Outside of football (and pizza and espresso and plain M&Ms and Onitsuka Tiger sneakers), one of my great passions in life is music. Growing up in a house where Depeche Mode, REM, INXS, The Smiths, The Cure and They Might Be Giants were the soundtrack to our Sunday cleaning sessions, my ears have always been bent towards alternative music, however one defines that. And as one who came of age in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I'm particularly fond of the pop-punk and emo bands that ruled the airwaves and ate up Napster bandwidth at the turn of the most recent century.
And the Francesco Totti of pop-punk is, without a doubt, Blink 182. Thanks to hits like “Josie”, and “Damnit", the Southern California trio started to make a name for themselves in the late 1990s, carving out a niche during the days of Diddy, Rap-Rock and the rebirth of boy bands.
But Blink's real breakthrough came at the dawn of Y2K. Released on January 8, 2000 “All The Small Things” pushed the band to an entirely different level of fame and exposure. Peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100, “All The Small Things” was (and remains) the band's highest charting single ever.
Whether it was echoing in the hallways of your dorm 24/7, blaring from the speakers of your hand me down Pontiac in the high school parking lot or popping up in literally every single movie, TV show or commercial during the year 2000, you couldn't escape that song. It was ubiquitous and was likely on the set list of every shitty punk cover band you ever saw. It became so popular that it became a litmus to test how “punk” someone was—Blink were a good first hit, but if that's all you knew, you definitely weren't “punk.”
And here we are 20 years later and the song still has staying power, as evidenced by Roma's decision to play the chorus from that seminal hit after every goal scored at the Olimpico this season.
It's not that I dislike this song per se, but as a huge Blink 182 fan, it's definitely not their best work, nor was it entirely emblematic of what made early 2000s pop-punk so much fun, so I thought we'd offer a few other pop-punk anthems from that same era worthy of being Roma's new goal celebration song.
New Found Glory: “Hit or Miss”
While not quite as popular as Blink 182, if you were in college during the early 2000s, chances are you skanked to some NFG, and you may have even pierced your lip to look more like Jordan Pundik. With a chorus that moans “Have I waited too long. Have I found that someone. Have I waited too long. Too see you” this would be perfect for when Roma breaks a deadlock.
Sum 41: “Fatlip”
There was a brief moment in time when it looked like Sum 41 would unseat Blink as the kings of the pop-punk scene, but Avril Lavigne becoming the band's Yoko Ono ended their meteoric rise to the top. Nevertheless, “Fatlip” is an incredibly fun song, and as a Canadian band they'll make Bryan Cristante feel right at home.
Yellowcard: “Ocean Avenue”
Pop-punk with a fiddle, what's more original than that? This song is at once upbeat and poppy yet completely maudlin and dripping with angst. Plus, they're named after a football thing anyway, so this one makes too much sense. Picture Nicolo Zaniolo scoring a screamer and celebrating with the sounds of an electric fiddle echoing throughout the Olimpico—no one else is brave enough to try that, so why not Roma?
Taking Back Sunday: “Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team) “
With a video homage to 1999s Fight Club, this video couldn't be anymore Y2k if it tried. With frantic guitars and the raspy shrieks of Adam Lazzarra, Taking Back Sunday had more hardcore and emo street cred than most of the bands on this list and would give Roma that little Hot Topic boost they need to win over younger fans. Plus Lazzarra is Italian, so it's not as out of left-field as it may seem.
Brand New: “Seventy Times 7”
Another Long Island emo band, Brand New were just that when they burst onto the scene in the early 2000s; brand new. Not quite pop, not quite screamo, not quite full on punk, Brand New were a tad more melodic, though no less angsty, than their contemporaries and would make for some great sing alongs among the Roma faithful.
They've definitely grown as artists over the years, but this song and this album are the source of a lot of great memories for me.
My Chemical Romance: “Helena”
While he's since gifted the world with the graphic novel turned Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, Gerard Way first made his name as the frontman for My Chemical Romance, a guyliner band that produced some of the most operatic music and videos of the day. We could have gone with “Ghost of You” or “I'm not Okay” but the quick intro to this song seems more fitting for an instant celebration.
You had to really be an emo kid back in the early 2000s to be on the Midtown bandwagon. The New Jersey-based band wasn't nearly as popular as the other names on this list, but their debut album Save the World, Lose the Girl was like Abbey Road to me and my long Dickies shorts wearing, scuffed up black chucks and stretched out earlobe having friends.
Roma are a bit of underdogs, so the Midtown ethos is fitting.
Millencolin: “No Cigar”
Lyrically, this song makes no sense as a celebratory hymn, but if you played Tony Hawk 2, you don't need me to remind you how fucking amped this song gets you; to this day, when I hear this song I have to fight the urge to attempt a 50/50 grind on the nearest public staircase. Part of the Swedish punk invasion of the early 2000s (The Sounds, The Hives), Millencolin were all about loud guitars and driving rhythms—what better way to celebrate a goal?
Paramore: “That's What You Get”
The rare female-led pop punk to gain traction in the early 2000s, Paramore's 2005 track “Thats What You Get” was a follow up to the more successful “Misery Business” but the woah, oh, oh, oh, oh section of the chorus is more amenable to crowd chanting, so we gave this track the slight edge.
Quick aside: If you were a Paramore fan and you find yourself missing that sound, do yourself a favor and check out Beach Bunny.
Good Charlotte: “Anthem”
I'm not sure where to begin with Good Charlotte; I always got the feeling Benji and Joel were just latching onto the trends rather than producing anything organic. But, you can't deny it, this is a catchy track and would get assess out of the seats at the Olimpico.
Saves the Day: “Anywhere With You”
Liverpool have the famous “You'll Never Walk Alone” to serenade Anfield with, so we're choosing this song solely for it's chorus: “I'd rather be here (the Olimpico) than anywhere with you.”
It may not be living up to the spirit of the lyrics, which deals with a presumably ugly breakup, but it would instill a bit of pride (and the middle finger spirit) to anyone who dares besmirch Roma or their dilapidated stadium.
Rancid: “Fall Back Down”
If we really wanted to stay true to the Roma theme, we'd select literally any track from Rancid's 1995 classic...And Out Come the Wolves, but since we're trying stay within the confines of music released in the early 2000s, we're going with this banger. Again, lyrically it doesn't quite add up since it's about rebounding from personal defeats, but, come on, that chorus is FANTASTIC!
Blink 182: “Another Girl, Another Planet”
A cover of The Only Ones 1978 hit, Blink tighten up the track, push the pace and up the drums in this Greatest Hits release. It may not be as nuanced as the original, but picture the crowd singing “I’m on another planet with you!” after Mkhitaryan buries another goal from deep.
There are plenty of Blink 182 tracks we could replace “All The Small Things” with, but why not go for a deep cut?
Presumably, the addition of Chris Smalling had something to do with the club opting for “All The Small Things” as their celebratory goal scoring track, but if the club must go with an early 2000s pop-punk track, why not get a bit more creative?
If you were in charge of the PA music at the Olimpico, which early 2000s track would you choose? Would you stick with pop-punk or maybe branch out into hip-hop? Maybe some Jay-Z or Luda?
Drop your playlist below!