By Jillian Fay | 4/22/14 3:50 PM
The Hounds learned the importance of many things during their inaugural MLL season of 2012 -- team chemistry, travel budgets, community outreach to name a few. But just two games in it became obvious to the front office that the most important key to the Hounds’ success would be fan support and a true home field advantage. As the Hounds traveled from stadium to stadium they realized each MLL team had a particular tradition for when the home team scored. In Boston, it’s the firing of a cannon. In Denver, it’s the beating of a drum by the infamous Jo-Jo War Drummer.
No matter what the celebration, when it is done properly over the course of the game it becomes something that gets in the heads of the opposing team. After a hard fought 20-12 loss to the Cannons in Boston Week 2 -- that’s 20 celebratory blasts the Hounds had to hear -- team executives returned to Charlotte to brainstorm. The Hounds wanted to create a tradition that would not only lift up their players, but also simultaneously deflate momentum from the opposing players.
“We knew our fan base was the best in the league and our biggest advantage over other teams,” said Hounds President & Managing Partner Jim McPhilliamy. “So we wanted it to be something our fans could participate in.”
The Hounds got their mascot name after the official state dog of North Carolina – a Plott Hound. However, the breed is German in origin, and Mecklenburg County has German roots, so the front office felt a German toast was appropriate. “Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy, Oi Oi Oi!” is the ending to a song called “Ein Prosit.” It is a traditional German toast to health and well-being. Thus, with the chant, Hounds fans are “toasting” each of the team’s goals.
The “Ziggy Zaggy” chant proved effective once introduced during the team’s 2013 season. The Hounds completed a 7-7 regular season to steal the fourth and final spot in Championship Weekend -- with a Week 13 game against the Nationals at home as the deciding factor. The Hounds then upset the undefeated Outlaws in the first semifinal -- no doubt thanks to an amazing fan base that traveled to Philadelphia and chanted “Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy, Oi Oi Oi!” after each and every goal. The Hounds got in the heads of the Outlaws and took over the game.
The front office has heard from numerous opposing players and executives that they can’t stand the “Ziggy Zaggy” chant. That means it is working. The Hounds need their fans to keep up the enthusiasm and support as year three kicks off with a game at home against the rival Ohio Machine on Saturday, April 26.