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Question: Should the National Anthem "Oh!" be Retired?

Wednesday's Wizards game actually provided a great jumping off point for this long-simmering debate. James Earl Jones was on hand to recite the National Anthem. When he got to "Oh say does that" etc., a few people sort of softly ventured the traditional "Oh!," but not too many. I guess you don't want to interrupt Darth when he's honoring the flag. I'll have audio of this eventually.

Unclear whether he'd inspire people to say "Oh!" during the Anthem, but I'd love to find out. (Jessica Rinaldi - Reuters)

(I asked the players what they thought.

"It was cool," Antonio Daniels said.

"It was different," Gilbert said.

"At first I was thinking he was gonna sing, and I was like, I don't know if he can sing,'" Brendan Haywood said. "And then he just started talking and it was like spoken word. Hey man, whatever, it still honors the country and the flag. But it was definitely different."

None of them would perform a James Earl Jones impression, which was upsetting.)

Anyhow, the fact that Darth finally provided a way to silence those "Oh!" people was most joyous to me, and then I came across this OnFrozenBlog entry about the "Oh!" at Caps games. OrderedChaos doesn't like it; thinks it's disrespectful to the flag, and also illogical at a D.C. hockey rink:

YOU'RE AT A HOCKEY GAME, not an Orioles game. It's bad enough that Orioles' fans choose to soil the anthem with a brief, horrific burst of karaoke, but what they do in Camden Yards is their business. Setting aside the disrespect for a moment, why would someone think that bringing an Orioles-specific tradition to a Caps game makes sense? What's next, singing "Hail to the Redskins" after goals and chanting "Let's Go Nats?"

Some of his commenters, though, disagree, saying that the "Oh!" has entered the point of regional tradition, regardless of the sport or team. Martin St. Louis, for example, took time out of worrying about the Lightning's three-game losing streak to post this:

I understand where you are coming from, but this is a Maryland/DC tradition. Other states look at us like what the...As bad as it may seem, it is something this area has done to assert itself from the other states and regions. Canada has its"everybody in the stadium sing the anthem" and we have the "O" and I do not believe this will ever end, so only thing i can say is embrace it! OHHHHHHHHHH!

I know the "Oh!" is especially robust at Orioles and Terps games, but I'm pretty sure I've heard it at 'Skins games and Wiz games and George Mason (!) games and definitely Nats games. My own feeling is that it is appropriate at an Orioles game, acceptable at any Terps event, mildly annoying everywhere else, and completely stupid at a Nats game, where the "Oh!" shouters deserve nothing more than a barrage of peanut shells. Thoughts?

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 15, 2006; 11:23 AM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Nowhere but Orioles games. OK, Terps games if you insist. But remember, it was the stupid Orioles that were the biggest barrier to a baseball team coming here for umpteen years. Why in the world would we celebrate for them. Plus, they are very clearly the BALTIMORE Orioles, not the Baltimore-Washington Orioles, the Mid-Atlantic Orioles, or anything like that. All who yell "O" at events for Washington sports teams should be immediately ejected from the stadium!

Posted by: TG | December 15, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I can't stand the "O!" This isn't Balmer or Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon etc. It needs to stop.

Posted by: WFY | December 15, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

at uva games it's HOOOOOOOOS. at least if you're going to do it make it fit your team.

Posted by: RB | December 15, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I first learned to yell "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh" during an Orioles game when I was like 10. I always thought it was disrespectful, even then when I didn't know any better, but i do it now out of repetition. Also, too, because I feel like it pumps up the players and shows support to the person singing the national anthem.

I actually think it would be quite wierd to go to a Capitals game, for instance, and have no one yell "Ohhh." I wouldn't really know what to do with myself.

I don't think it can be retired, Dan. It's here to stay forever... well unless...

University of Maryland's way of getting arid of the "hey you suck" chants was to just to delete rock n roll part 2 from the band's playlist. Oh wait, that didn't work. Fans just do it without the music.

Got nothing for you, man. Maybe everyone from the area are just disrespectul, a-holes. I guess we just have to learn to live with it.

Posted by: Ian | December 15, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I've heard light amounts of "Oh" at Nats games, except during the interleague games with the Orioles, when they was a lot of it. Followed by loud booing on the parts of some Nats fans. I don't like the "Oh" and I hate hearing it at DC sports events, but while I wholeheartedly endorse booing the Orioles and their fans, can we not do that during the anthem?

