The Nashville Predators won their first-round series in six games. They will face the wily Winnipeg Jets in the second-round in what promises to be a well-watched series. Preds fans, many of whom live in a non-traditional hockey market, have been lauded for taking to the game and they nearly broke the Guinness World Record for loudest crowd at an indoor sporting event. But, let’s be honest. The Preds chants are boring, uninspired, and don’t represent Nashville, known as Music City.
Hear me out.
Nashville Predators are Contenders
Let’s get a few things straight. The Predators are legitimate contenders. They are exciting to watch and have depth where it counts. Full disclosure: they are my prediction to win the 2018 Stanley Cup. It is exciting to see hockey do so well in Nashville and fans get amped up about the team and the sport.
Preds fans have revived the odd hockey tradition of throwing sea life; in Nashville, they toss catfish onto the ice. They also have another tradition. It’s loud and it’s relentless. Preds fans love to heckle the opposing team – en masse. There are a number of chants that have gained some notoriety including:
“He shoots, he scores, you suck!”
“It’s all your fault! It’s all your fault!”
“We’re gonna beat the hell outta of you, you, you.”
“He sucks! He sucks, too!”
The chant you will hear most often, however, occurs after the Preds score a goal. If you don’t know it, here is an example. When the Preds played the Pens last year, it went like this:
“Murray, Murray, Murray. You Suck…It’s all your fault! It’s all your fault!”
Sure, some goals are the goalie’s fault. The problem is that this chant happens either way. It’s fake news.
Music City Deserves Better
Nashville is built on music and is a common thread connecting the life and soul of the city to its people. Music has been described as a fundamental pattern in its “…cultural, business and social fabric.” From fiddle tunes and buck dancing in the 1700s to the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the 1800s, music has a long history in Nashville. In 1925, the establishment of radio station WSM and its launch of the broadcast that would be called the Grand Ole Opry secured Nashville’s reputation as a creative, music-filled city.
Live music can be seen and heard every day and night of the week in Nashville. The world-famous honky tonks on Broadway offer free live music 365 days a year. Last year, P.K. Subban had fun singing some Johnny Cash at the famed Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. In Nashville, music is written, recorded and performed every single day. Music city deserves better than pathetic chants, whether they are shouted in unison or not.
Three Better Options
Steal from Your Opponent
While not technically a chant, one idea is to steal the Super Mario mushroom sound effect. As some fans know, after the Colorado Avalanche successfully kill a penalty, that is what you hear at the Pepsi Center. It’s a great idea. What better way to mock the team you beat in the first round than to steal their sound effects?
— Tim Williams (@realtimwilliams) December 19, 2017
Fans need more than sound effects though. Here’s one idea: get creative. Game of Thrones will finish its run next year as the biggest and most popular show in the world. An average of more than 23 million Americans watched each episode last season. In one memorable scene in Season 5, Queen Cersei is forced to complete a walk of atonement. Stripped of her clothing, she is made to walk from the Great Sept of Baelor to the Red Keep, escorted by members of the Faith Militant. As she walks, Septa Unella accompanies her, repeatedly crying out “Shame!” and ringing a bell to attract people’s attention.
Preds fans should adopt this when their team draws a penalty. Imagine it, as the opposing team’s player makes his way to the penalty box, 17, 000 fans yell “shame, shame, shame” in unison. Short, sweet, and mean. It is a crossover chant that has already been used for other purposes. Get on it, Preds fans.
Look At History
Finally, instead of being negative with the “you suck” stuff, it would be great to see Preds fans get happy. What better way to honor music city than to engage in a song when the home team scores? What should they sing? When in doubt, look to your history, Nashville. What if you used all that fan energy toward celebrating your state. Lots of tunes could be used, but Rocky Top is a great tune and my pick for the Preds’ postseason. Recorded first by the Osborne Brother, it has been covered by the Everly Brothers, Lynn Anderson, and even Phish. Yes, Vermont jam band Phish.
Preds fans can and should do better as they cheer their team during what many hope is a deep playoff run. As great a story as hockey in Nashville has been these last couple of years, fans need to step up their chant game. Here’s the chorus to Rocky Top. It should be played and sung loudly and proudly when the Preds score.
Rocky Top, you’ll always be
Home sweet home to me
Good ol’ Rocky Top
Rocky Top, Tennessee
Rocky Top, Tennessee
Criminologist by training. Hab fan for life. Aspiring Beer League hockey star.