There’s a lot of ground to cover today, what with tonight’s matchup between the Flames and Blues, Roman Horak being recalled, the idiotic drivel belched out by Rhett Warrener about Jarome Iginla, and the corresponding croneyism by the media proleteriat in this city upholding it.
Certainly, there is a veritable buffet of Calgary Flame related tedium to load up our plates with, but save some room for dessert, friends, because today we’re going to delve deeper into a topic we can all relate to, one that seems to resonate with everyone, based on the response it gets whenever we bring it up.
That, of course, is this whole business of your Calgary Flames and their goal song.
A Word on Taste
If you’re a long time reader of the blog (we thak you for that!), you’ll know that this is not new territory for us. Indeed, this is common ground for anyone who has been wearing a Flaming C on their hearts for at least the last couple of seasons.
You’ll recall that the article was essentially a joint panel consisting of Arik, Vintage Flame, and myself, and we all boldly asserted our takes on what we think the lucky tune should that reverberates across an elated Saddledome whenever the local heroes find twine. Then, at the end, in the sea of comments where only the bravest of the brave ever dare, we opened it up to you, the fine Citizens of Flames Nation, to weigh in as well.
The results gleaned from this experiment was a vast and disparate range of musical tastes, styles, and choice, and different philosophies on what the goal song should MEAN made for a really ecclectic mix.
This is the problem.
While in any society it is often preferable to have differing opinions and alternate viewpoints, as these are the very things that weave the fabric of a functioning democracy, the things that assert a culture. But in practice, at least on matters that are significantly less important, the voice of the people does not represent the greater good. This is most definitely true in this case.
With a wide array of musical styles and a glut of options for songs, to choose but ONE composition to represent the Calgary Flames fanbase is an excercise in futility. You just can’t do it. This is why this time, this article is not an interactive, let’s choose a song format. We tried that. It doesn’t work. Obviously, you’re free to chime in your own preferences in the comments section, but let’s look at some examples of types of Flames fans and their own musical appetence.
Many of you, in conversations I’ve had on the subject over the past year, tend to want something Rammstein-ey, something loud, something terrifying, something you can do shots of absynthe to and terrorize your elderly neighbours with.
Some of you would like to see the team prop up the city’s longstanding love for Country music, and all the twang and cowboy boots that go along with it.
Some people want something poppy, akin to Barbara Streisand just not, Barbara Streisand. ANYTHING but Barbara Streisand.
Some of you want Nickelback.
Some of you, clearly, have terrible taste in music.
I maintain that a great song would be Hellfire by the Cunninlynguists, but I accept the fact that Calgary is not a hip hop town, and that now many of you are too questioning my own taste in music, which I assure you is both varied and exquisite, but I realize that a hip hop anthem is not destined for the Calgary Flames.
You see the problem. THIS is the reason WHY we have Duck Sauce, an anathema to our joy, haunting our nightmares when we sleep. We can’t ever choose anything that will make all of us happy. But we CAN choose something that the majority hates.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
It’s why we are where we’re at. I think most of us can agree the goal song has to go. There’s a small majority of people who inexplicably like it (right, Torie Peterson?), but for the most part, those of us sitting inside the Dome recoil in embarrassment when the Flames score (WHEN THE FLAMES SCORE!!!), and the fact that the only lyrics to the song are literally "BARBARA STREISAND" makes the team a bit of a laughing stock.
The problem is, the Flames are scoring this year, especially at home. In 7 contests this season where the Flames have played host, they have scored 22 goals, or, if you prefer, 3.14 goals per game. If you extrapolate those numbers over the course of the shortened season (save for regression and whatnot), you’re looking at roughly 75 home goals in 24 games. If you’re able to listen to Duck Sauce approximately 53 more times, be my guest, but the rest of us are all going to start bringing our iPods to games. Maybe that at least woud illicit a more boisterous response from a usually passive Calgary crowd. Worth a shot, anyway.
No one knows why this is our plight, why the team is doing this to us, save for maybe Geordie McLeod or Ken King, or maybe Murray Edwards just really loves the song, I don’t know. There’s never been any real explanation for it, because, well, when has anyone ever demanded to know why an arena PA guy plays the songs that he plays?
There’s been theories. The prevailing one I’ve heard is that it’s designed to shame the road team. "Hey, Dallas, we just scored on you 7 times, feel bad while we blast your earholes with this grating, repetitive loop of a song over and over". Which is a fine idea on paper, until you realize that it’s the home faithful that have to be subjected over and over and over again to this tripe, and if it’s designed to make one group of people hate it, wouldn’t there be potential for it to evoke similar emotions from the rest of us?
Because that’s what happened.
So Whatcha Want?
So this means to effectively come up with a suitable goal song (which, I don’t know, can we?), there needs to be a certain criteria met to best envelope the wants and needs of an admittedly divided and diverse fanbase. It’s a little bit restrictive, but, alas, it has to be.
To me, a goal song needs to be the following:
- It has to illicit a positive response. Your team just scored a goal, this is obvious.
- It should be catchy, easily stuck in your head. (Barbara Streisand does indeed do this, but shut up forever)
- It needs to be fan friendly, meaning relatively inoffensive. That’s a tall order, because in general, people are idiots and will be offended by anything
Lastly, if a goal song is meant to be this big, monumental, tradition of a thing, it needs to be something you can build a small legacy around. It needs to be something that when you hear it, you need to think "hey, the Flames just scored"…and that’s when you hear it ANYWHERE, not just at the Dome.
As an example, what do you think of whenever you hear the Chelsea Dagger? Exactly.
That’s a perfect archetype, because it helps define the Blackhawks fans. Their fans love it, we all hate it, and it resonates that way. And it does away with all these things we think a goal song needs: in the Flames case, it’s not something that needs to be by a local artist, have anything about fire, or hell, or anything particularly incendiary, it just needs to be good. We already have songs with that particular imagery for when the Flames come out for their warmup, and for when they win a game. The goal song has every opportunity to be different.
Which, admittedly, it is right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not garbage.
We can fix it. Let’s fix it.