The Forbidden Curse: 2007 Edition

Yes, I think that’s where Mr. Young missed the point of the whole thing. Obviously, the forbidden chant is not the most erudite expression ever to peal across a football stadium. But this is because it was not created by businessmen, nor workshopped in order to estimate its market potential, nor refined through focus groups so that it could maximize profit. Instead, as many people here have pointed out, chanting “Argos $uck!? is an organic custom that grew out of the history and heritage of the Ticat-Argo rivalry, and therefore out of the wider historical relationship between Toronto and Hamilton.

“Argos $uck? is memetic. It was forged in Hamiltonian vernacular for specific reasons, at a specific time, as both NSK and Matelot have elegantly pointed out. It became more popular as the years went by because of these historical associations. With this tradition now approaching the half-century mark, “Argos $uck!? is something that should be celebrated, not forbidden.

Regardless, the forbidden chant is not going away, and has in fact reached new heights in popularity and cultural exposure since Mr. Young released his Syllabus of Errors way back in 2004, wherein he announced his personal vendetta against the beloved phrase.

After the debacle of 2005 (during which time diplomatic overtures to Mr. Young from the forbidden demographic were rebuked with malice), many began to fear that a “curse? had resulted from this personal vendetta. However, a losing record of 5-13 in the same year that a chant was forbidden for the first time in Tiger-Cat history could just as easily be written off as coincidence. Then, after the debacle of 2006 (during which time diplomatic overtures to Mr. Young from the forbidden demographic were again rebuked with malice), many were now sure as to the source of the curse.

The worst part is, in the same year that Mr. Young was pillorying his own fans, raising beer prices and conspiring to up the cost of tickets, the dreaded (and perennially over .500) argos were selling season packages for a little over a hundred bucks, and were inviting their attendees to come down on the field after the game to meet the players, with no stipulations as to personal chant preference. Allowing the argos to upstage the Ticat organization in this way, on and off the field, is surely a symptom of some kind of curse.

And so here we are in 2007. Mr. Young has conceded many mistakes. He has referred to himself as an “idiot? numerous times, in the press and in public. Yet apparently he still thinks that impugning the motives of Tiger-Cat fans and exposing us to the residue of his personal hang-ups is still a great idea. And, coincidentally or not, the foibles keep piling up.

Perhaps there is no such thing as a curse. But there is such a thing as institutional atmosphere, corporate environment, etc., wherein poisonous policy can have a very real trickle-down effect into unexpected areas of an operation. The forbidding of our beloved chant is a vestige of the old way of doing things from the “idiot? era, yet for some reason this edict is still in force. When placed in the context of the many, many complaints that have appeared on this message board lately, it makes you wonder if anything really has changed. Call it karma, call it come-uppance, or call it a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I think there is more to this “curse? thing than one might initially expect.

It has become something of an annual tradition on to discuss the purported existence of a curse. And it has similarly become tradition to beg Mr. Young to repeal, re-define, or otherwise end the forbidding of the sacred chant. However, after three years of trying, and after a foreboding opening day loss, and after reading many legitimate complaints in thread after thread, one can only lament.

Here Here Mr. Bunner....another thought provoking post. You have inspired me to upload the 2007 update of the Forbidden Website.

The battle with our Bob continues, and we told him in 2004 that we would not go away:

lots of new stuff.....2006 Hall of Fame inductee, intro movie, celebs, interactive, worldwide (now at the Great Wall of China...greatest man made structure, and the greatest chant!).

Much more to do, so little time.....enjoy!

The Forbidden Tradition continues Saturday night!

Let the chanting begin. I too remember as a kiddlet sitting in the stands early 70's and sitting in Exhibition Stadium, that when the Boatman blow hards started with their ARGOOOOOOOOOOs $UCK was right behind it. Not as to refer to anything gross but because it was fun, harmless and no malice intent.
As too curses well I won't open that can of worms but to say messing around with certain logos and traditions have since those changes werid things have been happening on Balsam street.

Come on guys (and Borehamgirl),

We may not have improved the team on the field but we have not made it worse. We started with a 1-17 team that was bereft of young Canadian football players.

Today we have arguably the best young Canadian talent in the league.

Trying to make a connection between our updating of the marketing of the team and the fans experience in the stadium with our disappointing season last year, is a stretch. A big one.