But other than that, yeah. Hate the "Oh."

Posted by: arcs | December 15, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Let's just change the anthem, and just make sure it incorporates the nicknames of the local sports teams so we can yell multiple times throughout its performance.

Respect for our country? What's that? DC is only the seat of the free world, why should we set an example?

Posted by: JC | December 15, 2006 12:10 PM | Report abuse

We need to stop waxing nostalgic about our childhood Oriole fandom. We need to stay focused on spitting on idiots who yell "OHHH!" at RFK Stadium.

That settles it, from now on I'm yelling "G-T-F-OOOOOOH!" Especially at interleague games.

Posted by: bryc3 | December 15, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm not from the area originally, and I didn't get the "Oh" thing at first and thought it was disrespectful at first. I've more than gotten used to it now. I'm cool with it being done at all local sporting events. I also don't mind it being boo'ed by people who don't support the Orioles. (On a side note I thought they were yelling "O's!," not "OH!")

I was at an Orioles/Blue Jays game over the summer, where they played the Canadian anthem as well. My friend was singing along at a moderate volume for the entire song. I thought he was just mocking Canadian crowds, until the final line, where he screamed the "O" in "O' Canada" and stopped.

Posted by: ES | December 15, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

At the Caps games I hate the "O!" I sometimes yell, "Caps," or "Shut up!"

Posted by: false_cause | December 15, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I've always enjoyed doing it at the Oriole's games. It is a little out of place at a DC event though. I usually just say it softly, maybe a little louder than I sign the anthem itself.

Being that the song itself is a old British drinking tune, I doubt adding a little local flavor to it is all that disrespectful.

Go Caps!

Posted by: EricS | December 15, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

OH MY GOD. So that's what that means.

All this time i thought people were shouting their encouragement for the TV commercials.

Posted by: Natsman | December 15, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

It's disrespectful. Period. No matter what the team, no matter where, no matter what word they're yelling.

Either stand quietly in respect, or sing along.

Posted by: JoshC | December 15, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

If they want to do it in Baltimore or at Maryland, fine. Whatever. But keep there. It doesn't make sense anywhere else.

I mean, imagine if the "Let's Go Caps" cheer was heard at every Ravens game? Or UVA's "The Good Old Song" was sung after each Wizard's three-pointer?

Yeah, I heard it at the Mason home opener and I just shook my head. And don't even get me started with people doing it at a Nats game.

Posted by: Reader Glenn | December 15, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse

It's stupid. If the O's fans want to do it, that's their deal. But we don't want your Baltimore traditions anymore than we wanted your baseball team.

Weren't some Caps fans just complaining about soccer fans bringing their traditions to the phone booth?

Anyone yelling out Ohhhh at a Nats, Wiz, Caps, etc game should immediately be hit in the back of the head with whatever you can find.

Posted by: Prophet | December 15, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Just do what I do and tell the rednecks to go back to Bhawlmuher.

I like the fact that it is gone from RFK and FedEx, now we need to clean it out of the Phone Booth as well.

Posted by: Caps Nut | December 15, 2006 1:01 PM | Report abuse

It is an Oriole "tradition". I can understand why people would yell it at the Nationals game since they are the down 95 rival. Yelling at Caps, DC United, 'Skins, Ravens, and Wizards games is mildly stupid. The Orioles have an "O" in the name, we are clever fans. If people wanted to yell "See" at Caps games fine but the "O" is for Oriole use only. Rule of thumb, are the Orioles playing: if yes then "O"=Okay, if no then "O"=Mildly stupid...

Posted by: Guy Lefeur | December 15, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I just thought of this too. I think a lot of it really has nothing to do with the Orioles at all. It's just putting emphasis on the O in the beginning of the last stanza of the song. It's the home stretch. It's kinda letting the singer we're there and we're behind them. It really isn't as malicious and stupid as a lot of people are making this. It's not an Orioles thing, it's a regional thing, and I think once people realize this, it's not an issue.

Posted by: Ian | December 15, 2006 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The "OH" is for use at Oriole events ONLY!!

Posted by: Spencer | December 15, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse


I'm pretty certain that it has everything to do with the Orioles and it's not people putting emphasis on certain parts of the anthem.

But I do agree with you that it's become a regional thing--and that's the problem!

Did I mention I hate it hate it hate it?


