Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Empire Building

Song - Empire Building
Artist(s) - Mary Therese Matthews, Sally Anne Griffith, John Bähler, Matthew Muhoberac
Released - 1985
Primetime Usage - 1987-96 (infrequent)
Contained on - FirstCom UT104 (Powersurge)
Featured Highlight - Bengals @ Colts, 1987

The next two weeks will feature a couple songs that were requested on my youtube discussion page.  The first, "Empire Building," has a relatively strange usage history.  The song played on NFL Primetime highlights during the first 10 years of the show's run, but it was quite rare to hear it.  I've viewed quite a few episodes from that decade-long run, but Empire Building only shows up on three of them:  one highlight in 1987 (the one below), one in 1992, and one in 1996 (EDIT - I've found it was used during at least a few episodes in 1991, too).  Unlike sports cards, however, rarity doesn't make this track a gem.  It's far too neutral and sleepy to be good football accompaniment.  Empire Building is also the third and final (that I know of) track composed by the Matthews/Griffith/Bähler/Muhoberac quartet.

ESPN edited this song a little in the '90s by removing the bridge section and adding in some "creative" looping.  I'm not gonna post a second video for the edit because the edit isn't that meaningful & the song isn't that great, but it's a worthwhile footnote at least.  If you really want to hear it, try to find the Bills/Rams game from week 1 of 1992 or the Vikings/Lions game from week 1 of 1996 (special thanks to Kyle Caughlin on youtube for catching this difference).

The featured game highlight isn't real memorable, but it has a few nice plays.  The Bengals went into the Hoosier Dome and topped the Colts in the 1987 season opener.  It was an ironic result in retrospect since Indianapolis actually ended up winning the AFC East (their only playoff appearance in a 17-year span) while Cincy went 4-11.