Tuesday, January 1, 2008

For your consideration...

I'm going to go against one of my principles and tell fans what to do. Or in this case, tell them what they shouldn't be doing.

Over the last few home games, after the Islanders score a goal, the traditional "Hey"! chant has been followed by a roar of "YOU (----)"!

With each home game, it has gotten louder and louder.

I think it should end.

Islanders fans are known for their passion, the way they shake the old barn on Hempstead Turnpike in the big games, and - yes - for their loyalty during some, um, trying times in the pre-Wang era.

Please understand this: if this goal-celebration chant continues to grow, this is what our extraordinary fan base will become known for.

They will be known for yelling something vulgar at the legendary Martin Brodeur, like a minority of 16,234 fans did on Saturday. Same for all-star and humanitarian Olaf Kolzig the Saturday before that.

Of course, it shouldn't be directed at anyone.

Despite the New Year's holiday, I've received more than a dozen emails from embarrassed fans, most of them parents. They've asked me to plead with our Events staff to stop playing the "Hey" song. I'm not sure that's the way to go. Getting rid of the song, viewed by many fans as a tradition, to temporarily silence some others doesn't seem right.

A poll currently on the message board Islandermania has 53% of fans saying they think the chant "is stupid," and 34% saying they "don't mind it."

My hunch is when broadcasters and writers across the NHL label Islanders fans simply as the ones who chant "YOU ----" every time their team scores a goal, they'll mind it.

Before it gets even more stupid, what do you say we lose it?

COMMENTS!!!

OKAY, BRING IT ON: A fan walked up to me at Champions in the Marriott after the game Saturday and told me it was time to open this baby up for comments. I guess if I'm going to ask fans to consider not doing something (chant "YOU ----"!), it's only fair I give you the opportunity to respond.

Please be respectful, not of me but of others who may read this blog. Unlike Greg Logan, I do not have the patience or know-how to spend time blocking posters. Let's see if we can make this work together. Thanks...CB

57 comments:

my friend said...

Chris, we need to suggest a suitable replacement, or I'm afraid stopping it will prove difficult. It's quickly approaching cult status (mentioned in Canadian media).

Perhaps we at ISLANDER MANIA could start a poll taking requests? It started with the fans, so I think it's best if THEY come up with an alternative.

KH said...

Chris, I am a fan and frequently attend games at the Coliseum, and I totally agree with you. I am embarrassed by this chant and feel helpless. Don't know what can be done to stop it, but you've got my vote in support of any non-vulgar alternative.

KH said...

One more thing... If the Isles organization is uncomfortable with this chant, could an announcement be made on the TV broadcast and/or at the arena informing the fans of this and suggesting an alternative? Would it be beyond the pale for the organization to directly address the fans on an issue of this kind? Personally, I don't think it should be.

Ryan said...

Agree 100%, Chris. There are a number of fanbases that have created an identity for themselves--Boston fans, for instance--as obnoxious and belligerent. On a practical note, though, how do you stop it? I've been assuming it would die off itself in a couple of weeks, and I don't think that's just an irrational hope.

guerin13 said...

i agree that it should end. i think it might give the rest of the nhl a bad impression about the isles. this franchise really doesn't need another black eye. i do, however, also agree with my friend that an alternative, less vulgar, replacement chant should be created.

islesblogger said...

Chris,

About time!

I personally don't like it because it's of poor sportsmanship. Maybe it's the athlete in me or the fact that I have respect - I dunno.

Keep up the great work with the blog - see you at the next home game.

PS; What time is it? I don't have a watch handy.....

lol

RS said...

Chris, do the people that complain about the language also worry about how their precious little ones are being exposed to the elbowing, boarding, and fighting in hockey games? Or are they just looking for another way to feel good about themselves by proving what wonderful, protective parents they are?

If this were 20-30 years ago I would feel differently, but the word is pretty firmly entrenched in our society's language these days. The national networks don't edit it out, nor do major sports networks such as TSN.

Frankly, I don't recall any internal debate in the Rangers' community about getting rid of the fans that start the "Potvin" chants.

RS said...

One more thing, Chris. Regarding Brodeur, are you referring to the man that cheated on his wife with his sister-in-law, or the player who for years refused to take off his helmet and mask during the national anthem? Portraying these players as "saintly warriors" is not supporting your case very well.

Anonymous said...

