Weird Al gets sporty with "Sports Song"

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
Weird Al Yankovic is best known for his hilarious remakes of songs from the top of the charts. His new album, "Mandatory Fun," is more of the same, poking fun at Lorde's "Royals," Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Iggy Azalea's "Fancy."

But it was the fourth track -- an original called "Sports Song" -- that has us wanting to make it the official song of college sports.


ESPN, Music

Willie Nelson and Family visit ESPN

June, 17, 2014
Jun 17

If you looked at Willie Nelson's tour itinerary for mid-June you would have seen stops in Simsbury, Conn. and Boston with a day off in between. But it was no day off for the 81-year-old country music legend as he programmed the GPS for ESPN headquarters, set up a stage in the middle of the campus and performed the title track off his new album "Band of Brothers" live on SportsCenter as seen in the video above.

He also talked about his friendship with the late Texas football coach Darrell Royal, his fifth-degree black belt and more. And he wasn't done there. Before shipping up to Boston, Nelson fielded questions from fans in a live chat.

"Band of Brothers," featuring nine completely new songs among the 14 tracks, is in stores now. (iTunes | Amazon)

Pitbull unveils 2014 World Cup anthem

April, 9, 2014
Apr 9

The official song of the 2014 World Cup Brazil, "We Are One (Ole, Ola)," has been released and it features Cuban-American rapper/entertainer Pitbull as well as megastar Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Caludia Leitte. The song is one of 17 that will appear on the official FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil album to be released May 12, exactly one month out from the start of the tournament. Ricky Martin, The Isley Brothers and Sergio Mendes are just a few of the additional artists involved in the project.

Is "We Are One" as catchy as Shakira's 2010 anthem "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)" which has amassed 640 million views and counting on YouTube? Watch both videos and judge for yourself. The World Cup will air on ESPN June 12 through July 13.

Manchester Orchestra's Hull talks NBA

April, 1, 2014
Apr 1
Manchester Orchestra  Andrew Thomas LeeManchester Orchestra's long-awaited fourth studio album "Cope" is in stores now.
Manchester Orchestra singer and songwriter Andy Hull is a huge NBA fan and fantasy basketball is a big part of how he keeps up with the sport on the road. “It’s a very tight, close league,” he says of the league he’s won three years in a row. “Everybody's picking up and dropping every day. It’s really fun and totally mocked by wives and girlfriends.”

But there won't be a championship four-peat for Hull this season. He finished the semifinal round in a tie with lead guitarist Robert McDowell, and McDowell advanced to the finals on a tiebreaker.

"LaMarcus Aldridge was out for seven games -- he missed three or four games during the week, which killed me," Hull explained. "And (Robert) had Kevin Durant. So that's gonna happen."

Hull recently talked about his love of the NBA and the band's do-it-yourself effort that went into their new album "Cope" –- a two-year process in which the band remodeled and soundproofed a suburban Atlanta house as its recording studio, then cut the album themselves.

“I'm definitely proud of this whole album more than anything else we've done,” he said.

How would you sum up the mood of this record from a musical and lyrical standpoint?
The mood is vital, it’s really immediate. It's intentionally immediate. And hopefully impactful. We really went broad on our last record ("Simple Math," released in 2011 ) and tried a bunch of different sonic landscapes. As we did that as a live band over the years we started to become way more aggressive yet still catchy. So we thought let’s create this super-raw, loud monster and have really nice-sounding catchy vocals over the top of it -- not like screaming my head off -- sort of the yin and yang of that.

Did you feel more pressure and expectations this time around?
I think for every record you can assign a part of your career to it. The first one can't suck, because it’s how you're being introduced. Then there's the fear of the second record -- this is what makes or breaks you. And then, when you get to the third record, you've got your fan base and you can test the waters a bit. The expectations I keep on us and band has on ourselves -- there's always a lot of pressure, self-induced, to perform at a higher level and do something that hasn't been repeated. It would be awesome to be the band that doesn't release a bad record.

