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Everybody at Madison Square Garden Urged to “Clap Your Hands” 2013-Mar-22 at 18:25 PDT

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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Early in the second period of Tuesday night’s game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Rangers, during a stoppage of play, everybody at Madison Square Garden was urged to “clap your hands”.

Members of the crowd seemed to be unaware of the reason that they should clap their hands.

“Did I just miss something?” said John DiMateo, 39, of Hicksville, NY, looking around at his neighbors. “I thought the puck just went over the boards. I’m not clapping for that.”

Dennis Reed, 28, from West Orange, NJ sitting in section 414, said, “I’m just trying to have a conversation with my friends here, and then this shit comes on. I’m not clapping. Look around, nobody is clapping. Nobody ever claps. Besides, if anybody ever does clap to this fucking thing, I’ll personally throw them down to the expensive seats.”

The song snippet used to exhort the crowd to clap their hands is from Mr C. The Slide Man’s Cha Cha Slide, a popular song at receptions. It is heard frequently alongside longtime favorites like the “Chicken Dance,” and the “Electric Slide.”

In the middle of the third period, with the score tied 1-1, hockey fans young and old were told again to “clap your hands”.

“I’ve never clapped for this shit, and I’m not going to start now,” said Craig Bosch, 34, of Manhattan. “What is this, a fucking wedding? I mean, do we really need to be told – Jesus! What, that wasn’t tripping?!? No, he fell down all by himself, right?!?”

“Christ,” he added.

When asked about it, Michael Liss, 59, a native of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, looked up and shook his head. “Look, I’ve been coming to Rangers games since I was a little kid, when the Garden was up on 50th Street, and back then no one had to be told to clap. It’s just insulting. Like we don’t know when to – oh, for fuck’s sake, you call that interference?!? God damn it. These days you bump a guy and all of a sudden you’re in the penalty box. What a bunch of shit.”

Later, during overtime play, everybody was, once again, urged to “clap your hands”. Mark Poulis, 27, of Queens, remarked, “Why? Isn’t overtime exciting enough? Do we really need to be – For Christ’s sake, ref?!? What the fuck was that?”


At the conclusion of the game – the Rangers won in a shootout, with a final score of 2-1 – the crowd erupted, without prompting, into loud clapping and cheers.