Posted by: Reader Glenn | December 15, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

From a person that does not shout during anyone's anthem for any reason:


Disrespecting the anthem would be people talking over it, or actively booing it (usually, that only happens when we have a team playing abroad, and by that I mean soccer only). A person yelling "OH!" is paying attention to the anthem, and is even shouting in support of it. It might not be the primary object of their support, but if they didn't like the anthem I doubt they would use it to support their own team.

I'd actually take more issue with people trying to shout back, as some posters have said. If you think yelling "OH!" is classless, doesn't it stand to reason that shouting a full phrase (especially with obscenities) is even worse?

It seems silly to yell at any event besides an Orioles game, but there's enough overlap that I can understand. Most sports fans' first game in this region was probably an Orioles game. Think about it: baseball is inexpensive, they play about 8 billion times a season, and there's usually something for kids to do there. I'm told that my first sporting event was at Memorial Stadium (though, my first memory of a sporting event was a Caps game against the Rangers). It's not what I do, but I can see why others do.

I feel like a lot of people that get really worked up about this need some perspective. It's a pro-home team/region, pro-anthem expression. It may not be how you would express yourself, but I'm betting the "OH!" yeller next to you also differs in some other way as well.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | December 15, 2006 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I first heard it at Duke games, believe it or not. Plenty of Dukies are from this area (note to Posties -- might be worth remembering that), and the "O" migrated with them.

Posted by: BD | December 15, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Duke squats to pee :)

Posted by: Bryan76 | December 15, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to JEJ for the rendition. It doesn't look like many people know that it was written as a poem, and music was adapted from a British tune many years later.

Posted by: jason | December 15, 2006 1:57 PM | Report abuse

To the Dukie above: I'm a Duke alum as well, but I'm pretty sure the "O" did not originate there--it was being done at Orioles games and D.C. teams' games since the late 1970s-early 1980s and some Dukies from Baltimore most likely brought it down to Cameron.

I agree with many of the posters here--I hate hearing the "O" at Washington sports events, and was quite happy on opening day at RFK in 2005 when some idiots did the O and an even bigger crowd booed them.

Posted by: Eric | December 15, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Reader Glenn,

I'm just saying it's evolved into having absolutely nothing to do with the orioles. That's just where it originated from and where most of us learned to do it.

I find it more natural to do it at a Caps game than an Orioles game. And I couldn't even begin to explain that. I don't really even know why. Trying to make sense of something that's just become such a regional tradition is hard to do.

Thanks for your post, man.

Posted by: Ian | December 15, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure I'll get hammered for this, but:

Why don't we just get rid of singing the national anthem at sporting events almost all together?

Playing the anthem at the beginning of every game lessens the song's importance. As a frequent attendee of sporting events, the anthem has lost all patriotic meaning for me. Instead it serves as a time keeper ("Let's get there before the anthem") or a sad display of singing talents (Carl Lewis, Roseanne, Stephen Tyler, etc.).

The first few times I heard Ronan Tynan sing 'God Bless America' during the 7th inning stretch of Yankee games, I got goose bumps. But now, because the Yankees play it during every game, the song has lost its meaning. This is to say nothing about the comparative advantage this spectacle gives them.

In not trotting out singers with a modicum of talent and a wealth of connections, we would reinforce the patriotic message. Our anthem should not serve as a platform for jokesters and the mildly skilled. In only playing the anthem on special occasions we would put extra emphasis on the song and its meaning.

Not a sermon, just a thought.

Posted by: Almost Ignatius J | December 15, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather see the singing of the anthem dropped altogether, and not just because of this. I think hearing it so often strips it of its significance. People used to show proper respect--they'd stop in the aisle and wait for it to end and they certainly didn't talk during it. Nowadays people just continue right on to their seats while it's being sung, they don't stand correctly (how many people do you see standing with their arms folded across their chests in that "get it over with" pose?), and the cell-phone morons continue on with their yapping. When I was growing up, the playing of the National Anthem was SIGNIFICANT and people understood that. Now it's just a routine thing that has been robbed of a lot of that significance.

The "O" is an abomination at Caps games. We're all there to support the Caps, and we definitely DO NOT all support the Orioles. Why must some of our "fans" insist on this childish routine that just serves to divide the fan base?

