Inside Heather Mitts's iPod
I'm not actually on the U.S. women's soccer team, but I've heard Coach Pia Sundhage sing
sign her inspirational Bob Dylan anthem at least three times already this year. Sundhage, the famous Singing Swede, went to that well again after her squad blew past Japan in today's semifinals; she said she sang "The Times They Are a-Changin'" to her team before the game, and she sang the kicker during the post-game press conference.
"And yes, there's a lot of singing in that room, but I'm not the only one that sings right now, " she said. "ALL of us sing."
What do they sing? Well, Bryan Adams, for one.
"You listen to Bryan Adams and you still win soccer games?" one reporter asked, after we got defender Heather Mitts to reveal the contents of the team's pre-game iPod mix. See, there's a dancing segment of the locker rom, spearheaded by best-rhythm-on-the-team Natasha Kai, but not everyone necessarily likes the same kind of music.
So in the interests of full harmonic democratization, Mitts got every player to submit one song for the official pre-game iPod collection before they left in China. She then gave the songs to a friend of a friend who deejays, and he shortened the songs and added some beats and gave Mitts about an hour worth of remixed soccer inspiration.
"Do you want me to go through the play list?" Mitts asked, as if she didn't know the answer. "You're gonna laugh at some of them, but this is a little bit of everybody and that's what I love about it. All right, ready?"
Actually, I don't think you are. Here's what will help America's soccer team get ready for seemingly indestructible Brazil on Thursday. "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. "Man in the Mirror" and "Thriller" and "Beat It" by Michael Jackson. "Apologize" by Timbaland. "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen. Hot N' Cold by Katy Perry. "See You Again" by Miley Cyrus. "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay. "Dangerous" by Kardinal Offishall. "Sweet Dreams are Made of This" by the Eurythmics. (That was Mitts's choice.) "Bottoms Up" by Keke Palmer. "Shout!" by The Isley Brothers. And, of course, Bryan Adams's "Summer of 69," which could only feasibly pump you up if you had spent the previous 48 hours listening to a dial tone.
"Summer of 69 was Lindsay Tarpley," Mitts said, helpfully. "We have a little bit of everything."
Well, sure, and Wal-Mart has a little bit of everything, but that doesn't mean you're required to buy Spam and Wonder Bread if you go inside to buy a can of pistachios. I mean, the Americans are getting ready to face Brazilian scoring machine Marta by listening to Miley Cyrus? I wondered if things might change for the gold medal game, going to some sort of secret magic non-ridiculous mix, but the players said no.
"We're just freeflowing it, everyone's just doing a little of their own taste," said Kai, who also plays Hawaiian music in the locker room.
And the reaction from Sundhage, the one who sort of started all this, the player who once recorded a Swedish song called "We Are Women, We Are the Best" during her time as a star with the national team?
"The music? It's just bad," she said of the iPod mix. "I asked them to put on some Dylan; they said no....That's ok, it's not about me, it's about them, and they like it."
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