Christian McCaffrey likes to get pumped up before he steps on an NFL field. Like many athletes, he prefers to do so with music. That music, however, may surprise fans who expect the usual pump-up jams. McCaffrey recently appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to discuss his pregame music. The answer shocked both the talk-show host and fans.
Christian McCaffrey takes the field
Despite his star power, McCaffrey is only in his fourth NFL season. He first waltzed into the national spotlight in his three years at Stanford. After playing off the bench for most of his freshman season, McCaffrey became the legendary program’s ace on offense. He rushed for over 2,000 yards and received another 600 en-route to 13 combined touchdowns. That year, he placed second in Heisman voting.
McCaffrey followed this up with another spectacular season, rushing for 1,603 yards and receiving another 300. This got him into the Heisman vote again, although he placed ninth this time. Despite missing out on Heisman glory, McCaffrey used his goodwill to declare for the NFL draft.
The Carolina Panthers selected the young running back with the eighth overall pick of 2017. With Cam Newton leading the offense, McCaffrey didn’t take long to get noticed. Despite coming off the bench for a few games, McCaffrey was a starter by the year’s end. He finished his rookie season with 400 rushing yards.
In year two, however, McCaffrey embraced his starting role with a 1,000-yard season. The 2019 season, however, truly made him a superstar. McCaffrey was a force to be reckoned with. He rushed for a career-high 1,387 yards en-route to 15 touchdowns. The result was his first All-Pro inclusion.
Now two games into his fourth year, he’s already starting well, rushing for 156 yards and four touchdowns through two games. However, an ankle injury creates some worries about his immediate future. Regardless, to get stoked for the competition, McCaffrey goes to an unlikely place.
Athletes and music
Athletes like McCaffrey love to listen to music while they work out and prepare for games on Sunday. While this might seem like a personal preference, studies show that music has several positive effects on athletes. A study at Presagia sports supported this:
“Many athletes turn to music before their competition to help them get in ‘the zone.’ Plugging in headphones before performing or working out can help regulate emotions and mood, because music reshapes emotional and physiological arousal, allowing it to be used as either a stimulant or as a sedative. Loud upbeat music will help an athlete get psyched up, whereas softer music can help them calm down.”
The psychology of this makes sense. Music can be a comfort zone for anyone headed to the field. However, when one thinks about this study, it makes McCaffrey’s song of choice a strange one.
What music does Christian McCaffrey listen to?
Getting ready to play a musical game with tv host Jimmy Fallon’s house band, The Roots, Fallon asked the All-Pro running back what his pump-up song was. McCaffrey didn’t go toward hip-hop, hard rock, or other upbeat staples. Instead, he went to Westeros. To the TV star’s delight, McCaffrey said one of his favorite songs to listen to is “Light of the Seven,” a piano-based track from Game of Thrones.
“There’s nothing wrong with McCaffrey’s choice. It’s merely another quirk to his already impressive story. After an All-Pro season like he just had; however, the real question people should be asking isn’t why he chose that song. Instead, it should be why more aren’t following suit and listening to other instrumental television music.”