Chris, you guys already got rid of the chicken dance on us. Except for the fact it was re-instituted at home games this year. More and more each year the Coliseum is geared towards little kids. I remember when we had Peca he even said the Coliseum was an intimidating place for away teams to come into. The fun is being taken out of home games for the fans. I don't think atheletes, who are being payed millions of dollars are even listening to the "You Suck" chant. Its a choice people can make, if you don't like it, don't chant it. The word "suck" has become a pretty regular part of the english language.

Anonymous said...

Also, the NHL and the community is going to look down upon the Islanders when they draw 9,000 people to a home game or when Chris Simon does something that isn't part of the game. I highly doubt they will look down upon a chant that people who are paying good money to go to a game are entitled to do.

IslesJack said...

The only thing about our home games is how everything is sold out to advertisers. "Dave and Busters Power Minute" and the "Port Authroity Ice Girls" announcements which seem to be made as much as possible. Not only that, but what about the ridiculous videos played before games and the Ice Girls in the ice swinging flags to a disco ball hanging from the scoreboard? I don't know how many non Isle fans have been to the Coliseum and have laughed at us because of it. Bring back the 30th Anniversary video highlighting great moments in Isles History before the games and cut the gimmicky crap.

HTN said...

The people who seem to be complaining about this chant bring up several issues with it. First, they say the word “suck” is vulgar. Is it really vulgar? Well it depends on which definition of “suck” you use. Those who say it’s vulgar usually point to it’s older definition or point to the origin of the word (which is disputable all in itself). However, there is no denying that for several dictionaries one of the meanings of the word “suck” can be defined as simply meaning “inadequate” or “objectionable.” Again, is it truly vulgar to call someone a synonym of the word inadequate?
There could indeed be a generational gap where the older crowd feels that the word has a greater attached meaning while the younger crowd feels that the world reflects bad play. If this is the case, and it may very well be, then it could be time for the older crowd to realize that words change in meaning overtime and change is not always such a horrifying thing.
Second, people seem to be concerned about bad press and the fact that this word “suck” will damage the family-friendly environment that is apparently present at the Coliseum. First I would like to state that if freedom of speech brings bad press then so be it. And second, a hockey game has never ideally been one of a family-friendly environment. This is seen in the dirty hits players make and the fights that occur between players. And you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who calls fighting between players and dirty hits as something that promotes a family friendly environment. Maybe we should start booing when players fight to show our children that fighting is a bad thing instead of standing up and cheering when the opposing player crashes down onto the ice?
“kh” stated that he is “embarrassed” by the chant and that he feels “helpless.” What is there to be embarrassed about? That a group of people managed to create a chant that spread throughout the Coliseum that is loudly said by thousands? That’s not something to be embarrassed about; the fact that fans can create chants and songs without the cue of an electronic scoreboard shows passion. Isn’t passion an important aspect of being a fan? And now people are suggesting to sequester this chant because of a word that really is not vulgar? The chant is said in pure fun and when it boils down to it it is usually not a good idea to cut down on the fun of thousands of people.
“guerin13” stated that a “replacement chant should be created.” That is all fine and well, but that is not an easy thing to do. I doubt Islanders fans will appreciate their goal song replaced by an entirely new one accompanied with a new chant crammed down their throats. A new chant has to be catchy enough to cause it to spread throughout the whole building like the “you suck” chant, and that is not an easy thing to do. Let there be competition for a new chant, but let that competition be equal and non forceful. If a better chant comes by I have little doubt that the fans will adopt it.
And finally, if people want to truly complain, it shouldn’t be about this. How about the fact that we embraced Simon and allowed him to stay on the team? Or the fact that we haven’t won a playoff series in well over a decade—make that 15 years now. Or the fact that we have to watch our youth blossom for other teams instead of ours? Or the fact that, as islesjack said, we have things such as the “Dave and Busters Power Minute” announcements set off during play! If we’re going to complain, lets set our priorities straight. Although I have no problem with a discussion about this topic, it is truly miniscule compared to the other glaring problems that have been plaguing this organization for many years.

radiat10n said...

Chris,

Yeah, it's stupid and immature. But getting rid of "Rock & Roll Part 2" is just going to drive the kiddies in Loudville to append "YOU SUCK!" to whatever the next choice is. You can't enforce respect.

Personally, I think the song should've gone away the first time Gary Glitter got busted for hoarding child porn, but that's another story.

Andrew said...

