In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Philadelphia Eagles took down the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday for a bid to the Superbowl (go Birds). And the city lost its mind—the police had to grease up street lamps to prevent fans from climbing them, Broad Street all but shut down, and someone even tried to drive up the Rocky Steps.
The city’s excitement, in part, stems from the fact that the Eagles haven’t been to the Super Bowl since 2004. More than that, though, the Eagles were never supposed to make it to the Super Bowl—let alone, into the post season. Plagued by a series of chance injuries, the Eagles did the unthinkable, and came together when no one thought they could. They were the underdogs who shook up the league.
In lieu of their astronomical season, Street has compiled a list of the top seven underdog theme songs, all taken from hit underdog sports movies. These bad boys are supposed to be cheesy—they ought to make you feel good, and enjoy the thrill of accomplishing something no one thought you could.
1. “Gonna Fly Now” (Bill Conti, Rocky)
Rocky is not only one of the greatest sports films of all time, it’s also one of the greatest Philadelphia films of all time. Perhaps the most recognizable track from the Rocky soundtrack, “Gonna Fly Now,” is a classic song about a hero’s humble origins and inevitable triumph. What better way to celebrate an Eagles victory than by conquering the Rocky Steps with “Gonna Fly Now” blasting through your headphones?
2. “The Final Game” (Jerry Goldsmith, Rudy)
It’s impossible not to get chills listening to the crown jewel of Rudy’s soundtrack. Opening with anticipatory drums, the tune picks up speed to an exciting rush of emotion. We know we are in the makings of history: the overlooked “Rudys” of the world are about to have their day.
3. “Your Hand in Mine” (Explosions in the Sky, Friday Night Lights)
Contrary to a lot of songs on this list, “Your Hand in Mine,” feels empty, desolate, and lonely. This song captures the acute feeling of being isolated, even when you are among teammates. It reminds us that no underdog ever got anywhere without a fight. The road to championships is never easy, but the view at the top will be worth the climb.
4. “Centerfield” (John Fogerty, Bull Durham)
Fogerty’s “Centerfield,” feels like you’re at a summer baseball game—you can almost taste the Cracker Jacks, feel a cool soda pop sweating in your hand, and smell the freshly mowed grass. Fogerty insists during the chorus, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play / Look at me, I can be centerfield.” There’s something so familiar and endearing about Fogerty’s scrappy self confidence; after all, only underdogs believe in themselves.
5. “We Are the Champions” (Queen, The Mighty Ducks)
After sitting squarely at the bottom of the league, the Mighty Ducks go on a winning streak, and the rag–tag team of misfits shakes up the league. Charlie scores the game winning overtime goal by executing the almighty “triple deke,” and, as viewers, we are finally rewarded with the relief of hearing Queen’s epic song. It’s the ultimate pay off. Remember, all champions were once underdogs.
6. “Chances Are” (Five for Fighting, The Blind Side)
“Chances Are” reminds us to take risks. Michael Oher faces all kinds of adversity—at home, at school, and on the football field—but takes a chance and blindly believes. For him, that faith pays off. “Chances Are” captures the uncertainty, the hesitation, and ultimately, the success that comes from taking the plunge.
7. “You’re the Best Around” (Joe Esposito, The Karate Kid)
This song will make you feel like a bona fide badass—no questions about it. A charmingly dated '80s tune, this song’s electric beat and fired up synths will make you feel ready to take on the world. “You’re the Best Around” reminds us why the underdog fights in the first place.
Listen to these songs before an exam. Listen to them on the treadmill. Listen to them whenever you need a little extra motivation to do the impossible. Most importantly, though, listen to them on Feb. 4 as the Eagles take down the Patriots. Fly, Eagles, fly!