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Burdell’s Bracket 2022: Sports Television Broadcast Theme Music - Round of 32, Part II

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We’re back today to settle the second half of the opening round, and right a wrong done to Augusta and ESPN CBB

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Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

At the risk of repeating myself from Wednesday, I will start off the second half of this round of voting with a recap of the methodology and bracket for those who may have missed it. If you want to vote in the first half of the round’s matchups, click here by Monday night.

Methodology, Schedule, and Bracket:

A bunch of sports themes were listened to. Some were snubbed, and some forgotten about. Sorry, “One Shining Moment.” A set of automatic qualifiers were invited to maintain a broad range of representation.

Schedule and Bracket:

The Bracket. Round by round scores will be included starting with the next round.
Jake Grant

Winner will be decided via the sum of polls embedded in the article and Twitter. Today’s post will feature the last eight matchups of the first round, with the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. The Final Four will drop the Friday before the men’s real-life Final Four, with the Championship coinciding with that game.

Before we dive in, I do have a note on how I am handling the whole Augusta/ESPN College Basketball kerfuffle. Given that the title, Twitter poll, article poll, and header all said August, I am going to count that for Augusta. I will take the odds that the vast majority of you knew that the video was pretty clearly not Augusta, but, for completeness’ sake, I will include the Augusta theme and blurb with the ESPN College Basketball entry.


#2 Roundball Rock vs. #31 Triple Crown Theme

#2: There’s an SNL skit based on this for a reason. It framed an entire generation of the very best NBA games and was so culturally relevant, beloved, and missed, that FOX acquired the rights to the theme from NBC to pump some life back into the theme, resonate with viewers, and, dare I say it, make their broadcasts a bit less generic. Also of note, in a Forbes article on the switch, they say “this time of year, more people start paying attention to college basketball, a sport that caters to a niche audience until around the NCAA tournament,” which is objectively a terrible take.

#31: It may not be fair to dock the Triple Crown for only having three events every year when things like the Masters is annual and the Olympics is just twice in four years, but for those times those are on, they are inescapable. How many people actually know when the Preakness is? That’s what I thought.

Poll

#2 Roundball Rock vs. #31 Triple Crown Theme

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Roundball Rock
    (15 votes)
  • 21%
    Triple Crown Theme
    (4 votes)
19 votes total Vote Now

#15 Sunday Night Football vs. #18 NFL on FOX

#15: Intensity? Yep, definitely has that. But, much like the pairing of Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth, I have such bipolar opinions about the rest of the song that it averages out to, okay, yes, this is alright, let’s play some football.

#18: The amount of people that claim this deserves any superlative other than overrated is mind boggling to me. Maybe I’m biased as a hockey, baseball, and college sports guy, but after the introduction, I don’t find this all that inspiring. I will likely get destroyed over this take, but, really, there are just so many better options out there. A suggestion from the writer’s room was to use the elevator music cover that they play during injuries instead, but that felt a bit tacky.

Poll

#15 Sunday Night Football vs. #18 NFL on FOX

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Sunday Night Football
    (7 votes)
  • 56%
    NFL on FOX
    (9 votes)
16 votes total Vote Now

#7 MLB on FOX vs. #26 ESPN College Basketball (2011-2016)

#7: Remember when they phased this out for a while in favor of a version of the NFL theme? Me too. There’s a reason it’s back, though, after a few years of hiatus. As notable as the NFL theme is, MLB is its own entity, and, well, this one is both catchy and interesting. Perhaps this a benefactor of my bias towards uptempo and higher energy numbers, but, if I’m wrong, then tell us via your votes.

#26: Not really sure why ESPN also felt the need to update this one, but it was kind of the little cousin to the much more iconic pre-2014 era college football theme.

Poll

#7 MLB on FOX vs. #26 ESPN College Basketball (2011-2016)

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    MLB on FOX
    (13 votes)
  • 27%
    ESPN College Basketball (2011-2016)
    (5 votes)
18 votes total Vote Now

And, in honorable re-mention, here’s Augusta: This may not be the most exciting theme in the world, but it’s hard to imagine a broadcast theme that better conveys not only the vibe of its sport, but also the idyllic setting, location, and general vibe, that’s for sure.

