February 25 has been outlined on San Jose Sharks fans’ calendars all season, but not because of an impending trades. Due to a rule in the CBA that a player must be on a team’s roster as of the most recent trade deadline in order to sign the maximum eight years allowed in a contract, this was the soonest date that Erik Karlsson could take a max deal with the Sharks. From the trade, the rumor has been that General Manager Doug Wilson and the Sharks are pursuing an eight-year deal with the 28-year-old.
But February 25 came and passed with no word from Karlsson or the Sharks. It wasn’t entirely unexpected — Karlsson said during All-Star weekend that Wilson has been great about giving him time and space to make a decision. Still, fans are anxious to see one of the best defenders to ever don a teal sweater commit to eight more years in the bay.
Emily Hall, an administrative assistant in Berkley, California, is one of those fans. She’s been a Sharks fan for twenty years, falling in love with the team thanks to a second date at the Tank with her now-husband. She’s also been making parody videos since 2008. Rather than wait around for news, Hall took to her YouTube channel to help sway the blueliner’s decision-making.
The idea started while grocery shopping.
“I was shopping at a Sprouts in my area back in mid-December,” Hall detailed to Fear the Fin over email. “The Sharks were on a winning streak and Karlsson was a big part of those wins. For some reason, for the fun of it, [I] was using that archaic phrase ‘The Time Is Nigh’ in my daily language when Blondie’s song ‘Tide Is High’ was playing. I was in the bulk section of the store looking at the prepackage teal and white gummy Sharks next to some Swedish Fish when I noticed how the phrases rhymed and so a parody was born.”
From there, Hall got the ball rolling on making the video.
“I don’t go out wanting to do a parody, the inspiration hits me. It just stays in my mind until I start working on it. I really like Karlsson and think he’d be valuable on the Sharks, so the idea was in my head for a month and when I actually started writing it in January, it came together pretty fast.”
First, she contacted a friend to record the song.
“I have a friend who has a home recording studio and he is a master of what he does. I go in sounding like Carol Channing and I come out sounding like a Whitney Houston karaoke cover singer.”
The next step was making a video. In about a two-hour window in front of SAP Center, Hall paid homage to iconic romcoms, including Jerry Maguire, Say Anything and Love, Actually. Hall also took the opportunity to highlight Erik and Melinda Karlsson’s Can’t Dim My Light, as well as Proud to Be Me, both campaigns against bullying.
“The hardest scene to film was the cue card scene because it was super windy and every time I dropped the cue cards they blew away,” Hall said. “Luckily the wind died down a bit and I was able to shoot the scene.”
In the five minute video, Hall echoes a now familiar phrase with Sharks fans, singing “The time is nigh/please sign Karlsson/Sharks want to be your number one/Doug’s not a GM/who’ll give up on you like that.”
“The time is nigh,” of course, comes from an interview early in the season where reporters were told Karlsson would not be talking about his return to Ottawa, but The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell still deigned to open questioning with “The time is nigh for your return to Ottawa,” causing Karlsson to rightfully exit the scrum before it began.
Since that interview and Karlsson’s subsequent return to Ottawa, the Sharks have gone on a tear, taking a run at the Pacific Division title, despite a streaky start to the season.
Hall notices a difference in the team this year. “The Sharks are faster and they shoot more. The other thing about Karlsson is he’s a play maker. He sees the ice really well and he’s mobile and a smart hockey player, so he’s been able to set up his teammates to score.”
While re-signing Karlsson is important to Hall, the long-term success of the Sharks is the most important factor. “As long as terms are reasonable, having Karlsson on the blueline would make [the Sharks] contenders for the long run. But again, it has to be reasonable, because the success of this team means having other talented players on it. If the Sharks empty the bank for Karlsson, (and just a few other players), [they’ll] end up being like Chicago, LA and Anaheim are now in a couple of years. So yes, sign Karlsson, but make sure that [they] have enough cap space to keep the team awesome.”
While waiting on Karlsson contract news, Hall has made it so other Sharks fans can join in to convince the Karlssons to stay. Using the karaoke app Smule, fans can search for “Tide is High parody” or “Time is Nigh” to find the recording to sing along. You can then use the hashtag #SerenadeKarlssonIntoSigning on social media, so Hall and others can find your version.
Whether he re-signs or not, Hall will continue making videos and supporting her favorite team — and maybe get others involved when inspirations strikes again.
“Hopefully on my next parody video I can get more fans to join me.”