Chris-
Thank you for addressing this issue, which I am sure will not help win you personal fans.
I think that there is so much rich history and tradition in the Islanders organization that we need to get back to the "glory days" of being on top year in and year out. The chant is some fans way of raising themeselves back up - unfortunatly, the wrong way. The organization should make an effort to remind us of who we are and what we represent (and they are, We're all Islanders afterall), and help the fan base realize that there are two ways to become bigger than another - to grow yourself, or to put down your opponent.
In the IslandersMania blog, I brought up as an example the first Ryan Smyth home game, where we were up 2-0 late in the 3rd. Instead of cheering our guys on, the chants were "Sanford (Blues Goalie) sucks". We wound up losing 3-2 in OT.
Do you think that was a warm welcoming impression for Ryan Smyth? How many NHL superstars want to play for teams whose fans DON'T cheer for them, but against the opponnent?
I look forward to the Islanders organization taking a more proactive role to get rid of the chant, and support it's efforts 100%. LET'S GO ISLANDERS!

Anonymous said...

No matter what polls say, blogs say, or anyone says, People are still going to chant it. There's no way to prevent it, so might as well embrace it.

Mike said...

You know Chris, I am so SICK of this organization telling me how I should behave and yell at the opposing team. I guess I did not get the memo that the word "suck" has become a highly offensive word over the last year. What is wrong with trying to create a college like atmosphere at these games? Who are these parents that keep calling and complaining? My guess are they are fans who go to 1-2 games a year during the holiday season.

You have taken away the Chicken Dance and now you are going to take away the "Hey" song?

If you want to control the way fans behave at games maybe the team should concentrate on better ticket sales so we won't see 25% of the arena packed with Devils, Flyers, Leaf, fans.

Anonymous said...

Chris, I may be completely wrong here but is this chant coming from the Loudville section? If it is, maybe put a disclaimer on the section saying that any kind of abusive behavior, language, etc will be cause for removal? Staff may have to remove a few people to get the idea across, but I bet that would put an end to it.

Cain said...

I think it is great - the fans are involved - and I don't find it vulgar.

Having been a minor-league hockey STH for years, you hear these chants all of the time.

Watching rivalry games with NHL Center Ice - you hear "[Goalie name twice], you suck" after goals...

This is the least of the problems for the organization, really. Let parents parent their children and the Islanders play hockey.

DD said...

I wonder what the players think. Do they ven hear it? How do they feel about it?

Carl said...

I really don't get it. seems lke a group of 5 people at the coliseum can influence the whole crowd. I bet if you asked 15,000 people that went to the Toronto game if they would boo Jason Blake 99% would say no. But, somebody does it once and the hwole crowd seems to catch on. How many times have you been at the coliseum embarrassed by stupid fans in recent years? It's been quite a few for me.

-Booing Canadian national anthem throughout the Toronto series.
-Any sort of chants during our National anthem every single game.
-Bottles being thrown on the ice back to back games in Buffalo series.
-Booing Jason Blake, Tom Poti etc.
-"You Suck" chant

Everybody I talk to seems embarassed by these things yet they always happen.

B.D. said...

First of all, congrats on your 20 years, Chris. And great to open up comments.

But, I think the issue is a slippery slope of political correctness. You can certainly ask what you do ask. But, I don't think one fan should take it under consideration.

Yes, we've all seen the very bad behavior by fans these days. My own blogging started in my experience of Isles fans throwing bottles and debris on the ice during the Buffalo playoffs last year.

However, with a chant of you suck . . . something terribly innocuous in this day and age of GrandTheftAutesque behaviors and acting out. What is next? Do we not chant "your mother dress you funny? " We will be making Sidney Crosby, gods gift to modern hockey, muddle his vision with a tear?

We really all live in a tough age of overanalysis and behavior modifications. But where do those parameters really lie? Is in that "you suck" and honest fan exuberance will seep into some offensiveness? Sure. It's inevitable. Especially when Sean Avery skates by.

But, the fine line, in my mind, occurs after the You Suck chants. A line in the sand where it goes far more personal. Been to a ball game lately. The Isles chants are nothing compared to the everyday of a baseball game. Football, as we've seen with the Jets, is a deeper more distubring issue altogether.

To put the line too far forward, to me, is trying to control the uncontrollable. But alas, I understand your issue, Chris. As the Isles try to be a family atmosphere, maybe a stand can be made.

But, to the more responsible, even if they haven't chanted it, it seems overkill and a premature line. To me, telling a player they suck, true or not, is a fan's god-given right. Then again, I've been told I suck for years.



Your pal,
BD

Chris16 said...

