It’s come to this: Fox may add musical soundtrack to NFL games

posted at 10:00 pm on December 17, 2010 by Allahpundit

Via Guy Benson, note well: We’re not talking about a few seconds of the theme song to Fox’s pre-game show being piped in up against a commercial break. We’re talking about music during the game, between plays, to “set the mood” or whatever.

Alternate headline: “Blogger stops watching football.”

A new kind of NFL scoring: adding music to TV game coverage.

Don’t laugh. Fox will formally announce today that it will do that on its regional Arizona Cardinals-Carolina Panthers game Sunday (1 p.m. ET) after an unannounced test on last week’s Seattle Seahawks-San Francisco 49ers game. Fox Sports President Eric Shanks on whether such soundtracks will pop up on Fox’s upcoming Super Bowl: “It’s a possibility.”

Fox’s Shanks says game playlists could include famous artists — “the rule is you use it just once and don’t edit it” — but will also draw on original medleys. For Sunday’s game, Fox has 15 new cuts from James Cardoni, who has composed music for the prime-time show CSI.

But having cuts you’d hear in movies, like spooky chords when babysitters find out the calls are coming from inside the house, is one thing. Knowing when to use them is another. “This is all in the execution,” Shanks says. “Just like music in movies, you have to use it at the right times. And imagine trying to score a movie the first time you’re seeing it.”

Picture it: Fourth quarter, Super Bowl XLV, Patriots and Eagles tied at 21 with 30 seconds left. Brady drops back to pass from Philadelphia’s 40-yard line, needing a first down to put the Pats in field-goal position — and gets sacked. And then, as the Eagles defense celebrates over him, almost as in a dream, this starts bubbling up through your TV’s speakers. Imagine it. Dude, I think I’d have to turn the game off.

Here’s a bit of footage from last week’s Niners/Seahawks “experiment.” Are you ready for magic?

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So they’re trying to create a live version of NFL Films? No way that would work, especially when you know the music they will be playing will be all modern pop and hip hop billboard crap.

Daemonocracy on December 17, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Leave the music to Sam Spence, dammit!

steveegg on December 18, 2010 at 12:29 AM

First the abominable toyi toyi dancing that follows every play in which even a modest effort to do the job these clowns were hired to do is celebrated and now this. The NFL is lacking in diversity on the field and Fox is lacking in intelligence in the executive suite. I’m done with the lot.

Mason on December 18, 2010 at 12:31 AM

Next Season…live on Fox Sports…The NFL: The Musical!!!

(Cue the music.)

“Throw up your hands/Stick out your tush/Hands on your hips/Give ’em a push…”

Something like that?

coldwarrior on December 18, 2010 at 12:33 AM

Geez, have you guys never been to a football game? What do you think gets played over the stadium loudspeakers in-between plays?

PackerBronco on December 18, 2010 at 12:42 AM

PackerBronco on December 18, 2010 at 12:42 AM

Too busy drinking and checking out the babes in the box nest to ours to care about the music?

coldwarrior on December 18, 2010 at 12:44 AM

I was expecting a lot worse.

tommer74 on December 18, 2010 at 12:49 AM

This is one of the worst ideas in the history of sports.

WisCon on December 18, 2010 at 12:50 AM


No music, more cheerleaders.

reaganaut on December 18, 2010 at 12:54 AM

Does Madden get a cut with that?

Mojave Mark on December 18, 2010 at 1:09 AM

Not a fan. I realize they’re trying to tap into the pageantry and all that, but I’m not looking for cheesy “mood” setting music. Wonder if they bothered to market test this monstrosity or if its some producer’s brainchild that just got floated out there.

Tacitus on December 18, 2010 at 1:30 AM

Horrible idea. Even worse music.

CVMA-Dredd on December 18, 2010 at 1:37 AM

In the 90’s, FOX experimented with piping music over the ninth inning of close games on their stupid Saturday game. They really did.

The Mega Independent on December 18, 2010 at 2:00 AM

Between plays, I don’t care… at first I thought it was going to be during he whole game, which, would not be good.

