Give a football player a big trophy and what does he do? Sing. Unfortunate as it is. It seems that at least in the latter half of the 1980s --a reasonably treacherous time for both American fashion and music-- that success equaled the chance to record a pop hit, talent or not. (Just like American Idol, perhaps.)
Not every Super Bowl Champion followed in the same footsteps of the Chicago Bears. But the suggestion that professional athletes should sing, dance and rap was an idea with legs. Albeit a bad one.
Actually the idea came from a man named Randy Weigand, a die-hard Bears fan and music nut. Wiegand, who had some contacts in the recording industry had penned the tune himself, pushing the idea to produce the record and choreograph a rap song for the Chicago Bears to perform shortly after crushing the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX.
"The Super Bowl Shuffle" - Chicago Bears (1985)
For what it's worth, the Chicago Bears' song peaked at number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. And like it or not, the Bears appeared to put their heart and soul into the production. [A half hour long glimpse of the video's production and the story behind it can be watched here. ]
But the ensemble didn't stop there. A few years early the Raiders, who had just relocated from Oakland to LA, were a similar rough-and-tumble powerhouse in the NFL. After their first season in LA, the Raiders went 12-4 in the 1983 season and paraded to a brutal 38-9 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII.
Yet, the Raiders (one could argue) put a handsomer spin on things, with Howie Long and Marcus Allen dancing and singing more glamorously with Hollywood swagger.
"Silver and Back" - Los Angeles Raiders (1986)
Still, there's no easy explanation why the Raiders waited almost three seasons until the beginning of the 1986 season - a campaign in which they then went 8-8 and missed the playoffs-- to record a victory song of similar bravado to that of the Bears.
Probably the worst of all the 1980s NFL song-and-dance was the Philadelphia Eagles' take on Top 40. To start the 1988 season, the Eagles had chosen one-time Mike Ditka assistant Buddy Ryan as their head coach. After Ryan's introduction, both sports writers and fans thought the Birds could be Bowl bound. But they never got there.
Despite the Eagles' deep talent on both offense and defense, including superstars Reggie White and quarterback Randall Cunningham, the team could only fashion a division title. Regular season groove could carry them to the Super Bowl with an 0-3 playoff record during Ryan's tenure.
"Buddy's Watching You" - Philadelphia Eagles (1988)
In "Buddy's Watching You", released before the playoffs, the Eagles sing a shout out to their heavily involved coach Ryan. Players like wide receiver Keith "Yeah Boy, Quarterback's best friend!" Jackson crack and croon about their positions on the team, as others like kicker Luis Zendajas squirm uncomfortably with their rapping roles on record.
Worst of all, the Eagles couldn't even dress for the occasion. Unlike the Bears and Raiders, who wore their uniforms in their music videos, Philly's men opted for black jackets with their wack tracks.