Jump to content

The Super Bowl Shuffle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The Super Bowl Shuffle"
The Chicago Bears team on the Super Bowl Shuffle cover
Single by the Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew
ReleasedDecember 1985
RecordedDecember 3, 1985
LabelRed Label[1]
Producer(s)Richard E. Meyer

"The Super Bowl Shuffle" is a song performed by the Chicago Bears football team (credited as the Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew) in 1985. It was released in December 1985 on Chicago-based Red Label Records and distributed through Capitol Records[2] seven weeks ahead of their win in Super Bowl XX. The song peaked at number 41 on the US Billboard Hot 100,[3] and earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1987.

Song and video[edit]

"The Super Bowl Shuffle" instantly became a mainstream phenomenon, selling over 500,000 copies and reaching number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 by February 1986.[4] Billboard reported that the single's chart performance was propelled primarily by sales rather than radio airplay, saying, "Although the record has a great deal of pop airplay across the country, especially as a novelty for morning drive programs, only a handful of radio stations are reporting it on their playlists."[5] "The Super Bowl Shuffle" fell in line with the Bears' high-media attention as they completed their one-loss regular season. The Bears dominated their postseason opponents, including the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX 46–10.

The 1985 Chicago Bears were the first sports team to have their own music video. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1987 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group, losing to "Kiss" by Prince.[4] The 20th anniversary DVD was released in 2004, including the making of the video, outtakes and the music video itself. Julia Meyer has kept the copyright to the video.

Over $300,000 in profits from the song and music video were donated to the Chicago Community Trust to help Chicago families in need with clothing, shelter and food.[1] This was consistent with Walter Payton's lyric in the song: "Now we're not doing this because we're greedy / The Bears are doing it to feed the needy". In 2014, six of the performers (Richard Dent, Jim McMahon, Otis Wilson, Willie Gault, Mike Richardson and Steve Fuller) sued Julia Meyer and Renaissance Marketing Corporation, who licenses the song, stating the proceeds from the song should benefit charities; the six players' attorney stated, "Among other things, the plaintiffs seek that a constructive trust be established for charitable purposes that they select in order to continue the Super Bowl Shuffle's charitable objective."[6]

The video was taped at Park West, a Chicago night club, the morning after the Bears' only loss of the 1985 season, 38-24 to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football on December 2, 1985. Jim McMahon and Walter Payton refused to participate in the video shoot, thinking it would be better to release the song and video after the season was complete. However, the team was insistent on releasing the song and video shortly after the shoot, so the video was filmed with the remaining players. Payton and McMahon both filmed their segments separately a week later at the Bears' practice facility after practice and these segments were interspersed in the video prior to release.[7]



Player Position No.
Walter Payton Running back 34
Willie Gault Wide receiver 83
Mike Singletary Linebacker 50
Jim McMahon Quarterback 9
Otis Wilson Linebacker 55
Steve Fuller Quarterback 4
Mike Richardson Cornerback 27
Richard Dent Defensive lineman 95
Gary Fencik Safety 45
William Perry Defensive lineman 72

"Shufflin' Crew" band[edit]

Player Position No. Instrument
Maury Buford Punter 8 Cowbell
Mike Tomczak Quarterback 18 guitar
Dennis Gentry Running back 29 Bass
Calvin Thomas Running back 33 [[S axophone]]
Reggie Phillips Defensive back 48 Congas
Ken Taylor Defensive back 31 Tambourine
Stefan Humphries Offensive lineman 75 Drums
Tyrone Keys Defensive lineman 98 Keyboard

"Shufflin' Crew" chorus[edit]

Player Position No.
Thomas Sanders Running back 20
Leslie Frazier Safety 21
Shaun Gayle Cornerback 23
Jim Morrissey Linebacker 51
Dan Rains Linebacker 53
Keith Ortego Wide receiver 89

The lyrics were written by Richard E. Meyer and Melvin Owens. The music was composed by Bobby Daniels and Lloyd Barry.

The "referee" in the video was portrayed by Julia Kallish.

