Opinion- Stemm’s Face the Pain Most Iconic Theme Song in Sports TV
Drew Zuhosky believes Stemm’s single deserves its place among the greatest sports anthems.
By Drew Zuhosky
If you’ve been watching pay-per-view events from the UFC with regularity over the years, you know these lyrics very well:
“Time to end this suffering!
I need a minute to myself!
So I can drift away…”
Those are the words that open the single Face the Pain, recorded by metal band Stemm, a band whose selections have been used by the UFC since 2002.
This track has been used to open the UFC’s pay-per-view telecasts, though occasionally the promotion will forego the playing of the song and its associated opening sequence for a narration concerning the main event. Most recently, the song was used to open the main card of the Dec. 8 UFC 231 event.
I’ve been ordering the pay-per-views religiously since March of 2016 and when fight night comes, I always wonder if the UFC will use Face the Pain for that given pay-per-view.
While the narrations are great, it’s always awesome to hear Face the Pain to open the main card. In addition, the instrumental versions of Stemm’s Out of Context and Fallen are also used on the broadcasts.
Out of Context is used over an establishing shot of the host city of that night’s pay-per-view, before transitioning to a live shot of the arena.
Fallen is used during the broadcast’s end credits over selected highlights from that night’s card as play-by-play commentator Jon Anik provides final comments on the night’s proceedings.
In my opinion, Face the Pain is sports television’s most iconic piece of theme music.
Face the Pain ranks right up there with the likes of:
John Tesh’s Roundball Rock (the theme used for the entire 12-year run of The NBA on NBC, and currently used on some college basketball telecasts on FOX.)
Heavy Action from Monday Night Football.
The theme from FOX NFL Sunday (used since 2010 by the network as an all-purpose theme.)
Alan Silvestri’s theme from The Delta Force (played over Paul Page’s introductions on Indianapolis 500 telecasts during the 1990’s.)
It has everything a great theme should have. It pumps people up to watch, first and foremost. Secondly, the song has become synonymous with the UFC (the promotion itself owns the track.) Thirdly, when a viewer hears it, it compels them to drop whatever it is they’re doing to watch the card.
During the Dec. 8 card, I was running the Armchair MMA Twitter and posted this tweet after Face the Pain was played on the pay-per-view:
Stemm responded with a quote-tweet:
Color me starstruck, folks. Simply put, Face the Pain is most iconic, in my opinion. I now leave you with the song itself. Crank this up!
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