Ted Leonsis has said that he finds it disrespectful. I'd like to see him back that up. Record a video asking the fans to refrain from it. I'd wager the announcement would get a big cheer. Al Groh (UVA's football coach) recorded a video like that after 9-11 that got a VERY positive reaction at Scott Stadium, and the yelling of "HOOS" largely disappeared for a while as a result. It's started creeping back in since they dropped the announcement, but it's nowhere near as loud as it was before 9-11.

What really amazes me is how the people who do this, and who chant "You Suck" and other similar profanities, think they're so clever. Didn't they ever outgrow the novelty of saying bad things just because their mothers said not to say them? It's childish, very immature.

Posted by: Rich | December 15, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Is it disrespectful to the Anthem, maybe. Is it disrespectful to Washingtonians, definitely. I absolutely hate that anyone would consider Baltimore and Washington the same entity. This is a lie dreamt up by Orioles officials for marketing purposes.

As a kid, I thought it was fun at Memorial Stadium. Since Baltimore has become the most repulsive sports town in the country (aiding Modell in the Browns crime, Angelos, blocking DC baseball, MASN, etc), the "tradition" makes me furious. Sure, if a die-hard Baltimoron wants to yell it on his own and face the repercusions in DC, fine with me. But people that grew up around the proper Beltway that do it (because it's a "regional" thing) are just sheep. They've just fallen for Angelos marketing. A man that's so proud of his sports town, he doesn't put it's name on their uniforms.

At the Nationals first season home opener, the woman sitting next to my father at RFK actually yelled it during the Anthem. My father is the kindest, most patient man I know - he almost threw her off the upper deck.

Posted by: Kev | December 15, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse


Its an Orioles thing. I doubt a drunk fan at a Bullets game started this phenomenom.

Posted by: Guy Lefleur | December 15, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

As Marine Corps veteran, and Purple Heart recipient, I do not view the interjection as disrespectful by any means. I was a frequent spectator at Memorial Stadium when the "O!" first came into existence during that particularly disgusting season in 1988, and it's honestly become part of the anthem for those who support Maryland/DC teams. I've heard it at Bullets/Wizards games, Caps games, Skins games, Terps games, and United games. When I was still stationed in San Diego and caught the Nats at the Angels I actually ran into a few Nationals fans before the game and we all thought it fitting that we let loose with a booming "O!" during the anthem. Being the sole National fan at a Padres game later in the year I yelled "O!" as loud as I could and the whole stadium glared. The "O!" came about because the Orioles were 0-20, how is that something that Nats fans can't get behind? Lighten Up. I bet those arguing against the "O!" are also the same "fans" that sit quietly in your seats throughout a game, and get offended when REAL fans stand, scream, sing, and generally HAVE A GOOD TIME. If you want to be miserable, sit at home on your couch in peace and solitude.

Posted by: AlecW81 | December 15, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"I absolutely hate that anyone would consider Baltimore and Washington the same entity. This is a lie dreamt up by Orioles officials for marketing purposes."

It REALLY amuses me to hear people from Baltimore say that their baseball team should have been good enough for us in DC, given their agitation for an NFL team for all the years after the Colts absconded. Wot, aren't we all one big happy area such that they should have been happy with the Redskins? (Yes, I appreciate the economic difference between 8 NFL games and 81 MLB games, but that's not an argument the Baltimore FANS ever cited.)

Posted by: Rich | December 15, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

That other people are tired of hearing the National Anthem before every single sporting event is the most encouraging thing I've read on this blog. I thought I was the only one.

Posted by: bryc3 | December 15, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

It is a 100% Baltimore Orioles tradition. It is NOT a regional thing for DC, MD, and VA. Outside of an Orioles game or a Nats game (for the simple fact that it's the same sport), it seems a bit out of place, but it doesn't really bother me. If somebody's a hard core Orioles fan, that's what they do.

Life goes on.

Just please don't perpetuate the growing myth that it's some sort of regional thing. It was born at Memorial Stadium and Orioles fans are the founders.

For the record, I do it at Orioles games, but nowhere else. I grew up an O's fan.

What frosts ME was the amount of fans yelling "STARS!" every time it's mentioned in the anthem a couple of weeks back at the F Street Arena.

Posted by: Goat | December 15, 2006 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Also, no disrespect, Alec, but the "O" started in the 70's.

Posted by: Goat | December 15, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"What frosts ME was the amount of fans yelling 'STARS!' every time it's mentioned in the anthem a couple of weeks back at the F Street Arena."

