What was supposed to be a few friends on a ferry ride turned into the backstory behind how the Seattle Kraken found their goal horn.
Practically everyone within the Kraken organization knows Lamont Buford and Jonny Greco are inseparable. Some of that has to do with their jobs. Buford is the Kraken’s vice president of game presentation, while Greco is senior vice president of game presentation and live entertainment. The rest of it has to do with the fact they are extremely close friends. Greco and his family invited Buford to come with them on a day trip to Bainbridge Island. They were taking in the sights when they heard a booming ferry horn off in the distance.
That’s when it hit them. There might be something there.
“We were like, ‘That’s it! That’s the goal horn!'” Buford recalled.
“What really sealed the deal again was we were at a breakfast meeting with our friend, Pat Walker. He’s a Seattlite who did what we do but for the Sonics. In the middle of our meeting, a horn went off over the water. He said to us, ‘What do you think? That has to be the goal horn, right?’ We chuckled … (and) just told him we were looking at all our options.”
The sound of a ferry horn blaring throughout Climate Pledge Arena was both extremely Seattle and Washington as a whole. Picturing the Kraken flying down the ice on the rush, scoring a game-winning goal and then blaring a ferry horn to declare the moment was extremely alluring.
Yet there was still a question Buford and Greco needed to answer: Exactly where does one find a random ferry horn hanging around?
Buford said they couldn’t call companies that make goal horns and ask them to replicate a ferry horn. They knew they had to get an actual, authentic ferry horn. So they started researching. Ferry horns each have a certain sound. There are some that are lighter in sound, while some are heavier. Here is where having Rob Johnson on their staff once again paid off for the Kraken. A lifelong Seattle native, Johnson is the Kraken’s vice president of transportation. He’s also a former city council member who just happens to be one of those multi-generational Seattle residents. Buford said Johnson’s family has a long-standing relationship with the Washington State Ferries that goes back to his great, great grandfather.