How do you think pressure and expectations change the way musicians or athletes approach their professions?
It's gotta be tough to be on a losing team. I think that's the biggest difference. I get to go out every night and play and have a blast and at the end no one's booing. It's all "you're great, that was great." You can go and work so hard for three hours as a football player or basketball player, pour your heart out and lose.

When did your NBA fandom start?
It started really young, six or seven years old, and I've always been fascinated with stats and the emotion of the game. My absolute favorite thing to do is talk about it and watch it.

[+] EnlargeManchester Orchestra
Favorite Gentlemen, Loma VistaClick here to get your copy of "Cope" on CD or vinyl.
Did you have a favorite player or team growing up?
That's the weird thing about me and game of basketball. I don't have a favorite team and I don't have a favorite player. I just love it as a whole. It’s like a great movie to watch. I moved to Toronto when I was a kid and it was the year the Raptors started. I was in sixth, seventh, eighth grade when Vince Carter was there and that was exciting. Vince was my favorite player at that point.

Were you disappointed the way that ended in Toronto?
Yeah, it was so sad. There was that incredible series between the Sixers and the Raptors. It was the best basketball I can ever remember watching and then it just fizzled out. The next year they played Detroit in the first round and got beat and they've never been able to recover.

You never became an Atlanta Hawks fan, then?
No, not really. They're always just hurting you. When they were doing all right I was kind of into basketball, but they were always getting beaten by the Bulls in the second round every year. Then there were some really weird years. Like when they had Glenn Robinson and Jason Terry. And Josh Smith was such a frustrating individual to watch.

Do you have a problem with NBA teams tanking?
I guess I'm very flip-flopped on it. If it's a team I think would be awesome to have a great young player, that would be cool. It’s definitely a weird thing to do, but I guess I understand it. It's gotta be tough for some of the guys on the team who want to win.

Who's your MVP this season? LeBron James, Kevin Durant or someone else?
I guess Kevin Durant because he’s playing absolutely out of his mind at this point. Some would say Joakim Noah from the Bulls but I don’t really agree. You could say LaMarcus Aldridge but he’s been kind of injury-prone. I’d give it to KD, he’s averaging 32 points per game and keeping that team afloat. But I don’t think they’re going to go anywhere.

Do you think there's a parallel between the creativity of an NBA scorer like Kevin Durant and the creative process that goes into an album or performing live?
I think there's certainly something to fashioning your gift and working on your talent. And if you spend time on it you'll see that improvement in areas. I definitely see a parallel there. The cool thing about music is you can just go so far out of the box. If you want to enter a totally different world it’s as easy as writing it down. And there’s fundamentals, but I guess it's about improvising on those fundamentals which is what those guys are doing, too.

You've had a pretty big beard for a while. What kind of beard best suits an NBA player?
I love the huge beard. I love the James Harden thing. Even when I'd create players in “NBA 2K” I'd make have them have a beard. And that was before I could grow a beard!

Do you think beards work better in the NBA than in other sports?
I'm going to sound like such a freak. I think they work great everywhere. Plus, if people have a beard it means they don’t have to be at a job where they can’t have a beard. I'm always interested in what they do.

The Chicago Blackhawks have used your music. How did that work and what was it like to see that in person?
The Blackhawks used one of our songs for an entire season. After their second period montage thing they used "Shake It Out." We got to go to a game and they gave us jerseys with our names on them. It was awesome.

What was it like to hear your song used that way?
It was incredible. I just stood up with both hands raised in the air like I just won. We were so stoked. And the fans there -- I had never seen anything like it. And I grew up in Toronto. Those fans in Chicago are insane.

You're heading to the UK and one of your tour dates is in Manchester, England. Was it at all weird the first time you went to play there as an Atlanta-based band named Manchester Orchestra?
It was weird for us. We were worried people would show up and expect something different. But it was actually awesome. People knew who we were and were stoked we were there. Every time we go back it's so cool, sort of like a hometown show.

