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Are You Ready to Rumble
by Michele Christopher
You can feel it in the electricity before the game starts, that mish-mash of voices talking about their day, going for beer, discussing the latest trade scandal or rhapsodizing about the possibilities that the night will bring.
The noise becomes a gentle hum as the house lights dim, the seats begin to throb with the resounding bass and the ice is filled with swirling images of the teams that are about to do battle.
You can take away the darkness, you can even take away the announcer, but if you take away the music you will be left with nothing.
When the gladiators finally take their places amidst the swirling trade-marked images, the beat of their hearts become ours as it swells with the music and we can finally answer the question…
Yes, Michael Buffer, we are indeed ready to rumble.
Music, for me, is the most important element at any hockey game. I will readily admit that I am biased*, but if I don’t hear AC/DC at least once a game it feels like something’s missing.
You have to be careful with your selections though, as the Crystal Gayle incident taught me**. Not every song, no matter how much you love it, is appropriate. Gallo I am looking at you.
Black Betty (Ram Jam), Come Out and Play (The Offspring), Crazy Train (Ozzy), Final Countdown (Europe), Anything AC/DC (esp. Thunderstruck, Hells Bells, Jailbreak and You Shook Me), Anything Ramones, It's The End of the World... (Great Big Sea – REM did the original, but this one is MUCH faster), I Wanna Drive the Zamboni (the Zambonis), Kung Fu Fighting (Carl Davis), Hit the Road Jack (ray Charles), Mama Said Knock You Out (LL Cool J), Thunder Kiss ’65 (Rob Zombie – my favorite fight song), Raise A Little Hell (Trooper), Rock & Roll All Night (Kiss)…
I could be here all day suggesting songs; I have 2000+ on my hockey play list. There are a few I’m not allowed to play, like the Three Stooges Theme (three blind mice) – a team in our league got a bench minor and fined by a ref who had no sense of humor. It was probably the one I call “SURLY”. We don’t get along. But I digress.
My new favorite hockey music story comes from the game last Friday.
We were down 3-0 at the end of the second period. Just before the boys came back out onto the ice, one of the parents burst into the press box with an idea.
You see, at the last away game we had been down 7-2 at the end of the second, but we had rallied and ended up winning that game 9-8. He couldn’t remember the song that the opposing team had played, but he knew it was Johnny Cash.
Did I have any Johnny Cash?
Of course I did.
The boys took to the ice to Johnny’s “Get Rhythm” and scored 20 seconds later. We ended up tying the game (we were even ahead by one with two minutes left – but I’ll swear about defensemen another day).
The legend of the music is now part of our team history. We have a new “clutch” song and we will use that song until it stops working.
A good DJ (for lack of a better word) will find the perfect song for the perfect situation. Nothing makes me happier than seeing rink rats dancing, fan heads bobbing, fists flying and our Goalie grooving to the music.
Music may be the food of love, but it’s the blood of any hockey team. It pumps up the players and it pumps up the crowd. It doesn’t just make the game, it makes the game better.
What are some of your favorite hockey songs or song memories?
* I do the game night music for our local OHL Jr. A team
** back-up music person *coughGALLOcough*, decided it was a good idea to play “Don’t it Make my Brown Eyes Blue” during an extended break in play. I am still fighting the urge to maim her.
Here Deb is, she’ll rock YOU like a hurricane in a minute (or at least freeze you like an Alberta clipper).