The problem is that the Islanders organization has made the decision to gear the event towards the 13 - 21 year olds. These are the ones starting these chants. I understand the the Isles want to fill these seats, but how about opening "Loudville" to the people who have been supporting this team for 30 years. I gave up my season tickets because I could no longer afford the prices. I'm tired of these cheap tickets for kids who have no interest in the game and are only there to cause problems.

Sean said...

Awesome post B.D, we can always leave it to you to tell it as it should be. As someone who pays alot of money to see the Islanders it is my right to tell players like Crosby, Brodeur, etc, that they suck whenever I want to and if 16,234 fans want to do it at the same time then it is not in the Islanders hands to tell the crowd what they should or should not be saying.

michael said...

when i was at syracuse u. in 2003 and the band played the "hey song" the student section would do the "you suck!" followed by an even more vulgar cheer which REALLY rallied the student section and inevitably the 2003 SU hoops team was undefeated at home that season (also 2003 national champs).

Unfortunately, ESPN told the school that the band had to stop playing the hey song bc the sensors were getting upset and the school complied (to the dismay of many students). Still though to this day it is one of my fondest memories of going to the games because it brought all us fans together and the place would go CRAZY (after the song was played the atmosphere in the building would increase 10 fold).

Also, when the fans are yelling YOU SUCK its not because the goalie sucks like you point out (brodeur, kolzig, etc) but its directed at the other team in its entirety (kind of like us vs. them, which is what hockeys all about).

After SU dropped the hey song from its bands repitoir it felt like something was missing at home games and i would NOT recommend doing the same thing at the NVMC.

If the word "suck" is too much for some parents to handle they need to have a reality check. Parents are worried about hearing the word "suck" at a hockey game while their kids watch HBO and MTV and play grand theft auto (hypocrits if u ask me!)

last time i checked it was a sporting event and not a church/place of worship, or a school. Lets remember that.

BTW chris if you want the lyrics to the 2nd half of the SU hey song cheer email me.

Jay said...

Hi Chris,

I 100% think this chant at the end of the "hey" is stupid. But I also do not think it is fair to stop playing the hey song after goals because of it. This song has been a tradition after goals at the Coliseum for as long as I have been going to games and I think it would be counterproductive to take it away from 12,000 fans because 4,000 fans are participating in this new stupid chant.

On the negative side, I have to kind of blame the Islanders organization for why things like this are taking place. This loudville promotion, while a good idea in theory, is encouraging more high school and college kids to come out, and lets be honest, the majority of them are not as interested in the actual game as the die-hard fans, so instead they come and make noise and act obnoxious.

Why is it all of the Isles ticket promotions and discounts are always targeted towards kids and teenagers rather than someone like myself; in my mid-twenties, working my first real full time job, with not too much money to spend, yet I still come to 10-13 games a year. If most of your ticket discounts were geared towards working people, 25-50 years old, you would not see this type of element and obnoxiousness at the games. '

Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Too much hyprocrisy from the isles to tell fans how act so as to cater to families. Scantily clad Ice Girls and serving alcohol at a family like event should also be banned then.

I don't think the chant is right, but you can't tell people how to act. It's not your right. It's theirs.

Anonymous said...

Chris, so what you are telling us is that you would can the goal song because of complaints from
.0015% of the "fans"?

I'm a season ticketholder and I find nothing wrong with this chant. You suck is not an explitive and over the 18+ years I've been coming to the coliseum I have heard much worse things said and chanted by the fans with no repurcussions from event staff. Are you trying to make the coliseum qiet like a morgue again like it was for so many years? Yeah, that's real intimidating for opposing teams. It is my opinion that you should stop pandering to families and start catering to the hockey fans who have supported this team for years and come to watch HOCKEY and support their team.

TheMetalChick said...

Its DUMB.

The lowest scoring team in the NHL has NO FLIPPIN BUSINESS telling ANY goalie that they "suck".

It also sounds to me, since its mainly a group of college boys doing this, as if there is a small group of opposing fans heckling the goalscorer, the person who the fans are singing the goal celebration to.

There are so many examples where it doesnt even make sense:

People chanted it when the Isles scored one measly goal in the last 2 minutes of a 4-1 loss to the Bruins... obviously Tim thomas DIDNT suck, or else the Isles would not have been shut out all night! It seemed to many people as if people, frustrated with the teams lack of scoring, were saying it with sarcasm to poor Campoli.

These same people also chanted it when an empty netter was scored the other night. Um who is the "you" that "sucks" then? The goalie?? He wasnt even there when it happened!