#10 NBA on TNT vs. #23 Are You Ready for Some Football?

#10: This one takes a long time to build to where it is going - which hurts it relative to the rest of the top ten - but I am a sucker for a build that pays off, too, and though TNT makes you earn it, this one certainly does, too. It is fast, its catchy, and the vibe fits the pace of a basketball game. What is not to love?

#23: This is a great song, but given that it is an adaptation of another song, and inarguably the second fiddle song - it was retired again not long ago - to Heavy Action on Monday nights, it really can’t be much higher than this. Also, rhetorical questions annoy me, and I make the rules here. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t ready for some football. Let’s get on with it, Hank.

Poll

#10 NBA on TNT vs. #23 Are You Ready for Some Football?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    NBA on TNT
    (14 votes)
  • 33%
    Are You Ready for Some Football?
    (7 votes)
21 votes total Vote Now

#3 NHL on ESPN vs. #30 Champions League Anthem

#3: For 17 years, this iconic sports theme sat in a dusty basement, banished to the back corners of memory. Speaking for my generation of sports fan, it did not hardly register on the consciousness of most people under about 25. That is, until it was brought back to great fanfare, revitalized, and sounds as good as ever. There is a clear sense of gravity and tension, perfect for setting the scene for hockey. I cannot wait until it is queueing in a playoff game. Feel free to skip to the live orchestra version of this embed, but the story and interviews here are a treasure you don’t often get to see in conjunction with an iconic theme.

#30: This is a slow build. My soccer bias shows a lot in these seedings, but, well, I just don’t vibe this one. Your mileage may vary.

Poll

#3 NHL on ESPN vs. #30 Champions League Anthem

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    NHL on ESPN
    (8 votes)
  • 42%
    Champions League Anthem
    (6 votes)
14 votes total Vote Now

#14 NFL on CBS vs. #19 MLB on TBS

#14: I hear this and I think “a very big game is about to come on,” but then I remembered that it also plays during most Jaguars games, so maybe not.

#19: I didn’t write a blurb for this. Oops. It’s solid and good for baseball. It’s also late at night as I put this together, so I leave the rest in the hands of the voters.

Poll

#14 NFL on CBS vs. #19 MLB on TBS

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    NFL on CBS
    (11 votes)
  • 26%
    MLB on TBS
    (4 votes)
15 votes total Vote Now

#6 Olympic Fanfare / Bugler’s Dream vs. #27 Coming To Your City

#6: John Williams wrote a fanfare for a sporting event, and it absolutely fits the tone of the Olympics. Plenty of stuffy formality and flourishes, but that isn’t to say it is bad. It just fits what it is supposed to represent.

#27: This was an okay song, but the frills and sound effects combined with having everyone under the sun get in a guest appearance really water down the effect. It is a fine song for introducing gameday, and fits the eclectic nature of the show, but, really, at this point it is kind of overdone.

Poll

#6 Olympic Fanfare / Bugler’s Dream vs. #27 Coming To Your City

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Olympic Fanfare / Bugler’s Dream
    (11 votes)
  • 38%
    Coming To Your City
    (7 votes)
18 votes total Vote Now

#11 Baseball Tonight (MLB on ESPN) vs. #22 MLS Theme

#11: This is likely my most biased pick, and a younger me probably would have this as a number one overall pick. However, with the end of Baseball Tonight, the melody has been slowed down and slowly drowned out by flourishes and overwhelmed in length by an interminable vamp. In a more vintage state, it was great, but now seemingly rests on its laurels.

Current:

Classic:

#22: I prefer John Williams to Hans Zimmer in essentially every context. This is one of them. Maybe it will grow on me eventually, but it just doesn’t have the cache of a lot of the others on this list.

Poll

#11 Baseball Tonight (MLB on ESPN) vs. #22 MLS Theme

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Baseball Tonight (MLB on ESPN)
    (11 votes)
  • 26%
    MLS Theme
    (4 votes)
15 votes total Vote Now

Hopefully there are no blurb misprints this time around. I do apologize about that one. Results from the Round of 32 and the next matchups will be out on Wednesday.