This Might Be The Most Important Thing I’ve Ever Written.

Open letter to the powers-that-be at HSBC arena.


Dear Powers-That-Be At HSBC Arena,

I am writing this email with grave concern in my heart.  GRAVE!  CONCERN!

I attended the Sabres preseason game against the Flyers last night.  Great fun was had by all (except the Flyers) for the majority of the evening, but there was one incident that made me want to curl up on the arena floor in terrible, terrible shame.

The arena played, “Chelsea Dagger”.


Now look.  I know that the Sabres are not necessarily “cool”.  We’re not “hip” and we don’t care what the other kids are doing in their arenas with the fancy “ice girls” and the “arena hosts”.  In Buffalo our best excuse for “in-game entertainment” is the blooper reel, and that’s the way we like it. (Actually, the blooper reel is getting pretty stale, but whatever.  It’s not inherently embarrassing, so I’ll take it.)

I’m not one of these fans that gets all bent out of shape over “Sweet Caroline” (IT’S A RED SOX SONG!), or “Born in the USA” (IT’S A PROTEST SONG!).  For the most part, the rinky-dink nature of the arena entertainment does not bother me in the slightest.  In fact, I prefer it.  After all, I’m a real hockey fan.  I do not require bells and whistles to keep me entertained while at a hockey game.

But Powers-That-Be At HSBC Arena, there is a difference between “rinky-dink” and “totally embarrassing,” and last night you crossed the line.   When you played “Chelsea Dagger” during the game I felt soul-scorching embarrassment.  Deep seated shame.  Utter humiliation.  Even though the Sabres were beating the Flyers 400-2 at the time, I’m willing to bet every SINGLE Sabre in the arena thought to himself, “THEY WOULD NEVER PLAY THIS SHIT IN PHILADELPHIA.  SOMETIMES I WISH I WAS A FLYER.  IN PHILADELPHIA AT LEAST THEY HAVE CLASS AND DIGNITY.”

“Chelsea Dagger” is the Blackhawks song.  It will ALWAYS be the Blackhawks song.  In 50 years, when passionate Blackhawks fans want to reminisce about the good old days, they’re going to take out their Fratellis records, and listen to “Chelsea Dagger”.  The Sabres cannot have that song.  The only way to have a song like that is to play it all season long as the goal celebration, and then WIN THE STANLEY CUP.  You don’t “copy” Chelsea Dagger, you EARN IT.  Unless you’re the Chicago Blackhawks you can’t play “Chelsea Dagger” without looking like a MAJOR TOOL.

When you play “Chelsea Dagger” during the Sabres games you’re not saying, “Go Sabres!” you’re saying, “Go Blackhawks!”  To play it during a Sabres game is nothing short of pathetic.

But let’s take a deep breath, and try to calm down.  Last night was just a preseason game (and a SUPER awesome one at that).  We’re all still shaking off the summer rust.  I’m going to forgive you for last night.  I’m going to assume you just suffered a temporary lapse of judgment and reason.  But, I see that the Blackhawks will be playing in Buffalo very soon, and as God is my witness, if you play that song I will never forgive you.  THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SHRILL IN THE WORLD TO PROPERLY CONVEY MY SHRILL-NESS ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

If you play that song, I’m going to start lobbying for the Sabres to trade Ryan Miller.  No team with a beating heart at its core would play “Chelsea Dagger,” during a Blackhawks game, and no team without a beating heart at its core deserves Ryan Miller.  THAT’S HOW SERIOUS THIS IS.

I am BEGGING YOU, please DO NOT ever play that song in HSBC arena ever again.


H.R.H. Katebits


40 Responses to “This Might Be The Most Important Thing I’ve Ever Written.”

  1. 1 Capsworth October 4, 2010 at 9:20 am



  2. 2 Caroline October 4, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Hahaha, I hate that song so much. :( I remember last season whenever I watched the Blackhawks, I always wondered to myself what that obnoxious song that was…and then during the playoffs it just got worse. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but I’ve been hearing it more and more ever since they won the Cup (at bars, in commercials, etc). I can only imagine the secondhand embarrassment you must have felt at the game last night.

