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4/25/2007 04:46:00 PM
Top Sports-Sounding Band Names
By Mike McAllister, SI.com
The Zambonis would make even Lord Stanley tap his toes.
My favorite music/sports moment came during the 1970s -- or maybe it was the early '80s; it's all a bit hazy now -- when the Beach Boys performed on the field following a Texas Rangers game at the now-demolished Arlington Stadium. One of the working stiffs inside the press box soon crawled out a window and started dancing on the ledge. Whether he was swept up in that night's rendition of Surfin' Safari or just glad to have made deadline following another interminably long Rangers game (no doubt a loss), the incident serves as a reminder that playing shortstop and playing lead guitar are not mutually exclusive dreams for the common man.
That music/sports memory also got me to wondering: What are the greatest sports-sounding band names? Here at SI.com, you don't have to look very far -- our monthly hockey columnist, John Ondrasik, is the lead singer of Five For Fighting. But for objectivity's sake, I won't put Five For Fighting on my top-five list (although they're an obvious top three). Another hockey-named band, however, does rise to the top:
1. The Zambonis ... On the group's Web site, founder Dave Schneider says, "We're the only band in the world whose two biggest influences are The Beatles and Wayne Gretzky." Indeed, these guys are without equal in combining sport with music. Check out some of their song titles: Bob Marley and the Hartford Whalers, The Referee's Daughter, Davey Hatrick. The Zambonis are responsible for hundreds of mullet-haired, jersey-wearing guys playing air guitar with their Sher-Woods (intentional double entendre).
2. The Outfield ... Originally called The Baseball Boys, this group's first album was Play Deep. Other albums include Extra Innings and Big Innings. The band members weren't baseball fans (one of them just happened to watch a movie with gang members wearing caps and wielding bats, and thought it was cool), but their ties to the national pastime paid dividends, as this British group enjoyed most of its fame in the U.S. (Side note: If I was starting an Outfield tribute band, I'd call it Warning Track.)
3. The Human League ... Haven't seen the latest standings yet, but I'm hovering around the .500 mark and still hoping to make the playoffs in the Approaching Midlife Crisis division. (By the way, I'd rather avoid talking about the group, since any reference is usually followed by 20 minutes of trying to get that damn Don't You Want Me chorus out of my head.)
4. Helmet ... Why Riddell doesn't sponsor a tour for this New York City band is beyond me. Of course, maybe it has something to do with the heavy-metal group's material, which includes such feel-good ditties as Biscuits for Smut and See You Dead. Rock on!
5. Ace of Base ... There's room for only one ABBA on this planet, which is why AofB was relegated to living in the shadows of their more famous Swedish compatriots. But hey, ABBA didn't reference Section 16 of the rules adopted in 1860 by the National Association of Base Ball Players ("No ace nor base can be made upon a foul ball ...").
OK, now it's your turn. What's your favorite sports-sounding band name?
From the pitchers-only file, there's a band called Koufax, a Bay Area-band called Honeycut (remember Rick, the former Dodger and A?) and, from my college days, a St. Paul band called Dick Tidrow. Calgary Flame Darren McCarty is lead singer in a band called Grinder. Hey, how about Dropkick Murphy's?