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11 Bands With Sports-Related Names & Stadium-Sized Hits

[Photos via Press]

Super Bowl LVIII is on Sunday, February 11, with the San Fransisco 49ers returning to face the Kansas City Chiefs after their 2020 defeat. While football isn’t everyone’s forte, hanging with the homies for a party with it on in the background is pretty fun, especially if you’re queuing up sports-related tunes. While Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift probably don’t have these bands on their Super Bowl playlist, we sure do. Here are some of our favorite acts that channel their jock side through sports-related band names.


Referencing a different kind of football, the iconic band behind “Ocean Avenue” exudes anthemic energy fit for hyping up a stadium. While you won’t see yellow cards on the field, there’s no reason you can’t queue up a song or two to pump you up for the big game. Imagine this: the KC Chiefs secure victory with a winning touchdown, and as Yellowcard‘s iconic chorus “We could leave this town/And run forever” blares, T-Swift dashes onto the field to celebrate her beau’s triumph. Hypothetically, of course.

The Starting Line

Take your mark, get set, go! The Starting Line’s traditional emo vivacity is a welcoming start to a long day of anxiously watching the TV. Perhaps you’ll “Up And Go” during the game to take a break with some twinkly guitar riffs and relatable lyrics, to bring you back to a time when you’re biggest problem was what you were going to wear to the mall and not about that parlay bet you put down on either team. The New Jersey act has the ability to ease a tense situation with introspective lyrics that can simmer down even the most fired-up fan.

State Champs

The endgame: making your home state proud. The guys in State Champs embody that pinnacle 2011-2015 pop-punk sound that could be blasted while getting ready in the locker room and during practice to get the team hyped up. Their tunes can also serve as a reminder to “Shape Up” for players to get their heads in the game. With traditional pop-punk energy in every song, even the sad ones, it’s evident that this act knows how to party and transmit that energy through the party speaker.

The Junior Varsity

Instead of heading to the local watering hole to watch the duel go down, you might go, “I’m Home, Hooray!” with a homestead point of view. Illinois alt-emo outfit, The Junior Varsity, knows what it’s like to be the underdog, and having them as an anthem for the team no one thought would go “all the way” to the end is fitting. While we wish they were still a band, their musical stamp blurring the lines of emo, pop-punk, and alt-rock proves that they are a good addition to the gameday soundtrack to fuel fanfare from home and be there for your coming-of-age story if the final score isn’t in your favor.

Hot Mulligan

Shhh! Golf Is On!” Sorry! Hate to disrupt the intensity that the green emits. Hot Mulligan‘s music, with its heart-wrenching intensity, suits the mood of post-loss rage for your team. This Michigan band, familiar with the seven stages of grief, demonstrates their skill, especially in light of the Detroit Lions‘ near Super Bowl appearance. So, it’s only appropriate to add them into the cycle, just in case your favorite player fumbles (literally).

Soccer Mommy

Instead of getting mad, get sad. So your team didn’t get the big trophy and are not going to Disney World. Soccer Mommy says it’s okay to “Feel It All The Time” when recovering from the morning after or processing that you’ll need to go through another season for your fave NFL line-up to try again. It’s almost like a rocky relationship you can’t get out of with sports: you have really good times (the wins), terrible moments (the losses), and some semblance of hope (getting to the playoffs), then you either slip up (they lose) or you make it in the end (you win). But it’s always a 50/50 bet on the books.

Free Throw

Anxiety is a primary theme in many of Free Throw’s tracks. So, it’s a no-brainer that they would make an appearance on the playlist during the big game. Or any game. The Nashville, TN, emo act are experts in crafting lyrics about getting through life’s stressful situations and side-quests. So, when that cincher moment when you’re waiting on a referee to make a call, waiting to see if a player is injured, watching the clock run out, and the other team has the ball—sheesh! It makes you want to get at least “Two Beers In” (or a crisp non-alcoholic beverage) you to take the edge off while on the edge of your couch.

Modern Baseball

Instead of scouring online for the perfect compilation of artists to put on your pre-game playlist, then at least there’s Modern Baseball’s Sports. Sonically, it covers the bases of somber songs like “I Think You Were In My Profile Picture Once” to ones with a little pick me up to get you into the endzone for a touchdown through tracks such as “See Ya, Sucker!MOBO may not be, traditionally, what we’d hear during America’s pastime or in a stadium, but it is a new era in which we need to let some waves of emo into rotation.


Philadelphia pop-punkers aren’t being gatekeepers, but are simply trying to make sure the other team can’t score. Goalkeeper is one of the newer acts that lean into their (possible) love of sports and music to intermingle them. Their track “Focus,” from the 2022 album “I Wish I Met You Sooner,” embodies their blend of blink-182 inspired vocals with Alkaline Trio energy. So, while you’re urging your team to “pull it together,” you’ll have some fresh pop-punk tunes to accompany your Super Bowl hang.

Bowling For Soup

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, and U2 are some artists who have played between resetting the field or going over a call. Bowling For Soup isn’t omitted for that with their iconic tracks. However, their latest single, “Award Show Taylor Swift,” would be a curl for fans. While some “real football fans” might object to her association with Kelce, the proliferation of memes and the growing interest of women and young girls in the sport is undeniably exciting to witness in today’s cultural landscape. We aren’t in “1985” anymore, and everyone can enjoy football. Even if it’s just for the wings.

American Football

How could we ever end a playlist of groups with sports-adjacent names without acknowledging some OG emo’s themselves, American Football? Picture watching a YouTube compilation of plays to reminisce about past Super Bowl moments, accompanied by soft guitar melodies. In the final intense minute of a close game, it becomes clear that sometimes victory or defeat was not destined for the teams.

So, let’s hope your team scores the winning touchdown this weekend! But win or lose, you’ll have a banger playlist to get you through all the motions.

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