July 24, 2014
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Games at ‘The Ritter’: Almost like a ‘Party in the U.S.A.’ Campus life, Sports

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?

RIT’s Corner Crew

RIT’s Corner Crew

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!

 
  1. omar
    Dec 13

    I was at the game last night, and was also thinking about the music. I prefer the songs to the pep band, but was thinking about how they should refresh their library of song clips. As for their abrupt endings, I'd think it would be hard to fix that, because they don't know how long each stoppage of play will last (except for tv timeouts).

    I was a student at Penn State when the basketball team moved from a very small gym to a new, large arena. In the first season, the atmosphere in the large arena was SO much less energetic, it was almost sad. But within a couple of seasons, enough new students and fans who never knew the old gym came in, and the new arena ended up having just as much energy. That's the beauty of making changes like this on a college campus, I guess.

  2. Paul Stella
    Dec 14

    Well summarized there, Miley! :)

  3. Mike Saffran
    Dec 14

    I agree, Omar—timing is an issue. I think they should have some short “hooks” and some lengthier ones always at the ready. And when the music must be stopped when play resumes, it should be quickly faded down (“pot it down,” in radio parlance, referring to a potentiometer controlling volume)—rather than abruptly cut off, as now happens.

  4. David Page
    Dec 15

    Most every college sport is more exciting than its pro counterpart, which brings up the point that two equally matched teams at any level provide a better experience than a group of over-talented but under enthused “pros.” A vocal, imaginative and involved crowd adds to the show. Constantly yelling, "You Suck," however, is totally unimaginative and self serving. It diminishes really funny/pointed barbs and offends tiger fan families more than the other team. I hope that the corner crowd, which is a real asset, can clean up its act in this area because when you act that way “Yoou really suck.” :-) The RIT Tiger (ret) PH-66

  5. Mike Saffran
    Dec 17

    Regarding Corner Crew, I don’t disagree with you, David.

  6. Mike Saffran
    Dec 22

    And, to make John Follaco happy, how about Britney Spears’ new one, “3,” upon the Tigers scoring their third goal of the night. (No matter what the score—as long as the Tigers are leading—3-0, 3-1 or 3-2. It would sound great!)

  7. Dan Christner
    Jan 12

    After reading your Tiger Beat Blog about the music at the Ritter, I noticed they are updating their music selection a little more each game. Nice work!

  8. Mike Saffran
    Jan 12

    Thanks, Dan. I noticed the same thing at this past Saturday's game: I heard “I Gotta Feeling” and “Empire State of Mind” for the first time ever in the Ritter—and I thought both sounded great! They still seem a tad gun-shy, though, when it comes to what some might term “bubblegum” pop (Britney, Miley, Iyaz)—yet, strangely, they seem to have no problem with “YMCA” (definitely not the ‘manliest’ of songs, either!).

  9. Belina Hooper
    Jan 14

    Mike, I'm on the women's hockey team, and Yes, I have to agree with everything you are saying. Even with us on the ice it's nice to hear some hot hits here and there. To be honest with you, it spices things up on the bench too. (We do, in fact, like to dance, bob our heads, and sing on the bench believe it or not). Not only that, but I also stand with the corner crew during the men's games. Everybody knows we like to be heard and we have our chants, too. The pep band is nice, and maybe, just maybe, if there are new hit songs that get played, maybe will have some new 'hit' chants. Who knows what we'll do :)

  10. Mike Saffran
    Jan 14

    Thanks, Belina. I’ve mentioned to a couple people that we should check out a women’s game sometime—I’ve heard great things! Good luck this weekend against Oswego!

  11. B D
    Mar 30

    For recommending "Party in the USA" you have forfeit and and all license to suggest what songs should be played. What's next, the Jonas brothers? We're not trying to make the other team feel at home here.

  12. Mike Saffran
    Jan 14

    Two-plus years later...here’s another song suggestion: How GREAT would Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” sound after the Tigers score?? :-)

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OnnDqH6Wj8

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