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10 best songs for a visiting penalty in hockey

10 best songs for a visiting penalty in hockey (other than "Bad Boys") Hershey Bears St Johns IceCaps Parker Milner Mark MacMillan
Goalie interference on a guest player? There is so much the sound crew can cue up for that. (Photo by Amanda Statland/Pucks and Recreation)

DJs, DJs, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do for a visiting penalty when “Bad Boys” runs its course?

Too late, it has already burned out and at best needs a prolonged breather.

In some hockey arenas of various sizes, music operators have hastened that classic tune’s plunge into the platitude pool. If one did not know better, one would think there were no other options for when the hosts earn a player advantage.

Naturally, that notion is anything but true. Plenty of seasoned, knowledgeable and resourceful DJs have a rotation of other visiting penalty songs. But even some of those selections can leave more than a little to be desired.

While the primary idea is to playfully tell off or lampoon a penalized opponent, it is important to sustain energy. After all, the home squad is about to pursue a potentially momentous scoring play. In this scenario, percolating a home crowd to feed off of is more crucial than usual.

In that regard, “Bad Boys” moves at a decent pace and carries a self-explanatory hook. Inner Circle’s 1987 magnum opus later popularized by Cops certainly outclasses 1960’s “Hit the Road Jack.” (No offense to the late, great Ray Charles, who was fabulous for his genre and funny in The Blues Brothers.)

Even so, there are fresher choices by virtue of either coming from this century or having seen less PA-system action. Among those songs, there are more than enough suiting the criteria for a visiting penalty to last an average homestand with no repeats.

Whittle it down to 10 alone, and you could probably stick with that lineup with one shift for each tune at every college, junior or minor-league team’s home weekend. To get you started, these are the best to keep on standby.

10-8. Any of the CSI themes
Granted, the lyrics to “Baba O’Riley,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Who Are You” do not pertain to justice. But each song has acquired that connotation through their use on the three main CSI shows.

Crossover fans of the franchise and the game would surely appreciate the nod. Other theme songs from this century’s police procedurals, such as Hawaii Five-0 and Law & Order, could work on occasion too. Some of those, however, are a little too short on speed, energy and novelty to see regular action.

7. “I Did It
“I did it/you think I’ve gone too far/I did it/guilty as charged.”

Dave Matthews’ coherent admission should be any DJ’s go-to when they want to make an offending visitor their ventriloquist doll. The lyrics make up for the music’s relative softness and slowness otherwise unbecoming of an arena tune.

6. “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
At any level above high school, a hockey game is not a hockey game without one 30-second snippet of AC/DC.

If the sound crew decides nothing else, this 1976 single fits a visiting penalty with second-nature facility. Its chorus is little more than five successive utterances of the song’s title. As a plus, the two adjectives are timeless staples of disapproval in hockey lexicon.

5. “Breaking the Law”
For the typical 30-second stoppage of play, working in this Judas Priest gem’s straightforward chorus is critical. Said chorus is basically a series of double-utterances of the title.

Cutting straight to the instrumental interlude and closing string of 16 “breaking the law” exclamations is the best bet. But incidentally, the lyrics to the bridge give this song some versatility. If you want, you could make it work for a home penalty as well by framing it as a desperation plea.

4. “Rude Boy
An instrumental intro and back-to-back renditions of the chorus take up the first 30-plus seconds of this Rihanna single. Within that sequence, she tells the title figure to “come here” four times.

She might as well be ordering the ill-behaved foe to take his seat as he coasts to the sin bin. With “Can you get it up” sandwiched between the “Come here” lines, one could frame the message as hurry up and sit down so we can start this power play.

3. “Animals
Nickelback’s line inviting another party to “get in” because “we’re animals” works especially well when a 5-on-4 becomes a 5-on-3. But even when a single visiting skater squanders their team’s right to even strength, enough of the lyrics fit.

The chorus caps off with “Check out the trouble we’re in.” Even without the preceding lines’ implied plural presence in the penalty box, the roadsters are in trouble by playing shorthanded.

Or, at least, that is the idea the home party and faithful want to establish.

2. “Beat It
This Michael Jackson gem works especially well when an offending visitor incurs a game misconduct.

Regardless of the infraction or penalty, though, the PA system’s perfect starting point is “but you wanna be bad.” This line bridges into an assertive, to-the-point chorus conveying the notion that chippy play is unwelcome here.

1. “The Power”
When this Snap! song was fresh in the 1990s, you could hear the hook in some arenas to signify the start of a power play. And once again, the last half-minute is the perfect sample for the situation. The final warning “I will attack, and you don’t want that!” precedes repeat exclamations of “I’ve got the power!”

Since the turn of the century, however, this has faded off most playlists while “Bad Boys” ran into the ground. It had just as much chance of going the overdone way itself, but has instead run to the other extreme.

It is time this tune made a comeback, whether it is ’90s Night at the rink or not.

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Al Daniel

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