How do you convince one of the best hockey players in the world to stay with your favorite team? You could always follow Sharks fan Emily Hall’s lead.
Hall wrote and sang “Time Is Nigh,” a parody of Blondie’s 1980 hit “The Tide Is High,” centered on San Jose defenseman (and pending free agent) Erik Karlsson.
When Blondie came on while she was grocery shopping back in December -- in an aisle with teal gummy sharks and Swedish Fish, no less -- she had her inspiration.
“I’m like, (singing) ‘the tide is high … the time is nigh,’ and literally, that’s how it hits me,” Hall recalled in a phone interview with NBC Sports California on Wednesday. “I just hear a phrase, and it comes together … and it sometimes never leaves my head until I actually finish it.”
This was shortly after Karlsson walked out of a press scrum that began moments earlier with The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell telling him “the time is nigh” for his first game against his former team, the Ottawa Senators. Karlsson opened his press conference in Ottawa the next day with the same four words, and they were soon stuck in Hall’s head.
But Hall, a Berkeley resident who has parodied songs with a teal twist on her YouTube page for over a decade, knew that a clever turn of phrase could only go so far.
“I actually try to take a song that has a feel of what it is,” she said. “In the case of ‘The Tide Is High,’ that song is about longing.”
That’s a feeling familiar to anyone who’s held a boombox outside of a window, flipped cue cards on a doorstep, or mouthed “you complete me.” Hall employed all three iconic romantic-comedy tropes in her video, and for good reason.
Since Feb. 25, Karlsson has been eligible to sign an eight-year contract extension with the Sharks. The defenseman can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and, like a rom-com lead making their dramatic pitch, Sharks fans (including Hall) are smitten and don’t want to see him leave.
"He has a lot to offer, right? His skating ability is amazing, and he just seems to have a really good attitude on the ice,” Hall said. “There's something about his personality that seems to fit. But not only that, when he's top of his game and the Sharks are clicking, just look at we went through. That last part of December and part of January was amazing.”
Hall recorded “Time Is Nigh” at some point after that run, and shot the video with her husband on a dreary February weekend in San Jose, just before the NHL trade deadline. She uploaded the video to YouTube on Monday, as well as the song recording and its lyrics to the karaoke app Smule to encourage other Sharks fans to sing along.
At least one Karlsson has heard it. Melinda Karlsson, Erik’s wife, tweeted on Monday that she was a fan.
Omg, this is amazing!! 😂❤️ https://t.co/4aYsfxlu7u— Melinda Karlsson (@MelindaCurrey) March 5, 2019
The Karlssons have some time to ruminate on Hall’s parody pitch, and however the Sharks try to top it.
In the meantime, Hall just wants him to get healthy. Karlsson has missed 13 of the Sharks’ last 18 games with a recurring groin injury, and Hall thinks they should rest him as much as possible prior to playing “a few games before the playoffs to get playoff-ready.”
Hall has followed this team since 1998, ever since she first attended a game on what was just her second date with her husband. With Karlsson in the fold, this San Jose team is as good as any she’s seen.
“I think the Sharks have a shot [at the Stanley Cup],” Hall said. “I do. I think this is the best roster we’ve ever had. … I think that we can beat Calgary. I think that we can beat Tampa, really.”
And if they do, Hall will have plenty to sing about.