Oct. 20 2014 05:00 PM

Rewriting the worst team fight song in the NFL


Now that the Chargers have excised the tumor that was Coach Norv Turner and are back to kicking most excellent ass, it's time to address another pressing issue concerning this team. 

No, I'm not talking about a new football stadium or performing a human centipedillian procedure for the Spanos triumvirate. I'm talking about expunging the atrocity that is the official Chargers' fight song. 

If you aren't familiar with the tune, it's called "San Diego Super Chargers" (which is a problem right there) and begins with a disco-peppy guitar up-stroke that sounds more like a movie montage of two unicorns falling in love than it does a song about destroying your opponents to death. Next comes the bass line—which has all the resonance of a pair of tweens chatting on a tin-can telephone—followed by a horn section that's immediately recognizable as the arrangement that was too corny to be included on the recording of "Disco Duck." Just when you thought you couldn't fit any more shit into one septic tank, here come the vocals—which sound as though KC and the Sunshine Band recorded a commercial for a mattress store.

"San Diego Super Chargers / San Diego Chargers! / Charge!"

OK, can we all please agree that a football fight song should never be in the key of "Boogie Woogie"? And all you disco fans out there needn't split your spandex over this. I've got nothing against the genre, per se. It's just that disco is not an appropriate theme for a football fight song any more than easy-listening jazz would be, or techno, or even folk: "Ye riots and revels of Diego, adieu / And Folly, ye foplings, I leave to you / Ye ol' Super Chargers of bustle and steel / O'er banks o' Qualcomm Glen, yon bannocks be smashed to barley-meal."

Bleh! Fight songs are supposed to be powerful and driving. They are triumphant and march-like—surging ever forward with percussion, bass and $10 beers to hoist and clink. Lyrically, they need to be agro, with plenty of "Kill, kill, kill!" and "Stomp, crush, destroy!" 

Even if you don't quite agree with what I think a fight song should be, I'm confident we are on the same page about what it should never be. And that is an utterly outdated, peppy-go-happy disco-dance tune at which even a roller-rink DJ would turn up his nose.

Now, look, my dear diehard Charger-fan friends, please believe this is not an attack. The truth is, I've got your back. Because I get it. You grew up with this song. There's nostalgia attached. The tune sounds great to you in much the same way the Brady Bunch theme sounds great to people of my era. 

But we both know the Brady Bunch theme is not great. Oh no, not great at all. And as a transplant from New York, someone with no emotional attachment to the Chargers fight song, I see it for what it really is. Again, I'm only saying this because we're friends. I'm saying this so that you may rise against—so that you rally the others to crush, kill, destroy this abomination. I say this because friends don't let friends abide foofy fight songs.

That said, a lot of the other NFL fight songs are also lame. This includes my beloved New York Football Giants' fight song, "Heart of New York," which sounds like a 1940s barbershop quartet singing about donating scrap metal to the war effort. It's not nearly violent or agro enough. Nor does it have any lyrics about their nickname. They're Giants! Their song should be about enormous humanoids stomping on opponents' heads and dragging them to the lair to suck the marrow from their bones.

To the Chargers' credit, their fight song actually does attempt to weave their nickname into the lyrics: "With thunderbolts and lightning / We'll light up the sky... with high voltage play... we're going all the way—all the way!" Only problem is, despite the big yellow bolts on their helmets, "Charger" doesn't refer to lightning. True story: The Chargers were first owned by William Barron Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotel empire and purveyor of the Carte Blanche credit card. Credit cards were a new innovation at the time, and Hilton wanted to spread the word, thus settling on the name "Chargers"—as in, people who purchase things with credit cards. (A second, less-popular theory is that Hilton named them after fans who shouted "Charge" in the stands. In either case, the moniker has nothing to do with electricity.) 

Still, it was a good try. I wish more teams would do that. For instance, instead of "Bear down, Chicago Bears," their theme song should have been, "Rise up on hind legs, Chicago Bears! Gore off their faces and disembowel their guts!" The Philadelphia Eagles song should go, "We're gonna swoop into town and peck out your eyeballs," and The Dolphins should just shriek, "Eeee, eeee! Eeee, eeee, eeee!" while splashing water in the opposing fans' faces.

As for the Chargers' fight song, well, a whole new rewrite is in order. Which is why I now propose the new official Chargers fight song. I call it "With Visas Sharp and True" (for the melody, think Tchaikovsky's "Overture 1812" meets Disturbed's "Down with the Sickness"):

"With Visas sharp and true we destroy the enemy bastards! / We buy up their whole city and put it all on plastic / Charge, charge, charge, San Diego Chargers / Charge them straight to Hades / Because the credit cards we are using / Were stolen from Al Davis."

Write to ed@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com. Edwin Decker blogs at www.edwindecker.com. Follow him on Twitter @edwindecker or find him on Facebook.

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