The Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Championship, Green Bay won the Superbowl, Boston won the Stanley Cup (sorry Vancouver), Barcelona won the Champions League, India won the Cricket World Cup, Tiger Woods isn’t #1 anymore, neither is Rafael Nadal, and now it’s getting to be that time of year to do it all over again, minus the interminable baseball season of course. With this truancy of widely watched sports of late, we felt the need to shed light on some of the musicians who cheered the loudest for their respective teams. Here are our top 10 musicians who love sports.
10. Wye Oak – Baltimore Ravens
During an interview with AUX earlier this year, Wye Oak members Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack revealed how devoted they are to their hometown’s NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens. Sadly the Ravens lost out this past season to their biggest rivals, the Pittsburg Steelers, and the band told us how they experienced the defeat stuck at an airport. Both Stack and Wasner say they try to get to as many home games as possible whenever they’re in town.
9. Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) – Seattle Mariners
According to Paste magazine, one of Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard’s fondest childhood memories was going to see the dreadful (their record was apparently always 60-102 or something like that) Seattle Mariners with his dad. He often still goes to games and even performed on opening day with his band last year. He has also had the privilege of throwing out the first pitch at a game a few years prior. Sadly, the Mariners finished with a 61-101 record last season.
8. Gord Downie – Boston Bruins
For a musician to be interested in a sport, it helps to have actually played the game. The Hip’s Gord Downie is one exact example as the lead vocalist used to be a hockey goalie for an Ontario championship winning team when he was younger. He also happens to be the God son of former Boston Bruins GM and coach Harry Sinden so it’s only natural he would live on to support the B’s. Being the band’s main songwriter, Downie has often mentioned hockey in his lyrics (“50 Mission Cap”) as well as Hall of Famer Bobby Orr who played his first 10 seasons in the NHL with the Boston Bruins (see memorable Stanley Cup goal jump).
7. Honus Honus (Man Man) – Philadelphia Phillies
Man Man’s lead vocalist Honus Honus, real name Ryan Kattner, apparently got his pseudonym after a story he heard involving baseball player Honus Wagner, a former shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the early 1900s. Upon moving to Philadelphia for school when he was young, Kattner starting supporting the Phillies who “just sucked for so long.” A lifelong fan of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, Honus says he’s always admired the Phillies’ pitching staff and the fact the team is predominately home-grown.
6. Shania Twain – Montreal Canadiens
When Shania Twain hosted the Juno Awards in 2003, she did something a little ballsy (by her standards). She performed her then hit “Up” wearing a very skimpy Montreal Canadiens get-up to the Ottawa crowd, who we have to assume as Ottawa Senators fans. In the music video for the same track she is shown proudly hanging the treasured red, blue and white jersey on her wall. Though she has previously worn the colours of other Canadian hockey teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames, the Timmins, Ontario native is apparently a die-hard habs fan at heart and we can’t blame her, they have the most storied history out of any NHL team.
5. Eminem – Detroit Pistons
Eminem is proud to be from Detroit and isn’t afraid of letting other people know it. He’s also proud of his city’s NBA team the Detroit Pistons and has been spotted in the stands at The Palace waving a towel during the playoffs. One of the rapper’s unreleased tracks entitled “Give Me The Ball” was apparently written during the team’s 2006/07 season where they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but lost out to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
4. Rod Stewart – Glasgow Celtic
A former player who chose a career in music over soccer, Rod Stewart has been a Celtic supporter since the early ’70s after he met one of the Scottish team’s late and heavily revered managers, Jock Stein. It’s not strange to see Stewart at Celtic Park on match day wearing the famous green and white hoops or even at one of his concerts where he apparently kicks soccer balls into the crowd. In the photo above, the singer parades the Tennents Scottish Cup around Glasgow’s Hampden Park in 2007 before his team’s game against Dunfermline.
3. Jay-Z – New Jersey Nets
It’s probably difficult to not be a fan of a team if you’re part owner. Back in 2004 the New Jersey Nets basketball team was bought by an ownership group that included Jay-Z . The team has since decided to relocate to the rapper’s hometown of Brooklyn once a new area is completed there next year. This past April, the Nets were fined $50,000 following Jay’s visit to the Kentucky Wildcats locker room after they clinched a birth in the Final Four college basketball tournament. The NBA rules state team personnel are not allowed to have contact with players who are not yet draft eligible. Rest assured, he’s watching after his favorite team’s interests.
2. Snoop Dogg – Oakland Raiders/ Los Angeles Lakers/Anaheim Ducks/Pittsburg Steelers
It doesn’t matter what kind of sport it is, Snoop Dogg probably likes it. From coaching his sons football team to hanging out with some of the world’s best athletes (he recently offered to gave David Beckham rap lessons), the Doggfather has proven that sports are probably his second love to music, marijuana and low budget pornography. Residing mostly in California, the rapper has latched onto several local teams including the Lakers, Raiders and Anaheim Ducks (check out this interview from one of the games during the Ducks’ Stanley Cup run in 2007).
1. The Gallaghers – Manchester City
A few years ago when Oasis was still a band, an interviewer had the ingenious idea to ask Liam and Noel to list the top 10 things they love/hate. They both said they love football (soccer), namely English club Manchester City, and also said they loath crosstown rivals Manchester United, or more specifically their fans. The Gallaghers are number one on this list because they’re probably the only two people named who would give an arm and a leg for their sports team. They’re also the only two people here that severely dislike a person purely based on the sports team they support and would probably raise their fists or lean their heads back to prove it.
Paul Oakenfold – Chelsea
Duff McKagan – Seattle Seahawks
Joan Jett – Green Bay Packers
Ken Casey (Dropkick Murphys) – Boston Red Sox
Arctic Monkeys – Sheffield Wednesday
Meat Loaf – Buffalo Bills