    And I don’t mind at all that the Sabres “adopted” Sweet Caroline, for obvious reasons…

  3. 3 Pookie October 4, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I’m with you, Caroline! I also hate that song so much. I was all super-duper excited for hockey so I turned on the Blackhawks pre-season game on NHL Network yesterday. Then I heard one measure of the song and was all “HOCKEY MUST DIE!” I can’t imagine how I’d react if they played it at my own, non-Blackhawks arena. I’d probably go on a murderous rampage. HRH Katebits, you are right to take on this important issue!

  4. 4 S. Tooth October 4, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I had the exact same thought when I heard that last night…”My God, they’re not actually…playing Chelsea Dagger are they?” In all fairness, I remember them playing Chelsea Dagger occasionally last year in the arena, but now the ‘Hawks pretty much own it. Is it too much to ask for them to find their own song? They played that Arcade Fire song “Wake Up” a few years ago. I’m not the hugest fan of that song, but I respected the fact that it was theirs and theirs alone.

  5. 5 RR61 October 4, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I hope you seriously sent this message to the Sabres PR department. For heaven’s sake what is next? Please tell me it isn’t this:

  6. 6 lifeinspoons October 4, 2010 at 11:13 am

    They did what!? You know it’s bad if Philadelphia has more dignity. I have to agree, this is embarrassing and upsetting. What the hell, man!? Can’t we get our own song? It can’t be *that* difficult.

  7. 7 matt October 4, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Can’t we just go back to using the Arcade Fire song for our goal song? It seemed like people responded well to it, and then they took it away in favor of that HORRIBLE JOE SATRIANI SONG, “Arena Chant” I think it’s called, which was also used by every Canadian arena ever. Seriously, though. Whoever is in charge of the music at HSBC sucks.

  8. 8 Amy October 4, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I actually like Chelsea Dagger. But it should not be played in HSBC Arena, Sabres.

    I know Chelsea Dagger wasn’t used as the goal song last night, but since it’s come up in conversation, I liked when the goal song was “Beautiful” by Flickrstick. That was a nice song and you rarely heard it at other arenas. If the team is looking for a song, why not play that one or hell, even Sabre Dance. A nice orchestral rendition would be kickass after a goal.

  9. 9 Mr. Pratt October 4, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Am I the only one who really really liked the unoriginal goal celebration song of Blur’s “Song 2” popularized during the 1998-99 Cup Final season? That was the last year I was able to fully take advantage of season tickets, and I think it would be appropriate to bring that one back. A great celebration song, and given the lust we as a culture have for retro-stylings, bringing back a song from 1997 goes hand-in-hand with the “everything old is new again” theme of this 40th Anniversary season.

    I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

    Great open letter, your highness. Send it along to Darcy.

  10. 10 jeremy October 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    The Sabres did the same thing two years ago when, for a brief time started playing those awful Ottawa chimes during opponents penalties. Be original!

  11. 11 Ted October 4, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Just a thought: is it possible that the powers-that-be at HSBC played Chelsea Dagger to mess with the Flyers? Granted, the Sabres were alreaday up 400-2, but what could be more traumatic/embarassing for Philly than the Vietnam-style flashback that song must’ve triggered?

  12. 12 Katebits October 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    AHAHAHA! I have to admit, that’s something that had not occurred to me!

    Thanks to all who have commented and retweeted this post! I’ll respond in more depth later, but I only gave a second right now between rehearsals.

  13. 13 mg! October 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    The Washington Capitals played “Chelsea Dagger” after a goal in their victory over the Blue Jackets on Friday night, and I freaked out just as much as you did in Buffalo. I’ve been a Blackhawks fan for almost 20 years, so after years of suffering, that song will forever remind me (and really, anyone who watched any Chicago games, whether they liked it or not) of this season… why won’t the other teams just let us have it?? (Plus it’s been our goal song for a few years now, so it’s not like this is some trendy new thing.)

  14. 14 Keller October 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Best post ever. It’s also bad enough we ‘Shipped off to Boston’ during the power play…now this shit is bad.

    Play some Clutch for fuk-sakes!

    If I were in charge, this would be the power play song—-stopped just after the 2nd line where he says ‘BUFFALO!’

