Did a Steve Miller song predict a Patriots-49ers Super Bowl more than 40 years ago?

Eric Edholm

Musicians have a long history of foretelling future events — sometimes in their songs, sometimes in interviews.

Tupac sang about his own death in grim details. Prince eerily sang about Osama Bin Laden three years before 9/11. Jim Morrison appeared to predict the future of electronic music. Frank Zappa was talking about music file sharing back in 1989. Leonard Cohen seemed downright certain that Donald Trump would win the presidency (and Cohen died the day before the election).

The list goes on. Some predictions were more accurate and detailed than others, clearly.

But we’ve not seen many sports/rock music crossovers in this capacity. That is, until we stumbled onto this tweet. (It’s got a naughty word in it, which is why we linked as opposed to embedding it. Now you know. Also, a hat tip to friend Doug Farrar, who wrote about this subject as well.)

It appears that 70s rocker Steve Miller — who is still touring to this day — offered quite a glimpse at the NFL’s future in his 1976 hit, “Rock’n Me.” It’s a feel-good driving song with eminently singable lyrics. Please enjoy if it’s been a minute since you heard it:

What does Steve Miller have to do with the NFL?

The lyrics to “Rock’n Me” amazingly appear to line up with the Super Bowl opponents of the New England Patriots with incredible accuracy in recent years. Have a look:

I went from Phoenix, Arizona / All the way to Tacoma / Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A. / Northern California, where the girls are warm / So I could be with my sweet baby, yeah

OK, whoa.

So the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants in Glendale, Arizona, which is a suburb of Phoenix. Then they went “all the way” seven years later to beat the Seattle Seahawks (just down the road from Tacoma) in XLIX. Two years later, they beat the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl. That was followed by Super Bowls against Philadelphia (a loss to the Eagles in LII) and L.A. (a win over the Rams in LIII).

Before we get to the last part, let’s clean one thing up. Yes, Miller’s cities are not in order here. And yeah, the Patriots did not face the Arizona Cardinals in a Super Bowl, so it’s a bit of a stretch. But admit it: This rabbit hole is a bit deeper than you expected.

49ers to the Super Bowl ... guaranteed?

And if Miller’s lyrics are to come full circle here, that means the Patriots would be facing the San Francisco 49ers in a Super Bowl. Possibly even in LIV in February of next year. Yes, the Oakland Raiders also are certainly “Northern California,” but we know the Patriots and Raiders — AFC combatants — cannot face each other in a Super Bowl until there’s some sort of conference realignment.

So how about it, Tom Brady vs. Jimmy Garoppolo for all the marbles?

Could Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady meet in Super Bowl LIV? A Steve Miller song from 1976 might have predicted it. (Getty Images)
Could Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady meet in Super Bowl LIV? A Steve Miller song from 1976 might have predicted it. (Getty Images)

Hate to be a downer, but ... it’s certainly possible that this is all coincidence and that there will not be a 49ers-Patriots Super Bowl. That’s what logic would tell you: that these lyrics, which aren’t perfect in the first place, are not likely going to happen. We looked to see the last time the Steve Miller Band played Foxboro, and it appears to be back on Earth Day 1992 (at the old stadium prior to Gillette being built), and they somehow passed over playing “Rock’n Me,” which feels like a crime to the band’s fans.

After all, even Miller sings in the song: “Well, I ain't superstitious ...” On top of that, the football aspect of it makes us, well, suspicious. Brady turns 42 this year, and Garoppolo — coming off ACL surgery — and the 49ers are coming off a 4-12 season that was not very Super Bowl-ish.

But, hey, who knows? It’s certainly fun to think about.

We wonder if Miller now will start gaining fans among Patriots enthusiasts because of this revelation. Stranger things have happened in music and sports, we’d say. And for those Patriots fans who want to catch Miller on his summer tour, he’s got a stop on August 2 — the night before Brady’s birthday, for what that’s worth — in Mashantucket, Conn., which is about an hour’s drive from Patriots training camp in Foxboro. Pretty solid entertainment right there, if you’re so inclined.

Steve Miller's song from 1976 has been strangely prophetic for Patriots Super Bowl opponents. (Getty Images)
Steve Miller's song from 1976 has been strangely prophetic for Patriots Super Bowl opponents. (Getty Images)

Still rolling your eyes? Fine — it’s your prerogative. But let’s not forget that the verse in the song that comes right before the geography/Super Bowl portion the second time:

And you know that it's true / That all the things that I do / Are gonna come back to you in your sweet time

Perhaps this is Steve Miller telling you he knows the future, whether you want to hear it or not. Like classic rock on an endless loop, the Patriots in Super Bowls is a bit passé for some fans; they’re ready to move on and give someone else a chance, you know?

Why the Milwaukee-born Miller might have known the Patriots’ future Super Bowl opponents is beyond us. But if it means placing a small futures wager on the 49ers — at 40-to-1 odds, per Westgate — just in case, we’re willing to go there just to see if this wild streak can stay alive.

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