By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — In Week 10 of the 2015 season, at the end of a wild back-and-forth affair between the Patriots and Giants, Stephen Gostkowski confidently strode onto the field at MetLife Stadium and successfully curled a 54-yard field goal around the left upright to win the game for the Patriots.
After the 27-26 victory, Gostkowski made a rare appearance at the postgame podium, where the normally stoic kicker couldn’t hide his happiness after coming through in that moment. He also revealed a deep, dark kicker secret: he sings a song in his head before every kick.
Back then, Gostkowski wouldn’t let the world know what that song is. And now, even in an extensive 2,500-word feature about him in The MMQB, Gostkowski is not sharing his secret song.
Kalyn Kahler wrote:
He has his routine when it’s time to take the field. Seconds before Gostkowski raises his right arm to direct his intended path for the ball, he begins to sing. Never out loud, just silently in his head. It’s always the same song (one that he refuses to identify, not even the genre). His snapper and holder work in concert with him to perform each kick perfectly, but even they aren’t privy to the concert inside Gostkowski’s head. “I keep it a secret,” he says. “It’s an up-tempo song, something with a little bit of rhythm.”
Humming along to the mystery song helps Gostkowski stay calm and on beat as he makes his approach to the ball.
Back in November of 2015, Gostkowski said, “I go out there, I sing a song in my head. I do, I sing a song in my head, just to distract everything else. It’s cool, it’s fun, just trying to get ultra-focused. There are times when you’re in the zone and everything moves in slow motion. And there are times when things move really fast, and you just gotta slow yourself down.”
It’s one of those things; if Gostkowski simply said what his secret song is, it wouldn’t really matter. But the pain of not knowing adds to the intrigue and mystery.
While the 33-year-old Gostkowski will apparently never spill the beans, here are a few attempts (on a Friday afternoon in the summer) at guessing what it might be.
1. Homestar Runner – Secret Song
REASON: This one might just be appropriate. For one, it’s called “Secret Song.” Secondly, it would be impossible for any kicker to get overwhelmed by any moment if the voice of Homestar Runner was running through his head.
KEY LINE: “You’re the secretest song on the album, Secret Song”
2. Survivor — “Eye Of The Tiger”
REASON: It’s ultra lame and super cheesy … so it wouldn’t be difficult for Gostkowski to channel this song when he’s at Gillette Stadium. (Oh!) But, it might be it, considering Gostkowski is a proud alum of the Memphis Tigers — both on the football and baseball fields.
KEY LINE: “Just a man and his will to survive”
3. Hall & Oates — “You Make My Dreams”
REASON: Steve just kind of seems like a Hall & Oates guy. If this isn’t his pre-kick song, I bet it’s either his ringtone or his alarm clock.
KEY LINE: “Well well you (ooh ooh, ooh ooh)/You make my dreams come true (you you)/You (you you)/Well well well you (ooh ooh ooh ooh)/Oh yeah you make my dreams come true (ooh oooh, ooh ooh)”
4. Enrique Iglesias — “Hero”
REASON: Gostkowski said it himself back in that November 2015 press conference: “You’re one kick away from being public enemy number 1, and that’s why my job is very humbling. No matter how many kicks that I hit, how many games that we win, I’m always gonna try to stay humble and have humility, because you’re one play away from, you know, trending on Twitter as the number one loser in America.”
But Gostkowski doesn’t set out to be a bum, or a loser. He wants to be a hero.
KEY LINE: “I can be your hero baby/I can
kiss kick away the pain”
5. Timon & Pumba — “Hakuna Matata”
REASON: Steve also seems like a Hakuna Matata guy. Just gives off that vibe. Plus, he said it himself: “It’s an up-tempo song, something with a little bit of rhythm.” Boom. Nailed it.
KEY LINE: “It means no worries for the rest of your days/It’s our problem-free philosophy/Hakuna Matata!”