Cannon booms. Confetti shots. Foligno/Bobrovsky hugs. Some weird-ass music plays in the background.
That weird-ass music – which the Columbus Blue Jackets have used for quite a long time now – has become a staple at Nationwide Arena. It's a bit of a mystery, despite being in place for years, and in case you need a refresher, this is what it sounds like:
Whereas some teams use popular songs to celebrate their victories, the Blue Jackets game ops crew uses a far more obscure option.
How obscure? Folks, it's really, really obscure. You won't find the song on Spotify. The top YouTube result is a 10-year-old upload with just 34,000 views. Hell, the artist doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. The recognizable part – for Blue Jackets fans – comes more than two minutes into the song.
The short – and literal – answer to the question "what the hell is that song?" is Moon Revolution by Aqualords. The recognizable part (which comes at 2:15) – and the part of the song that is actually played on the ice – deserves a bit of a longer answer, though.
See, the snippet of the song that the Blue Jackets play contains a recognizable riff that isn't original to the song. No, the Aqualords (who would normally have some kind of descriptor or background here sourced from their Wikipedia page, but don't, because it doesn't exist) song contains this riff as an homage to a far more recognizable song that predates the Blue Jackets by 15 years.
The quest for both the short and long answers stumped even the Blue Jackets subreddit for years, although cursory searches show that a small handful /r/hockey members (and even someone on HFBoards) have recognized the source over the years.
That source is an old network television show about a top-secret prototype vehicle operated by a quintessential 1980's action star. No, it's not Knight Rider.
Folks, say hello to Airwolf.
Ever wonder what would happen if a helicopter could break the sound barrier? Or if Top Gun and the helicopter scene from Rambo 2 had a baby? Or if a television show didn't have the budget to film fighter jets, so they settled for a helicopter instead? Well, you're in luck, because Airwolf checks all of those boxes.
That's right, a show starring Jan Michael Vincent about a helicopter with jets on it (!) is the reason why the Blue Jackets victory song exists. Hell, only two players on the roster (Brandon Dubinsky and Adam McQuaid) were born before the show went off-air in mid-1987.
A few highlights from that video include:
- The Airwolf helicopter flying past two other helicopters (which, thanks to questionable strategic decisions, are stationed about 30 feet apart from each other and are not actually moving or patrolling anything, just hovering in one spot for some reason?) so fast that the other two choppers literally spin around.
- Super believable and not-at-all-sped-up flight footage.
- Shooting missiles at what appears to just be some rich guy's house?
- A guy trying to run away from the world's fastest helicopter on foot.
- That same guy getting rammed by the front of the helicopter and holding on as it goes higher and higher, instead of like, laying down on the ground or surrendering?
- More explosions than a Michael Bay movie, which Airwolf somehow flies through without even a bit of turbulence.
The Bobrovsky-Foligno hug is a bit weirder (and perhaps more awesome?) when you realize that its backdrop is a tribute to the Airwolf theme, and therefore only exists because of a show that spent all of its budget on explosives.
Still, no matter how weird it is that an obscure techno remix of the Airwolf theme is the celebration song, it'll never be the weirdest techno song played in Nationwide Arena.
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