As I’m sure many of you have noticed, there’s a huge sign in the end of our arena above section 122 with the name “Diablos” surrounded by flames. There’s a lot of excited fans up in that section, constantly chanting, cheering, standing and playing stadium horns or ringing cowbells. At the start of this season, our organization took a bold step in an effort to start rockin’ The Rock and chose to officially designate one section of the arena as a supporters section.
Since I pride myself on being a vocal supporter of our team, I thought it would be fun to take a trip upstairs and get the scoop on this new addition to our home atmosphere and find out just what The Diablos are all about. I have been talking with Greg Kuhn, the head captain of the Diablos, and he invited me to join them for the game. He answered all my questions about the Diablos, and I thought other fans would enjoy learning just what the heck is going on upstairs and how they could get in on the fun, too!
The first question most people have is how did this start? It turns out that it all started as groups of fans communicating over message boards. Their idea was to buy tickets together so a section could be formed strictly of people who wanted to cheer on their team. After several gatherings last season, the organization took notice, and inquired as to whether or not some of them would be interested in having season tickets together in one designated section that would be specified as a “supporters section.” So, this past August, the Devils sent out invitations and hosted a meeting for those fans that were interested in creating the group. Both Devils management and the fans exchanged ideas, suggested a name for the group, and chose a captain and two co-captains. After several meetings, the name “Diablos 122″ was chosen and designs for the logo we now see above the section were finalized.
So what are they chanting up there? They use a few different chants, mostly the standard “Go Devs Go,” “Let’s Go Devils!” or chanting player names when they score a goal, get an assist, or make a spectacular save. At the ten minute mark, they do the “Give me a D, E, V, I, L, S” chant. On the Penalty Kill, they chant “KILL” or “DE-FENSE.” They’ve also been known to taunt an opposing player in the box with “You Can’t Do That!”
The Diablos are always looking for something new and trying to find what works best, as their goal is to get as many fans involved in the cheering as possible. They even host monthly meetings to discuss feedback.
A lot of people have wondered if they do anything new or have tried to come up with anything unique, and the answer is YES! At 3:40, they count down 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… and at 3:30 they cheer and yell and ring those cowbells for a full 30 seconds. The 30 seconds of cheering represent our 30 year anniversary, honor our future hall of fame goaltender Martin Brodeur, and the 3 represents our team having won 3 Stanley Cups. I’ve noticed the organization encouraging this along, too! At the last two games at that time the jumbo tron was lighting up encouraging fans to “raise hell” with the Diablos in 122.
Is this group growing? YES. As the season has progressed, more people have been approaching Greg and his fellow captains about being part of the fun. They’ve noticed the sections surrounding them starting to cheer along or signal over that they want another chant started. If you want to become a part of the Diablos, there’s only a few simple rules you have to follow (the primary two being that you have to wear your Devils gear and be LOUD in your support of the team!), and if you go upstairs and visit, Greg will tell you who to talk to about getting your season tickets in that section!
As if their in arena support for our team and one another isn’t phenomenal enough, the Diablos also make an effort to treat each other as family. Many of them are genuine friends and work together to host events, meet ups, and even gather to promote the team outside of the arena.
They were recently asked by Brian Lebeouf, owner of Sports Minded Unlimited, if they would tailgate at his shop during a signing event he was hosting featuring Zach Parise. Who could turn that opportunity down? Of course, they said yes, brought out the BBQs and a tent, greeted fans and had food with the owners. When the event was coming to a close, Brian brought Zach out to interact with the group and pose for some photos!
The entire Diablos group is extremely friendly and welcoming, so don’t hesitate to go upstairs and say hello next time you’re at The Rock. Or, simply join in the fun and cheer along! Together we can get The Rock Rockin’ and let our players know they have our support 100%.