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Music is a huge part of pregame mental preparation--nothing can quite get your blood pumping like visualizing yourself vanquishing your opponent while a kick-ass song plays in the background. Even before the advent of portable music players, what played on the locker room boombox before a game was a matter of vital importance. Now, players can make their own playlists on their iPhones, catering to their exact pump-up specifications. Sometimes, they share those mixes with the public.
English striker Wayne Rooney tweeted his pregame playlist the other day, and it is just awful, complete with somber ballads about AIDS and dead toddlers. As Buzzfeed points out, Rooney has a temper on the field, so perhaps he listens to this stuff to mellow out--so he's not liable to get ejected in the first five minutes. We don't take issue with the mellowness (there's plenty of badass mellow music--remember Days of the New?), we take issue with the subject matter and execution.
He gets points for having an upbeat '80s song, Deacon Blue's "Real Gone Kid", because any self-respecting pump-up mix has one. My go-to used to be "Rio," perhaps yours was "Flashdance...What A Feeling." But after that, Rooney's mix falls off a cliff. Just how dire is the situation? The highlight is Bon Jovi's "It's My Life" which is as generic as pump-up rock gets.
- A cover of "Champagne Supernova," not even the Oasis version
-The softest Arctic Monkeys song in existence
-"Fathers and Sons" by Cat Stevens
-Some acoustic love song by Damien Rice
But who are we kidding, the mix obviously works: Rooney scored the only goal yesterday in his first game back in the Euro Cup. Those soccer players, so enigmatic and delicate.