RedbonePro on December 18, 2010 at 2:07 AM

A stoopid idea from California music guild union I bet to creat jobs! Screw those parasite panty wastes! Always have to piggyback on someone else doing the heavy lifting.

sonnyspats1 on December 18, 2010 at 2:22 AM

I’m sure New England Patriot fans who were in the stands at Foxboro Stadium for the 2001 AFC Championship Game have flashbacks when one particular song is played.

One of my favorite YouTube videos ever was created by a guy running his camcorder as the officials watched replays of Tom Brady either fumbling or making a forward pass in the final minutes of the game. The entire season hung on that call — if it was ruled a fumble, the Raiders take over, and run out the clock. If ruled a forward pass, the Pats’ unlikely drive for a tying or winning score would continue for a few more precious ticks of the clock.

And what ’80s classic filled the chilled air that night?
Click here for the answer.

L.N. Smithee on December 18, 2010 at 2:40 AM

It’s hard enough with all the commercial breaks and stoppages as it is. The game is ruined by them and now they are going to make the game itself hard to sit through. Nice going.

lexhamfox on December 18, 2010 at 2:55 AM

officials watched replays of Tom Brady either fumbling or making a forward pass in the final minutes of the game. The entire season hung on that call

The other thing that was probably hanging on that call was Tom Brady’s career and the future of the NWE franchise – if the refs ruled it a fumble, the season is over for the Patriots. Brady gets thanked for being an amazing sub for Bledsoe and most probably loses the starting job next season. at the very least, he is expected to contend with Bledsoe for starting QB

But we all know what happened and the rest as they say is history.IMHO, Brady benefited from that call more than any one else.more than even the Patriots.

But then again i guess he deserved that slick of luck for giving it everything he got. I still wont forget rooting for the Pats over the Rams in that season’s SB – the last time i ever rooted for the snotty Bostonians. and all because of Brady being the symbol of the underdog Pats

nagee76 on December 18, 2010 at 3:22 AM

This is just a test to see how much interference the viewers will put up with during a game. In the near future they’re going to start sneaking commercials in between plays, and then during the plays. Will we soon have Coca-Cola logos and others such things on players jerseys just like in the celebrated sport of NASCAR?

Tommy_G on December 18, 2010 at 3:51 AM

Huh, I watched the game last week and didn’t even notice the music myself, although I was watching it from my son’s hospital room and he was watching Dora the Explorer on Netflix via the laptop.

flyfishingdad on December 18, 2010 at 4:02 AM

If they want ratings , how about putting a sniper in all stadiums and any player who dances after making a play gets a round thru the helmut. Perhaps a little drastic but snuff football would definitely increase the amount of viewers.

phillyrepub on December 18, 2010 at 4:08 AM

I can see it now at the Emmy Awards:

“Best musical interlude during a 3rd and long goes to…”

Timothy S. Carlson on December 18, 2010 at 4:46 AM

Mute button.

brennan251 on December 18, 2010 at 5:02 AM

used a stop watch for one of the super bowl games several years ago. On at the snap off when the play finished. There was 15 min. of action in a 4 hour game. Now TIVO is my best friend. Double click between every play, after every score, every time out, commercials, etc. Cut a game to 45 min. It’s even better with golf.

jbinnout on December 17, 2010 at 10:53 PM

This is exactly why my life isn’t ruined when I miss a game. Too many frikkin commercials. I’ve got better things to do than watching endless advertising. Of course, all of my teams suck so maybe I will once again someday become a commercial/NFL TV watcher. But I doubt it. Especially if they start playing gay music during the game.

tbear44 on December 18, 2010 at 5:27 AM

Frankly, CBS should be exploring this, as their announcers are the worst in the game, at least for some of the “corridors” they cover in the AFC. Just get rid of the announcers altogether, turn the thing into a metal-driven video-game-like experience- and you got a winner.

Seriously, why does anyone watch this garbage anymore anyway.

ChipDWood on December 18, 2010 at 5:41 AM

For some games a laugh track would be more appropriate.

