Twenty-three years ago, the Chicago Bears made music history with the song “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” The Shufflin’ Crew sold more than 700,000 records and 170,000 videos. William “The Refrigerator” Perry became a household name.
But the success of “The Super Bowl Shuffle” also emboldened other NFL teams to make their own music videos. And those videos were awful, truly awful.
YouTube now has given new life to these forgotten videos, which feature everything from barbarians to a keytar. Here are some of the worst.
The Miami Dolphins' “Can't Touch Us”
This video by "Cory and the Fins" lifted lyrics from not one, but two 1990 rap songs-M.C. Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” and LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out.” There’s a keytar. There’s a guy wearing a white sports jacket and bow tie, but no shirt. There’s a cell phone the size of a brick. Yup, it captures the early ‘90s.
Most cringe-worthy moment: Remember Zubaz, those obnoxious striped pants? The Dolphins must have been sponsored by Zubaz that year.
The Los Angeles Rams’ “Let’s Ram It”
The 1986 Rams’ choreography is almost as bad as their lyrics. The worst two lines: “I like to ram it as you can see/Nobody likes ramming any more than me.” Defensive end Gary Jeter is standing in a locker for no good reason.
Most cringe-worthy moment: All-Pro safety Nolan Cromwell’s dancing. It’s hard to watch the last 20 seconds of the video.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ “Buddy’s Watching You”
The 1988 Eagles hit the studio to warn people that Coach Buddy Ryan is keeping an eye on you. Mercifully short video and some of the players don’t sound half-bad.
Most cringe-worthy moment: The 1:03 mark. Someone lets kicker Luis Zendejas near the microphone. He squibs his rhymes.
The Cleveland Browns' “Masters of the Gridiron”
Dressed like extras from an episode of “Xena: Warrior Princess,” the 1986 Browns fight white, middle-aged ninjas so they can get "The Ring." This nonsensical 18-minute epic features musician Tiny Tim as a hooded evil-doer. Seriously.
Most cringe-worthy moment: The 4:35 mark. Center Mike Baab in barbarian-garb standing on the edge of Lake Erie blowing on a horn.
This video is broken up into two parts:
The Seattle Seahawks' “Cuz the Blue Wave is on a Roll”
The 1986 Seahawks got Michael Jackson to sing in their video. Linebacker Michael Jackson. It's no “Thriller.” Just “Bad.” Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice must have taken dancing lessons from Frankenstein.
Most cringe-worthy moment: At the 1:40 mark, a saxophone player emerges from the showers and then plays in front of a shirtless player working out.
The San Francisco 49ers’ “Team of the Eighties”
The 49ers may have won the Super Bowl in 1989, but this video is unforgivable. The cheesy graphics look like something from a grade-school project. The poor horn players are forced to hang out in someone's backyard.
Most cringe-worthy moment: Why does cornerback Eric Wright feel the need to roll his tongue at the 2:24 mark?
The Los Angeles Raiders’ “Silver and Black Attack”
The 1986 Raiders shout out their chorus in a set-up reminiscent of the "We Are the World" video. Why are there always players in these videos wearing sunglasses? We see your number. We know who you are.
Most cringe-worthy moment: 5:30 moment. Coach Tom “T-Flo” Flores raps.
And of course, there's the video that started it all. The Chicago Bears' "The Super Bowl Shuffle." I can't believe I would watch MTV all afternoon just to see this video. Talk about wasted youth.
There is one video that I couldn't find-- it's sort of the Holy Grail of NFL music videos. The Dallas Cowboys put out a 1986 Christmas music video where Tom Landry raps along with the team. If anyone can find it, please send me the link. I want to see Landry spitting out some rhymes.
UPDATE: A Watch This Now reader found one of apparently several videos done by the Dallas Cowboys for a Christmas 1986 album. It is an earnest, tone-deaf holiday song. Thanks Haywood!
We were also alerted to yet another awful football rap video. This time courtesy of the 1989 Cincy Bengals. It's called the "Who Dey Rap." As in "Who dey heck thought this was a good idea?"