THEN these same people chant it yet again after the game, when the goal celebration song was played as a celebration of the Islanders victory. Isles were doing their stick salute and were hearing "you suck" shouted at them by theoir own "fans". WTH??? Who sucks then??? Who is "you" since the other team was already gone???


Im not offended by the word per se, I just think it is embarassing to be so unoriginal and unclear about our intention. Isles fans sound like idiots. Cant we do any bettedr than something this LAME?

Rombough22 said...

I don't have a problem, per se, with the word Sucks. Heck, I've been going to sporting events for 40 plus years, and i think I've heard worse words than that before. The problem to me is the chant itself. I think it's pointless. To whom is it directed? The goalie? The other team? The refs? The fans on the other side of the rink from you?

How about we celebrate us scoring a goal (something that until recently was a very rare event) rather than chanting something to some unidentified person.

negilla273 said...

There is nothing wrong with the song or the chant. It's ridiculous that this is even being discussed. Let the fans chant what they want. The Islanders don't have any responsibility to curb what is being chanted by the people who pay money to enter the arena (to a certain extent obviously). Saying "you suck" to the opposing team does not cross the line at all.

we're not buying tickets to Disney on Ice or a 7 year old pee-wee hockey game. It's an NHL game played by adults. It's not this big of a deal.

Bryan said...

I'm against the chant for one reason: it's lame. It's not funny, not clever, and a little pathetic. I could care less about the 'what about the children' comments, but I hate lame chants. Think of a betetr one...

Andy Facini said...

Honestly, you can't change something like this by just changing the song.

It's gotta be something planned- look around the league, even the Rangers' goal song is unique and involves the fans a great deal more than just "Hey!". Ottawa and Minnesota have a song that is entirely crowd chanting. (It's called Crowd Chant, heh.)

It's about fan involvement more than it is about telling the other goalie that he sucks. Be more engaging.

Maybe it's time to change the song, and maybe it's time to lighten up and not make a huge deal out of soemthing that isn't.

But don't play the blame game. It's not "these damn kids", it's not Loudville, it's not drunks. The entire Coliseum was participating in the NJD game.

HNLI Alex said...

I agree Chris. The chant is just plain stupid and immature. I can't stand awful chants and this one isn't even funny or clever. The chant, however, should not be used as a reason to eliminate the use of the Hey Song.

TheMetalChick said...

On and fellow Isles fans:

Can we please stop referring to Rock and Roll Part Two as "The Hey Song"?

Calling it that is, ironically, as embarassing as the topic at hand.

TheIslandersRule said...

If this chant was called out any time besides during the goal celebration nobody would care about it.

Just do this chant separate from the goal celebration. Problem solved.

BD said...

I demand "In a Gadda Da Vita" by Iron Butterfly be made into a chant.

Eric said...

You say in your next post blog entry that you do not think the word suck is vulgar. If that is the case, why do you replace the word with 4 hyphens to denote the letters?

The atmosphere being created at games with the removal of the chicken dance, at first completely but now just for all games but ranger games, and now this plea to stop saying sucks after the goal song is becoming too childish. The team has some horrible attendance issues. So what do you do? You market to a demographic that usually has less disposable income because of the high costs of simply raising a child. These fans will not make up your season ticket base. They will not make up the repeat single ticket purchases. They will come to one game a year with their family.

The islanders have to stop with this self destructive attempt to turn the game into the circus.

Is the chant a great one, no. but is it something that the organization should be putting its effort into stopping. No way.

Wilson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wilson said...

Chris,
I think that the fans should be able to come up with something a little more creative than the "you suck" chant. With that being said, I dont think there's anything wrong with some team spirit for a fan base that lacks it. I dont understand why the organization constantly defends its players but criticizes its fanbase.

stephenm22 said...

Rock & Roll part 2 needs to stay, it use to be that a bunch of teams had it as there goal song now we are one few to have it left, and it is a great way for fans to interact.

As far as the topic at hand is concerned, i go to pleanty of games at the coliseum, and a mass yelling of the word suck should be the last thing that these parents are worrying about, there are pleanty of worse things said. At the leafs game last week a dad was yelling every curse and insult in the book at the refs, the best part was that he was with his daughter who couldent be more than 10 years old. Besides, if somehow you could stop everyone from adding the new verse on to the "hey song", there is still the "Chicken dance" and "if your happy and you know it" vocals to worry about (and those are deffinatly not going away no matter how hard you try).

One thing that the writers who complain about "the chant" dont understand is that there is no intended disrespect to any player or team. The rational of the fans yelling this is that unless the player is wearing the orange and blue, regardless of who they are, they suck in our eyes.