    “Born with a moustache and a supernova, tossed off the cliffs of Dover.
    Washed up on a far away shore in the arms of the daughter of the Buffalo.”


  15. 15 HockeyBroad October 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    The STL sound guys played it at the Blues game last week. Granted, it was a Blues vs Blackhawks game, but still… sounded kind of funny to hear the other team playing Chelsea in their own arena.

    I like Ted’s train of thought, though!

  16. 16 BlackhawksDownLow October 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I didn’t like Chelsea Dagger before the Hawks used it as their goal song. It was always “that annoying song from the Amstel commercial.” Now, I’m just proof that Pavlov and his dogs were right.

  17. 17 patty October 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Heard it in the background while listening to the game on the radio and must admit both Mike & I were all “Why is this song on? It belongs to the Hawks!”

    No more Chelsea Dagger, unless it was just to mess with Philly’s heads. This post actually triggers a funny memory. When I was all Sabres crazy back in high school (as opposed to now of course), they used to play that song from Mannequin – ready – Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. Every game. To this day it makes me think of the Sabres. Just saying – be careful when wishing for a theme song. Be specific or we will end up with something equally terrible.

  18. 18 Bob October 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Who knows maybe that song will catch on like that God awful Johnny Glitter crap. I mean you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an arena playing that. Except the UC during a ‘Hawks game.

    BTW, Chelsea Dagger started at the UC at the beginning of the 08-09 season. Some of the players like Toews, Kane and Sharp had their own tune (doesn’t take too much imagination) until the playoffs that year. Then all of 09-10 was the Dagger.

    Only at this season’s training camp festival were most of the goal songs not the Dagger, but the 3 preseason games I went to the past week+ were carbon copies of 2009-10.

  19. 19 wmsheppa October 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    The Capitals also played it at the final horn during their first preseason game in DC against the Bruins. Even worse, I was sitting next to two puck bunnies in Ovechkin jerseys who started singing it and dancing along to it. I turned to my girlfriend who was with me and said that if this happens during the regular season (or god forbid the playoffs) the hockey Gods will immediately screw the Caps in a particularly epic fashion. Glad that others feel similarly about the song in their arenas.

  20. 20 Y_vo October 4, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    whatever happened to them playing Song #2 by Blur? That was a good goal chant, albeit generic. Or here’s an idea….PLAY THE GODDAMN SABRE DANCE ONCE IN A WHILE.

  21. 21 ArlingtonRob October 4, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    For what it’s worth, I’m a Blackhawk fan and have had enough of “Dagger”. Besides being irritating, it belongs with last years club.

  22. 22 guest October 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I’m embarrassed to say this on so many levels.

    The Blue Jackets played Chelsea Dagger last season. In a home game against Chicago. On a Saturday afternoon, which meant A TON of Blackhawks fans had made the 6 hour trip to Columbus.

    AFTER THE BLACKHAWKS SCORED A GOAL. How is that possible?!

  23. 23 Katebits October 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Holy CRAP guest, you have my COMPLETE sympathy. That is ROUGH. At least it hasn’t come to that in Buffalo….yet. I’ll keep you posted about what happens when the Blackhawks are in town in the 11th.

    Keller, I think that would make a EXCELLENT goal song. THUMBS UP. We could all shout “BUFFALO,” and everyone would be happy and not humiliated. And “Shipping Up to Boston” was ALSO totally embarrassing.

    For the record, I don’t hate Chelsea Dagger, I just think it’s off limits because it’s so closely associated with the Blackhawks.

    Last night they seemed to be trying a bunch of stuff out. They played “Beautiful” which I mostly like, but think is a liiiittle girly. I like the Arcade Fire song (singabilty is good), but I always felt one was a little too moody. A goal song should really just kick ass. I think the Blur song is the best of the recent bunch, but that song has been so ubiquitous for the last few years that it’s difficult to really “claim it” at this point. The Sabres REALLY SHOULD just have a kick ass rock version of Sabre Dance and that should be the goal song.

  24. 24 Eric October 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    They should play “Beautiful” after every goal. That’s our song. I’ve never heard it anywhere other than the Arena. Whoever the DJ is needs to be fired.

