In case you hadn’t noticed, season three of Fight Mass is in full swing. Tomorrow, the Minutemen will take to the Mullins Center ice against the Bentley Falcons, and UMass hockey will officially be back. (Technically they started last weekend, and yes, the game counts in the standings, but the home opener is when it really begins in our hearts. Or something.)
If you’re just joining us, welcome aboard. We hope to keep you entertained during the torturous stretches during the coming weeks where there is no hockey but only the empty, cold shell of non-hockey and asking “is it Friday yet?” Well, we also cover basketball (or as UMass play-by-play announcer Josh Maurer calls it, “bas-KET-a-ball”) and football to a lesser extent, but the banner is 90% hockey because this blog is 90% hockey. And let’s be honest, this is a hockey town at this point.
Anywho, we invite you to check out other pages on our site. The About page sets the stage for how this blog came to be. The Encyclopedia UMass-ica is a work in progress, but it’s a good indicator of our sense of humor, our attitudes toward the program and its competition, etc. There will be more tabs added in the near future so stay tuned to that. We also have some not-really-surprises in the works for those of you who’ve been following us the past two years. Honest.
I’m in the process of putting together a “newbie primer” for all you freshmen out there (or upperclassmen who, for some ridiculous reason, have yet to attend a game) as to what you can expect from the Mullins experience. It’s a lot of fun, but as with any collegiate athletics program, there are traditions handed down from generation to generation. We’re a bit concerned about how this process has been handled the past few years; a lot of the traditions from when I was a freshman (aka the Jon Quick year, when UMass made it to hockey’s Elite Eight) have deteriorated in the time since.
We’re not gonna resort to handing out chant sheets or BU-style choreography. This is simply a primer on what traditions should be upheld. Welcome, newbie, to UMass Hockey 101. Take notes, there’s a quiz tomorrow night.
The Fight Song
Also known as “Fight Mass,” believe it or not. We don’t really need to teach you the “go! go U!” thing because from what I remember, they actually teach you that during orientation. If you can’t figure this part out, well, there may not be much hope for you to begin with. We like the little twist of
inserting Shane Hnidy into it…the sheriff adding the back and forth clapping to the second part of the chorus (you’ll see a few people still doing it at games, ourselves included). So yeah, you should probably do that.
Pretty simple. Index finger in the air, “sucks!” after each visiting player is intro’d. The goalie gets the “sieve! Sieve! Sieve!” treatment. The other team’s goalie is a sieve because he lets things in. (Hardcore hockey fans, I know you’re rolling your eyes, but you gotta look at this from the perspective of “some of these people have seriously never seen a hockey game before.” Rather than laugh at the pink hats, we should be educating them. Then there will be less pink hats. And who’s NOT on board with that?) Also, Walsh will inform one lucky member of the opposing starting lineup that they, in fact, suck the most.
For the home team…nothing special. We used to have a Nolet! (ole!”) chant for Martin Nolet, and now that he’s gone, there’s room for Oleg Yevenko to get an Oleg! chant if he earns it and if he’s ever starting. Oh, and when UMass’s goalie is intro’d, it goes goalie! sieve! goalie! sieve! pointing back and forth at him and his counterpart. If this all sounds rudimentary to you, good. You’re ahead of the curve.
The Puck Drop
Here’s a tradition I’d like to see come back. There’s a little techno song that plays right before the puck drop. There’s a noticeable pause at one point in the song, usually just moments before the puck is dropped. Used to be, the student section would just yell its fucking lungs out from the pause until the drop of the puck, whether that’s 2 seconds or half a minute if someone gets chased from the faceoff. Bring this back. Yelling is fun.
“Let’s Go UMass”
(clap clap clap-clap-clap). One person starts, then we go three more times. If we’re playing Lowell, and they respond with “…Lowell!”, we might try to add “…sucks!” right back. We haven’t had the chance to test this out because, since we though of this, Lowell hasn’t been good enough for their fans to care.
Oh, also, we used to have “Goooo Mass, Go! (clap clap clap)” and this has disappeared off the face of the earth, like dinosaurs or Alicia Silverstone or Pepsi Blue or Lauryn Hill. It’s a nice little change of pace, and not in a Mike’s Hard Lemonade kind of way. We might actively try to bring this back this year.
Wave, yell “ohhhhhh…” and when they reach the box “…seeya asshole!” We change it to “ya turkey” or something else for road games, particularly in venues that kick visiting fans out for swearing but curiously ignore the profanity of their own students, cough Agganis cough.
And please reserve the “bullshit!” chant for cases where UMass is legitimately screwed on a call. Don’t you worry – it will happen. A lot. But not as often as you’d think based on how much we hear this chant.
To the tune of Gary Glitter’s “Rock n Roll Pt. 2″, aka “the Hey song,” it’s technically “Sieve! You suck!” although “sieve” can be replaced with “hey” if you want. Really it doesn’t matter. The point is to point at the goalie who let the goal in, but we’ve always found it more fun to direct our points at visiting fan sections when applicable. After three rounds of that it’s “Sieve! Sieve! Sieve! Sieve! Go UMASS!” but of course the “sieve!” part has given way to “fuck ’em up! fuck ’em up!”, borrowing a tradition employed by a few other college hockey programs. The administration, obviously, is not a fan of the latter, and we’ll stick with the “sieve” version around little kids or on the road, but the fun thing is that we’re not affiliated with the school. So if you’re in the student section, we say curse away.
But whatever you do, do not just yell “fuck fuck fuck fuck Go UMass!” If you’re gonna curse, it should at least make sense. For fuck’s sake people…there’s a fine line between “being offensive” and “having Tourette’s.”
The One Minute Warning
The tradition of thanking Matt “Matty G” Goldstein, the PA announcer, for telling us there’s a minute left in the period…that has thankfully continued. We’re still clinging to the old tradition of asking “How much time’s left?” at about the 1:03 mark on the clock. So should you, just don’t get distracted watching the clock if something important is happening on the ice at that particular moment.
If UMass is up by at least two goals with a minute to go in the game…everyone get out those keys to signify it’s time to warm up the visiting bus. We don’t blame students for not knowing this one since this scenario was, uhh, rather uncommon last year.
The Other Goalie’s Mom
Throughout the game, particularly when the Minutemen are shooting on the goal on the student section side during the 2nd period, but really all the time, fans should make sure to learn the opposing goalie’s name and chant it derisively. If you’re new here, just picture the Luooooooongoooo chants from the Stanley Cup finals, and apply that to Parker Milner or Alex Beaudry or whatever cardboard cutout of a goaltender Lowell puts in there. And ask around to find out the goalie’s mom’s name, because that’s always fun to chant too. We’ll keep you posted in our game previews.
Class dismissed…for now. If it all seems pretty fundamental…it is. It’s very fundamental. That’s why we’re slightly frustrated that even these basics aren’t carrying forward, and I guess we partially have ourselves (that is, the classes of ’10 and ’11) to blame for letting this happen. But we’re not asking for rocket science, we know you’re not BU kids with years of private theater school and a year or two of jazz dance under your belts. Just yell, be loud, and keep these basic traditions alive. We’ll go from there.
See ya Friday, kids.