When you think of pre-game music, you probably think of something with some thump behind it. Anyone trying to get the juices flowing before they go 100 miles per hour at an opponent tends to turn to up-tempo and aggressive music of all kinds.
Unless you're English soccer club Billericay Town FC, that is. Their pre-game motivational music was of a decidedly different variety on Thursday, and they chose to listen to R. Kelly's "The World's Greatest" before they hit the field for their Ryman League Cup final. After a few choice words from the team's manager, the players settled in for a sing-along, which you can watch up top.
The team's structure might have something to do with this. The man you see yelling in the video is not just the manager of the club, he owns it. Glenn Tamplin's word is the law for Billericay Town, so if he says you're singing R. Kelly before the game, you better listen. Given that every player in the huddle seems to know the words, this can't have been the first time they've undertaken this ritual. And it's hard to argue with the results—Billericay Town won their cup final by five goals, proving R. Kelly is just the backdrop they needed.
This has to be up there with the strangest pre-game rituals you are ever going to see. A recent story revealed the NBA's obsession with eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches prior to games, but players being finicky about what they eat isn't too shocking; turning the locker room into a karaoke session right before you head into battle is a different story.
Whether the song had a calming effect on the guys or they spoke truth to power by calling themselves "The World's Greatest" immediately before a game, they need to keep this going. And maybe next time you go to the gym, you should try singing this to yourself in the car beforehand, just to get that extra boost in the weight room.