Everything Else

With the Hawks’ first trip into Music City tonight, and the fact that it’s a nationally televised game on NBCSN, you can be sure it won’t take more than three or four minutes before you hear A. just how loud the building is for a regular season game, B. how loud it was during the playoffs last year when the Hawks got swept. Gee, doesn’t it seem like every year the broadcasters are telling us this is the loudest building they can remember in all their years? We wouldn’t put it past hockey media to have lost their memories through various braincell-damaging activities, but it does seem a coincidence.

And you will hear the noise through your screen. You can’t escape it. And by the second intermission, you might start feeling bad about yourself, whatever the score. And you won’t know why. You’ll ponder, because maybe you had a good day today and were feeling particularly good when you got home from work. You thought you looked particularly good today. Maybe you finished some project that had been taking forever, or your least favorite coworker got fired or you confirmed a pretty hot date for later in the week. So why all of the sudden are you feeling so unsure of yourself?

And then you’ll realize it’s because you’ve spent the previous hour, hour and a half listening to 18,000 people repeatedly and constantly telling you that you suck. And maybe they weren’t directly talking to you, but hearing it over and over again and you can’t help but take it on yourself. After a while the question will be unavoidable: “Do I, in fact, suck?”

That’s what happens when watching games at Bridgestone Arena. A constant hum telling you that you suck. No matter the score, no matter the chant, no matter the time. YOU SUCK. It never stops. So much suckage. You thought you had it figured out, but no. The yellow-clad throng has convinced you that yes, Virginia, you suck.

And what’s more exasperating is that the only time the Predators fans don’t yell, “You suck!” is when the organist is playing WWE’s Kurt Angle’s theme. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHEN YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO THAT!

While we love the unique and boisterous atmosphere at Predators’ games, perhaps we can expand our taunts to something more than two words, one involving “suck?” Are we asking too much? Yes, we know this is the limitation of North American fan culture. And hockey media is blown away by anything other than “Go Leafs Go!” We get it.

You have the power, Cellblock 303. You’re Music City for fuck’s sake. Can’t you introduce a song or two to your crowd? We just can’t suck anymore.

Game #24 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups And How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

The Stanley Cup Final’s first visit to Music City resulted in the largest explosion of think pieces from national hockey writers expressing amazement that anywhere below the 49th could show such passion for the sport. It was rather hilarious in its naivety and its patronization. But that’s kind of what the hockey media specializes in these days.

This blog followed the Hawks down to Nashville in 2012. Neither of those versions of those teams were all that impressive. The Hawks got smoked by the Preds that night, as Corey Crawford delved into his one and only case of the yips in his career. And we all had a blast down there. It didn’t matter. It’s amazing what happens when you put an arena right in the middle of everything, especially in a place like Nashville which never needs an excuse for a drink and a time.

There’s a reason so many Hawks fans flocked there that they had to try and put in rules to stem the tide. And it’s not because Nashville is all that close. It’s because it’s been that much fun for a really long time now.

Everything Else

I get that trying to support the Nashville Predators this spring has been a tricky proposition. There’s always a bit of angst about the team that knocked you out. Thankfully that’s been somewhat mitigated by their next two opponents being two teams I can’t stand, and I know I’m not alone.

There’s obviously the bigger, much bigger, that this was the organization that stood behind and re-signed Mike Ribeiro, and also employed Mike Fisher and his non-stop bible-waving arm. So I get that, too. God knows if you’re a Hawks fan you’ve dealt with enough conflict in your hearts to add any more to it.

And yet I find myself drawn to the Predators’ run here, not just because of PK Subban or Ryan Johansen simply caving in Kesler’s skull while calling him out on it, though those certainly help.

It’s the noise coming through my TV.