Nashville's raucous chant tradition started with just 3 fans

Predators fans and their creative chants have become the not-so-quiet breakout stars of the Stanley Cup final, but the guys who started it all have been at it a long time.

Dates back to birth of Predators franchise

(Mark Humphrey/Associated Press)

By now you've heard the chant.

Down two games to none in the Stanley Cup final, the Nashville Predators needed a serious boost — and they got it from their fans.

After Nashville went up 2-1 in Game 3 at home, the Predators' faithful struck up a now-famous taunt directed at Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray.

And with the chant came a shift in momentum, as Nashville won two straight at home to even up the series at two games apiece.

But just where did the chant come from?

It all started in section 303 of Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.

According to their website, Lee Swartz, Mark Hollingsworth and Kurt Andress, joined by their love for hockey and excitement for a new expansion franchise coming to Nashville, bought season tickets in the "cheap seats" so they could bring along friends and family.

"We nearly decided on Section 331, but went with 303 because we could get a better site line on the team benches," Swartz says on the website.

Interestingly, given the matchup in this Stanley Cup final, Swartz also happened to be a passionate Pittsburgh Penguins fan when the team won two Stanley Cups in the early '90s and "experienced first hand the amazing energy that fans can bring to a team."

The three men quickly made friends with other season-ticket holders near their seats, and a fan club was born.

Early chants ranged from "Let's go Predators!" to "Aaaaah, sit down, ya loser!" and even the now famous "Goalie, you suck!" taunt.

"There's something quite amazing about hearing 17,000 people yell 'you suck!' in perfect unison at an opposing goalie," Swartz says.

By season two, other season-ticket holders were asking to have their seats moved to section 303.

Almost 20 years later, the chants remain a staple at Predators home games

Add that to the catfish toss and Smashville fans are beginning to look like some of the most passionate and raucous in the league.

Just don't call them bandwagon fans.