The bottom line is that the atmosphere at sporting events today (baseball, hockey, basketball & especially football) this behavior is common place and it is up to parents to explain to thier kids what is acceptiable behavior and what is not in both sporting arenas and normal life. The responsibilitdy to babysit dosent fall on to the shoulders of the NYI orginization so there should be no changes.

keep up the good work Chris.
LETS GO ISLANDERS!!!

nymase1 said...

Not a big fan of the chant...First of all, whenever we score a goal, it is an exhilarating moment for me, especially this year...There are only a couple of moments like that a game...That last thing I'm thinking about is wasting my energy telling the other team that they 'suck'...I just don't live my life like that...I'm ecstatic that we scored and celebrating the moment...Second, there are some very sharp, witty and quick people from the Island...We can come up with something a lot better than 'you suck'...It's almost a cop out...The people of LI are too quick on their feet to resort to 'you suck'...I really liked the 'you can't beat us' chant...Smart and witty and a good example of the LI people...'You suck' is just trashy...Again, I'm high fiving and celebrating one of the few goals we score this year...I'm not worried about telling the other team that they suck...And that's without even getting into whether or not that actually helps motivate the other goalie and team...That's the last thing we need...Reminds of me when Spike Lee would help motivate Reggie Miller into killing the Knicks...It's just stupid and almost mindless...Not a good representative of LI and the quick and witty people that make up LI...But if people want to waste their energy telling the other team that they suck, then I guess it's their prerogative...I'm too busy celebrating one of the precious goals the Isles actually scored this year...

mjlsuper16 said...

Good Post Stephenm22!

It is not the Islanders duty to tell the fans what can be chanted or can not be chanted. The fan base is fragile enough and I think if the Islanders start getting involved to much in fan conduct (unless it is really warranted) that it will allinate fans futher. There is no disrepect towards any player with the chant, it is simply for fun and taunting the opposing team.
Chris, your statement about Brodeur and his hall of fame status is an absolutly awful arguement. You make it seem like the next time Jaromir Jagr (a possible future HOF) steps on the ice the Islanders faithful should give him a standing ovation. I don't think by having the fans chant "You Suck" after a goal is going to give the franchise a black eye, the fans are the smallest problem when it comes to the Islanders franchise.

TPhilD said...

As far as rock and roll pt. 2 goes, it needs to go. It's been getting old for some time now. Besides that, does anyone realzie that Gary Glitter is in jail in Vietnam for child sexual abuse???? And he's been arrested before that for downloading child pornography?? For those two things alone, it should stop being played. As for the "you suck" chant, I have no problem with the word itself or at times being chanted, but I do think that it is over-used by most fans. At the end I sit for games, there is a certain group of guys that serenade the opposition goalie when he's at our end. Doesn't matter the score, or the goalie, they chant you suck. They really don't show a hell of a lot of intelligence in doing it. There's nothing you can do to ban it, but it still shows no brains in doing it.

enytnallab989 said...

