Friday, January 8, 2010


I am probably the last person on the planet to post about The Sopranos, the pop-cultural phenomenon whose six-season run ended in 2007. I've never had HBO, so I couldn't watch the show when it was first on the air. However, it was hard not to at least be aware of the show, and I got the general idea from water cooler talk and morning radio deejays. I figured I would eventually get around to watching the show, but even with reruns in constant rotation on A&E, which I do get, I never got around it.

Enter Netflix which my girlfriend and I have had for awhile now. Since we first got Netflix, we've cranked through a ton of movies, including all ten of the previous Star Trek movies prior to the release of the latest incarnation (which we saw in IMAX). While we still had plenty of movies in the queue (and still do), we decided to start getting DVDs of TV shows. Since the end of August, I've been getting the DVDs of The Sopranos, and I've just now finished the fourth season. Meanwhile, my girlfriend has cranked through five and a half seasons of Desperate Housewives including the first part if the current season which have been recorded on our DVR. When I finish up with The Sopranos, perhaps we'll move on to the DVDs of Lost.

I like to kid my girlfriend about the TV shows she watches being pointless dramas (Dollhouse, Ghost Whisperer), silly sitcoms (The Office, Parks And Recreation) or some combination of the two (Ugly Betty, Glee). I think Desperate Housewives is on the same level as the the daytime soap operas. Of course, take one of those soap operas, throw in some screwed-up mobsters, plenty of crime and violence, and a seedy strip club, and then I'm hooked. What does that say about me? Does that mean I'm pure evil? I do like that rock 'n roll music, so I guess I'm a lost cause.

One of the key elements of the The Sopranos is the music. Most notable is "Woke Up This Morning". The bluesy theme plays during the show's opening sequence which follows mob boss Tony Soprano as he makes his way home from New York City to New Jersey. The song could be considered Tony's personal theme song, although not in the same way as that James Bond's theme plays throughout the 007 movies.

Of course, theme music is not limited to movies and television. Music and sports have been linked since before marching bands began playing at halftime of college football games. Baseball has arguably the biggest links between sports and music with the most memorable being former Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Carry singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field. There is also the entrance music for closing pitchers. Major League closer Trevor Hoffman is known for trotting out from the bullpen to AC/DC's "Hells Bells". Then there is Mariano Rivera who enters to Metallica's "Enter Sandman" which he had never previously heard before the song was selected for him. In baseball, musical entrances aren't limited to the pitchers. Nowadays, every hitter has music that plays as they make their way to the batter's box. Being a fan of the Atlanta Braves, I get exited at the first notes of Ozzie Osbourne's "Crazy Train" which accompanies slugger Chipper Jones to bat. That song was also used by Larry Johnson and probably several others.

Entrance songs are also popular with professional wrestlers, boxers and MMA fighters. The pièce de résistance of musical entrances would have to be from the movie Rocky IV which has the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, singing "Living in America" as Apollo Creed in an Uncle Sam top hat makes his way to the boxing ring to face the Russian Ivan Drako.

I would venture to guess that if you asked the average guy, he has at least one song already picked out for his personal entrance music, just in case he gets the call from the big leagues (or maybe Vince McMahon). For me, I favor a particular ditty by the Stones. Yet another nail in my coffin, I guess. Do I keep a CD containing that song in my car? Yes, I do. Do I play the song loudly on the drive over to my friendly neighborhood bi-weekly get-together? Ummm... well... yeah. Does it help? No, not really.

As we come to the end of this post, we fade to black, and the credits get ready to roll. Cue the music.

"Please allow me to introduce myself..."

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