A Selection of Great (and Not So Great) Songs About Sports Stars

As big basketball fans, we were amused to see that fellow closet hoops nut Daniel Lopatin — aka Oneohtrix Point Never — recently released a song called “Rubio.” It’s named in honor of Ricky Rubio, the precocious Catalan point guard who’s currently filling up the highlight reels in his rookie season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. “Rubio” is only available in demo form at the moment, but we like it a lot, and it inevitably got us thinking about other great songs inspired by sports stars — there have been some good ones over the years, along with a few stinkers. Here’s a selection from both sides of the fence.

Super Furry Animals — “The Man Don’t Give a Fuck”

This song immortalized a 1970s soccer player by the name of Robin Friday, who also featured on the single’s cover art. The hyper-talented Friday was a loose cannon, to put it lightly — he was known as much for his erratic behavior and liking for booze and drugs (he was particularly fond of dancing naked at local nightclubs, habitually dropped acid before games, and once shat in future Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson’s kit bag) as he was for scoring spectacular goals. Although he had several successful seasons, eventually his lifestyle and his unpredictability exhausted the patience of his managers, and he was out of the game by the age of 25. He died 13 years later — either of a heart attack or a heroin overdose, depending on who you believe.