Football (and sports in general) have been a match made in heaven ever since Marvin Gaye used the offensive line of the 1970 Detroit Lions to be his “background party” on the 1971 classic, What’s Goin’ On.
As the NFL celebrated it’s new crop of rookies achieving their dreams of being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, the league allowed these players to select “walk-up music” – something they could strut to while high-fiving their new fans and shaking hands with the commish.
I’ve always found it extremely interesting as to what it is pro-athletes are listening to, for a number of reasons:
1) They’re young and really busy. These guys are prime-right-outta-college age and they just finished one of the toughest experiences of their young lives. The music that permeates through the exterior of morning workout routines, press junkets, coaches meetings, etc, etc.. is probably the music that is the most popular among their peers. With little time to focus on what truly “speaks to them” I would imagine that the music they’re surrounded by becomes their favourite songs – so much so that it becomes THE song they want to accompany them onto the alter of stardom.
2) They’re about to be really stinking rich, and talk to other people who are also really stinking rich. There’s an old story about the man, an very wealthy investor, who had 2 pre-teen daughters and one day one of his neighbors asked him how he grew to be so successful. He replied, I sent my daughters to the mall with $100 each and whatever they came back with I invested in. Back to the NFL… not all of these players are going to make a ton of money, that’s a given. A large majority of them won’t even make the cut on the teams that drafted them, however, that doesn’t mean that they didn’t just shake the hand of a Nike representative, or as pictured above, meet a man who is in change of a $35-billion enterprise. And who do you think that that Nike rep’s barometer on popular music comes from? His iPod running playlist, or the music that his clients listen to at the club?
These are the main two reasons why I probably pay a little more attention to this than I really should, but it’s an interesting study – and anybody who is willing to crunch the numbers would probably find that success of the music and success of the athlete go hand in hand.
(Skip ahead to 13 minutes to see what I mean, but seriously watch this whole thing at some point)
So anyway, let’s see what these young guys are listening to!
Odell Beckham Jr.: “The Sky’s The Limit” – Lil Wayne
Blake Bortles: “Blow Up” – J. Cole
Teddy Bridgewater: “The World’s Greatest” – R. Kelly
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: “Never Would Have Made It” – Marvin Sapp
Jadeveon Clowney: “The Man” – Aloe Blacc
Brandin Cooks and Ryan Shazier: “Everythang” – Young Jeezy
Kony Ealy: “Money Baby” – K Camp
Eric Ebron: “They Don’t Love You No More” – DJ Khaled
Mike Evans: “Trophies” – Young Money feat. Drake
Kyler Fuller and Ra’Shede Hageman: “We Made It” – Drake feat. Soulja Boy
Jimmy Garoppolo: “Good Life” – Kanye West feat. T-Pain
Justin Gilbert: “We Dem Boyz” – Wiz Khalifa
Cyrus Kouandjio: “Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons
Cody Latimer: “Everyday” – Ace Hood
Marqise Lee: “Handsome & Wealthy” – Migos
Taylor Lewan: “Rock City” – Kings Of Leon
Khalil Mack and Greg Robinson: “Happy” – Pharrell Williams
Johnny Manziel: “Draft Day” – Drake
Jake Matthews: “Going The Distance” – Bill Conti
Jordan Matthews: “Through The Wire” – Kanye West
Morgan Moses: “Sideline Story” – J. Cole
C.J. Mosley: “My Favorite Song” – Wiz Khalifa
Calvin Pryor: “Dreams & Nightmares” – Meek Mill
Bradley Roby: “Believe Me” – Drake feat. Lil Wayne
Jason Verrett: “Icy” – Gucci Mane
Sammy Watkins: “Look What You’ve Done” – Drake
Moral of this story is, a lot of hip hop, a little bit of pop, a little bit of country, and an inordinate amount of Drake. Who knew?