Annar on December 18, 2010 at 7:01 AM

I watched the clip. Every time I heard the music, I thought it was the bumper music playing and they were heading for a commercial. So, I got up and got a beer. Its 6 am and I’m already loaded. I blame Big Beer.

Just Sayin’

diogee on December 18, 2010 at 7:04 AM

No thank you. If FOX proceeds with this idiocy, I will switch channels!

GFW on December 18, 2010 at 7:54 AM

So what the heck is next, we’ll have “NFL Musical Choice Night” at Buffalo Wild Wings?

I can see it now! Fourth quarter, 3rd down, Pittsburgh has the ball, 15 seconds on the clock, and some drunk-on-his-a** idiot in the back of room yells out “PLAY “MELANCHOLY BABY”!!!!!”

pilamaye on December 18, 2010 at 8:00 AM

So what happens to all the surround sound if all you hear is music? I don’t think I like this new format. It will fail…just like when they tried having a game with no announcers. Anyone remember that?

gatorfanatic on December 18, 2010 at 8:02 AM

This will be especially cute in October with all that lovely pink on the players.

curved space on December 18, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Definitely pass.

Blackacre on December 18, 2010 at 8:10 AM

I’m beginning to hope next season gets locked out and cancelled.

WannabeAnglican on December 18, 2010 at 8:45 AM

I can’t enjoy it now, what with all the commercials.

steveracer on December 18, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Can we just get crowd noise without announcers? I can play my own music. Thanks.

Osis on December 18, 2010 at 8:48 AM

This is a great idea – potentially – the NFL is entertainment – do any of us think that 30 years ago the games would be stopped to review calls? Would any warrior on the gridiron in the 60’s expect quarterbacks to be so coddled as they are today.

Music comes as a result of video games – and that is the mentality of the young football viewer of today.

Progress – like it or not.

jake-the-goose on December 18, 2010 at 8:59 AM

First Astroturf, then domes, now this. They’re slowly killing football. I pray God that the Packers and the Bears never build a dome or tear up the grass and replce it with Astroturf. When that happens. Football is a dead sport. Can you say BORING?

paraff on December 18, 2010 at 9:21 AM

The sad thing is someone sat in a board room at Fox Sports and tried to sell this idea. Even more sad is they thought it was a good idea. There are so many unemployed and these idiots get paid good money for this. Fire them and hire the first dozen people on the unemployment rolls.

jnelchef on December 18, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Is this the hand of the DOTUS…..even MORE in the NFL?

Surely not!!! I mean WOTDOTUS already got them to put “PLAY 60” crap on the field. And then the wore pink earlier this year. What next? A softer fluffier field for them to land on when hit?

PappyD61 on December 18, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Also a great idea for political speeches, on-air punditry and presidential news conferences.

Seth Halpern on December 18, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Finally, a Hot Air thread I can get passionate about again!

The NFL has steadily gone downhill ever since they hired that metrosexual liberal Roger Goodell as commissioner. He’s an emotional little squish who thinks the NFL’s biggest problem is it’s too male-centric. Witness the ridiculous pink wardrobe the teams all had to wear. His punishments are based not on firm interpretation of the rules, but on *his* perception of the problem, and sense of “fairness”. Sound familiar?

He’s the Obama of the pro sports world. He’s singlehandedly f*cking up a brand that did pretty well for years without his enlightened “genius” to guide it.

It’s wearing thin to me. It’s getting easier and easier for me to find other things to do on Sundays. I’m getting sick to death of seeing games turn on major penalties because a 275-lb man can’t stop on a dime in midair, or because someone literally dragged a finger across the QB’s helmet. The new rules against even touching the QB’s helmet feel less about protecting the players than about increasing control over the outcome. And no, I’m not in favor of seeing defenseless players speared. I’m not pro-concussion. I’m just fed up with petty little autocrats pussifying every goddamned aspect of American life while telling me they’re doing it for my own good, and that I should be thankful.

F*ck you and your pink tie, Goodell. We used to have a name for men who dress and act like you. What was it? Oh yeah. “Women”.

mikefln on December 18, 2010 at 9:42 AM

This is football not a musical. If you add music at least use appropriate music that matches the action being viewed. But, I get tired of the 1812 Overture very quickly.