MGMT's VanWyngarden recalls Luck visit

December, 6, 2013
Andrew VanwyngardenDavid Wolff-Patrick/Redferns/Getty ImagesWhen Andrew VanWyngarden isn't making music on stage, you'll likely find him on top of a wave.
MGMT has come a long way since forming on the campus of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT in the early 2000s, just a stones throw from ESPN headquarters.

The "dazzling electro-psych" band, as described by Rolling Stone in a review of the their 2008 debut album "Oracular Spectacular," has since opened for Paul McCartney at Fenway Park, released two more critically-acclaimed albums and been nominated for two Grammy Awards. Back in the Nutmeg State for a tour stop, we caught up with lead singer Andrew VanWyngarden to ask how he got Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck on stage at a show back in November.

Andrew, thanks for the time. So let’s get right to it. MGMT and Andrew Luck on stage together. Set the scene.
We usually have some kind of contest in each city and the winner gets to play the cowbell. Or we might bring out a friend. Our tour manager had played at the same venue with another band and Luck had come to that show. They were still in contact so we asked Andrew if he wanted to play and he did! Him and Anthony Castanzo came and played. Andrew seemed like a pretty hip dude. I had a great time and it was amazing just to stand next to him. The cowbell is like 75 pounds and it comes with a giant drumstick. Seeing this mega-man doing it was pretty funny to watch.

You’re not a huge sports fan though, right? Did you realize who these guys were?
James Richardson, our guitarist, was even more into it than me. He’s obsessed with everything NFL and fantasy football. He’s a Redskins fan, but he was still really into it.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Luck & MGMT
Courtesy of MGMT/TumblrAndrew Luck, with Anthony Castanzo, shows off his cowbell skills at a MGMT show in Indianapolis.
Do you guys still get excited by finding out who listens to your music or in what areas of the world you are most popular?
Definitely. It’s always exciting. We’ve gone to places like South Korea where people are singing every word. It’s amazing to see. It’s fun to know when a celebrity or athlete likes our music.

What was it like playing Fenway Park when you opened for Paul McCartney?
We’re not really a stadium band. It was amazing to see Paul McCartney with all his pyrotechnics and stuff. I think a stadium like that is more suited to legendary acts like him. Being on the field at Fenway was very cool though.

Coming back to Connecticut must be a bit of a trip down memory lane. As was your recent show in Pittsburgh where you grew up. What has the last week been like?
Pittsburgh really was a trip down memory lane. We hadn’t played there since I think 2005. I haven’t really been around there much since I grew up. I went out with my tour manager just driving around to see the school I went to and the house I grew up in. And the place we are playing here in Connecticut, I think I went to a show or two there when I was in college.

Coming up you have the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That’s still a fairly new venue, not a ton of artists have played there. Are you particularly excited about that show?
We’re really stoked about the Brooklyn show. It will be our first show in New York in over three years. It’s nice for that to be the closing show of this big US tour. We’re playing with Dinosaur Jr. and Kuroma. It’s going to be pretty sweet. I hope all my friends can come.

Are you going to get some time off after that show?
We don’t get much time off until mid-January. We are going to Australia and Japan over New Year’s. I hope I can get some surfing in. I have some friends in Sydney and I hope we can get in the water.

What is it about surfing that you fell in love with?
I already loved the ocean and being in nature. I was into skateboarding and snowboarding when I was a kid, so this is the perfect thing for me. It’s therapeutic to just sit out there, even by yourself in 30 degree water.

What should people expect when they go to a MGMT show?
It’s gotten to a good point where it’s a combination of songs from all three of the albums we have put out. We play with a six-piece band. It all works well together, especially the visuals behind us. We’ve been having some of the best shows we’ve ever played in the last couple months. I’m anxious to show everyone in New York how far we’ve come since 2010.