Bears defensive end Dan Hampton declined involvement with the Shuffle, thinking it may have been too arrogant.[8]

Other personnel
  • Executive producers: Richard E. Meyer, William D. Neal, James J. Hurley III, Barbara Supeter
  • Director: Dave Thompson
  • Associate producer: Richard A. Tufo
  • Technical director: Darryl Crawl
  • Editor: John Anderson
  • Coordinating producer: Kim Alan Bigelow
  • Technical coordinator: Dave Sorensen
  • Lighting designer: Hugh Gallagher
  • Assistant director: Johanna K. Hull
  • Sound engineer: Fred Breitberg
  • Cameras: Bill DeMarco, Eric Chelstorp, Dennis Jackson, Jon Vandruska
  • Assistant cameras: Wendy Zauss, Tom Kruc
  • Video: Mike Fayette, Steve Cardwell, Jim Keen, Jerry Wehland
  • Location and editing facilities: Post Effects
  • Park West Crew: Gregg Kincaid, Charles Mack, James Nudd, Dan Narducy, Michael Reed
  • Make up: Venus Vargas


The 1985 Bears were not the first pro sports team with a group song.

  • The Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team (1869–1870), sang a song to the spectators prior to some of their games: "We are a band of baseball players / From Cincinnati city..." However, no means to record it existed until 1877, after the team disbanded, and it thus was never recorded.
  • Since the 1970s, some English soccer teams have celebrated qualifying for the FA Cup Final each year by recording a song for the occasion. The "cup final record", as it was known, became a tradition, with many of the songs being top ten successes in the UK music charts. The songs are occasionally original recordings but more often reworkings of recent chart successes with lyrics edited for the occasion. They often included the original artist singing along, especially when they are a fan of the team involved.
  • The 1984 San Francisco 49ers put out a record during that season, one in which they also went on to become Super Bowl champs. The song, "We Are the 49ers", was in the vein of post-disco/'80s dance-pop music.[11] Later in the 1980s, the 49ers would put out another team song titled "49ers Rap". Neither of these songs, however, became a hit on the scale of the "Super Bowl Shuffle".

Imitators and influence[edit]

The success of "The Super Bowl Shuffle" initiated numerous imitations from numerous teams across the league, including the Bears.

NFL teams[edit]

Chicago Bears (2006)[edit]

  • Da Superfans, a Chicago Bears fangroup, performed a parody version in early 2007 to celebrate the Bears' return to the Super Bowl.

Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

Green Bay Packers[edit]

  • Spoofing the "Macarena", the Green Bay Packers created the "Packarena" in 1996, during their Super Bowl XXXI run.[14] The song was later recreated in 2008, replacing the players with the 2007 team. It was also played frequently during the team's back-to-back Super Bowl runs in 1996–97 on local radio station WMYX-FM "99.1 The Mix".

Jacksonville Jaguars[edit]

Los Angeles Raiders[edit]

Los Angeles Rams[edit]

Miami Dolphins[edit]

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

New England Patriots[edit]

  • In early 1986, before the Super Bowl as a response to the Bears, the New England Patriots recorded their own team song, "New England, The Patriots, And We",[14] whose lyrics recounted their success in the playoff brackets and predicted victory against the Bears in Super Bowl XX. Its music video featured appearances by several Patriots, Boston-area celebrities (including Robert Urich) and local media personalities, while the song itself received airplay on Boston radio stations. Despite the song's optimistic predictions, the Patriots lost to the Bears in Super Bowl XX, 46–10.

New York Giants[edit]

Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

  • Also in 1988, the Philadelphia Eagles released a rap song called "Buddy's Watching You", referring to Eagles head coach and former Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. Eagles Hall of Famer Reggie White, an ordained minister, made a reference in the song to his faith with the line "I hit quarterbacks like they committed sin."[14] The Eagles would make the playoffs that year, but would ultimately lose in the Fog Bowl – ironically to the Bears.[24]

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

  • During the 1994 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly were planning to create a similar song, likely with some help from backup quarterback Mike Tomczak, who was a member of the '85 Bears and participated in the original "Super Bowl Shuffle." Reportedly, coach Bill Cowher vetoed the idea. The Steelers lost the 1994 AFC Championship game 17–13 to San Diego. That same season, local Pittsburgh artist Roger Wood created the "Here We Go" song, which has since become the Steelers unofficial fight song and is updated almost annually to account for roster turnover.[25][26]

San Francisco 49ers[edit]

Seattle Seahawks[edit]

  • During the 1985 season, the Seattle Seahawks released "The Blue Wave Is on a Roll", a jazz-themed song with various vocal harmonies, a saxophone solo, as well as various blooper-style sound effects. However, the Seahawks would ultimately go 8–8 and miss the playoffs.[14]

NFL Pro Bowl[edit]

Other parodies[edit]