Worse (for your Curse argument) is that once Charlie has this team winning you'll have to admit that all the updating of the team (flowers, cheers, logo's, Video boards, etc...) was both not the cause of our disappointing play on the field, and has been directly responsible for filling the stands at Ivor Wynne again!

Cheers, Bob.

ps. I love you guys.

North vs South, East vs West, Springfield vs Shelbyville....


:rockin: :rockin: :rockin: :thdn:

I don’t think anyone is arguing that things are worse than 2003 (which wouldn’t make sense anyways, chronologically or otherwise, re: the possible existence of a curse). However, it has been unexpectedly gloomy and difficult for all Ticat fans since the end of 2004’s 9-8-1 season, the precise moment when the forbidden edict was proclaimed.

The “updating of the marketing of the team? is not the issue. The issue is that certain updates (like the forbidding-of-the-chant-update) meddled with deep traditions while giving no thought to the consequences. Consequences like sad fans. And curses.

Even the shrillest of us are hard-pressed to complain about, let’s say, washroom flowers, or not being bankrupt. Insolvency and the scent of unmasked Ivor Wynne sewage are traditions we’re all happy to have forbidden. But, as the current Pigskin Pete fiasco shows, "updating" some of the more sacred traditions without sufficient forethought can easily backfire. The thousand-dollar-replacement-chant-aganza was (is?) perhaps the best example of this same effect. When combined with the saga of "the front office vs. the football people" that is now an official part of Tiger-Cat lore, the correlation between “the fan’s experience in the stadium? and the on-field performance of the team is not as much of a stretch as you suggest.

Never has the forbidden demographic denied that the updates you speak of are directly responsible for filling the stands at Ivor Wynne again. But forbidding our beloved chant was not one of them (unless you're attempting to float the "forbidden chant=fan violence" premise again). And worse (for all of us) is that the period of the “disappointing play on the field? corresponds exactly to the anti-chant edict and its lead-up. As we enter the 3rd full year of the curse, a fan cannot help but be nervous.

It really does seem that the forbidding of the chant has ignited some kind of sports curse. From the playoff debacle of November 2004 to the no-touchdown debacle of the recent season opener, the one common denominator seems to be the forbidding of the chant. And such curses can be very real, as the people of Chicago, Toronto, Buffalo, Boston and many other sports towns can attest to.

But rather than putting the pressure on Coach Taaffe so early in the season of this his first year, it is us, the fans and the Caretaker together, that should take up the burden of ending the curse. For instance, let’s say the Edict of the Forbidden Chant was rescinded for the home opener this saturday night, on a conditional basis. The fans would love it. The media would eat it up. The ears of Jason Maas and Timmy Chang would temporarily stop burning. You could even blow something up on the field as a kind of homage to the Comiskey Park “Disco $ucks? ceremony if you wanted. And it would be win-win. If the Cats are victorious, we’re all happy. If they aren’t, you won’t have to put up with “forbidden curse? threads anymore, like you have in 2007, and 2006, and 2005.

Rescind the Edict of the Forbidden Chant, I do beg. It would be a light in a time of darkness. It would be the ultimate update. And maybe, just maybe, it would end the curse.

This is a great thread!! :lol: :thup:

Speaking as an Argo fan:
The curse doesn't bug us, Bob. And forget that bullbleep about civility...we hardly expect that from our rivals.
It just makes you look small when you bully your fans like that.

The chant that can not be named will live forever...forbidden or not

It is a great tradition and fun by both sides....I remember as a kid driving to the annual Labour Day Classic with my father and grandfather practising our chant and the begging of my dad to purchase the latest Argo S... merchandise outside and inside the stadium (buttons, t-shirts, headbands, etc). And no matter the score the chant echoing through the building (boy does it feel good as a fan to chant that can not be named when you are losing by over 3 touchdowns - the score does not seem as bad at that point). The chant that can not be named was then taught to my daughter (much to my wives despair but in deep proudness from grandpa and great grandpa) at a young age and in fact was the precursor of developing some strong friendships with some current and former Argos (at a Argo Fan day my 4 year daughter at the time was asked if she wanted an autograph in which she responded no the Argos S... so you have my autograph and proceeded to draw a picture and sign it for him. This Argo broke down it tears with laughter and kept the picture hung in his locker for the season and now is a close friend)
I also remember I was subjetc to a Ticat S..... chant in 2000 I believe. It was the last game of the season and the Argos were at home against Calgary. Argo win they are in playoffs if they lose Ticats in. My buddy and I dress up in our Ticat Grey Cup gear (decorated black coveraall sans tail, yellow hats and Ti-Cat flags) and cheer loudly for the Stamps. Fans and players approached us before, during and after the game laughing and thinking it was great we were ther but lo and behold with seconds left in the game Prefontaine kicks the field goal for the lead and friend and 30 000 plus point to my friend and I with a Ti Cat S.... chant - in a Stamps Argo Game.....lots of fun

So the chant that can not be named is not bad and fact has created many memories and friendships for myself and many others...

