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  • Writer's pictureMelody Alexander

Crunching the numbers between NFL championships and music, starting with the Super Bowl Shuffle

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

I grew up in what I still believe is the glory days of NFL football. I was raised in Illinois, and in my formative years, the Chicago Bears reigned supreme. In 1984 and 1985, right as I was celebrating my 8th birthday, Mike Ditka had long been a legend in Chicago football and he was coaching his way into his third championship title — the only person to win that honor as both a player and coach for the same team. Ditka's team was packed with talent whose names this 8-year-old girl from small town Illinois knew by heart: linebacker Mike Singletary, a rookie by the name William "the Refrigerator" Perry, the indomitable running back Walter Payton, and the coolest quarterback, Jim McMahon who wore sunglasses on the field for medical reasons. And according to this dinosaur of a page from ESPN that looks like it was ripped out of a GeoCities website from 1999, that team was long considered one of the best NFL teams in history.


But what stuck with me for years was this little gem that I still love talking about to this day.


I am still obsessed with the Super Bowl Shuffle today — so much so that I had to school some youngins recently who hadn't even heard about it. Truthfully, I didn't think you could be a fan of NFL football and not know about the Super Bowl Shuffle. But I need to remember that not everybody was living in Illinois in 1985.


I was reminded of the '85 Bears' Super Bowl Shuffle again today

Part of why I loved the Super Bowl Shuffle so much was because I'm an avid music lover. I was raised in a household where music was always present thanks to a long line of musical family members, and I also fell in love with punk music as a teenager. So when a little ditty — a cover from one of my favorite punk bands the Pogues — was released Wednesday by brothers Jason and Travis Kelce, it took me back to my joyous days of NFL players performing off of the field while giving me punk rock holiday feels.


It also led me to ask: just how many championship players have released songs and albums?


We're here to crunch the numbers

STATSdraft is all about data. With the release of the Kelce Brothers' Fairytale of Philadelphia and with happy memories of the Super Bowl Shuffle, it made us (okay, just me, really) curious to see just how many titles correlate with the release of musical albums and individual songs.


Here's what we learned.


Eagles: 2 albums, 1 championship

The Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, alongside offensive tackles Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson, released a Christmas album, A Philly Special Christmas in 2022. The Kelce Brothers' Fairytale of Philadelphia will appear on the Eagles' followup Christmas album, A Philly Special Christmas Special, which is now available for pre-order. Last year's album raised over $1.25 million for local children's charities, and that's the goal for this year's album as well.


These albums don't include the full team, but they did get a little Taylor Swift bump thanks to Travis Kelce's appearance on the upcoming album. They also have a full lineup of talented musicians (HELLO, Patti LaBelle and Waxahatchee!), but I do not believe there is a correlation between this 2:1 album to championship ratio.


Dallas Cowboys: 1 album, 5 championships

Former Cowboys linemen Leonard Davis, Marc Colombo, and Cory Procter created a heavy metal band, Free Reign. I don't remember this band at all. The Cowboys also haven't won a championship since long before Free Reign was around. There's no correlation here. Ick.


Deion Sanders: 1album, 2 championships, 2 teams

Deion Sanders is a unicorn. He won two championship rings, one with the Cowboys, and one with the San Fransisco 49ers, and his album, Prime Time, was released the same year he won with the 49ers. Correlation? Obviously. Coach Prime does what he wants. Which means he's probably more of a honey badger.



Terry Bradshaw: 5 albums, 4 championships

Terry Bradshaw released 5 albums, including a Christmas album and gospel albums! And that was all while he was a quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's also a unicorn, like Coach Prime. I'm really wanting to see more team albums, but Terry Bradshaw is kind of a standalone case, too. So I'm saying there's an obvious correlation. But come on, guys. STATSdraft is also all about team. Get those teammates on board and let's see what kind of magic can happen!


Green Bay Packers: 1 movie , 4 championships

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and offensive linemen David Bakhtiari, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton and Don Barclay were perfect and probably deserve several more champion rings after this performance.



Chiefs: 0 albums (but KillaTrav is featured on the Eagles Christmas album), 3 championships

Technically, this doesn't count since it's an Eagles album. But it does give me a chance to share this resurfaced tweet and let Travis know that he should come back to Lawrence, Kansas and see the pizza and pretzels the squirrels on the University of Kansas' campus smash regularly. The Kelce to carb-eating-squirrel ratio is pretty high here and I'm all for it.



A tweet from Travis Kelce from April 14, 2022 reads, "I just gave a squirle a peice of bread and it straight smashed all of it!!!! I had no idea  they ate bread like that!! Haha #crazy

What's missing on the list?

I know there are other albums from NFL players, but will they ever be as iconic as the '85 Bears' Super Bowl Shuffle? As the rap indicates, the Super Bowl Shuffle raised over $300,000 for nonprofits across Chicago. In today's terms (and pre-Internet, might I add), that would be around $845,000. It's likely that album was only available to a kid like me on a mail order commercial. So, kudos to the Bears, who obviously remain legends to this day and in my humble opinion, are just slightly ahead of the beloved Kelce brothers.


Do you have a favorite album from an NFL team I'm missing here? Share your favorites and let's see what kind of statistical correlations we can create with them.



 

Download and start playing STATSdraft today.





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