Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time to end "Score the Goal."

Last year, around New Year's Eve, the Aeros did something profound. At least it seemed that way to me.They brought back (or reintroduced) a recorded goal horn when the Aeros score a goal at Toyota Center.

Unlike most other hockey buildings from the NHL to the lowest level college teams in North America, no one thought to pony up and pay for goal horn. These things are expensive, that I know for sure, but when hard core fans go to an Aeros game, that is something they missed.

At most hockey games, it goes like this:

Player shoots, player scores, loud goal horn sounds and then Rock and Roll, Part 2 or some other rock song blares over the speakers.

At an Aeros game, before New Year's, it went like this:

Player shoots. Player scores, Air Raid Horn goes off and the PA Announcer goes "SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO .... OOOOOOAL!"
Then fans get a song after announcer subs in as the goal horn.

Then, thanks to Social Media, the Aeros had a great way to start getting real time feedback about what they want at an Aeros game. A lot of fans said, not shockingly, "Get a goal horn."

Well, it costs $10k-$15k to install a real goal horn, so with that option well out the window, the Aeros did the next best thing. They play a recording of the Goal Horn from the Wild games in St. Paul Minnesota. The only problem with that, is that the announcer still goes "SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE THAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO .... OOOOOOAL!"

The following would make the Aeros look a lot better in their game day presentation:

Continue to employ two announcers at the game. One doing the PAs and one guy as the event host.
Continue to play the recorded goal horn this year.
Do not let the announcer sing "Score the goal" any more.
Find a rock song that you can play the very second the recorded horn ends.
I know the Air Raid horn is a big part of the Aeros history, so I think fans would have absolutely no problem if they played the goal horn and the Air Raid siren at the same time.

There needs to be consistency ... and this story from the New York Times had a quote from a Philadelphia Flyers staffer that sums up my thoughts exactly. Here is the quote:

"The intended effect (of finding the right rock and roll song to play after the goal horn) was to expose our fans to a song in which they can identify with the team, recognize immediately and energize....”

Read those last three:


The Aeros scored a league-low 100 goals in 40 home games last year (2.5/gm.); not good for a ton of good memories.

But if they would incorporate these thoughts after every one of those 2.5 goals, every time an Aeros fan hears the goal song, they will have good memories about the time they had AT an Aeros game.

Score Goal.
Play Horn.
Play Song.
Be Happy!

What are your thoughts?

Do you think the Aeros game night presentation is good? How does it compare to other hockey games you have been to (specifically other AHL games, if you have been to those)?

Do you agree with my assessment here?

I would love to hear every one's feedback!


Anonymous said...

All I can say is no, no, no, and no!!!

BobbyR said...

Personally, I could care less about a horn. My take on the matter is this:

Score goal = Happy
Win game = Jubilation

Forecheck said...

The Aeros’ game day presentation is often amateurish.

Microphones that should be on often aren’t, spotlights are trying to find where they are supposed to be shinning on, timings are missed, and the “event hosts”, as you put it, are somewhere between tiresome and irritating. We didn’t even get weeknight and Sunday replays until this season.

And yes, we need a goal horn, or at least an air raid siren. There’s a perfectly good horn at Ford Arena. It got a lot of use in four years but has been silent for a while. It could be dusted off and used at the Toy Box. Given that most of last year’s team will be back, one can assume it won’t be getting much of a work out this year either, meaning it should last for many seasons with minimal maintenance.

Word verification - "thsing" - the sound of a puck drawing iron on the corner at a velocity of 4.7-5.3 m/s and the proper angle of incidence.

Forecheck said...

Good goal horn, would like a better song, though.


alw02 said...

The in game presentation is nt a positive. It seems to be prepared by people who have no exposure to any thing except loud concerts for people who will later need hearing aids. Screaming does not increase fan involvement.

As a previous responder says -- they are amateurish in the presentation also.

The best thing you can say about last years on ice experience after goals was that Jim Mill did not select any goal scorers.

A less juvenile approach to the on ice experience would make it easier to bring guest and expose them to the fun of hockey.

Sundays is 108 said...

Until I can sing along with "I want to drive the Zamboni" during an intermission, I will not be a happy camper.
I will admit, I enjoy some of the off ice activities; dance for pizza, trike races, broom ball and the rest.
My major change would be to have less choirs, especially the ones that cant sing.

Forecheck said...

I actually like the choirs as I am a fan of choir music. Some of the individual singers are simply dreadful. I really like the mens' choir from one of the Methodist churches.

I agree with the loud music comment. Some nights I have left the Toy Box with a headache because of the volume.

John Royal said...

The Aeros in game presentation has been one of my pet peeves for years -- as anyone reading me knows.

Forget the two announcer set-up. Please. Just have a guy doing PA without doing the cheering. If I want bad PA guys doing cheering, I'll attend Rockets games.

We do need a rock song, and I'll see if I can think of something to adopt before we get into the season.

B2Bomber said...

Steve is/was in a role like Booker was the previous year and both were/are annoying. We don't need a grown man running around the TC making suggestive comments about the Aero Dynamics and opening his mouth at inappropriate times. I say put him back announcing about the ice play where he belongs and let it be. I would like a horn but as Forecheck says I'd like to have a winning season more.

Forecheck said...

I would prefer a PA announcer that actually understands the game of hockey - - - a sore point since CJ left.

Anonymous said...

I agree with B2. The "wandering announcer" is obnoxious to say the least. Many people think so, but the powers that be clearly don't listen to the fans on that matter. And I agree with Forecheck...we all miss CJ. How they could let him go and bring in someone like we have now...makes no sense. Let the wandering guy go and use the money to buy a horn.

Forecheck said...

@Anonymous - You're assuming the Aeros actually pay their people?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous - You're assuming the Aeros actually pay their people?

Yeah, Forecheck, I guess I was assuming they do. I think expectations are high for those directly involved with the team, which is great and proper. However, expectations for the announcers and others on the "entertainment" side, are pretty low, resulting in a really amateurish presentation. Irritating and tiresome. Guests I have brought just kind of snicker.

Cull Fan said...

Have you ever noticed? Joe O'Donnell can't even stand Steve running around, particularly when he gets near his area during the games. Joe will try to stump Steve or throw him off during dialogues.

I get so creeped out everytime Steve talks about an Aero Dynamic. Reminds me of the Artie Johnson character Dirty Old Man from Laugh-In.

Give me the air raid siren, get a decent song and shut-off the microphones until both are over.

I also liked it when they would show those silly cartoons after the goalie would make a great save. Spider webs, frog's tongue snatching the puck, etc.

Anonymous said...

A real goal horn would be fantastic! As far as a song afterward, why not use the same as the Wild?

Announcers, well personally I think Steve does a good job as did Booker. I prefer Steve announcing the game and Booker working the crowd. At least Steve gets into the game itself. That's important because it sets a mood for the crowd during the game. If the announcer makes it exciting, the crowd stays with the game. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

FYI, please forward this to Aeros management....Perhaps some company doing business in the Ship Canal could step up and sponsor the horns....

The Peoria Rivermen have ordered a new set of Kahlenberg horns, from the 112-year Wisconsin company.

The Model D-2 Airhorn is the most popular one ordered and installed in hockey arenas around the country. You can thank the Rivermen, for their willingness to replace their retired set of horns. His company, Illini Logistics, is sponsoring the new horns and has covered the purchase price.
-j the teacher

Anonymous said...

Suggestion for song following goal.....

"sandstorm" by Darude