A mark of greatness is a memorable gimmick, something that sticks in the minds of fans generations after the story of a team has come to a close. Remarkable periods of success are best enjoyed when there’s a certain moment, playoff run, or player that remains iconic even as time passes and the luster of a franchise is eroded by mismanagement and failure. These are the gems of the past that we, as Flyers fans, cling to; occurrences that gave us hope, that compel us to root for this infuriating product year in and year out.
Looking at recent examples, Simon Gagné’s Game 6 overtime winner, Claude Giroux’s overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Final, and Giroux’s magical shift back in the 2012 series against the Penguins come to mind for me personally. When the Flyers stink and elicit more depression and pessimism than enjoyment, I return to the highlights of the past and long for the day when this team will finally put it all together.
Y’know what a lot of those memories from the 90s, 2000s, and early 2010s had in common? A kickass goal song that the whole arena could get behind.
Sure, at first the Flyers followed the standard league pattern of using Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll Part 2” when someone scored, but the team quickly moved on to using Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” after a brief stint with some other picks. In the peak portions of those late 2000s years, Philly used Pennywise’s “Bro Hymn,” a perfect song for the entire arena to chant along to. Finally, the unforgettable use of “Maria” in the 2012 season (a song that was truthfully stolen from the Philadelphia Union) is still closely associated with the last time the Orange & Black were anything resembling fun. Even the less popular EDM tunes of “Booyah” and “Pursuit of Happiness” were worth dancing to.
The 2019-20 season finally reinvigorated the hope that the Flyers would be something more than a bubble team, but the goal song that accompanied that roster (Jetboy’s “Feel The Shake”) has grown to be associated with the aftermath of the COVID shortened campaign. “Feel The Shake” is everything awful about the state of the franchise encompassed in a not-so-catchy tune; the chant is forced, the song is slow, and the guitar riffs are boring rather than punchy. For a team looking to refresh their identity via a busy offseason, an accompanying goal song change would be fitting. Here are the criteria for what I think would improve the musical pop of a Flyers tally:
“Feel The Shake” is a plodding, undulating chant backed by boring drum beats and guitar. It’s a nothing song that elicits little emotion, and much of that is due to the tempo. Fans do best when the song is fast, feels fast, or hits hard enough to simulate going fast. A new goal song ought to invoke the feeling of speed, the same rush you’d get by driving a car at top speed on a closed track. When looking at what’s considered the cream of the crop in goal songs, this isn’t always necessary (Vancouver’s use of “Holiday” by Green Day is a perfect example), but it certainly helps.
One of my favorite goal songs in the league belongs to a downright rancid franchise in the New Jersey Devils. “Howl” by Gaslight Anthem has a section in it where the lyrics are simply one drawn out “hey” backed by some jangly rhythm guitar and subdued drum beats. The Devils mixed in an air raid horn and some fan chanting to produce a pretty awesome celebration when they happen to score, something that doesn’t occur very often. A new Flyers song needs this in particular; think about how fun it was to chant to “Doop” or “Bro Hymn,” particularly in a playoff environment.
Impact from a song can come in many forms, but for my taste it’s best delivered in one of two ways when attempting to work up a crowd: throttling guitars or heavy bass. My preference tends towards the former because I’m far more inclined towards rock and alternative as compared to EDM, but either version of what could be described as hype-inducing instrumentals would work. It’s obvious when a song is capable of getting your blood pumping and garnering the visceral responses that are so unique to the experience of live sports. When your team scores, the song should only compound the elation you’re feeling rather than causing you to calm down.
With the above stipulations, I have some picks. First up is a classic in “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue. If the Flyers were to use this song, they’d be best suited to choosing the chorus section. It fulfills the categories of “punch” and “speed” with gusto, although there’s no clear chant here. The best possible version of a goal song using this track would probably blend the introductory riff (sounds like a car rapidly accelerating to simulate the speed we’re looking for) with the chorus lines.
However, if I had to pick my ideal segment of a single song to play with the goal horn, it’d probably be the explosive finish to “COLOSSUS,” a track by British punk act IDLES. It’s raw, aggressive, and possesses copious amounts of “I wanna punch a wall” energy. Take the opening lines, beginning from the 1-2-3-4 lead and followed by “I don’t want to be your man, your man.” Loop them and gradually wind down afterwards. The vocals and driving guitars get the blood pumping, but more importantly the vocals are easy for 19,600 Flyers fans to scream, even if they don’t know the words. Imagine a capacity crowd singing along to this in the playoffs and you’ll understand why I think “COLOSSUS” fits.
Thanks to my notably incredible audio editing skills, we have a mockup of what this might look like:
I apologize for the terrible track blending and fade-out, but you get the idea. If you don’t like that, there’s always “Whoomp There It Is” by Tag Team. I hear there was a petition about that or something.
What should the Flyers use as a goal song instead of their current one? Argue below, or choose to agree that the conclusion of “COLOSSUS” is an excellent replacement.