The Super Bowl Shuffle

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"Super Bowl Shuffle"
The Chicago Bears team on the Super Bowl Shuffle cover
Single by Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew
ReleasedDecember 3, 1985
GenreRap
Length6:58
LabelRed Label Music Publishing[1]
Songwriter(s)Lyrics: Richard E. Meyer and Melvin Owens. Music: Bobby Daniels and Lloyd Barry.
Producer(s)Richard E. Meyer

"The Super Bowl Shuffle" is a rap song performed by players of the Chicago Bears football team in 1985. It was released December 3, 1985 and recorded the day after their only loss of the season at the hands of the Miami Dolphins,[2] two months prior to their win in Super Bowl XX over the New England Patriots. It peaked at No. 41 in February 1986 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[3]

Song and video[edit]

The 1985 rap hit recorded by the players of the Chicago Bears known as the “Super Bowl Shuffle” instantly became a mainstream phenomenon. The single sold more than 500,000 copies and reached No. 41 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[4]

The Bears finished with a 15–1 record for the 1985 season. Randy Weigand, a die-hard Bears fan and music lover, had the idea to write, produce, and choreograph a rap song for the Chicago Bears. Weigand's girlfriend, cheerleader Courtney Larson, introduced them to Willie Gault who put them in touch with other Bears players and the “Super Bowl Shuffle” was born.[5] The lyrics related to each player and his craft on the field, and fame in the community.

“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 playoff opponents including the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 46–10.

The 1985 Chicago Bears were the first sports team to have their own rap video. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1985 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group, eventually 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 was donated to the Chicago Community Trust to help needy families in Chicago with clothing, shelter, and food.[1] This was consistent with Walter Payton's rap lyrics 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]

Performers[edit]

Singers[edit]

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
Calvin Thomas Running back 33 Saxophone
Reggie Phillips Defensive back 48 Congas
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
Dennis Gentry Running back 29
Ken Taylor Defensive back 31
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.[7]

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

Precedents[edit]

The 1985 Bears were not the first pro football 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..." -But no recording was ever made or distributed by a record label.
  • Since the 1970s, some English soccer teams had 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 were 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 1977 Denver Broncos running back, Jon Keyworth sang "Make Those Miracles Happen" by L. Meeks and M. Weyand. However, the Broncos did not win the 1978 Super Bowl.[8]
  • In 1981, after the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, four members of the team - Jerry Reuss, Jay Johnstone, Rick Monday, and Steve Yeager - recorded a cover of Queen's "We Are the Champions". They were backed by Leland Sklar on bass and Jeff Porcaro of Toto on drums. The short-lived group performed their song on the TV show Solid Gold.[9]
  • 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/80's dance-pop music.[10] 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]

No professional sports team has released a song that was an American hit on the scale of "The Super Bowl Shuffle". The success of "The Super Bowl Shuffle" initiated the following imitations:

  • 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.
  • On February 27, 1986, the Memphis Tigers Pom Squad performed the "Pom-Pom Shuffle" in their last home game of the season against New Orleans.
  • 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.
  • The eventual 1987 World Champion Minnesota Twins released a video called "The Berenguer Boogie", gently teasing the relief pitcher they nicknamed "El Gasolino" for his victory celebration after striking out opposing batters.
  • 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.[11] They lost their first game to the rival Miami Hurricanes (the defending National Champions) 31–0.[12] 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.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • 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. As of May 2020, the video has received 38 million views.[15]

NFL teams[edit]

2010 reprise[edit]

Seven of the surviving 1985 Bears (Walter Payton had died in 1999 of liver cancer[28]) were reunited to film an updated version as a 30-second commercial promoting Boost Mobile, which was aired during Super Bowl XLIV.[29] 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[30] 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.[31]

See also[edit]

References[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.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b c Jon GreenbergColumnist, ESPNChicago.comFollowArchive (2010-01-15). "Chicago Bears' "Super Bowl Shuffle" an enduring, endearing sports moment – ESPN Chicago". Sports.espn.go.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  5. ^ Guertin, Bill (2009-10-22). The 800-Pound Gorilla of Sales: How to Dominate Your Market – Bill Guertin – Google Books. ISBN 9780470553923. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  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. ^ "ESPN.com: Page 3 – Remembering the Super Bowl Shuffle". Sports.espn.go.com. 1999-02-22. Archived from the original on 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  8. ^ "Make Those Miracles Happen". Archived from the original on 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
  9. ^ https://www.foxsports.com/mlb/just-a-bit-outside/story/bloop-hits-big-blue-wrecking-crew-s-we-are-the-champions-112014
  10. ^ America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions, "#9. 1984 San Francisco 49ers." Premiered on NFL Network, January 30, 2007
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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 Iillustrated. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  13. ^ WrestleRock Rumble on YouTube
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Sex Offender Shuffle on YouTube
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Best pop culture moments in Chicago Bears' history". NFL.com. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  18. ^ "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.
  19. ^ a b Brady, Jonann (2006-02-04). "Will the Ickey Shuffle Rise Again?". ABC News. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  20. ^ "Fog Bowl: 'A supernatural experience'". ESPN.com. 2008-09-26. Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  21. ^ "Here We Go Steelers – Official Music Video". Steelers.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  22. ^ "'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.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ Burns, Ashley (2011-01-10). "Jimmy Fallon Did The Pro Bowl Shuffle". Uproxx. Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  28. ^ "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.
  29. ^ "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.
  30. ^ "The Super Bowl Shuffle from Misfire Records". Archived from the original on 2014-01-22. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
  31. ^ "Listen: Jim James, Lil Bub, Tim Harrington, Comedians Cover "The Super Bowl Shuffle"". Archived from the original on 2014-01-22. Retrieved 2014-01-21.

External links[edit]