Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pop Psych Project: Songs That Rock (Psychologically Speaking)

Brian Wilson, closer for the Los Angeles Dodgers

Yesterday was opening day for Major League Baseball. I wait all winter for the first day of the season, and my favorite team, the Colorado Rockies, lost in spectacular fashion (which is not atypical).

More enjoyable for me than watching my team fall apart (which was still fun--it is only a game after all), was the pregame Pop Psych Twitter conversation.

I asked people to pick a song based on the following scenario:

Your team is ahead one to nothing. It is the bottom of the ninth inning. You are the closing pitcher, which means your sole job (the one you get paid millions of dollars for) is to get the last three outs of the game and secure the win. In order to get the crowd excited and to psychologically demoralize the other team's batters, you need to pick a song that will play as you walk onto the field.

What should that song be?

Before I get to the responses, let me share the walk on song for one of the game's all-time best closers, Mariano Rivera (who, interestingly enough, was also the last active player to wear Jackie Robinson's number before it was completely retired). Watch the video and imagine if you would want to be the first batter facing him:

With Rivera as the template for excellence in intimidation, here are the four best Twitter responses from yesterday (plus mine, which makes five):

Number 1: Love Bomb, by AC/DC
Click here to watch video if it does not appear above.

Number 2: Theme from Game of Thrones

Click here to watch video if it does not appear above.

Number 3: Baby Missiles, By War On Drugs
Click here to watch video if it does not appear above.

Number 4: Fanfare For The Common Man, By Aaron Copland

Click here to watch video if it does not appear above.

Number 5: Prizefighter, by The Eels

Click here to watch video if it does not appear above.

What other songs do you think would cause an interesting psychological reaction (i.e. panic) from opposing teams?

Thanks for reading-- Max Wachtel, Ph.D.


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