Kamis, 05 Februari 2009

Warm-up Music

Some of my fondest memories of hockey in my younger days had nothing to do with actual hockey. I always enjoyed the times when we had to choose our warm-up music. The amount of time spent and the number of arguments had when choosing which songs played while you stretched on the home sheet seem excessive now but back in the day there was nothing more important. Seriously, this was the warm-up! It set the tone for the game and the rest of the season. If you play some shitty music in the shoot-around you might as well start the game down a man. I don’t know why this is on my mind but here are some scattered thoughts on the subject.

Keep in mind that the warm-up music is what you play when you are out taking shots, stretching and getting the blood flowing. The music that you come out to is what’s playing when you hit the ice at the start of the game or periods.

In HS we had a pre-game skate in just bottoms where we played whatever CD the captain was feeling that day. Then we had the warm-up where we played the most aggressive music mix that 20 kids can think of and when we came out to start the game we played the Brass Bonanza. Our goaltender was a huge Whaler fan and this was his way of keeping the dream alive. The songs we warmed up to were constantly changing but the Brass Bonanza was a fixture.

In college we came on the ice in the 3rd period to Baba O'Riley by the Who. To this day I cannot hear the Brass Bonanza or Baba O’Riley without shaking and getting the urge to bite flesh. A few weeks ago I was on the subway to work when my ipod shuffled to Baba and by the time the song ended I had sprinted up the side of my building to get to my desk.

I don’t think the songs were pumping me up back then. I think it was more the fact that I was 18 and a complete lunatic and these songs were playing in the background while I was already pumped up. Back then I didn’t need music to get me ready to play. You could have played the theme to Reading Rainbow and I still would have been a Double Dragon renegade. Times have changed. The other night I fell asleep in the cab on the way to my men’s league game. It was 8:30 at night. Where did the fire go?

Enter Sandman was a great warm-up song back in the day but it’s so tired now. If you team is rocking out to that now it just shows that you have no imagination and are most likely starting a goalie in Aeroflex pads and a waffle.

That being said I have no problem with some classic rock in the warm-up mix. If a team wants to go back to Unchained by Van Halen or Ace of Spades by Motorhead or some ACDC then God bless. They don’t make cups big enough for the team that comes out to Ace of Spades.

Can we stop with the techno music? In HS we briefly used some Prodigy for the warm-up. It worked for a while but weird, frenzied house music never worked for anyone. Techno in the warm-up is a major problem in hockey as far as I’m concerned. It is not as bad as frosted tips but we are monitoring the situation closely.

Save the Eminem warm-up mix for women’s basketball. If it pumps your team up then I guess it’s OK but really you should only be playing Eminem if 3 or 4 of your players are on the rag that day.

I’m all for wrestling theme songs. We once used the Dx theme in a warm-up mix and it was awesome. I loved wrestling back in the day and looking back we should have come skating out to the Bastion Booger theme music. I think it was just a fat guy breathing heavy.

The last time I saw my HS team play they warmed up to Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria. It was a great choice. Hearing that song got my old ass going like a lady getting called down on the Price is Right. It was no surprise that after listening to that track the team put up a crooked number in the 1st period and ended up blowing out the visiting team. I watched and ate popcorn in the stands like a chub.

I had a buddy who made his HS team warm up to old Irish tapes that he took from his father. It was ridiculous that two teams are ready to play and Seamus Moore is singing The Big Bamboo over the loudspeakers. That always got me thinking if it would help your team to play some weird songs during the warm-up in an effort to get the visitors flustered or distracted. Would you lose focus if you went into a barn where they were playing the Indigo Girls? How about sounds of a chainsaw? Babies crying? What if you just looped sounds from a Max Hardcore tape with him gagging some lady? You’d win every game. No one would even show up on game days. I’m embarrassed that I even brought that up. If you even know who Max Hardcore is then you should be ashamed of yourself. Don’t google him.

I like it when teams have a regional theme to the songs they come out to. If you are a club hockey team in Jerz then it would fit if the Boss, Southside Johnny, or Jovi led you out of the tunnel. Teams from Mass get extra points for the Dropkick Murphys, Cali schools for 2Pac or hairmetal and Vancouver teams for Michael Buble. My college team warmed up to Welcome to NYC by Jay-Z and Cam’ron. Hip-hop isn’t the first thing that comes to my head when thinking of warm-up tracks but a school in the middle of New York playing something by a rappers from Brooklyn and Harlem worked for us. If that song comes on my ipod my hamstrings automatically get looser and if you really think I would condone a squad warming up to some Michael Buble then you should never visit this website again. I don’t care if you are trying to psych out the other team or how amazing his ex-girlfriend is. Buble won’t work.

Off the top of my head if I had to pick one song to warm up to now it would be Fucking Hostile by Pantera. Enjoy but try not to assault your coworkers.


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