If you caught this week’s Major League Baseball All-Star game, you may have seen the touching moment when Mariano (“Mo”) Rivera was brought in to pitch during the 8th inning in his final appearance in an All-Star game.
This is what Mo does, usually a little later in the game: he comes in to save the day, sort of like Superman or a home-improvement reality show star who manages to pull off the impossible surprise renovation just in the nick of time.
When he does it in his team’s home baseball stadium, Metallica’s song “Enter Sandman” blasts through the stadium. To honor his final appearance and his career accomplishments, the other players (except his catcher) stayed off the field as the song played and Rivera took to the pitcher’s mound for his warm-up pitches.
It was poignantly awesome, even if you’re not a fan of the New York Yankees. Or baseball. Or Metallica.
I rather think everyone should have a moment like that in their lives even if just for a minute or two, to be recognized for something, whatever that thing is, while their theme song plays to a standing ovation.
I like to be prepared, so I’m working on picking my theme song.
You never know.
I’m not really sure what my moment will be, although I’m fairly certain it won’t be a stroll in from the bullpen to the pitching mound.
About the only thing I do regularly to some degree of personal success is make my way through Washington DC traffic twice a day.
Until a recent rear-end collision at the corner of 16th and K, I had an accident-free record that might one day have led to my moment being a solo ride down Pennsylvania Avenue, with no other cars, taxis, or buses and the sidewalks teeming with pedestrians and bicyclists giving me a standing ovation for my lifetime achievement in traffic navigation.
(Note to self: Add Traffic Jam to the theme song short list.)
I’ve been trying to decide on a theme song for months now. Turns out, it isn’t as easy as I’d thought.
I started shopping theme songs several months back when a friend posted a simple Facebook question:
What song would you like to have played every time you walk into a room?
Oh, did I love that question! Thinking of my answer entertained me for weeks.
It just happened that when my friend posed the question, I was preparing to give a presentation to a few dozen serious-minded people in a sophisticated, state-of-the-art conference center. I instantly envisioned my entrance to be something like this, cape and all:
Of course, that idea was just a cape-adorned flight of fancy. I needed to choose my own song and since you never know when your moment is going to arrive, I needed to get to work.
Some things to consider when choosing your theme song.
1. There’s only one Elvis.
One thing about a good personal anthem is that it becomes distinctly associated with one person so that no one else can use it. I’m willing to bet that if the supermarket music system played Also sprach Zarathustra / See See (aka C.C.) Rider, everyone in the store would expect to see Elvis. Several probably would.
For that same reason I ruled out Hail to the Chief and God Save the Queen, not that I’d expect the President or the Queen to show up at the Winn-Dixie, mind you. Be honest — if you were in line at the deli counter and one of those tunes started playing, you’d wonder if Her Majesty was going to jump the line for some liverwurst and swiss, wouldn’t you?
2. Go with your brand.
My friend’s question also came a time when I was brushing up on all things Oprah via her satellite radio station. That day’s life class had included the reminder to set your intention before entering any room.
I like to think that I enter every room with the intention of bringing peace and love and maybe a little hyperbole. In a perfect world, my theme song would be Cat Stevens’ Peace Train, which I could have played up big and joyful for certain rooms . . . or played down quiet and meditative for other rooms.
The truth of the matter is that it isn’t a perfect world and there are some rooms I enter where people can smell that sort of intention coming and they will eat you alive.
My intention when entering such rooms is, well, not to be eaten alive. Which brings us to . . .
3. Go big even if – or especially if – you’re not.
Elvis, the President of the United States, and Queen Elizabeth walk into a bar. What do their theme songs have in common? Majesty. Grandeur. Brass. Do these people know how to set intentions or what?
Professional sports teams know this as well. Imagine the Pittsburgh Steelers entering the stadium to the booming backbeat of Muskrat Love. Actually, even as I type this, I’m enjoying that image quite a bit. And now that I think about it, it might be an effective way to throw their opponents off their game. But I digress.
A good theme song — especially for those hoping not to be eaten alive — is loud and proud. A nice marching band or symphony commands respect as does a good AC/DC or Van Halen blowout. Heavy metal or arena rock anthems are particularly popular for professional sports teams and they can work for you, too.
I’m not ashamed to admit that my short list of potential theme songs includes some Good Charlotte and Three Doors Down. You got a problem with that?
I’m still working on my list, searching from something between Nirvana and The Carpenters, something that says, “I come in peace. But you don’t wanna mess with me.” I only hope I find it before my moment arrives. Speaking of which, I need to get to work.
What about you? Do you have a theme song or a vision of your own moment?