Friday, February 22, 2008

 

Disrepecting a National Anthem? Puh-lease!

by Jes

Some fans in arenas across North American like to have a little fun with the national anthems as they are being sung. Dallas Stars' fans yell "STARS" during the American anthem, for example.

Well, apparently Washington Capitals' fans are having a little fun during the national anthem, and now the jingoistic prudes are getting all whiny about it.

Right here in our nation's capital, of all places, some people have a problem with the national anthem.

It's not with the melody and certainly not the meaning, but when the anthem singer at a local sports event gets to the line, "O, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave." For years now, some fans have been yelling "O!" adding the original exclamation point as Francis Scott Key wrote it and shouting with gusto and fervor.

O, how this practice irks other fans.

"It's something that's been bugging me for a long time," said Mike Rucki, a longtime Washington Capitals fan and co-founder of OnFrozenBlog.com, a hockey Web site that provides a forum for those of a similar mind. "Just because it's a tradition doesn't mean it's a good tradition."


Boo-frickin-hoo! I hope Mike Rucki gets his nose bitten by a bald eagle. Just because this fellow hasn't been laid in 14 years doesn't mean he has to get all up in our faces.

Tell me, again, why we North Americans bother with this national anthem nonsense before sporting events?

Do you sing the national anthem before office meetings, while standing at a bus stop, buying a latte from Starbucks, or waxing your carrot? NO! So, why is it normal practice to do national anthems before sporting events.

Hey, I'm there to watch men (or sometimes women) play sports. I'm not there to do a bad sing-a-long or pretend that I'm feeling all patriotic prior to a Canucks/Avalanche game. Really, if I want to listen to music, I'll buy tickets to a concert, or turn up my mp3 player. Get the game on already!

Riddle me this ... Do the Canucks really represent Canada? Are the Avs really American? Kinda hard to think of the Avs as representing the USoA when their stars are Slovak, Czech, and Canadian. Similarly, the Canucks are pretty hefty on the Swedes.

Disrespecting an anthem? It's a song! Anyone who ties a song closely with a country and their own personal feelings is just anal retentive. These are the same people who treat the flag as a symbol of holy worship, and think their whole identity is tied up in the country they happened to be born in. A song is an artistic expression, and open to individual interpretation. Travel back in time to the 1950's if you are interested in being a slave to the state.

Booing the anthem or swearing during the anthem ... those things are crass. Shouting "STARS!" en-masse is not. Tacky, maybe, but not crass.

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Comments:
"Boo-frickin-hoo! I hope Mike Rucki gets his nose bitten by a bald eagle. Just because this fellow hasn't been laid in 14 years doesn't mean he has to get all up in our faces."

That's a pretty immature statement. I wonder why they gave a 13 year old a blog.
 
haha I'm with you on this. I don't see how shouting "O!" is unpatriotic. I guess the crappy singers they get that add the "hooooooaoaoaoaoome of the braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave" are unpatriotic too. We should get rid of them. I guess the people that dont put their hand over their heart are unpatriotic too - we should think of a good way to punish them. Commies. Suck it up people - you're at a sporting event. Have some fun.
 
Disrespecting an anthem doesn't just disrespect a song, but a country.

But I can see how you don't understand as Canada has only hockey to be proud of.

Oh... and ridiculous taxes and a major inferiority complex.... yeah Canada!
 
If Jes had bothered to read the original article, it's about respecting the singer, the song, and the fact that shouting "O" is a friggin' Baltimore Orioles tradition... as in not DC, and definitely not hockey. Take your Ritalin, shut the hell up for 90 seconds, and stop doing a stupid baseball chant at a hockey game.

Yes, you're certainly free to behave like an idiot and say what you want. But free speech also means people are free to argue against it if they don't like it.

Dropping the anthem entirely could make for an interesting debate of its own, particularly in a sport like hockey with so many international players. But it's much more fun, apparently, to type a brainless rant.

Then again, I suppose it fits with this site's approach... talk loudly and attack anyone you don't agree with. How uber-right-wing Bill O'Reilly of them.

Whoops, here comes a bald eagle, I'd better duck.
 
Not bad. Four comments. Three fascists.
Moby wants to know why "they" gave a blog to someone unworthy.
Anonymouse sees enemies of the state in people emphasizing a syllable of a pointless, jingoistic rant that for some reason we sing before sporting events. Check with grampa, he'll tell you they used to sing anthems before movies, too, but we let that one die.
And Mike's in favor of free speech when it's someone defending the anthem, but not in favor of free speech when it's someone ripping the anthem. And then he gets his politics completely turned around and calls the blogger "Bill O'Reilly". Too many layers of irony to count.
 
Isn't the "O" yell connected to the Baltimore Orioles maybe? I know DC now has the Nats but there is still that O's tradition.