Mason: Passing the torch to No. 21

December, 6, 2013
Chris Davis leads Auburn to victory over AlabamaAP Photo/Dave MartinTre Mason, No. 21, looks on in awe as Chris Davis scores the winning touchdown.
Somewhat forgotten in the afterglow of Auburn's last-second victory over Alabama in the Iron Bowl thanks to a 100-yard missed field goal return, was the play of junior running back Tre Mason who rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown.

One person, nine rows away from the field throughout the game, won't have a problem remembering his contributions: Vincent Mason, AKA DJ Maseo of De La Soul, AKA Tre's dad.

We caught up with Vincent at home in Miami to talk about watching his son play in what many are calling the greatest college football game of all time and juggling his busy schedule to see the season play out.

What was going through your mind sitting in the stands watching Tre in that game?
To see him perform on that level was just amazing. He's been obsessed with football since he was 8 or 9 years old. I've seen him do some amazing things throughout his junior high and high school years. But to see him on this Division I level, playing with the best of the best around the nation, is amazing. He is out there making history if you want to look at it like that. It's surreal to know he is my kid. I'm just really really happy for him. I've been living my dream since I was 19 and I know all the hard work that went into it and I've watched him put in the same work.

What did he say when you caught up to him after the game?
After the game he was just so happy. So, so happy. "We did it! We did it! We did it!" was all he kept saying. Then it was "I'm in pain though!"

Will you be at the SEC championship game in Atlanta? Is it hard trying to juggle your busy schedule with his?
Yes, I'm going. I've been making some switches in my schedule. Art Basel is going on right now in Miami so I'm doing a lot of shows for that. It's the hardest thing trying to juggle my life with his. Sports and entertainment happen on the same timeframe, but this is what I have to do to support my family. I've been out of the country a lot during this season and trying to catch the games on TV or see highlights on YouTube. I'm trying to keep January 6 open as well - like, really, really trying - in case they get to the championship game.

But it's worth it, right?
Oh yes. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing to be a part of this as a dad.

[+] EnlargeVincent Mason
Scott Sharpe/Getty ImagesVincent Mason is more than happy to see his son take over the spotlight.
If they do get to that championship game, is your phone going to blow up with everyone in the hip-hop community asking for tickets?
Man, I've been hearing from everyone since the season started. It's funny, it's not something that comes up in normal conversation. How do you say, "My son is No. 21!" That's so braggadocious it's beyond hip-hop! So for them to be finding out because of how well he is doing is really exciting. We're all sharing the moment together.

Did you ever have dreams of being an athlete or was it always music for you?
As a boy coming up you always fancy yourself an athlete. I played a little basketball. As far as football, it wasn't a major interest. But I did get talked into it my senior year of high school. I didn't know much about the sport, I just played around the neighborhood. My passion has always been the music. I was DJing at 6 years old!

Do you think athletes have it better than musicians?
An athlete has the better life of course. They get treated so well. It's crazy! Back in the day our treatment always flucuated based on the sales of our albums!

Are you surprised at all by how passionate football fans are in Alabama?
It's the same way in Florida. They take it as a religion here as well. People come from counties all over to watch high school games like its a NFL game. They don't even know the kids. They just come to watch high school football. It's packed like a college or NFL game. It's amazing to see. I'm from up North and they take basketball the same way. So I get it.

Let's go back to 1989 for a second. You guys delivered your seminal debut album "3 Feet High and Rising," and a few months later follow-up albums appeared from Beastie Boys, EPMD and Jungle Brothers. It was a pretty epic year for hip-hop. What do you remember about that time?
It was a major turning point in everyone's lives. It was a turning point for hip-hop. It finally was a force to be reckoned with. Still unregarded as an art form, but a force with the amount of business it was doing. It was an instrumental point in my life when I was considering going to the military. But then we put out the single "Jenifa (Taught Me)/Potholes In My Lawn" and then the label wanted a video for "Potholes" and then that turned into an option for an album. Everything was happening so fast so I skipped the rest of my high school senior year to cut the record and went back and graduated in 1989 instead of '88.

