similar to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis pushing Seattle music back to the forefront of popular music in a way that hasn’t been seen since the grunge era of the ’90s, the former college football coach at USC has helped make Seattle’s Seahawks a force to be reckoned with, and just one win away from the NFL’s top prize. Known for being a player’s coach who encourages loud music at team practices, Carroll’s knack for letting players be themselves and enjoy the sport has paid off handsomely.