The NHL: Go (Fill In The Blank)!!!

Steph MerrittCorrespondent IApril 16, 2009

MONTREAL - JANUARY 25:  Fans, representing all 6 Canadien NHL teams, cheer during the 2009 NHL All-Star game at the Bell Centre on January 25, 2009 in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

As a graduate of The Florida State University, I understand the importance of rituals and traditions.  Every first down has a chant, every touchdown a fight song, every pregame a nickname spelled out by the marching band.  


But as a hockey fan, I’m troubled.  Watching the Playoffs has heightened this sense of distraught I’ve been feeling all season long.  And so I give you my pointers for establishing a tradition to take root for your hockey club.  


I’m not saying to give up the “Let’s go (fill in the blank)!”  or “Go (fill in the blank)!  Go!”  I’m just saying, let’s take what we have and build upon it.  If a bunch of drunk frat boys and old alumni dudes can cheer in unison, so can hockey fans!


Pointer #1:  How about some new gear?  Every fan is dressed the same.  It’s like “Where’s Waldo” in every arena across the continent. 


Jersey….another jersey…hot chick wearing purple…jersey…old ugly t-shirt.  And so forth.  How about we spice it up a bit?  Take example from the FSU Cowgirls—a little rebranding can go a long way!  


I’m talking cowgirl hats, t-shirts from the 21st century, cute jackets so the ladies don’t wear pink to the game.  


It’s obvious men do the clothing selections for the store in the arena—notice how it’s always packed during intermissions but no one really buys anything…And please, for the love of all that is good, stop putting sparkles on things and expecting women to coo over them!  We’re hockey women.  We’ll get in your face and curse out your momma!  To hell if we’re gonna wear a bedazzled baby T.


Pointer #2:  Treat hockey games like a football game.  Soccer or American football—either way the fans are more intense.  


Get to the game 4 hours early, fire up the grill, play beer pong, karaoke, play the bean bag game!  Oblige in the beverages if you’re 21+ (or 18/19 in Canada).  Get rowdy!


If the fans get excited before the game, they’ll be much more excited during the game than if they rolled off their couch 15 minutes before the puck dropped and meandered their way to the arena.  


On a side note, the hockey clubs need to work on a new pregame show. 


College football teams have marching bands stomping out shapes and words, and all any arena has is a video (which could be edited by your 15 yr old little emo brother in this day and age) with some music in the background, usually from The Transformers or Batman soundtracks.  


Obviously we can’t have a marching band on the ice…insurance would never cover an ice skating tuba player or six, but with a little imagination hockey clubs could put on a show the fans (who have been tailgating for quite some time, remember) wouldn’t want to miss.  


I do understand I’m luckier than most because all weather is tailgating weather in Florida, but I trust you Northerners can figure something out that’s fun to do.  I’ve seen you’re Polar Bear Plunges and I know what you’re capable of!


Pointer #3:  The final pointer in this installment is probably the most obvious to me, after watching games all season on Center Ice.  Whenever the home team scores, two things happen:  the boat horn blares (no matter how far the city is from an actual boat) and Zombie Nation’s Kernkraft 400 pumps over the loudspeakers.  I think Zombie Nation pays their bills using only NHL arena royalty money.  


Kernkraft 400 is dead.  Find a new song.


I don’t have a problem with the boat horn—it resonates through your soul.  But find your own song. 


Bruins fans, embrace your inner Dropkick Murphy and play some good ole Irish drinking rock.  Kings fans, how about some California Love?  Carolina, I’m thinking some “Rock You Like a Hurricane” should work out nicely.  


With all the hype songs to choose from, I don’t see any team in the NHL having a problem choosing one.  And if they do, please refer them to me.  As a self proclaimed music dork, I’m sure I can give them a list of a couple or twelve.



So there you have it.  These pointers are a start, but I’m sure with some ingenuity and liquid confidence you can think of a few for your favorite team.  All it takes is you, some buddies with no shame, maybe a hot chick if you have one, and some ridiculous idea.  It just might work…kind of like the Wave.


For me and my Panthers, I’m thinking drum line.