It seems that the new players and the new ownership aren’t the only new things in New Jersey for the 2013-2014 hockey season. After newcomer Damien Brunner scored the Devils’ first goal of the season in New Jersey on Friday night, against the New York Islanders, the Devils faithful were introduced to their team’s new goal song: This Is Our House by New Jersey native Bon Jovi. I’ve never heard so much boo’ing in a stadium after the home team scores. Devils fans weren’t boo’ing for the goal, but rather showing their intense displeasure for the replacement of the fan-engaging goal song that used to be: Rock ‘n Roll Part II by Garry Glitter. The normal “Hey’s” from the crowd have been replaced with the potential for “Woah’s” with the change to the new song but more importantly the Devils ownership have hopefully replaced the poor sportsmanship surrounding their new team’s old goal song. Devils fans, for a long time, have taken it upon themselves to add “You suck!” into Rock ‘n Roll Part II, removing the family friendly experience in some people’s eyes. Despite facilitating the tradition, myself, for years, I have to agree that this change is for the best.
I have to admit I was extremely disappointed when I heard the displeasure of the crowd on Friday night. I understand that change, after years of having the same goal song, will rarely be taken well but I know it was merely the chance to scream “You suck!” that the fans missed. Have the Devils faithful really become so dependent on tasteless traditions that they would ‘boo’ after their own team scores, rather than quickly invent a new creative way to get involved? Perhaps I’m expecting too much, but I can’t say it didn’t bother me. I hope that Devils fans can find a way to tastefully embrace the new goal song so that everyone feels comfortable coming to games and everyone can enjoy the hopefully frequent occurrence of “This Is Our House” filling up the Prudential Center.