I wholeheartedly agree with Joe’s recent post, Is college hockey becoming more exciting than the NHL? From the fan perspective, Tigers games at “The Ritter” are something special:
• Every seat is on top of the action. (If it’s ever decided to expand Ritter, or to build a new arena—either might be justified—I hope that RIT doesn’t go too big and wind up losing the intimacy of Ritter.)
• Bright lights and cool temperature—the latter is a plus, I believe, as it adds to the ambiance. (Heck, it’s warmer in Blue Cross Arena than it is in my living room—and that’s just not right!)
• Sellout (or near-sellout), high-energy crowds for nearly every game
• The pep band!
• Exciting action
My only ‘pet peeves’ (what would a blog post be without some ranting and raving?) are the following (well known to those who sit near me during games):
• Why can’t the referees be miked (just like the professionals)? While I’ve gotten better, I—and many casual fans, I’m sure—don’t know all the signals. The technology is available—why not use it?
• Tigers, please wear your orange jerseys at home!
And my biggest ‘pet peeve’:
• Ritter audio. I am not referring to Rocky (who does an stellar job), but, rather, to the poor use of song snippets (in my opinion). Setting aside, for a moment, that I much prefer hearing the pep band, and maybe it’s just me, but I find it almost unbearable the way song snippets are used during Tigers games. My advice:
• Stick to playing song “hooks” (typically the refrain)
• For heaven’s sake, don’t cut them off so abruptly! (I find this especially irksome because I know—as an old radio guy—that it is incredibly easy to create five or 10-second “hooks” that quickly fade up and out.)
• Also, by the way, new music has been recorded this decade. Though “YMCA” and other moldy oldies might be occasional crowd pleasers (but annoying to some)…try this old radio pearl of wisdom: play the hits!
Even at my age, I occasionally catch the weekly countdown shows on the top-40 stations—and I could pick out hooks from a dozen contemporary songs that would sound GREAT during hockey games. Just for starters:
• Tigers score? “Party in the U.S.A.” or “I Gotta Feeling” (“tonight’s gonna be a good, good night”)
• Opponent headed to the penalty box? “Evacuate the Dancefloor”
• Annoying media timeouts or other delays? “Fireflies” (“planet Earth turns slowly”)
• And, how great would “Empire State of Mind” sound, no matter the situation?
Even in defeat, though, Saturday night’s game against Niagara was fun to watch, and all in all, despite my quibbles, games in “The Ritter” are always a good, good time. So, kudos to RIT Athletics for putting on a great show every time!