Remember #GaslightForGoalSong When You Vote for the Sabres Goal Song

The Sabres are hosting a little contest to determine their goal song for the upcoming season and the #GaslightForGoalSong campaign is one step closer to being realized.

The Sabres have eight choices for the new goal song in total that range from truly dreadful to more than acceptable. Highlights include something horrible by Pitbull, Swords of 1,000 Men (which already had a short-lived run as the goal song) and Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool.

I have, at times, offered up my thoughts on certain aspects of game presentation at Sabres games. For the most part I’m relatively indifferent to what they do until I see a promotional game befit for minor league baseball or just terrible, awful music being played. So game presentation is hardly a hill I’m willing to die on. I do, however, wish the Sabres had a better goal song.

After sitting through last year’s choice of a (terrible) U2 song from a (terrible) album that Apple and the band put on people’s phones whether they liked it or not, I’m more than ready for a change. Side note, Am I the only one who is so tired of U2? I still listen to their older stuff, but I couldn’t be more indifferent to their new music if I tried. Maybe it’s just because Bono sort of seems like a douche. I can’t tell.

Regardless, I’m glad the Sabres went this route. It’s a contest that is sure to get great #engagement and while I’m sure a ton of people will complain, it’s a good way to go about choosing a song. So long as it isn’t by Pitbull.

The most popular NHL goal songs – think Chelsea Dagger, The Whip (my personal favorite) or the Rangers goal song – seem to gain steam thanks to their use of simple chants that the crowd can join in with. Three songs in the mix truly share those characteristics: Howl, We Party You Shout and Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. Of course, two of the best choices are matched up together in the first round.

The rest of the choices are misses in my opinion for a number of reasons. Mainly, I just don’t see them bringing out the crowd participation you’d probably want in a goal song. The only way Let Me Clear my Throat really connects is if the arena is filled with professional dancers.

That a song written for the Bruins is part of this contest is a travesty surpassed only by the assumption that Pitbull would be a good choice for anything. Those two songs are garbage and they should have never been considered. I hate them.

Frankly, I think Swords of 1,000 Men is a poor choice. It went over poorly the last time they tried it as a goal song and I think a big part of that has to do with the award portion of the chorus after the ooh rahs. I know it says swords in the title and that’s super #fun, but it sounded #bad in the arena during its last run and I don’t think it’s deserving of another shot.

That brings me back to my personal favorite: Howl. The beauty of this contest is that every fan can have a different opinion on these choices and it really won’t matter all that much. But you should still vote for Howl and if you choose Pitbull we can’t be friends ever again.

Howl is a song that I’m quite fond of. It has just about everything you’d think a goal song should have. There is a chanty part which promotes fan participation, it’s a song that isn’t used anywhere else in the league (I think) and there aren’t any awkward sections like in Swords, for example.

I had a pretty long conversation with a friend recently about this and I asked them to let me share part of their thoughts on the song since I found them to be insightful:

A new goal song is a fresh start. This is the chance. It’s been a few years since there’s been anything inspired, and a few years since there’s been excitement. The last couple years have been rough. Goals weren’t necessarily celebrated, so maybe having a great goal song hasn’t been a concern. But “Howl” is perfect. It’s not a disposable pop song. It’s not an overthought reach. It’s not all about the lyrics. It’s not forced. It’s just perfect. High tempo, high energy, it’s a release. And when the team scores, that’s what you want. It’s popular enough that other teams have considered it, but it’s still up for grabs. Everyone’s worried about creating their own “Chelsea Dagger” and whether or not fans are going to sing along.

“Howl” is chanty without being hokey, energetic without being dishonest. The song itself is incredibly appropriate. The last few years have been emotionally draining, as fans have had to reconcile failure and the future, the best result and best interests. Fans had to turn their emotions off. “Does anything still move you since you’re educated now?” “Do you still hear the sound of thunder while you lie up by yourself?” It’s a challenge. It’s cathartic. Can we be fans now? Can we be romantic about what our sports team means to us again? “Do you believe there’s still some magic left somewhere inside our souls?”

You don’t have to overanalyze the song or what it means. It just happens to be appropriate. You don’t have to think the goal song should mean something. Just hear those first few notes and wait for it to explode. It’s perfect.

I thought that was an interesting take on the whole thing. In the grand scheme of things I’ll be okay with most of the songs on this list and I’ll be very happy with three of them. A 3-in-8 chance at being pleased aren’t the worst odds in the world, right?

Vote as you will, you’re all adults. Just know that Howl is the best choice and if it doesn’t win you should all feel shame.

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