Awhile back we talked to Tech N9ne. He skipped his high school graduation to perform!
I failed my true last year of high school with all the stuff I was doing! It was crazy going from studio to studio and then trying to go to class. When the record began to take off Russell Simmons had to come to my school and meet with the teachers to work out a plan for me to do my work from the road!

So it's safe to say Tre is more book smart than you?
No doubt. He has both his parents on his back. I didn't have that!

What do you think the future holds for Tre?
It looks like the NFL could be in his future, but you never know what God has in store. He could get hurt. You never know. We just try to take it one game at a time. He feels at home with Auburn, the same as he did in high school. His performances come from that comfort and the friends and coaches he has around him. Tre is a people person, just like his mom and dad. If you don't like Tre, something is wrong with you. I'm happy to know my kid is a cool kid. Once he is under that pressure of making that decision, it will be a hard one. Parting is always bittersweet.
ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Sam Alipour talks with Justin Timberlake, who stars in the new movie "Runner Runner" (in theaters today), about his poker game and ownership stake in the Memphis

Music featured on The 2013 ESPY Awards

July, 22, 2013

Below is a list of songs from artists featured on ESPN’s ESPY Awards along with links to the artist’s websites and links for you to download and buy the songs and/or albums:

ESPY’s Red Carpet

Pitbull: "Feel This Moment" from the “Global Warming” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Fall Out Boy: "My Songs Know What Your Songs Did in the Dark" from the “Save Rock and Roll” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Nomination Music

Best Male
Run DMC: "King of Rock" from the “Greatest Hits” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Best Female
Willy Moon: "Yeah Yeah" from the “Here’s Willy Moon” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Best Breakthrough
Bowling for Soup: "Because I’m Awesome" from the “The Dollyrots vs. Bowling for Soup” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Best Record Breaker
Fall Out Boy: "My Songs Know What Your Songs Did in the Dark" from the “Save Rock and Roll” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Best Comeback
Jason Aldean: "The Only Way I Know" from the “Night Train” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Best Moment
One Republic: "I Lived" from the “Native” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Best Upset
The Royal Concept: "On Our Way" single (iTunes | Amazon)

Best Game
Ellie Goulding: "Anything Could Happen" from the “Halcyon” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Best Team
Imagine Dragons: "It’s Time" from the “Night Visions” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Best Play
Bingo Players: "Get Up (Rattle)" single (iTunes | Amazon)


Fun.: "Carry On" from the “Some Nights” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Thor Soundtrack: "Frost Giant Battle" (iTunes | Amazon), "Thor Kills the Destroyer" (iTunes | Amazon)

Baby Bee: "Another and Another" from the “The Shaker” album (iTunes | Amazon)

How to Train Your Dragon Soundtrack: "Test Drive" (iTunes | Amazon), "Battling the Green Death" (iTunes | Amazon)

Memorial Tribute

Lifehouse: "From Where You Are" single (iTunes | Amazon)

Commercial Breaks

Mayer Hawthorne: "The Stars Are Ours" from the “Where Does This Door Go” album (iTunes | Amazon)

MKTO: "Classic" single (iTunes | Amazon)

Youngblood Hawke: "We Come Running" from the “Wake Up” album (iTunes | Amazon)


Vintage Trouble: "Show Me" not available for sale, "Blues Hand Me Down" (iTunes | Amazon) and "Run Like the River" (iTunes | Amazon) from the “The Bomb Shelter Sessions” album


Survivor: "Burning Heart" from the “Ultimate Survivor” album (iTunes | Amazon)

Tina Turner: "The Best" from the “Tina Turner: All The Best” album (iTunes | Amazon)

The Mag 15 playlist: 2010

April, 10, 2013
ESPN The Magazine is celebrating its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The “Around the Horn” panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“Power” by Kanye West
“Love The Decision or hate it, but be honest -- from that moment on, LeBron James has been the biggest star in sports. He flexed his muscle, to disastrous effect, but you can’t say he didn’t have the power to do so.”

