So, the Devils changed their goal song last night and Devils fans were none too happy about it.
A few minutes into the home opener on Friday night against the New York Islanders, Damien Brunner punched in a loose puck and set the Prudential Center on fire. Only to have it turn to boos moments later.
Bon Jovi’s “This Is Our House” hit the loudspeakers and Devils fans were baffled and began to boo after the song ended.
Still, fans took it upon themselves to sing a portion of Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part II” and chanted “Hey, You Suck!” afterwards. They even amassed a “Change It Back” chant.
There had been rumors during the preseason, originally mentioned by Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record, that the Devils were going to change the goal song.
It seems pretty certain that new ownership had some say in changing the tune, perhaps to make it more of a family show.
There is great debate to this. It seems most fans are angry about the change, while some don’t mind the switch. Let’s take a comprehensive look at things.
“Rock and Roll Part II” has been a part of Devils lore since the squad came to New Jersey. While it was a simple “Hey!” response for its first 20-some years, a select amount of Devils fans began to add “You Suck” to the chant after the 2004-05 lockout. It really started to pick up steam the next several years and by the time the Devils came to Prudential Center, it became well known around the arena with most everyone taking part.
Some love it. They think it intimidates the goaltender and other team and that it brings Devils fans together. Others hate it. They think it’s classless and adds to the poor reputation of the fanbase. Who is right? Who is wrong? There is no correct answer.
Let’s get one thing straight. It’s one thing to protest the new song, but BOOING after the Devils score a goal, for any reason, is really silly. Do the chant and chant “Change it Back” or anything, but booing after the New Jersey Devils take the lead in a hockey game makes it seem like Devils fans are more worried about their goal song than success on the ice. Awkward.
I would tend to agree that it is the Devils' song. They were the first professional sports team to use it and it really gained a lot of traction over time.
Devils fans have brought back the song once before; it certainly can be done again. With all the publicity Gary Glitter was getting a few years ago (for all the wrong reasons), the Devs did away with the song and changed it to “Ole” by the Bouncing Souls. It held for a while but not too long after that, RRP2 came back. The team used a version that wouldn’t pay any royalties to Gary Glitter. Boom. Win, win.
There appears to be a shift in thought; that Devils games need to become somewhat more family friendly. And from a business standpoint, it makes great sense. Devils fans aren’t going to stop buying tickets because of a goal song. It may make for a more family-friendly atmosphere, which they can sell and market to parents with younger children. I also can’t think ownership is thrilled about the other chant that’s done…you know, the one that says the Philadelphia Flyers consume certain fluids? It is crude, there’s no denying that. No parent should ever have to a field a question about that topic from their eight-year-old son or daughter.
I even saw a few people saying the Devils won three Cups with the song and that they shouldn’t change it. Really? First of all, Gary Glitter didn’t score two goals in Game 7 or net an overtime winner. If we want to get real ridiculous, let’s break down that silly notion; the Devils haven’t won anything since fans started adding “You Suck” to the original chant. Sorry to break the bad news, if that’s an angle people are actually arguing.
Perhaps there can be a happy medium though. Instead of having it said a few times with the song, how about getting one, loud, arena-wide scream of it after Kevin Clark finishes his goal announcement?
“This Is Our House” may not catch on. It’s tough to chant along to it. They may do another voting contest like they did eight years ago. How about Rob Zombie’s “Super Charger Heaven”? Maybe the old Devils theme song “Hey Devils, Catch Fire”?
As a personal idea for a midway meeting point, I said to a buddy the other day that they should just hit the goal horn another four times to anger the heck out of the opposing team. That would be pretty original.
At the end of the day, it’s a song. If the Devils go on a seven-game winning streak with Bon Jovi blaring several times a night, is it really worth getting worked up about it?
Sure, Devils ownership was outside cutting ribbons to new attractions in Championship Plaza and dropping the ceremonial puck on Opening Night. But in their first day with truly connecting with fans, they took something away from Devils crazies that they love…their long-time goal song.
Will it last? Stay tuned…