MSGTAS on December 18, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Fox has been adding fake crowd noise into their saturday baseball broadcasts for years.

clearbluesky on December 18, 2010 at 10:03 AM

I’m sure New England Patriot fans who were in the stands at Foxboro Stadium for the 2001 AFC Championship Game have flashbacks when one particular song is played.

They must be some unique flashbacks considering that championship game was played in Pittsburgh.

JammieWearingFool on December 18, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Very bad idea. The lack of complaints is probably due to the fact that most people watching sports have the sound off or really low anyway. This will increase the trend.

Kevin K. on December 18, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Coming soon to Pay-Per-View: NFL football without soundtracks and commentators! Get the live feeds from the stadium and YOU choose the views for yourself! You will get to argue about plays without the ‘instant replay’ save for those done by the officials… and you will see why, what sounds good in theory, sucks in actual fact.

Bare NFL on Pay-Per-View – just the game, no commercials, no music, no commentary, no replays, just what goes on in the stadium.

I have a strange feeling that this will be happening very, very soon and become one of the highest revenue generators for NFL teams ever seen.

ajacksonian on December 18, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Back in the 80’s, the announcers were so bad that we used to turn off the sound and put on some FM with it.

J_Crater on December 18, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Look, I’m no football fan; but if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

mizflame98 on December 18, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Pathetic, these guys talk too much as it is. Just let us watch the frickin’ game, please?

Scott P on December 18, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Not as bad as I thought it would be from the description. I am willing to give it some time to germinate.

FireBlogger on December 18, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Still this idea is better than listening to Keith Olbermann talking.

William Amos on December 18, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Still this idea is better than listening to Keith Olbermann talking.

William Amos on December 18, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Going through life with a set of disc brakes squealing in each ear 24/7 beats listening to him.

Scott P on December 18, 2010 at 10:49 AM

I think I’ve heard some NBA arenas pumping music while play is occuring, watching that clip, I thought I was watching espn highlights with chris and the boys. Another nail for the nfl

TheVer on December 18, 2010 at 10:56 AM


kelley in virginia on December 18, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Ugh. Just watched the vid. Lame. An insult. Viewers need to be cued to the emotional tenor of the situation? Hm. Maybe some do. If the Madden video game crowd is what they’re after they can have it. They lose a section of the viewer-scale at the other end? Maybe they have entered that into their spreadsheets. The sports video games, both PC and console, have already abandoned people who may be interested in more than an arcade fighting game type of experience.

No the music wouldn’t tempt me to crank up my already lowered volume. What, and risk hearing Joe Buck say “momentum” 16 times a game, just with music in the background? No thank you.

The complaints are probably coming from advertisers. They must be whining about research telling them that so many viewers have tuned out the audio. The high noise-to-signal ratio of the inane, incessant, chattering color commentators drive viewers away from the sound, and it’s carrying over to commercials. Between that and sports bars, you’ll notice that some commercials now feature what can only be described as “placarding”. Like that one series of truck commercials that spells out in big letters everything that Denis Leary says, word for word. Just in case, y’know, you have the sound turned down. That might also be confirmed by NFL Network’s other recent experiment with NO ANNOUNCERS. Why pay them if no one’s listening? Why pay them to actively annoy the viewers?

Radio is no better. Westwood One’s on-air talent…well, calling them talent is pretty generous.

Local radio? OMG. As an Eagles fan, at those unavoidable times when I’m in the car during a game I’d be forced to turn on Merrill Reese and Mike Quick. OMG. When the Eagles network moved from AM to FM they really missed their chance to totally make-over the broadcast. Reese takes homerism to a new level, at the expense of actual useful information, and in that annoying put-on broadcast VOICE to boot. It’s not an FM voice. And Quick…sheesh. If he didn’t have replays to rely on he wouldn’t even know he was attending a football game. He’s not even as good as Stan “I-don’t-know-the-rules-to-this-game-and-I-don’t-care” Walters was…and that’s bad.