  • In 1985, the Kansas Wesleyan football team won a conference title in the NAIA. They made the "KCAC shuffle" and showed it on the local access channel for Salina, Kansas, Channel 6.
  • During the 1985–86 season, the Boston College men's ice hockey team recorded the "Beanpot Trot" prior to their participation in the famed Beanpot Tournament. The Eagles placed second, losing 4–1 to rival school Boston University in the championship game on February 10, 1986.
  • The Houston Rockets, with the aid of Dynomite III, had a rap song in 1986 titled "Rocket Strut". They made it all the way to the NBA Finals that year, but lost to Boston in 6 games.
  • Also in 1986, the New York Mets released their own rap song called “Get Metsmerized”. The Mets won 108 games that season, advanced to the World Series, and defeated the Boston Red Sox in seven games to win their second world championship.
  • In 1987, "Super Bowl Shuffle" producer Richard E. Meyer created a similar music video starring Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, titled "The Grabowski Shuffle." The video, about "working hard to get what you want", was inspired by a comment Ditka had made about his team's reputation: "There are Smiths and there are Grabowskis; we're the Grabowskis."[29]
  • Also that year, the MLB World Champion Minnesota Twins released a music video called "The Berenguer Boogie", honoring their relief pitcher Juan Berenguer (whom they nicknamed "El Gasolino") and his victory celebration after striking out opposing batters. The video enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the 21st century via the internet.[30]
  • Soon after the 1986–87 NHL season, the Calgary Flames recorded a music video for the original song "Red Hot" for charity, which featured Flames players pretending to play instruments and lip-syncing to the song.
  • Prior to the 1988 NCAA Division I-A football season, the preseason No. 1 Florida State Seminoles made a video known as the "Seminole Rap," promising the school's first national championship would result from the season.[31] They lost their first game to the rival Miami Hurricanes (the defending National Champions) 31–0.[32] The Noles would finish the season 11–1 and ranked No. 3 in the nation, behind No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Miami.
  • Verne Gagne and his American Wrestling Association promoted a major event with a song known as "The WrestleRock Rumble" that featured the geriatric Gagne rapping.[33]
  • Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling had a "Super Bowl Shuffle"-like song as part of its weekly program. Each wrestler's recorded part preceded the match that she was involved in. Even the referees were part of the tune.
  • On the 3rd Season premiere of the FX television show The League, one of the main characters did a parody of this with Maurice Jones-Drew, Brent Grimes and Sidney Rice entitled "The Shiva Bowl Shuffle" as a reference to their fantasy league's Super Bowl.[34]
  • Key & Peele did a sketch called the "East/West Bowl Rap".
  • Saturday Night Live did a sketch called the "Establishment Shuffle", using the Shuffle style to parody the GOP and the 2015–16 Republican presidential primary season.
  • Scott Gairdner created a viral spoof entitled the "Sex Offender Shuffle", which parodies "The Super Bowl Shuffle" music video with actors portraying sex offenders who rap about the crimes they committed and how they've changed their ways in a "Super Bowl Shuffle"-styled song.[35] To date, the video has received over 55 million views.[36]

2010 reprise[edit]

Seven of the surviving 1985 Bears (Walter Payton had died in 1999 of liver cancer[37]) were reunited to film an updated version as a 30-second commercial promoting Boost Mobile, which was aired during Super Bowl XLIV.[38] The seven players featured were quarterback Jim McMahon, backup quarterback Steve Fuller, receiver Willie Gault, linebackers Mike Singletary and Otis Wilson, defensive lineman Richard Dent, and punter Maury Buford. All of the featured players wore #50 jerseys as part of the company's $50 deal.[4]

2014 celebrity cover version[edit]