  25. 25 BlackHawkDownPlease October 4, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Two things to say:

    1. I wish ALL stadiums, including motherflippin’ Chicago’s should stop playing “it”

    2. As for the game…it’s not like Philadelphia had ANY NHL calibre players in the game. At all. Dan Carcillo? Please. I would be more irate as a fan of hockey to be subjected to this AHL twaddle at NHL prices than about a stoopid song. But ya, the song blows too.

  26. 26 Katebits October 4, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    BlackhawkDownPlease, all season ticket holders got this game for free, so I think we got our money’s worth. Plus, the Sabres won 9-3. I wish they could play an AHL team every night.

  27. 27 saranack October 4, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you. The most incredibly moving Sabres goal riff I’ve heard was Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up.”

    Possibly tainted as the band is from Montreal, but all Habs fans know is Ole, Ole, Ole anyhow.

    And, yes, please, some “Sabre Dance”? Other teams dream of such a hook.

  28. 28 Friends, Romans, Polanskis October 4, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Definitely tacky to play the Hawks’ goal song anywhere else. Here’s some alternative you could send along:

    – Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
    – Britney Spears’ “Do That To Me (One More Time)”
    – Master P’s “Make ‘Em Say GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL!”
    – Beethoven’s 23rd Symphony (Count Chocula’s Theme)
    – “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead!” from The Wyzzzard of OZ

  29. 29 mcguffers October 4, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I agree with Amy and Eric. I like “Beautiful” by Flickerstick.

    I also have to point out that Sabres Game Night plays the opening riff to “Hurricane 2000” which I think should totally belong to Carolina. (even though I totally like that one too.)

  30. 30 sheri October 5, 2010 at 12:23 am

    i love flickerstick, “beautiful”.

    also, i say go with this

    a little everytime i die. local boys. plus god knows it’d give stafford a boost every night to hear them.

  31. 31 Jean-Marc October 5, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Bring backthe goal song from 1993 the sabre song

  32. 32 david October 5, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier” would be pretty cool. Maybe that could be our Power Play song?

  33. 33 CDR October 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    The “messing with the Flyers minds” angle is intriguing, but that would imply the HSBC peeps are clever, and I’m pretty sure they’re not. I have the same problem with them playing the Dropkick Murphys – I know we’re not the only team to do it, but dude, that’s a Boston song! The “hardest” version of Sabre Dance I could find (in 30 seconds) is this:

    David, I think ‘Buffalo Soldier’ would be a great song to play after a win. It seems a little mellow to play during games.

  34. 34 Sam October 5, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Eh it didn’t bother me since they didn’t play it after a goal. That would have been rude.. but lots of teams use the same song after a goal. At one point the Sabres played a song I’ve only heard at Blue Jackets games. Not quite the same as the “Chelsea Dagger” song– which doesn’t bother me, and was super fun to sing and dance along to IN CHICAGO, for the record.

    I did notice but didn’t care because it was preseason and just a random stoppage in play. But I am clearly in the minority here. If it happens during a game and after a goal, that’s different.

    *and aside from the free tix to the STH, I think the prices were $15 or $20.. hardly NHL-prices, unlike New Jersey, where my sis and I spent more money to go to a preseason game last weekend than we did for a regular season game last year.. but that is neither here nor there..*

  35. 35 shannon October 6, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Born in the USA, not 4th of July.

  36. 36 Katebits October 6, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Whoops. Thanks, shannon. Fixed.

  37. 37 Shannon October 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    You’re welcome. =]

    And this was very well written – you have a very valid point, coming from a Chicagoan. Although, if I had to pick a team to share it with, I think I’d go with the Sabres anyway.

  38. 38 double d October 6, 2010 at 3:22 pm


    I think you should volunteer to rappel from the rafters (with Sabretooth of course) while performing a kickass rendition of Sabredance on an electric viola

  1. 1 Stealing the thunder | Two in the Box Trackback on October 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm
  2. 2 Puck Headlines: Stunning NHL camp cuts; scab referees looming? | Johandetert's Blog Trackback on October 5, 2010 at 9:03 pm

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