Volume 96, Issue 11
Tuesday September 17, 2002

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Pump up the jam

Manville
Ryan Dixon
Managing Editor

Talent, character and drive are among the most important qualities any sports team with high aspirations must have. As crucial as these things are to a team's success, they don't hold a candle to the thing any athlete will tell you is the one intangible that can make or break a team's chances – a good CD collection.

No team can ever expect to win anything without the right amount of inspirational music before a game. I'm not talking about the incessant blaring of "Jock Jams" you hear over the public address system at the Air Canada Centre – I'm talking about the old, banged up ghetto-blaster (hey, I said old) that gets propped up in the dressing room and doesn't get a rest until 15 minutes before the game.

The significance of mental preparation can never be underestimated in the sports world. It's often the things you do leading up to the game that determine whether you will be victorious. Having said this, let us examine some ballads which have been known to get results.

AC/DC : "Thunderstruck" – Hands down the classic sports jam of all time. The legendary guitar intro almost makes you want to enter the field of play doing guitarist Angus Young's heel stomp. A word of warning: this song is not recommended for any racket sport, as the temptation to play air guitar is simply too overwhelming.

Survivor: "Eye of the tiger" – This song will forever be linked with the movie Rocky III, which will be remembered for the scene on a beach in California where Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed) and Sylvester Stallone frolic in the Pacific Ocean clad in shorts that would make Daisy Duke blush. Let's go team!

Rage Against the Machine: "Know your enemy" – Lets face it, Rage could inspire a pacifist to put in a mouth guard, strap on a helmet and dive straight into oncoming traffic. If this song doesn't guide your team to victory, it will at the very least raise their social consciousness and perhaps cause them to one day lead a socialist revolution with hockey sticks. Before the fall of communism in the USSR, this was the Red Army's song of choice. Many people in the know will also tell you this song is one of the main reasons for the unprecedented success of Cuban Little League baseball squads.

Guns 'n' Roses: "Welcome to the Jungle" – It is my personal creed that everything in life can be made better by incorporating Axl Rose into it. Sports is very territorial by nature and this song caters to that. If Axl wailing the words "you can have anything you want, but you better not take it from me" doesn't get you juiced, then stick to the chess board.

This is just a rough outline aimed at getting your team started on the path to glory. Just a warning, as much as a song can get you jacked up, there are countless others that can be deflating.

Staying away from James Taylor is a no-brainer, but watch out for bands like Creed – they will only give your team a false sense of security before they're exposed for the impostors that they are.

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2002 THE GAZETTE