Doing radio without announcers would be a huge challenge. ;-) But, can be done. Especially now. Though what media conglomerate middle manager mindset would ever strike upon the needed innovation?

Yes. The NFL’s TV presentation is long overdue for a reboot, but mood music is not the answer.

curved space on December 18, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Oh GAWD no!

I’ll give FOX credit where it’s due tho…the score box on top of the screen showing down, TO’s, etc was a great idea, especially when watching the game at a loud bar.

But there have been flops…remember when one network (NBC?) experimented with no announcers at all? Didn’t work. And when some network tried to make the hockey puck “glow” with a “tail” when hit, trying to make it easier to see? FLOP.

Music is fine for a highlight reel, but not for the game.

JetBoy on December 18, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Didn’t they learn anything from “FoxTrax“, aka the glow puck?

emz35 on December 18, 2010 at 12:16 PM

First they went after the stage.

Then they went after Hollywood.

They took over rock and roll.

They’re going to flaunt it in the military now.

You know it’s over when they get their hands on the production booth at the NFL.

Can’t wait for the singing and dancing to show tunes at half time. ;)

Saltysam on December 18, 2010 at 12:31 PM

I remember CBS/Packers TV voice Ray Scott.
He had an absolute minimalist approach to announcing and let the action speak for itself.He was brilliant in using timing and dramatic pauses to emphasize the drama of the game.That art and skill is gone.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on December 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM

One little problem…
Music means “Go for a beer”.
Be drunk by halftime.

Haiku Guy on December 18, 2010 at 1:13 PM

You can already choose to watch the game in Espanol…

How about using some of that extra bandwith to put different sound-tracks on the game. If you want goofy music, knock yourself out. If you want the current scheme, make that the default.

And if you want Howard Cosell and Don Meredith impersonators to announce the game, that should be a choice as well…

Haiku Guy on December 18, 2010 at 1:15 PM

DADT vote today, music to spice up NFL games, the NFL “pink” episode. All attacks on our nation’s most masculine institutions. America as Glee.

Mason on December 18, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Don’t see what the fuss is about, do all of cry and whine about the marching band too at HS and college?

koolbrease on December 18, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Why didnt they think of doing this during the pregame show on Sunday nite whenever Keith Overbite was talking……..

sbark on December 18, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Didn’t they learn anything from “FoxTrax“, aka the glow puck?

emz35 on December 18, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Well, that had the added disadvantage of being hockey, which is far less popular than NFL football. Hockey just isn’t tv-friendly. It wasn’t the glow puck that failed, it was hockey as a broadcast sport that failed. The glow puck just gave us something to laugh about as nationally televised pro hockey slipped beneath the waves.

mikefln on December 18, 2010 at 1:43 PM

It won’t affect me since I watch the games with the “mute” on anyway. These braying jackasses such as Phil “talked about” Simms and his ilk with their constant repetetive phrases and incoherent babbling takes the fun out of it for me. If you were watching any game and someone watching with you never shut up wouldn’t you feel like pasting him? Sorry for the rant.

50sGuy on December 18, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Alternate headline: “Blogger Self-described ‘Beta-male’ stops watching football acting like is has ever watched football.”


Knott Buyinit on December 18, 2010 at 4:05 PM

I watched the video and it iz sofa king we todd did

dip it in cider on December 18, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Eh. I don’t think it works during the live shots (though as done, it’s not awful, but for replays it seems fine.

If they kept it off the live shots I probably wouldn’t even have noticed.

The Lone Platypus on December 18, 2010 at 6:22 PM

First the abominable toyi toyi dancing that follows every play in which even a modest effort to do the job these clowns were hired to do is celebrated and now this.

Mason on December 18, 2010 at 12:31 AM

Strongly agree. I mute every NFL game to avoid the senseless commentary. That will also kill the dumb music.

The only way to avoid the players acting like teenage girls (toyi toyi dancing) is to look at the wall instead of the TV.

westerncanadian on December 18, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Oh, goody. Something to make it even harder for Seahawks fans to watch their team play.

