On Super Bowl Sunday, when the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers, expect a lot of this:
For all you old people, the song is “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. It came out in 2003, made it to No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative Rock list by the summer and began to fade out.
But Ravens fans voted in 2011 from a list of five songs to make it the anthem played to rally the crowd.
It took them long enough.
When we were living in Europe, we heard it all the time when watching football (soccer) games on the TV in Belgium and England. I remember my son saying “That’s ‘Seven Nation Army” when we were watching a match in Belgium. (I used to think the song was called “I’m Going to Witchita.”)
When the World Cup was held in Germany in 2006, you couldn’t get away from the song.
So how did a simple tune created by these guys …
… become a stadium anthem for global sports?
Last year, Deadspin had the definitive history.
In short, it started when a bunch of Belgians, who traveled to Italy for football match, started singing it at a bar then landed drunk at a football match to cheer their team, Brugges, against the Italians, beginning the chant when Brugges scored. It thrived in Brugges after that. Eventually, an Italian team traveled to Brugges and heard the fans chant it there and liked it so much, they got their fans in Italy to go with it.
It eventually spread in America because college band directors found it simple, but exciting enough to get a crowd worked up.
And now it’s the anthem used everywhere. Here it is at the Euro2008 final between Germany and Spain:
Here it is at the 2010 Ohio State/Michigan game:
And here it is in Rome after Italy won the World Cup in 2006:
I heard it at the Louisville/Georgetown basketball game in Washington last week.
So checkout the Deadspin article here.
And here’s the original:
Pretty soon, all the attention is going to be focused on who sings the national anthem at the Super Bowl. But “Seven Nation Army” is the song that’s going to get the crowd worked up.