Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s Bram and Zach take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.
While the football season kicked off last night, the baseball playoffs are just around the corner. These are definitely two sports that have had their fair share of hard rock/metal influence. So in this week’s Headbangers’ Brawl, Bram and Zach take a moment to stop crying over Mike Portnoy’s departure to debate which of the two sports is more metal.
Bram: I’d like to state that I’m not shedding any tears over Mike’s departure. He probably feels creatively freer than he has in the past decade. As far as which of the two sports is more metal, I can’t even fathom why you would consider baseball as being the more metal of the two. In fact, discounting football’s physical contact, which if you think about it, is essentially a wall of death every play, just look at the hair for both games’ players. You’d have to go back to the ’93 Phillies in all their mulleted glory to find anything resembling metal. But when you look at someone like Jeremy Shockey, he looks metal as fuck. Nick Swisher, not so much.
Zach: It’s ok Bram, there are many prog nerds crying their souls out as we speak. Don’t feel ashamed! Now back to the discussion. Your hair argument would work better if we were talking about which sport most resembles an 80s glam metal band, but we’re not asking that. Keep in mind that there are many baseball players who not only use metal songs as their entrance music (like Mariano Rivero using “Enter Sandman”), but also are huge metal fanatics. Mike Piazza is constantly on Eddie Trunk’s shows talking about metal, while the 2004 Red Soxs joined Godsmack onstage before heading to the World Series. Now sure, footballers pretty much perform a mosh pit night after night on the field, but baseballers are armed with an f’n bat! You don’t mess with those boys either!
Bram: Godsmack? “Enter Sandman?” I’m sorry, I thought this was a conversation about metal, not rock. Not to mention the fact that NFL players walk the walk and talk the talk. Like those Cowboy dudes that formed Free Reign, and of course Kyle Turley. They actually formed bands that play metal. I can’t think of any baseball players that make any kind of music. In fact, the only thing I can think of musically with baseball is “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley or “Centerfield” by John Fogerty. Metal? No way.
Zach: Godsmack may not be the perfect mold of “metal,” but it’s not fair to simply call them just rock. Mainstream metal, yes, but not rock (at least their first two albums anyway). As for players turned musicians…ok you got me there. Big woop, way to go. You won, happy?!
Bram: No, I’m not happy, because even though it’s not my favorite sport by a long shot, the NHL is more metal than baseball, and maybe even football. While the closest there is to violence in baseball is someone getting hit with a pitch, and there’s some physical contact in football, hockey pretty much encourages full on brawling. And a lot of hockey players look not only metal, but due to loss of teeth, look like full on meth addicts. Now that’s metal!
Zach: I was about to say that if we’re going to add more sports into this equation, we should then mention WWE. But….yeah that isn’t a real sport. Sorry Chris Jericho, but it really isn’t.