Wouldn't it be great to be rid of it for one game .... hmm perhaps Labour Day Classic (espicially if it is a big one in the standings which I think it may be)...have a on field presentation much like Comiskey Park as mentioned.. sell the merchandise ($$$$) and have a throw back night...

Whatya say Mr. Caretaker?????

We chant that at every game...

But as to your point about it making friends, you've hit the nail on the head. This isn't said in anger, but in good-natured rivalry.

Hey, maybe all the Forbidden Website Directors could be flown in for the game? Oddly, many of us have moved away from Hamilton, yet we are still noble to the cause.

i love the picture of the signs over the hiway. i remember driving under that.

Look!!! I'm a Fox 40!! Blow Me!!

Look!!! I'm a Fox 40!! Blow Me!!
Yes, because responses like this are much better than the chant that can not be named. And really makes us all a proud member of the site and a proud Cats fan....

tweet, tweet

It appears that CBC doesn't have any qualms about the forbidden curse...

i thought that they were supposed to be Toronto-biased?

Sorry, our bad. A quick perusal through the Forbidden Website's "celebrities" section will give you an idea of the amount of people we have on the inside at the Mother Corp.

Poor Walby, by the end of the 3rd quarter you could literally hear his brain grinding as he tried to come up with euphemisms for the word "curse."

However, I was thinking more or less the same thing as you, as I arrived home and reviewed the game tape (masochistic, I know). Here’s my Forbidden count:

• Opening seconds: The broadcast starts off by showing a fan wearing a vintage “Argos $uck? button

• After Toronto gives up that safety in the 1st quarter, CBC shows a close-up of a really nice home-made “Argos $uck!? sign being proudly waved by a member of the forbidden demographic

• Immediately after this, CBC does a close-up panorama of the stands. The first guys shown do some hooting and hollering. The next guys tell the cameraman to buzz off. The next is a heart-warming shot of a mother and daughter. And the final scene? A close up of a face-painted, spirited, die-hard member of the forbidden demographic, who then delivers one of the most perfect “Argos $uck!?'s I have ever heard. The conviction. The defiance. The type of inspiration I would’ve hoped to have emanating from the field in fact

• At 6:13 of the 3rd quarter, just after Timmy Chang decides to throw into triple coverage (even though the O-line delivered excellent protection for a change), CBC zooms in on a guy in a real nice “Argos $uck!? shirt

• 2:19 left in the 4th quarter, and my favourite shot of the game: A young kid in a vintage Tom Clements/Mike Kerrigan jersey hangs over the rail and actually performs the chant! Mere feet from the CBC cameras! Tempo, cadence, was all there! An amazing display by the young rookie

Perhaps CBC did go out of their way to cover “Argos $uck!?. However I think it’s more a testament to the popularity of the forbidden chant, and the sense of history and heritage that it conveys. Going into year 3 of the era of forbidden-ness, the currency, legitimacy and meaning of the chant has only increased among fans.

 My early estimate is that the forbidden chant received as much or more coverage than the ironic phrase “hammer time? did. Further, judging by the chanting adolescent at the end of the game, the Forbidden Website has done a most exemplary job with its up-and coming Canadian talent. As always, we would be happy to share our marketing and game-planning advice with any interested parties that may be in need of such services.

You guys need to get a life.

I just read the 2006 Hall of Fame entry on the forbidden site. I've gotta admit, my guess would have been Ricky Williams. He embodied the long-standing Argo tradition of trying to buy victories only to be (more often than not) disappointed in the results. The clincher would have been when yoga boy decided to walk around barefoot through the practice facilities, and sliced open his foot on a door, thereby delaying his return to action by a number of weeks.

But I will concede that the Bruce III selection was appropriate given its larger social significance and tie-in to an important issue in sports history.

Well done.

I gotta admit I loved this pic of Tigger and I. Thanks Tigger!