Thursday, July 10, 2008

Maple Leafs: Time to Face the Music

This morning at breakfast the iPod wasn't charged and I was too slow getting to the radio so I got stuck listening to some really bad music.

As Drive My Soul played in the background (gack!) it struck me that if the Toronto Maple Leafs really want to change their culture, if they really want a fresh start in 2008-'09, a public execution of the MLSE employee in charge of the in-game music programming at the ACC is as good a first step as any. (And how perfect would it be if it turned out Peddie or Tannenbaum was the one that picked Enter Sandman for the Leafs to skate out to?)

Is there anyone out there who thinks the Leafs need to play three Metallica songs each and every night? Does anyone at the game think Marilyn Manson, Bay City Rollers and Wolfmother=hockey? And does Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400 really say "Toronto Maple Leafs score!" or does it just say: "I could be at any sporting event at any arena in North America."

As an aside, if Stephen Harper really wants a majority government I think the perfect way to harvest support in vote-rich Ontario is to formally ban The Final Countdown (with a full exemption for magicians) and then move on to Cotton Eyed Joe.

Maybe the Leafs need to take a page out of the Jays' playbook (as long as it's not the "missing the playoffs for 15 years" one) and have each Leaf pick their equivalent of the Jays at-bat music. When that Leaf scores, the ACC would play his tune.

The good: seeing the reaction to a Boyd Devereuax goal when one of the artists on his record label get some prime time play down at the ACC.

The bad: about six to eight times a year, we'd see Jason Blake first pump to something like Slowride by Foghat and odds are one of Poni, Grabovski or Antropov would pick Dragostea Din Tei (aka the Numa Numa dance) for their song...(You just know Stajan would pick some emo number and if Steen went with Abba, I'd trade him).

As someone who hasn't bought a new release since M. Ward's Post-War in 2006, I may not be ideally positioned to suggest an alternate play list for Maple Leaf games at the ACC, but anything (anything!) has to be better than the gratuitous use of Nickel Back, Def Leppard, and Linkin Park...


  1. Anonymous4:10 pm

    I totally agree, the music selection at the ACC is pretty dire.. For one thing it's completely ruined "Hot for Teacher" (Oh noez! scored on again?!)

    Personally I would like to see NHL arenas move back to the old-school organ tunes. Stuff to get the crowd clapping along with, get them pumped!

  2. I used to love the old Gardens, with the pre-intermission announcements followed by:

    "And now, Jimmy Holmstrom at the organ..."

    ... and a seven minute medley of "Jump" and "Smoke On The Water".

  3. LFiV - My love of Diamond Dave Van Halen has no limits (but I would like to hear another song - or just plain old silence) when the other team scores.

    DGB Wow. That comment brought back some long buried memories of games at MLG. It made me realize how much I really miss Paul Morris (and being able to get Greys from a scalper for $20 to $30). I think an argument could be made that Morris, not Bowen or Cole, really was the voice of the Leafs.

  4. I loved Paul Morris.

    Everyone remembers the monotone, but I enjoyed how he would always announce every penalty individually. There was none of this "Domi and Brashear, five each for fighting" nonsense. He would announce everything. And back in the Norris days, sometimes that would take a while.

    I still remember him announcing Dave Manson's penalties from the infamous Leeman/Savard brawl. "... a game misconduct (crowd cheers)... a second game misconduct (crowd cheers louder) ... a third game misconduct (crowd goes crazy)".

    I miss him. Yet another piece of the Leafs soul ripped out when they moved to the ACC.

  5. Anonymous4:18 pm

    Mike, I would hate to be stuck on a plane with just your iPod. It's obvious that our musical tastes are so divergent that I would be forced to throw myself out of the plane.

    Enter Sandman is an awesome song and works perfectly for the Leafs' entry onto the ice.

  6. DGB Your smoke on the water reference takes me all the way back to being a kid, sitting in the greens with my dad. I was always torn at intermission as part of me wanted to hit those narrow corridors where the concessions were (maybe get a little wooden stick with those great foam pucks or a post card of Mike Palmateer) but I didn't want to miss one second of the game. Inertia usually won and I'd sit and watch the lone zamboni circle the ice while keeping an eye on those cool out of town scoreboard signs.

  7. Paul - Full disclosure: my iPod actually has Motorhead covering Enter Sandman, so you'd have at least one track to listen to (and lots more if you could find some love in your heart for the Replacements).

    Enter Sandman is an ok song, I just think it's time for something new down at the ACC - something that's more unique to Toronto, the Leafs or even hockey might be nice.

  8. The best part about intermission was going to get an order of Gardens nachos. They'd douse the chips with that cheese-ish substance, then let you scoop your own salsa and jalapenos. These days you get pre-packaged crap. Makes sense, there's probably a 0.1% higher profit margin on those.

  9. (Yes, I just wrote a comment about how the nachos were better in the old days. Hello, I'm DGB and I'm 100 years old.)

  10. Anonymous1:16 pm

    NOTHING is better than gratuitous use of Nickelback.


  11. anonymous - I don't mean to be a dumb guy, but by nothing do you mean:
    1. not one thing, e.g. of all the things on earth there is not one thing that is better than the gratuitous use of Nickelback


    2. Nothing, as in silence or a void?

    I'm in full agreement if it's definition #2 and slightly troubled if it's #1

  12. For the record, Staffan Kronwall actually has strong ties to ABBA (his dad was their manager).

  13. Actually, upon reflection, it's a moot point as he'll never score a goal in the ACC.

  14. Hmm...I'm not sure how long ago you've posted this but it's been a while since they player enter sandman as the intro song. One thing I've been trying to figure out is the name of the Tragically Hip song they play during the game at the ACC. Driving me nuts trying to find it. Anyone's answer would really be appreciated.