Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday 80s Flashback for February 4, 2011

[Theme: Super Bowl XLV Weekend!] -- In case you haven't noticed, Super Bowl XLV is this weekend. And my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, are playing for their 3rd title in six seasons (or their 7th in franchise history). Now, this isn't a football blog by any stretch of the imagination. And aside from winning Super Bowl XIV in January 1980 (to cap off the 1979 season), it's not like the Steelers had a great deal of success in the 80s. Also, "Renegade" by Styx, which has become something of an anthem for the Steelers since 2002, comes from 1979.

So how do I select 80s songs to go with this week's theme?

First, I thought I would try to select a song from the 80s-equivalent of each year the Steelers have reached the Super Bowl -- basically 20 years prior to the recent year. But whether I went with the year of the season (2005, 2008, and 2010) or the actual Super Bowl year (2006, 2009, 2011), I ended up with only two out of the three years actually falling in the 80s: The first option yielded 1985, 1988, and 1990; the second option gave 1986, 1989, and 1991.  
Aside: Yes, if we want to get technical, 1990 is 20 years prior to 2010 and it can be considered part of the 80s if you run the decade as 1981 - 1990. I just chose to not go that route.
Fortunately, while riffling through songs from 1985 and 1988, I came across this one tune and the path to fulfilling this week's theme was clear. I will simply select three songs from the 80s that make me think of this Steelers team playing in this Super Bowl.

Are you at all curious about what I selected? Need some great 80s tunes, either to get fired up for the game or just have a great weekend? Read and hear more after the jump.
Flashback #1
"Heading for the 90s | Living in the wild, wild west."  Our first flashback artist this week is the only British band to have a song hit #1 in the U.S., but not chart at all in their native U.K. Well, it might have done pretty well across the pond if the radio and video powers that be over there had not banned the tune for being sexist and offensive. If you want to draw a conclusion that links that ban to Ben Roethlisberger's four-game suspension this season, go ahead. That's not what I was thinking about, but I cannot stop you from going in that direction. No, I selected this 1988 song because it is bouncy and fun and because the Super Bowl is being played in the brand new home of the Dallas Cowboys! Aw, poor Jerry Jones builds himself a temple and his team cannot even make it to the playoffs. I almost feel bad for him.
Also, is it just me, or does Escape Club's "Wild, Wild West" seem rather appropriate for all the craziness and hype of Media Day and all the other events that lead up to the big game?

Flashback #2
"Time and space stood still that day  |  With Victory's sould and man  |  We were running a race between heaven and hell  |  And we could not find the finish line."   I know there are many football fans who would prefer that the Steelers were not playing in the big game this Sunday.Well, there are many Steeler fans who felt they did not dare dream their team would get this far. Their team's star quarterback suspended for the first four (originally six!) games of the season, injuries to backups Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon in just the first two weeks of the regular season, and a patchwork offensive line were all working against the Steelers this season. Many "experts" said the Steelers would be lucky to be 8-8 this season. Only Peter King went against the prevailing wisdom of his peers (see the September 2010 prediction here). Even now, after everything they have accomplished, the Steelers are the underdogs in this Super Bowl's matchup against the Packers.

Seems to me, the Steelers keep on beating the odds.

And it might not be their best work, but the title track from Molly Hatchet's Beatin' the Odds (1980) seems a rather appropriate tune for this year's Black and Gold warriors. Remember, style points do not matter. Only winning matters.

Flashback #3
"Fly the moon and reach for the stars  |  With my sword and head held high."  In football, much like in the world of "The Highlander," there can be only one champion. Well, only one per year. I do not know if these Steelers were born to it, I do not know if winning it all is their destiny, but I do think another Lombardi trophy is well within their reach. If they win on Sunday, they might not be considered "Princes of the Universe," but they will have solidified their place in Steelers lore. Having said that, only one song can stand as the third flashback of the day: A Queen song written for the Highlander soundtrack and then released on A Special Kind of Magic (1986). It is not truly a single, holding more of a cult favorite status, but its lyrics seem entirely appropriate to the 2010 Steelers: "People talk about you, people say you've had your day / I'm a man that will go far, find the moon and reach for the stars."

If you are not a football fan, I still hope you enjoyed this Steelers-are-in-the-Super-Bowl-inspired set of flashbacks. And even on Super Bowl weekend, the rule of three holds: Three shall be the recounting of flashbacks, and the number of flashbacks shall be three! Come on, this rule is particularly important to follow as Big Ben, Hines Ward, and many other veterans on the team try to win their 3rd ring, right?

Go Steelers! Time to bring some more hardware back to Pittsburgh!
A seventh trophy would look great here, wouldn't it?
Oh, and if you're not really a fan of the Steelers, but you hate the Dallas Cowboys, then you have to cheer for the Steelers. Why? Well, what could be worse for Jerry Jones than watching the Steelers win a Super Bowl in his house?

Here we go, Steelers! Here we go!

1 comment:

greg. said...

awesome. a couple things:

first of all, i forgot all about that wild wild west song. i used to love that song as a teenager! thanks for taking me back there.

secondly, i did not know that queen song, but someone needs to set some some 2010-11 steelers highlights to that song. that would be epic.
finally, i appreciated the monty python and the holy grail reference. great post: thanks for contributing to my day-before-the-game excitement level. go steelers!