My PLL Team Anthems
By Patrick Resch | Apr 29, 2020
As we collectively work our way through an unprecedented situation, every person is changing his or her daily routine to maintain some semblance of productivity. More than a month into this “new normal”, people are starting to adjust to things like working remotely, wearing masks, making videos on TikTok (very impressive, Channy), and having a full schedule of Zoom happy hours/trivia. As players, we are continuing to prepare for a season with an indefinite start date, and we are forced to get creative with our regular exercise programs since training facilities, gyms, and even public spaces are remaining closed for the foreseeable future.
Along with staying in the best physical shape possible, it would seem like a great time for PLL players (or anyone for that matter) to pick up a productive hobby or develop a new skill. Instead, I decided it would be a great use of my free time to pick a thematic Team Anthem for each PLL Club. As White Goodman of the now-defunct Globo Gym once said, “You caught me. I like to break a mental sweat too.”
The following songs are based on Club names and perceived team personality, with a dash of sweeping generalization and juvenile banter. It goes without saying that I have an incredible amount of respect for all of the teams and players that I am mocking indiscriminately. Presented in alphabetical order, I humbly present the PLL Team Anthems.
In the rare case that you weren’t already throwing various items at the wall and air-punch dancing in the middle of the room in anticipation of the PLL Team Anthems, listening to this song should get you in the right frame of mind. Atlas LC has a great group of players to personify this 1996 “Alternative Metal” rock anthem. First, the team plays with a clear sense of passion and anger…Rage, if you will. Loaded with star power, the Bulls carry brash confidence that they plan to dominate every aspect of the game. The proverbial Parade follows the team each week, and the Bulls consistently pump out content and engagement to remain at the forefront of every PLL conversation. My bet is that more than a few of these guys went through an angsty teen Rage Against The Machine/Green Day/Nirvana phase, but then again, who didn’t?
Okay, press play on the song, hit the guitar riff at:13, and then sing along with me: “I LOVE PICKS AND ROLLS!” The members of Archers LC play a lot of “pairs” offense and attack pick-and-rolls from the wings and behind the cage as well as any team in the league. This stripped-down original version is a great soundtrack to the Archers’ consistent and solid defense (shout out TR) and subtly explosive offense. Not many people know that The Arrows wrote “I Love Rock N Roll” because it was famously covered and turned into a mainstream hit by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. Similarly, the Archers’ record-breaking 2019 Championship Day performance was overshadowed by… the actual Championship. Put another dime on the stat sheet, baby.
Wild Thing is another example of a classic tune where the message/lyrics don’t quite match the rhythmic, basic, early rock music of the song. You might expect Wild Thing to be screamed over the jarring guitar of Bulls On Parade instead of the poppy mop-top Beatles chords. Like the mismatch of message and music, the ‘Os offensive players do ridiculous things and make it look extremely casual, to the point where you start to take the skill level for granted. The defensive side of the team is…admittedly less quiet but has a Wild streak of their own- stepping in the cage to block shots, a goalie that picks up a shortstick and scores in the All-Star Game, and longpoles that continue to sprint ahead of me across the midfield line in transition. During the Chaos player introductions at the 2040 PLL Championship, I fully expect 60,000 fans to be on their feet screaming the lyrics to Wild Thing à la Ricky Vaughn in Major League.
Chrome LC has one of the most interesting rosters in the PLL. The Metal Militia (I just made up that nickname while researching songs) is trying to capitalize on a mix of young energy/talent and grown-ass men who have been successful at every level as players and coaches for a long time. It can be difficult to find a balance between these two dynamics in developing a team identity, but when the group was clicking on all (Metal) cylinders in summer 2019, they looked near impossible to stop. With arguably the oldest most experienced group in the league, The Metal Militia (I’m going to keep saying this until it sticks) is looking to Reel In The Years for the next summer or two before a few of the top players are directing the MM from the coaches box instead of contributing on the field. Reelin’ In The Years is the most notable track on the 1972 album Can’t Buy A Thrill, and the Chrome probably felt like their 2019 season album was going to be called Can’t Buy A Win when they lost their first 5 games by a combined 6 goals. Heartbreaking losses for the squad, but the Thrills were certainly there for fans and opposition to enjoy. The other reason that this is an appropriate Team Anthem for Chrome LC is that Reelin’ In The Years is an objectively great song regardless of your musical taste, and the players on the Metal Militia (one more time) are just a bunch of great guys, regardless of your team allegiance.
A famous music critic (my dad) once described The Cure’s style as “Mope Rock”. Others call the genre “Happy Sad”. Those terms are fairly accurate descriptions of the vibe I get from Redwoods LC. They are quiet, steady, and have a little bit of a surly collective attitude, but they’re also not afraid to put on the Robert Smith eyeliner/eyeblack and get in your face and gritty when necessary- as evidenced by an incredible effort clawing back in the 2019 Championship. The band/team associations don’t end there. The Cure formed in the United Kingdom that, as we all know after researching it on the World Wide Web, includes Northern Ireland. The ‘Woods have a large contingent of Fighting Irish on their team as well. Coincidence? I think not. Before the NCAA canceled the College Lacrosse season and put seniors’ futures in limbo, I would not have been surprised to see another Ierlan connection on the Redwoods LC roster. To take that next step to a Championship, The Woods might need to start bringing a statue of St. Patrick on the road with them to help banish the Snakes from the PLL. Okay, I’m done, I apologize.
Several questions have plagued humanity for centuries. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? What came first, the chicken or the egg? Who the hell let the Dogs out? I don’t know the answer to the first two, but the answer to the third is- their own coaches! This team is incredibly talented and the roster construction is a testament to the skill level across the board in the PLL. The Wooderdogs were able to scoop up perennial All-Stars, Champions at every level of the sport, and guys with character and intangibles across the board. The Dogs are begging for a chance to take the field against their previous teams and hoping that their Revenge Tour has better results than the Baha Men follow-up album Move It Like This. My only suggestion to the PLL brass is that the Dogs’ uniforms are some type of mash-up between the Globo Gym Purple Cobras and the sleeveless collared island shirts from the Baha Men video.
The Whips hit their stride/cuh-racked that whip at the right time and took home the inaugural PLL Championship, setting the standard for the rest of the league in future seasons. DEVO provides a simple blueprint for a successful Championship campaign: “Now whip it, into shape, shape it up, get straight, go forward, move ahead, try to detect it, it’s not too late, to Whip It, Whip It good”. Fun fact about DEVO, the band from Akron, Ohio consisted of two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs and the Casales (are those the two most Akron names you’ve ever heard?). The Whips had an inherent brotherhood from their Maryland Terp roots, and the chemistry paid off down the stretch. After listening to this song on repeat while writing this, it almost got as frustrating as the Whips’ relentless social media presence.