Punk Rock & Football?

There is absolutely nothing "punk rock" about American football. Except for perhaps the fact that each team has one little guy on the roster who's sole job is to troll the other team by coming out once every twenty minutes to kick the ball far away where no one else can touch it. Otherwise, football and punk music is a bit of an oxymoron. They don't go together.

That being said, here is a short list of football themed punk songs. 

If you were a skater-punk in the 90s, your mortal enemy was the high school "jock." I'll always remember my freshman year of high school when my older sister's boyfriend encouraged me to dye my hair green just before "Rivalry Week," a week where our school's football team played against our neighboring high school rivals. This was basically our high school's version of the Super Bowl, because we usually got eliminated from the playoffs in the first round once our team full of privelidged suburban kids had to face a team of urban dudes who looked like grown men in comparison. So we all flocked to the local college football stadium for our grand finale on Friday following a week of hype and trash-talk.

Did I mention that our rival school's color was green? This didn't go over well with the football jocks at my school, but this was fine by me. I wasn't part of their "crew" nor did I want any part of it. I did find it funny when as I dressed for sixth period PE, these meatheads would pound a fist into their hand or punch their lockers to hype themselves up for practice while looking at this scrawny punk and threatening him by saying "your hair better be blue by Friday."

Who the heck has sixth period PE? Well, I did. I played hockey. I also grew up in Southern California, which meant it wasn't ice hockey, it was roller hockey. We technically weren't even an actual school "team." We were a "club." What's the difference between a high school sports "team" versus a "club?" Well, we basically paid for everything (equipment, league fees, rink time, etc...) ourselves and received zero support or recognition from our school. Very DIY.

We didn't have practices at the end of our school day on campus. We practiced on Sundays at a local roller rink and we had no fans in the stands for our games except for our parents. And we fought. Yes, we were "allowed" to fight. Half of our games felt more like Wrestle-mania than an actual hockey game. Especially the one year when our school foolishly decided to have two Junior Varsity hockey teams rather than splitting JV and Freshmen apart. I like to think this was because my freshman buddies and I were just that good, but the reality was more like poor planning. We had our own "Rivalry Week" and it was against ourselves.

When I was a kid, I always thought that high school sports were a pure form of competition. Overall, it was an incredibly productive influence in our lives. But as I got older, I also realized that a good chunk of kids playing high school sports absolutely did not want to be there. Many of them were pressured in to sports by over-bearing parents who wanted to live vicariously through their kids, using their offspring to re-live some of their own failed accomplishments. These were often the kids who went out on the rink or on to the field and just wanted to hurt people.

What's my point about all of this? I don't know. Maybe my point is that some people are assholes, and football tend to be the place for those guys to congregate. But we had a few assholes in hockey as well. The big difference is that in hockey we fight back. You learn very quickly in hockey that weaknesses will be targeted and that you'd better stand up for yourself if you want to make it off the rink in one piece. In football, guys push each other around and act macho, but the refs always step in before things escalate. So guys usually end up taking cheap shots at each other behind the ref's back rather than coming face to face and settling their differences in the heat of the moment. The cheap shots often result in far more, and far worse injuries than the quick little boxing matches at center-ice.

Perhaps if I grew up in Canada, my experience would be different. Perhaps I would have been complaining about the hockey guys being assholes and the football guys being rebels. However, that was not my experience. Not by a long shot.

Hopefully you are not all dumber for having listened to this. Now for absolutely zero reason whatsoever, here are some American football themed punk rock songs. I'll be watching the Puppy Bowl today. Enjoy!

"The Dance That Broke My Jaw" by Hoobustank

"S.F.L.B." by Home Grown

"Touchdown Boy" by Blink 182

Scene from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Scene from Billy Madison


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