Song - Grid Lock
Artist(s) - Ray Russell
Released - 1994
Primetime Usage - 1996-05
Contained on - FirstCom A33 (Big Scores)Featured Highlight - Jets @ 49ers, 1998
One of the staples of late '90s/early '00s NFL Primetimes, "Grid Lock" most often associated itself with the less prominent games on the schedule. It makes sense on two levels. The name of the song implies stagnancy & frustration, something that fits well with teams that aren't doing too well. Also, the music—though good—sounds rather neutral emotionally and therefore works best for highlights that are more about the individual plays & accomplishments than about who wins. Grid Lock was written by prominent guitarist, session musician, and production music composer Ray Russell. Fortunately, this isn't Russell's only Primetime track, as he has one other (much more obscure) song that I have yet to cover on this site.
You likely won't be able to find the original CD cut of this track. FC-A33 is one of many early albums in the FirstCom Action series that are no longer available on the FirstCom website. I've never seen it show up on eBay or anything like that, either. On the plus side, however, Grid Lock is easy to find online if you don't care about obtaining it or listening to it in a fully 100% legal way. A google search for "Grid Lock" with either "Ray Russell" or "NFL Primetime" should suffice.
This post's highlight choice is ironic given Grid Lock's tendency to accompany undercard games. The Jets & 49ers, who both were coming off winning seasons & would both win double-digit games in 1998, played each other in a high-octane season opener in what was then known as 3Com Park. Glenn Foley, who would soon be replaced by Vinny Testaverde, threw for a career-high 415 yards for New York. This game is mostly remembered for one other reason, though: Garrison Hearst's 96-yard touchdown run on San Francisco's first offensive play of overtime.