“Break Your Heart” by Taio Cruz
“Yeah, sorry, Cleveland. We know. We know.”

“You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift
“This is summary of Dan Gilbert’s insane, Comic Sans diatribe about LeBron. Wait, I thought it said You Belong to Me.”

“Cooler Than Me” by Mike Posner
“Those of us who thought Duke’s program had become too stale to get Coach K his fourth ring? Maybe being 'cooler' doesn’t matter that much.”

“Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry
“After 49 Cup-less seasons, forgive hardened, blue-collar Chicagoans for singing like pop stars when the Blackhawks finally brought home a championship.”

“Miss Me” by Drake
“Because, finally, this was Brett Favre’s last season. His third -- and least successful -- last season.”

“B.M.F.” by Rick Ross featuring Styles P
“That’s exactly what Michael Vick did, though most of it went back to the Falcons after he went to prison. But 2010, powered by an unexpectedly great season, was when he started making it back.”

“OMG” by Usher featuring
“Connecticut’s women’s basketball team had its second straight 39-0 championship season. Those three letters might be the only way to capture such dominance in the 21st century.”

The Mag 15 playlist: 2009

April, 8, 2013
ESPN The Magazine is celebrating its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The "Around the Horn" panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus
“This was the year of the Super Bowl champion Saints, as close as possible to truly being America’s Team. Even a couple of Falcons fans rooted for Drew Brees & Co.”

“Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” by Beyonce
“Two years earlier, Kobe demanded the Lakers get him some help. This year, he put a ring on it, and Shaq was nowhere to be found.”

“Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys
“Jay and Keys performed this during the 2009 World Series, which the Yankees won. Which, apparently, turned this into the new New York anthem the world was just itchin’ for.”

“I Love College” by Asher Roth
“Guarantee that’s how John Wall felt about his year at Kentucky, when he and his incoming classmates arrived in the Fall and fully ushered in the era of one-and-done college basketball. It’s just that he loves millions of dollars more.”

(Read full post)

The Mag 15 playlist: 2008

April, 5, 2013
ESPN The Magazine is celebrating its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The "Around the Horn" panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“Whatever You Like” by T.I.
“This had to be the team song of the Detroit Lions, whose accommodating performances on the gridiron helped make them the first 0-16 team in NFL history.”

“Superstar” by Lupe Fiasco
“Forget his NFL career. Watch this and be reminded Tim Tebow [the speech], on his way to a national title at Florida, was every bit the superstar many wished he could be now.”

“4 Minutes” by Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake
“The song doesn’t matter. Just remember the '08 Phillies won the franchise’s first World Series since ... before anyone had even heard of Madonna. Yeah, long time.”

“No Air” by Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown
“As in, when Mario Chalmers hit a last-second 3-point dagger to send Kansas into overtime against Memphis, John Calipari looked like there was no air left in the universe.”

(Read full post)

The Mag 15 playlist: 2007

April, 3, 2013
ESPN The Magazine is celebrating its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The "Around the Horn" panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“Make It Rain” by Fat Joe
“That was pretty much all anyone could hope would happen in a game against the 16-0 Patriots, featuring the resurrection of Randy Moss. Or, just wait for the Super Bowl.”

“Umbrella” by Rihanna
“Never forget -- Prince killed the Super Bowl halftime in February -- in high heels, in the rain -- and managed to sneak an inappropriate visual into the show for good measure.”

“Party Like a Rock Star” by Shop Boyz
“Because this is exactly what Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich did after winning their fourth championship. You know they did.”

(Read full post)

The Mag 15 playlist: 2006

April, 1, 2013
This month, ESPN The Magazine celebrates its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The "Around the Horn" panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley
“This was the year Steve Nash won his second MVP. Maybe we were crazy? Yeah, possibly.

