Alright, Nashville Predator fans; this discussion is long overdue. Can we all agree that it’s right to retire our version of the “Hey Song”? This song is worn out, and our take on it makes us look childlike and foolish. Unfortunately, it plays into every stereotype that the rest of the hockey world has towards the south. They view us as hockey illiterates who drop the moonshine and lucky strikes for a few hours to make the trek “into town” to watch hockey because football season is over. What have we done to prove them wrong? Our arena is loudest when Tootoo or some other goon is fighting an opponent bare fisted, or when we score and we have thousands of people chanting “you suck” to the other team. It’s embarrassing.
Cheering for fights does not label a city as redneck or classless on it’s own. If that were the case, there would be 30 cities with terrible reputations. It is other happenings or fringe events that go above and beyond cheering for fighting that earn distinctive reputations like that.
For instance: Philadelphians booing Santa Clause or self-inducing a vomit attack on
a child; Montreal fans booing the United States’ national anthem and then rioting
and destroying portions of their city because they advanced past the first round;
Oakland Raider fans for being, well, Oakland Raider fans; Nashville Predator fans
for chanting “you suck” in one form or another 4 times per goal each home game.
This act is getting incredibly old. I think it’s time we graduate from the tradition and
become the respectable, urbane city all Nashvillians know we are.
This song was banned from the University of Maryland in 2004 for adding the “you suck” to the end of every line. If an institute of higher learning has the foresight and intelligence to ban its student body from using the song and chant, shouldn’t Nashville take the cue and do the same? The organization bills itself as a family friendly atmosphere, and for the most part, I would agree that they have done a superb job fostering that environment. But I submit that this song goes against everything we try to promote as a city.
Momentarily ignoring the fact that “The Hey Song” was made a hit by a well known
child molester, I think the animus displayed during the song is disturbing and very
family un-friendly. My mother would have slapped my mouth if I told someone that
they sucked in high school, and we have 6 and 7 year olds screaming it at the top of
their lungs. Is this the lasting image you want representing Nashville to the rest of
the NHL? 17,000 fans screaming “you suck” in unison?
I happen to think we are much better than that.
I am in online marketing and communications in the Nashville area, and I see a fantastic opportunity for the organization to make a change to the song while engaging the fans simultaneously. Have the fans vote on a new song to celebrate goals. Narrow the field down to 5 or 6 songs, and debut each song during a game next season. The fans can vote on which song they like best, and the problem is solved. Heck, even have Tim McGraw sing another ditty. But no more children screaming, “you suck” like a pack of rabid wolves. Please…
The organization has made great strides to put a world-class hockey team out on the ice for Nashville. This has caused the hockey world to turn their focus on Nashville, both as a team and a city. I think it’s time we take a stand as a fanbase to reciprocate our organization’s commitment to excellence and represent our city and team with class. It begins with the end of this juvenile tradition.