You know, I’ve actually watched a lot of games with the sound off because I’m the only one in the house that wants the game on. It’s not too bad. Maybe everyone will start watching games on mute now.

acasilaco on December 19, 2010 at 1:49 AM

Yeah, best way to watch football anymore is with remote in hand to either switch channels or mute. I sure miss smash mouth football. These showboatin’ playas nowdays are a bunch of pansies compared to 30 years and longer ago.The PI flags fly when a DB accidently brushes another player. Surely there are plays designed to not so much make a completion, but to draw a flag.
And it is not so much a big deal for me if I miss a game anymore. In the old days I wouldn’t miss the big game if my life depended on it. Nowdays not so much..

tbear44 on December 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Background noise, sounds, and music on TV and radio irritate the bejeebers out of me. I get incensed when this happens which is more and more. I usually turn the volume to almost inaudible. I don’t mute my TV as the mute symbol blocks parts of the picture.
Owners, producers and directors seem to have no clue that they are obfuscating information with their sound and visual effects which includes one second cut-aways and the ubiquitous, annoying four replays after 10 seconds of live action. Then on to another 10 seconds of live action.
I do not like my emotions artificially manipulated.

mitch088 on December 19, 2010 at 10:31 AM

They should add NFL marching bands before this.

James on December 19, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Will listen to radio.

Akzed on December 19, 2010 at 12:42 PM

It looks like they’re using it primarily at the end of plays and during replays, not during live action. I don’t watch NFL anymore anyway, but checking out the clip I’d have to say this doesn’t seem particularly intrusive. If you’re going to give up NFL, do so for its tacit endorsement of “thug life,” embodied most despicably by its repeated willingness to look the other way when it comes to paying convicted violent felons millions if only they can manipulate a ball adequately. That’s genuinely sickening. Musical endcaps to plays are hard to even notice.

Blacklake on December 19, 2010 at 1:09 PM

If they completely replace the imbecile announcers with music I might put up with it.

Coronagold on December 19, 2010 at 1:17 PM

I nominate Josh Groban! Just cus Im mean.

American Elephant on December 17, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Naw, AC DC, “I’ve Got Big BALLS!”

AllosaursRus on December 19, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Somebody’s probably already said it, but I vote for “Yakety Sax” from the Benny Hill Show.

Insomniac on December 19, 2010 at 2:53 PM

For years now, I have been watching football games on TV with the sound off, just to avoid the inane comments of the announcers. This just gives me another reason to keep doing so.

bugsy on December 19, 2010 at 6:24 PM

The only football worth watching is played on Saturday. The Sunday version…meh.

BHO Jonestown on December 19, 2010 at 9:32 PM

Brilliant! Jump that shark.

Suggested tunes
“There’s no business like show business” sung by Ethel Merman.
“Thank heavens for little girls” sung by Maurice Chevalier
“Somewher over the rainbow” sung by Judy Garland
“My heart will go on” sung by Celine Dion

olesparkie on December 20, 2010 at 8:27 AM

Why music? Why not a bit of canned cheering when the Home Team gets a field goal? That among other canned tracks to suggest to the fans how they should feel and react?

Of course there will be the embarrassing moment when an engineer presses the wrong button and broadcasts the ‘Dumb Ref Call’ track instead of the ‘Crowd Goes Wild Touchdown’ track.

TimBuk3 on December 20, 2010 at 9:09 AM

How about a laughtrack for fumbles and flubbed kicks? Play “Three Blind Mice” when refs blow a call?

Carl on December 20, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Back in the 80′s, the announcers were so bad that we used to turn off the sound and put on some FM with it.

J_Crater on December 18, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Reminds me of a song:

Everything That’s Old Is New Again!

BTW, I STILL do that!

VelvetElvis on December 20, 2010 at 3:49 PM

This con only mean that the Chickification of the NFL is now nearly complete.

VelvetElvis on December 20, 2010 at 3:50 PM

What would you expect from the idiots that brought you the glowing hockey puck – the worst “innovation” ever for NHL broadcasts!

CanuckInPA on December 20, 2010 at 8:46 PM

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