“Ridin Dirty” by Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone
“This is more Mark Martin’s flavor, but it was the year Jimmy Johnson won his first of five Cup series championships. If you ain’t ridin’ dirty, you ain’t tryin’.”

“I’m in’ Luv (Wit a Stripper)” by T-Pain
“At once, a young athlete’s dream, and the soundtrack to the veteran’s cautionary tales.”

“Dirty Little Secret” by The All-American Rejects
“Yes, Floyd Landis, I’m looking at you.”

“There It Go (The Whistle Song)” by Juelz Santana
“The unofficial theme song of the 2006 NBA Finals, when Dwayne Wade went to the foul line like he paid rent on it.”

“Bossy” by Kelis
“As is Peyton Manning. But after the 2006 season, he was something more important -- a Super Bowl champion.”

“Jesus, Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood
“Little known fact -- that was the official name of the play Florida ran when Tim Tebow threw the jump pass. Or maybe it just should have been.”

The Mag 15 playlist: 2005

March, 29, 2013
This month, ESPN The Magazine celebrates its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The "Around the Horn" panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“I’m Shipping Up To Boston” by Dropkick Murphys
“Oh, you thought the newly minted Red Sox Nation stopped celebrating when 2004 ended?”

“Number One Spot” by Ludacris
“In the AP poll, that was USC’s from the end of 2003 all the way through the 2005 season. Until...”

“Best of You” by Foo Fighters
“...They ran into Vince Young in the greatest college football game of all time to close the season.”

“Speed of Sound” by Coldplay
“The Heisman Trust may not remember Reggie Bush, but the rest of us do, and that’s about how fast that electric, once-a-generation talent moved.”

“La Tortura” by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz
"2005 gave us one of the lowest-rated NBA Finals -- Spurs-Pistons -- in history, and it had the nerve to go seven games! What torture.”

“Scars” by Papa Roach
“As in, ‘If you cancel your whole season because of a labor dispute, NHL, it’s gonna leave some scars.’ And it left some scars.”

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day
“That’s the road the Seahawks take to go back in their minds to Super Bowl XL, and officials throw flags at them the whole way for no apparent reason.”

“Over and Over” by Nelly featuring Tim McGraw
“Hey, did you know Jerome Bettis was from Detroit? That’s one thing Seahawks fans hear going down that boulevard. Over and over.”

The Mag 15 playlist: 2004

March, 27, 2013
This month, ESPN The Magazine celebrates its 15th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, The Mag will look back and generate exclusive playlists curated by Bomani Jones. The "Around the Horn" panelist will pick and discuss the biggest hits of the past 15 years. Listen to the entire playlist below.

“Yeah!” by Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris
“No need to explain, when this one was everywhere.”

“Hey Ya!” by OutKast
“Since it was hip-hop, but not really, the all-purpose choice for many arenas until they ran this one into the ground.”

“Overnight Celebrity” by Twista featuring Kanye West
“Ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce LeBron James.”

“Numb” by Linkin Park
“And by the time Barry Bonds hit his 700th home run, that’s how just about everyone felt.”

“Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet
“Ever played Madden ’04? Yeah, you know this one too well.”

“Change Clothes” by Jay-Z
“Shaq went to the Heat, A-Rod went to the Yankees, eventually giving each team a ring that might not have been worth the trouble.”

“No Problem” by Lil Scrappy
“Nov. 19, at the Palace of Auburn Hills, there were lots of problems no one wanted, Stephen Jackson chief among them.”

"Lean Back” by Terror Squad
“Roy Jones didn’t like when Fat Joe mentioned him on the remix ... but he really should have leaned back before Antonio Tarver hit him with a second-round knockout.”

“Burn” by Usher
“That’s right, Yankees fans! That ALCS meltdown still burns, doesn’t it?”

“Sorry 2004” by Ruben Studdard
“The sort of song the AP Male Athlete of the Year should have sung then -- and refused to sing even after he confessed.”