Chris
Throughout the season I have found your blog insightful, expressing your opinion with as little bias as possible. I did not always agree with what you said but still found it to be well-written and informative. However, I am very upset with this post of yours.
I would first like to let you know that Loudville should not be blamed for this chant. I have been a season ticket holder in section 329 for the past two seasons and started it once I had season tickets. While it did not catch on completely right away, it finally has now, and a few fans seem livid. I started this chant and therefore I would like all the hatred people have for me to be emailed to islesbeaker329@yahoo.com. These people have been calling me classless, spoiled, and immature on several message boards and the comments left here today. Thank You, fellow fans. Now granted this is not anywhere near the best chant that has come out of section 329, but it is a little thing that we started that was able to catch on. This is also a typical sports chant- short, simple and catchy. This is not England where we create full blown songs and get 16,234 to sing along in unison(but it would be nice, I have some ideas). It has been hard enough getting 8,000 fans to chant “Lets go Islanders” in unison.
Secondly, if this chant really has as much hatred as people say, then why has it been so loud lately? It is great to hear a packed house chanting in unison. I am proud to here the coliseum rocking again. In the ‘80s players knew it would be a rough game at the old barn. Fans were dedicated. Fans Cared about there teams, made the place loud, had a good time, and did not worry the other teams or fans feelings after chanting you suck.
Let me tell you more about myself. Everyone who dislikes what I do in 329 seem to enjoy describing me as an immature kid who’s parents spoil him with season tickets and knows nothing about hockey; the kid who just gets drunk to scream throughout the game and the kid with the 5 foot beaker Muppet. Well, my name is John (I think I will withhold my late name just in case anyone attempts to kill me) and I attend St. John's University full time. I work 35-40 hours each week just to be able to purchase my own season tickets and not much else. Yes, I’ll enjoy one or two before the game, but there has on maximum been 3 occasions where someone in my section had been out of hand. And here’s the best part. We have a high school teacher that sits in our section and warns us when we go too rowdy with the chants.
As I have said, we know that the You Suck during the goal song chant isn’t the best or most original but it does the trick ans helps add a little oomph to the celebration. It gets the place loud and the other team looking around. While it is already loud for the most part when a goal is scored, the crowd’s adrenaline rush because of the goal is a great time to put a little dig into not only the opposing goalie but the whole team. No matter how professional you are, it will still be intimidating having a packed house chant at you. Not only opposing players will be intimidated but opposing fans as well. It happens too often that Islander fans have been out cheered by fans of the Rangers, Canadians, Maple Leafs, and Sabres in our own arena. Hopefully chants like these make us more unified in our own home.
People dislike that these game are having too much of a college atmosphere, however most of those seated around us (not students) believe this is more of a good thing. If you have ever been to a college game rooting for the visiting team, im sure you were somewhat intimidated and fully felt a home- court advantage. Our crowd is much less vulgar than college crowds and has very strict security (SMG) that insures it stays this way.
There have been a number of chants more classless than You Suck, yet there was no outrage about them ( Crack head Theo, If you know the Rangers Suck…, Jagr takes it up the A$$, A$$HOLE,WE SUCK in years past, Green SUCKS referring to Travis Green). Classless is also throwing bottles on the ice because of a referees call, not chanting you suck. .
If you really are against this chant then by all means stop chanting it, but the only way I will stop this chant is if the Islanders bring me on the road trip out west this week. I am a passionate fan who went to 45 islander games last year, and hopes to make it to 50 this season. There is no better feeling in life than celebrating a goal with people in my section that I have grown to know as family while singing our goal song followed by a shot of You Suck at the other team while they line up for the face off and look up, intimidated at the crowd.

Love,
Beaker and the members of Section 329

7th Woman said...

And the flood-gates shall open. You're a brave man CB.
Chanting "you s**k" has become part of the subculture of hockey. This is an arguement that has been getting press on both sides of the hockey border. Personally, I think it should be reserved only for teams who deserve the abuse, and that would be just one. But it is indeed difficult to change mob mentality.

asu89 said...

Chris, several people have said it already, The song itself needs to go, due to the child pornography issues of Gary Glitter. As for the obscenities after it, I am not for it, but it is not like someone throwing something on the ice. Not sure there is much you can do with it. It would be much better if the Isles can come up with something of their own, (i.e. the Whalers' Brass Bonanza, which I have as a ringtone) other than the overdone, Rock & Roll Pt. II

Aim said...

how about the guy that used to start this chant.....VANHELLOMEND YOU SUCK......VAN HELLOMEND YOU REALLY SUCK......VANHELLOMEND YOUR AN A$$HOLE.....heard for many years at NVMC with many names inserted funny thing is the guy who did the chant became a security guard and back in the 80's the coliseum chanted it then CHEERED it

Aim said...

oh btw the guy used to stand up and scream ON THREEEE.....1...2...3. that started the whole thing and everyone followed...any old timers remember that??

Aim said...

I also agree that when you cant SELL any tickets and cater to the young crowd this is what you are going to get That barn used to rock with HOCKEY fans now with all this other crap and the in between period circus acts this is what you will get when you target kids as your fan base. Also the scantly clad ice girls offend a lot of older female patrons at the coliseum will you stop doing that??? again the ice girls are a draw to the age group that the Islanders have targeted as their "fans" so it will stay. you guys need to BUILD A TEAM PROPERLY NOT THIS GET RID OF EVERYONE AND START OVER YEAR AFTER YEAR...I STILL CRINGE AT THE THOUGHT OF LUONGO IN NET HEATLEY AND SPEZZA UP FRONT CHARA ON D WITH ZAC PARISE ON A 2ND LINE THANKS MIKE M !!!! GET A GOOD TEAM YEAR AFTER YEAR AND THEN SELL HOCKEY NOT CIRCUS ACTS!!!!

biglum305 said...

CB,

I understand your postion and your job, but I dont think its politically correct that yourself, or the organization can tell the fans can or cannot do. I mean of course with the exception of criminal acts or throwing bottles on the ice(which some people seem to ignore).

