Why do the Blackhawks play ‘Chelsea Dagger’ after goals?

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Chicago Blackhawks fans may be among the few Americans these days who don’t immediately think of Amstel Light whenever the Fratellis’ “Chelsea Dagger” plays.

The infectious song – the soundtrack of an oft-aired Amstel Light beer commercial, see below – gets blasted from the United Center loudspeakers after every Blackhawks goal, one of the many additions to the increasingly exciting atmosphere at Hawks games.

Pete Hassen, a Blackhawks spokesman, said “Chelsea Dagger” was chosen as the team’s goal song from a narrowed-down pool of six candidates before the preseason.

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Blur’s “Song 2,” “Tick Tick Boom” by the Hives and the Ting Tings’ “Keep Your Head” are among the others that were considered.

The reaction to “Chelsea Dagger” from fans was mixed at first, but Hassen watched as fans warmed to it.

“We noticed about two months into the season that people were doing their own dance to it,” Hassen said. “And now you’re seeing as the team is taking off, the song is really taking off.”

Need proof? Hassen said Cubs catcher Koyie Hill, who was at Monday night’s playoff game with some other Cubs, sent a text informing him that he and his teammates couldn’t stop humming it.

During the regular season, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp had more personalized songs that played after they scored.

The Scorpions’ 1984 hit “Rock You Like a Hurricane” played whenever Kane scored, while Toews celebrated to the tune of “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry and Sharp to ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man.”

For the playoffs it’s been all ” Chelsea Dagger ” – with its bouncy hook and signature “duh duh duhs” that fans have been humming, shouting and chanting as they file out of the United Center after a Blackhawks win.

Lifelong Hawks fan Kasia Chalko said she has a “Pavlovian response” whenever she hears “Chelsea Dagger.”

Upon hearing it, she gets the sense that something great just happened – even when it’s just the Amstel Light commercial.

“Sometimes when I’m watching the game at home and the Blackhawks score, I’ll play it on my iPod,” she said. “I actually played it this morning as I was getting ready to leave my house because [Monday] night’s win was so big.”

During the White Sox’ championship series in 2005, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” became a staple at U.S. Cellular Field. So is “Chelsea Dagger” the Hawks’ answer?

“Music tends to play a huge part in every game,” Hassen said. “I don’t think you go into a year thinking, ‘We’re going to have a signature song.’ It just kind of happens.”

“For the White Sox, I think ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ was a little more themed. This is just kind of a feel-good song. There’s no lyrics [in ‘ Chelsea Dagger ‘] that have any meaning. It’s just the perfect call and response after a goal.”

Hassen wasn’t sure whether the team will keep “Chelsea Dagger” next season.

“You can’t really say that it’s going to stay,” he said. “But when things work, why mess with it?”

KEVIN ALLEN, Sun-Times

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