8 Songs For An Alternate Super Bowl 50 Playlist

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8 Songs For An Alternate Super Bowl 50 Playlist

It’s here! It’s time! It’s all happening! It’s Super Bowl 50, people! While this is a list of tunes in honor of SB50, we’re not going to throw some corny catalog of overused We Will Rock You’s or Eye Of The Tiger’s at you. This is more of the thinking person’s Super Bowl playlist, with songs that actually seem relevant to the situations and issues at hand in this game of American games. So with that in mind, let’s play ball; here are eight songs for an alternate Super Bowl playlist.

1. “Sunday Morning,” The Velvet Underground

“Sunday morning/Restless dawning/It’s just a restless feeling/By my side.” That’s because it’s Super Bowl Sunday, bro. That’s most probably not what Lou Reed was thinking when he penned those famous lyrics. But, hey, you never know. It’s for sure what you are thinking with the big game just hours away. Broncos, Panthers, chips, dip, and a whole lot of people who know nothing about football and just watch for the commercials will encompass your house here shortly and there’s no turning back now. First, though, be one with the coolness, calmness of the Velvets before the Super Bowl storm.

2. “Starman,” David Bowie

The Thin White Duke knew the score. The legend laid down this epic ‘70s tune like a fable about a world-beating star like only the Super Bowl can produce. We have two whopping names in lights on football’s biggest stage at the biggest star-making position in all of sports, Peyton Manning and Cam Newton, both striving to be the biggest star of the year and maybe even Super Bowl history.

3. “Old Man,” Neil Young

Speaking of the big game’s leading men, if this isn’t the perfect song to describe the narrative arc between these two quarterbacking foes, then Cam Newton doesn’t do the dab. “Old man look at my life / I’m a lot like you were,” might as well be stamped on the Atlanta-native’s chest along with his Superman logo as he approaches his elder counterpart Peyton Manning on the field Sunday. Both big-time gunslingers, control freaks and fearless captains of their respective crews, 13 years separate these foes. It’s the biggest storyline by far, and one foretold through the words of our greatest musical sage. Let’s just hope his “like a coin that won’t get tossed” lyric from this tune doesn’t come true and bring anarchy to the game like in the NFC Championship.

4. “The Blacker The Berry,” Kendrick Lamar

The quarterback is the most revered and scrutinized position in the NFL. But when race enters the discussion on sports’ biggest stage, that vantage point is magnified even more. Cam Newton—like hip-hop’s current philosopher with a mic, Kendrick Lamar—is just the guy to shine an extra bright light on the subject. When Newton said last week, “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people,” he took the issue on headfirst like only the truly composed can in the current state of race relations. And Kendrick Lamar put those ideals, and much deeper concerns, into this magnum race relations opus from his lauded latest release To Pimp A Butterfly.

5. “Strahan Has Corralled The Freaks,” Centro-Matic

A song inspired by the greatest sack artist of all time (statistically speaking, of course) is the perfect way to highlight this Super Bowl’s masters of taking down the quarterback, which, of course, is the key to good defense in football. Von Miller, Denver’s well-known, quarterback-hunting veteran, plays the role of NFL legend Michael Strahan here. With 11 sacks on the season, Miller leads Denver’s defense once again. Also with 11 sacks is Carolina’s Kawann Short, who seems to represent the band Centro-Matic—one of the most underrated rock bands of the ‘90s-’00s. Short is the leader of a nameless unit that does the dirty work to support their quarterback’s glitzy style on offense. Play it one more time, in the name of knocking down that QB.

6. “Make A Play,” Wiz Khalifa

As exemplified in his recent calling out of Kanye West recently, Mr. Khalifa is not one to pull any punches. So like he says, this game is about these gentlemen getting on the field and doing the damn thing. The Panthers have things covered on all bases, with the ability to move the chains with Cam Newton’s unpredictability on the ground or sturdy tight end Greg Olsen. They can also air it out thanks to frequent flying wideout Ted Ginn Jr. On the other hand, the Broncos have arguably the one of the best QBs in the history of the league who, despite his age, will still be a big-time leader. He’ll have Demaryius Thomas catching those passes and the thunder-lighting combo of C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman to tote the rock. Let the best plays win.

7. “Last Goodbye,” Jeff Buckley

That’s right. This could be it for the great Peyton Manning. Whether he goes out on top or not remains to be seen, but regardless the gone-to-soon Jeff Buckley’s anthem about closing the door and walking away resonates in a serious way with the Tennessee Volunteers legend and NFL all-time passing leader. It’s been one hell of a road, too, as Manning holds every record not tacked down in the league. No one has more pass yards or touchdowns. The dude’s got 14 Pro Bowl selections in 19 seasons, five MVPs, a Super Bowl ring, and even a Comeback Player of the Year award after he proved once before he wasn’t “too old.” Well, good luck in this game old man, but you probably won’t need it, champ.

8. “We Are The Champions,” Queen

All right, so we said no corny sports songs but, sorry, this one just must be. It’s been played a million times, sang along to by a million people, but on Sunday one more team and one more fanbase are going to belt it out one more time like it’s never been sung before. And cheers to them, because they’ll deserve it.

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