On January 21, 2014, Misfire Records released a cover version[39] of the song featuring acclaimed musicians (Jim James of My Morning Jacket, John Roderick of The Long Winters, and Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav), comedians (Tom Scharpling of The Best Show on WFMU, Scott Aukerman of Comedy Bang! Bang!, David Wain of The State and Stella, Kyle Kinane, and Dave Hill), and other notables (wrestler Colt Cabana and internet cat celebrity Lil Bub). Organized by radio host Sean Cannon with production from musician Alexander Smith, all proceeds from sales were to be donated to Reading Is Fundamental.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Super Bowl Shuffle". Cmgww.com. 2010-01-15. Archived from the original on 2014-04-04. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  2. ^ "Throwback Thursday: 1985 Bears recorded 'The Super Bowl Shuffle' on this date 30 years ago". Bears Wire. 2015-12-03. Archived from the original on 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2014-01-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b c Greenberg, Jon (2010-01-14). "Shuffling down memory lane". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  5. ^ Ellis, Michael (1986-02-08). "Hot 100 Singles Spotlight" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  6. ^ Smith, Michael David (2014-01-31). "Six ex-Bears file "Super Bowl Shuffle" lawsuit". Profootballtalk.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  7. ^ Cohen, Rich. "Surviving The Shuffle: After flirting with history, the '85 Chicago Bears tempted fate with a memorable music video". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 2023-03-14.
  8. ^ "ESPN.com: Page 3 – Remembering the Super Bowl Shuffle". ESPN. 1999-02-22. Archived from the original on 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  9. ^ "Make Those Miracles Happen". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
  10. ^ https://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/story/bloop-hits-big-blue-wrecking-crew-s-we-are-the-champions-112014 [dead link]
  11. ^ America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions, "#9. 1984 San Francisco 49ers." Premiered on NFL Network, January 30, 2007
  12. ^ a b Brady, Jonann (2006-02-04). "Will the Ickey Shuffle Rise Again?". ABC News. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  13. ^ "NFL Game Center: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals – 2005 Wild Card Weekend". Nfl.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Seifert, Andy (2010-02-05). ""Let's Ram It!" and 25 years of other immortal NFL songs". Avclub.com. Archived from the original on 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
  15. ^ Silver, Michael (2000-01-31). "Uh Oh! Turning the Jaguar's rap lyric against them, the upstart Titans danced past Jacksonville and into their first Super Bowl". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  16. ^ "Best pop culture moments in Chicago Bears' history". NFL.com. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  17. ^ "Let's Ram It! An oral history of 1985 Los Angeles Rams' rap song".
  18. ^ "Revisiting "Let's Ram It," The L.A. Rams' Ode to… Ramming".
  19. ^ "Watch: Von Miller spoofs iconic 'Let's Ram It' song ahead of Super Bowl LVI".
  21. ^ Anderson, Kyle (2010-01-22). "Prince Records 'Purple And Gold,' Fight Song For Minnesota Vikings". MTV.com. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  22. ^ "NFL Game Center: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints – 2009 Conference Championships". Nfl.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  23. ^ "The Legacy of the Super Bowl Shuffle and the History of NFL Pop Music". Soundfly. 2016-05-12. Archived from the original on 2018-02-06. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  24. ^ "Fog Bowl: 'A supernatural experience'". ESPN.com. 2008-09-26. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  25. ^ "Here We Go Steelers – Official Music Video". Steelers.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  26. ^ "'Here We Go' – Steelers catchy fight song is in need of changes – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Post-gazette.com. 2012-03-16. Archived from the original on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  27. ^ "Producer of 1984 hit 'We Are The 49ers' revamps track for 2020 Super Bowl".
  28. ^ Burns, Ashley (2011-01-10). "Jimmy Fallon Did The Pro Bowl Shuffle". Uproxx. Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  29. ^ Obejas, Achy (1987-08-06). "Waiting for Grabowski". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  30. ^ Lenard, Jason. "Juan Berenguer - Society for American Baseball Research". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  31. ^ Bianchi, Mike (2008-08-27). "Seminole Rap 20 years later: Was it the worst case of trash-talking in sports history?". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  32. ^ Telander, Rick (1988-09-12). "No More Rap or Rep: Miami's 31-0 defeat of Florida State, the preseason No. 1, silenced the Seminoles". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  33. ^ WrestleRock Rumble on YouTube
  34. ^ Sharp, Andrew (2011-10-07). "Maurice Jones-Drew, Sidney Rice, And The 'Shiva Bowl Shuffle' On FX". SB Nation. Archived from the original on 2012-01-26. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  35. ^ "Moonbeam City creator Scott Gairdner talks about animating the 1980s for Comedy Central". The Virginian-Pilot. 2015-11-04. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  36. ^ Sex Offender Shuffle on YouTube
  37. ^ "CNN/SI – NFL Football – Cancer claims NFL legend Walter Payton – Tuesday November 02, 1999 05:08 PM". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Archived from the original on 2012-08-19. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  38. ^ "MediaPost Publications Boost Mobile 'Shuffles' Into Its First Super Bowl 01/21/2010". Mediapost.com. Archived from the original on 2010-01-23. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  39. ^ "The Super Bowl Shuffle from Misfire Records". Archived from the original on 2014-01-22. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
  40. ^ "Listen: Jim James, Lil Bub, Tim Harrington, Comedians Cover "The Super Bowl Shuffle"". Pitchfork. 2014-01-21. Archived from the original on 2014-01-22. Retrieved 2014-01-21.

External links[edit]