There’s nothing quite like being in the arena or stadium when it comes time to introduce the players on the home team.
The lights go dim, a fog machine fires up, maybe flames shoot out of something and threaten to burn the building down. It’s a goosebumps moment that gets the crowd fired up, and hopefully intimidates the opposing team.
But with all those pyrotechnics and special effects, you need music too. And not just any song, you need something that lets people know a big moment is ahead, or that their team is there to kill and they can’t be stopped.
So let’s list the best player introduction songs, in no particular order.
But before we get to our best songs, we have to mention the worst I’ve ever heard.
The Worst: Cotton Eyed Joe
I had a roommate in college who grew up in a small farming town in southern Michigan, and he told us the story about how his high school soccer team would be introduced while this song played, as they walked out of a corn field.
If that’s not the worst player introduction setup possible, I really want to hear what’s worse.
And now, on to our list of the best!
The Final Countdown
This is one of the more stoic intro songs, it may not have everyone going insane, but it almost helps calm you when you hear this one hit and. It also has good build to it.
The Detroit Pistons back in the Goin’ To Work days used this song best, and had some of the best intros in NBA history.
The one is entirely because of the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s when Michael Jordan and crew were winning everything. Seriously, this one came on and it was like the visitors were already in a 10-0 hole.
Here it is when the Bulls used it in 1997. Just amazing graphics on the jumbotron.
Another one that kind of keeps calm, which is a bit odd for Ted Nugent, but regardless, this one again has good build. Give those in the audience a good bit of anticipation.
Amazingly, I couldn’t find any teams that actually use this song for their player intros. Maybe because they don’t want to be associated with Ted Nugent?
This one is wonderful because it starts so simple. “It’s time to play the game!” You know what that means. It also helps that Motorhead plays the hell out of this song.
Seriously, if you go to any soft of sporting event and they don’t play this before the game starts, it sort of feels like a let down.
You really could have made an entire list out of wrestling songs, because that’s what they’re designed to do, get people fired up.
This one sucks you in from the moment it hits because of those bells, and then builds to a terrific peak that gets going pretty hard.
This one was big among baseball closers, particularly Trevor Hoffman, who used this when he was summoned in for the San Diego Padres.
Here he was with the Brewers using it, and just listen to the crowd.
Honestly, if not for the next song this would be my pick for best intro song ever.
Another one that was made huge in baseball, particularly by Mariano Rivera of the Yankees.
Kickstart My Heart
Hands-down the greatest player introduction song ever. Right from the start it gets you going, and has a part that’s easy for the crowd to sing along with when it hits the, “WHOA! YEAH!” part.
Amazingly, the best version of this I’ve ever seen used for player introductions was at a Chicago Wolves game in the AHL. Seriously, watch the whole thing. The mascot shoots flames out of his wrists.
So yeah, that’s my list. I’m at work, and YouTube has been spotty. Any you think I missed?