Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Hooligans (NSFW Language)

I was reading a Cracked article about crazy sports traditions, including the chants faced by anyone who steps into University of Michigan's ice rink. If people think Michigan hockey fans are bad, they should take a trip down south for one of my university's home hockey games. Our fans may not know much about the sport in general, but we (myself included) are vicious.

Games are at midnight (read: basically everyone shows up drunk). The rink is small so you're right on top of the opposing players, which is intimidating as hell to them. Once they get over that, the fun begins. They drop the gloves and take cheap shots. They get pissed because even when their team is pounding us into the ground, they cannot shut us up. Our fans will scream themselves hoarse until the game is over.

I grew up in a hockey loving household, raised from birth as a New Jersey Devils fan. I learned the basic strategies of the sport watching the NHL and a now-defunct minor league team. I fell in love with the beauty, the brutality, and the traditions. When I got to college, I became friends with half the club hockey roster through classes and other student organizations. Going to our games is the best form of therapy/stress relief I've ever found. It's amazing how much better I feel after sitting with my friends and screaming profanities for 2-3 hours.

I'm part of a large group of fans known on campus as the Hockey Hooligans. We all sit together at games, get rowdy, and lead the crowd in chants. Favorites include: "Fucked your mom!", "bitch! bitch! bitch!," "you can't do that" on penalty calls, and "Hey, (insert opponent's name/number), why don't you (insert sex act here)?" Then there's the chant directed at the opposing goalie when we score:

(To the tune of "Rock and Roll: Part 2")
E! K! U!

But before you think we're a bunch of uncouth, bloodthirsty rednecks, watch this video of our much tamer (but just as fun) game night tradition that accompanies the arrival of the Zamboni.