Yeah, in Europe, the nat'l anthems of both teams is only played when it's national team vs. nat'l team. League games just start without any of that nonsense.
 
Travel back in time to the 1950's if you are interested in being a slave * to the state.

WTF?

I can't speak for Canada, but in the USA, the government of the 50's was orders of magnitude less intrusive into the lives of its citizens than at any time since then. . . . and yea, I am old enough to remember.

* I'm wondering if Jes is confused by the 'conformity' label that 60's nostalgists (i.e., liberals) like to pin on the 50's . . . a conformity that, if it ever really existed, was (a) cultural, and (b) voluntary in nature.
 
"Disrespecting an anthem doesn't just disrespect a song, but a country.
But I can see how you don't understand as Canada has only hockey to be proud of.
Oh... and ridiculous taxes and a major inferiority complex.... yeah Canada!
# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 8:12 PM "

...that's why people hate Americans. "My country is better than your country" bullshit.
 
Hey folks, let's not turn this into a Canada vs. USA fight here. THere are people on both sides of the border that are rather prudish about these sorts of things.

Bobbyorr, I was referring to the rampant McCarthyism of the era plus the culture or the conformist nuclear family that existed at the time.

How anyone can tie a song into a country that strongly is beyond me. There are plenty of songs about the USA (Ain't that American, etc). So, if I don't like these songs, I'm automatically anti-American? Gimme a break. Symbolism is for the symbol-minded, to steal a George Carlin quote.

Taxes - Kinda funny how the myth of high high high taxes is perpetrated so often. Compared to the USA, our income taxes aren't THAT much higher.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

Of course, people often quote such nonsense without knowing the real facts.
 
Could you not find a better source that Wikipedia?

That's right. Wikipedia knows all.

It must be true. I read it on the internet!

I don't mind dropping the anthems before the games. But while they are there, why fuck with it? Why not yell "USA Sucks! or "Canada Blows Ass". I suppose you'd be in favour of burning flags before the games as well. That could tie in nicely with Calgary.

Why do any of you even care what happens in Washington?
 
But then plenty of teams mess up the anthem by allowing bad performers. I still remember one time the whole anthem was played by an electric guitar and it felt like an hour had gone by when it ended.

I agree they should stop playing anthems unless the national teams are playing.
 
Bobbyorr, I was referring to the rampant McCarthyism of the era plus the culture or the conformist nuclear family that existed at the time.

Well, allrighty then, but (a) McCarthyism was a slightly overzealous attempt to combat communism (an ideology that literally seaks to make the citizen a slave to the state) and (b) we're still waiting for someone to invent a better way of raising kids since the nuclear family started it's slow road to disintegration after the alleged evils of the conformist 50's.
 
Could you not find a better source that Wikipedia?

That's right. Wikipedia knows all.

It must be true. I read it on the internet!

# posted by Anonymous Anonymous : 9:00 AM

Mind you, at least there's a reference linked to those tax stats from the OECD. You'd figure they know a thing or two about economics whether you agree with them or not.
 
The "O" was imported from Baltimore Orioles games. That's the primary argument: shouting some stupid baseball team saying, not that shouting during the anthem is bad. Get the facts straight. Dallas fans shouting "stars" is fine in my book. At least it originated for the HOCKEY team, not some loser baseball team.
 
OK, since obviously there's a failure to communicate here, let me put this a different way so that you can understand the real issue.

Imagine, if you will, that at one point Vancouver had a hockey team and it was moved by a greedy owner to another city. Looking for a team to root for, Vancouver fans went to the next closest team, say Edmonton. To celebrate the name of the team -- the "O"ilers -- during the national anthem fans in Edmonton yell "O" when it comes up in the song. People in Vancouver join in because, hey, it's what's done in Edmonton.

For the next 35 years, not only is Vancouver without a team, but it's also used by hockey as a threat for where teams could move if cities that currently have hockey teams don't build new stadiums and such. But one day hockey runs out of places to expand/move, and suddenly it looks like a team may end up in Vancouver. But now the owners in Edmonton, used to the money coming from the Vancouver fans, works to explicitly prevent a hockey team from getting place in Vancouver, stating it will harm the existing team in Edmonton, that Vancouver can't support its own team, etc. However, over the objections of the Edmonton owner, a team gets placed in Vancouver anyway.

Now, would you expect fans in Vancouver to still yell "O" during the national anthem? Or would you take it as something that should exist only in Edmonton? (Substitute Baltimore for Edmonton and Washington, DC for Vancouver in this exercise, and you'll understand what's behind this.)
 
TG,
That was brilliant.
 
Yelling Stars is a lot of fun, but before the trade with Tampa happened the fans had come up with an even more entertaining, and I suppose disrespectful, scream: "Oh say can JUSSI, by the dawns early light..."


It made me laugh every time.
 
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