"Beaker" hit it on the head with his response. Whats the difference between saying "you suck" during the HEY SONG, or saying it during the Chicken Dance or If Your Happy and You Know it song? Are you guys gonna get rid of that too???? We BARELY use the Chicken Dance. Except when we play the Rangers..(Thanks for nothing NYI.) And now just because a "few" fans dont like "you suck" you want to get rid of the HEY SONG! Im 25 years old...If you guys decide to takeaway the "HEY SONG" Im sure us "kids" will find something else thats "vulgar." I pay MY Money to goto an Islander game, be loud and say whatever I want to say because I can, its my right. I didnt pay to sit at a hockey game that sounds like a libray.

You "adults" can call us "kids" classless, stupid, immature etc. but hey, we are Islander Fans.

-Anthony aka DF5

kevlar91 said...

Hey Chris, I'm the guy you met at champions. my complaint is I don't understand how this organization can put on their website to give Blake a standing O when the guy played just over 5 seasons here and never won a thing, plus he left for more money and more years. I understand players do that, but this organization treated him great, his 1st year they let him leave and be with his wife with games left becasue she was sick. In the postion the isles have been in since 1994 they shouldn't be telling what few loyal fans they have what to do, just my opinion.

biglum305 said...

CB

Just re-read your blog. I apologize for the begining of my comment...I re-read your blog after stating my comments.

avcbyr said...

For me, it's not the phrase that's bothersome (I couldn't care less what's shouted at games); it's that at a time when the crowd should be celebrating something good for the team, they are more focused on the opponents.

And like a few people said above, making any sort of negative remarks about a team that is winning big is not just childish but embarrassing whether or not the majority of the crowd goes along.

Kameron said...

I came home from college and went to my first islander game in months, they won in overtime against washington and i just couldnt bring myself to scream "HEY" at the top of my lungs because i noticed the "you ----" after all the previous goals.

i complained about the chant to my dad, a die hard islander fan who had season tickets from 76-89 and he agreed with me, the new chant has no place in the nassau coliseum.

i'm very happy to see so much opposition to this new chant, and i look forward to returning from college spring break and watching the islanders score goals in the playoffs without hearing hey you ----

Mtosner said...

"YOU SUCK" only adds stupidity and negativity to the atmosphere at the coliseum. The goal chant was already the liveliest time of the Islander games. It needed nothing. IMO: It's classless, it takes away from the positive energy and celebration of the moment, and it diminishes our ability to attract marque talent. It's not that this is on par with the beer bottle throwing but the two both indicators of deteriorating fan behavior. I can accept the occasional derogatory chant when a negative event occurs (bad call, cheap hit) but institutionalized classless and stupid behavior I can not.

I Just recently moved back to LI from PA. Even the Three years I spent in PA I had a 10-15 game package and made the 2+ hour drive just to get to games and I recently wrote this letter to the Islanders last week:

When did "loudville" become "loutville"
The "you suck" addition to the goal chant is classless, and embarrassing. Your team just scored a goal, what’s with the negativity and derision? I’ll boo a bad call or a dirty hit but other than that I try to positively support my team. I’ve been a package holder for over ten years and won’t be buying one next year, because of the behavior of my fellow fans. Maybe it’s time for management to change the goal music or something. It's sad that the thing I used to enjoy most about Islanders games has been so tarnished.

Maybe My problem is that I'm a fan of people first, the game second, and my team third. We should ask ourselves if our actions.

JCem99 said...

How can the You Suck chant be discouraged when it was okay at tonight's game for Pat Sajak to say Rangers suck. There was also a recorded video footage of Denis Potvin at a ceremony saying who sucks. I guess mocking Rangers fans. If the Islanders don't want the word "suck" being used, they shouldn't use it or encourage it.

cb172422 said...

I dont know how many of you guys were at the game tonight vs the panthers, but i am a season ticket holder and have been with my mom and sister for years. My point here is that tonight during one of the tv timeouts, they broadcasted a clip of Dennis Potvin at the coliseum asking the crowd "how many cups" ...four. "who sucks?"..the rangers. Now if our own Islanders legends are saying it, and clearly have been for years why is this a problem now? AND another point was that even PAT SAJACK from wheel of fortune was at the game and made the comment 'rangers suck'. Its part of the Islanders history of saying suck. whether its about the rangers or to any other team after we score a goal. i'm sure the players dont take it on a personal level, they are professional athletes. i'm sure they can handle it.