If there's one thing most professional athletes are good at, it's sports. Unfortunately, the recent NBA lockout stemming from millionaires failing to come to terms with billionaires left many players with an unprecedented amount of free time on their hands. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and an agreement was reached before we were forced to endure an outbreak of new music careers.
The 1985 Chicago Bears famously used their rhythmic ambitions for good and benefited charities. But most attempts since have failed to live up to the impossible standard set by “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” Here are five distressing examples.
The New York Mets – 1986
Radio host Tom Scharpling once described the winners of the 1986 World Series as not so much a team as a group of psychopaths who could hit baseballs. While their legacy included sex, drugs and trashing an airplane, their most heinous moment had to be “Get Metsmerized,” their pieced-together attempt to copy “The Super Bowl Shuffle,” minus the production values. As uncomfortable as it is funny, “Get Metsmerized” is easily the Mets' biggest failure that year.
“The Wrestlerock Rumble”
The A.W.A. – 1986
While it's clear some attempt was made to salvage “Get Metsmerized” via audio post-production, the concept of sound editing seems to have eluded members of Verne Gange's now defunct American Wrestling Association. “The Wrestlerock Rumble” was made to promote A.W.A.'s Wrestlerock '86 event, but due to the poor reception of the clip no rap or rock music was performed at the show. (Country legend Waylon Jennings did so instead.)
It's frightening to picture a world where 51-year-old Nick Bockwinkel is the only person on a posse cut to have any idea how a rap song is supposed to sound. Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig's flow, meanwhile, is likely what led to his “Rap is Crap” campaign years later.
“The Grabowski Shuffle”
Mike Ditka – 1986
While Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka initially passed on “The Super Bowl Shuffle” due to having no idea what rap was, its success inspired him to assemble his own posse without that “feed the needy” garbage. With “The Grabowski Shuffle,” Ditka walks the line between motivational speaker and cult leader, with testimonials to the benefits of being more Ditka-like. The music video was accompanied by a special documenting the intense audition process that lead to Ditka's decision. Think A Chorus Line meets The Wicker Man.
“Break It Up”
Carl Lewis -1986
Carl Lewis couldn't handle Boxer's 1981 reggae hit “Break It Up.” Turning the Scandinavian one-hit wonder's song into a disco endeavor, the track star attempted to inspire Denmark by belting his heart out in one of the most puzzling music videos ever shot. The idea of a sports star famous for competing in a field that emphasizes individual performance singing a song about working together — and “Break It Up” repeated over and over — is about as confusing as his penchant for courting octogenarians.
“How My Ass Taste?” Freestyle
Shaq – 2008
Shaq's rap career has inspired everything from fighting video games to movies about rapping genies. While his ear for collaborative talent hasn't quite placed him among rap's finest, he has become the best basketball player on the mic, which is definitely saying something. Shaq's also the only player willing to enter a war of words on wax, first feuding with Virginia rapper Skillz in 2004 and then dissing fellow rap-attempting basketball player Kobe Bryant. Had the lock-out led to a breakout in more b-ball rappers, he would have been the first to throw down.