While most Patriots fans this past weekend watched with glee as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was denied a return trip to the Super Bowl, I couldn't help remember the time 11 years ago when I didn't completely detest the guy. It was just for a few moments. Right after I heard he'd chosen local favorites 6gig's "Hit the Ground" as his hype music for Super Bowl XXXV.
Whether he actually had good taste, or it was just some random publicist that made a deal with Ultimatum Records and informed Ray after the fact, is hard to know. But it's undeniable that the song is pretty great for getting fired up. The chorus positively detonates.
The Chicago Tribune had this to say at the time: "The tune blaring from the Ravens' locker room is described as 'Who Let the Dogs Out' but with an edgier heavy metal tone (and hopefully less annoying)." Yes, really.
It got me thinking as the Pats spend the next two weeks prepping for the big game: Every player needs some good hype music, but maybe not every player has an ambitious publicist with connections to the music world. So, here are some suggestions:
TOM BRADY Satellite Lot, "That Wasn't Me," Second Summer | Brady's assessment of his performance against the Ravens? "Well, I sucked pretty bad today." Yeah, no shit. I'm not sure if he "let my pride get carried away" or what, but if that's the performance the Pats get in the Super Bowl, there are going to be any number of New Englanders sympathizing with the title of Satellite Lot's sophomore disc: Sleepwalk in a Burning Building. Considering Brady's affinity for Uggs and supermodels, he won't mind the chiming tambourine.
ELI MANNING Holy Boys Danger Club, "The Pressure," The Boo Box | Yep, he's "going down, down, down."
MATT LIGHT Theodore Treehouse, "Big Monsters," Mercury: Closest to the Sun | As left tackle, in charge of making sure Tom Brady stays upright, who can sympathize more with this chorus: "We fight big monsters every night." If Light is going to keep Jason Pierre-Paul from knocking Brady into next week, he's going to need to be fired up by this song's brief halt and then crashing "alright!" in its second half, lead singer Ian Ferrel seeming to expire with the effort at the finish.
LAWRENCE TYNES Eric Bettencourt, "Miss Miserable," The Giraffe Attack Sessions | Hey, if missing works for Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff, it works for the Giants kicker, too . . .
AARON HERNANDEZ Foam Castles, "My Horticulture Friends," Come Over to My House | Why is Aaron Hernandez on the Patriots, combining with Rob Gronkowski to form the most-feared tight-end tandem in the league? Well, basically because he failed numerous drug tests for smoking dope while at the University of Florida and Patriots coach Bill Belichick grabbed him in the fourth round, taking a chance. Listening to this digitally infused head-nodder, sure to get you on the right vibe, I say, smoke all the dope you want, Aaron. We can be horticulture friends.
VINCE WILFORK Whitcomb, "An Assassin," demo track | We think of an assassin as entering in the dead of night, making the kill, and then slipping away into the darkness. But it's the kill that's important, and like this tune, big Vince is unrelenting and methodical in the middle of the defensive line. And unstoppable.