A couple of the teams in the Campbell Conference do not play the National Anthem when Dallas comes to town for that very reason.

I'd like to perform both anthems sometime....I'd sing "O Canada" in French, and then during our anthem I just might break out a big "STFU" if the "O" made an appearance. :-)

Posted by: 1995hoo | December 15, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

AlecW wrote: "I bet those arguing against the O! are also the same 'fans' that sit quietly in your seats throughout a game, and get offended when REAL fans stand, scream, sing, and generally HAVE A GOOD TIME."

Alec, you lost that bet. As the one who started this conversation (at that Dan linked to above, I am definitely a fan that stands, screams, and sings with the best of them.

As a season ticketholder and one of the more vocal fans in the arena, I have NEVER been accused of being quiet -- I'm no Goat (there can be only one!) but I'm damned enthusiastic. I, however, choose not to follow a bad idea by shouting "O" because "everybody's doing it" -- that's lazy, sheep-like thinking. Or perhaps the knee-jerk "O" entails no thinking at all.

If you keep the tradition in Camden Yards, fine; but it has no place in The Phone Booth or anywhere else in DC.

Posted by: OrderedChaos | December 15, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

To say it's disrespecting Washingtonians is a bit out there. When I do it at Caps game I'm not wagging my finger at other people and saying OH YEAH NATIONAL FANS, SUCK IT HARD. I think some of you need to realize too that Baltimore doesn't have a hockey team. This isn't like New York where they have the Yankees and Mets, Islanders and Rangers. Traditions are going to meld like this when a Baltimore area person goes to a Capitals game (though I'm from Frederick and root for most all of the area teams). All of Maryland and some of Virginia share the Capitals. This kinda stuff is going to happen sometimes and some of the people from Washington are going to have to continue to put up with it.

Also, if someone were to go "O" at a Nationals game, I think that would be extremely disrespectful for the reasons that were brought up before. It's something that originated from Baltimore, and that really has no place at a nationals game. Especially when Angelos is taking so much of their money, and how long that area had to wait for a team to come back. So I can understand that, but not so much at other events not relating to baseball and football where people from all over the region root for a washington-based team.

I also think it's disrespectful to the flag, but in sporting events it has lost a lot of its respectability. When I'm at Ft. Detrick and it is 5 a clock, I always salute the flags being dropped and that feels significant and meaningful. I think it's because everyone respects what's actually going on.

But as far as this being Angelos marketing, that just seems kind of misguided and irrational. No one in baltimore wants Angelos to be the owner anymore, so why would we do any favors for such a terrible person who treats his own fans like garbage?

Posted by: Ian | December 15, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

If you keep the tradition in Camden Yards, fine; but it has no place in The Phone Booth or anywhere else in DC.

Posted by: OrderedChaos

Unless I am watching the Orioles at RFK vs the Nationals...

Posted by: Guy Lefleur | December 15, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm not real cool on the OH thing. Course I grew up in Silver Spring with the Nats, and the Skins. Even when I venture to Camden Yard I don't do it. Maybe in Baltimore, not in DC. And the bottom line is it is disrespectful.

Posted by: Merle | December 15, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Guy Lefluer: "I'm just saying it's evolved into having absolutely nothing to do with the orioles."

When I choose to use the word evolved there I meant that it was originated in Baltimore and was soley an orioles thing before it turned into something else. If you want to debate that it's soley an orioles thing, that's cool, but my belief is that things change over time and have different meanings for different people. That's why this is such a cool thing to talk about.

Posted by: Ian | December 15, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Just deal with it. The Orioles were part of this area's culture (believe it or not there are Caps fans north of Rockville) for a long time and it's going to take a very long time to get completely rid of it.

I'm a die-hard Caps and O's fan and I have to admit I love hearing it at Caps games. That being said, I never say it any louder than under my breath at Caps games.

And Caps Nut, how come anytime there's a Baltimore vs. DC sports debate, the DC contingent instantly goes ad hominem?

Posted by: C. Stone | December 15, 2006 3:50 PM | Report abuse

yeah, screw the 'O' chant, stupidest thing to yell if not at an Orioles game, period.

Posted by: brick | December 15, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

People starting said it for the Orioles, and are usually too drunk to think about why they are doing it, only out of knee-jerk reflex. You are cheering for the Orioles at a Caps/Wizards/Redskins game. WHY?

Anyone who does it in the DC market should be drawn and quartered (or more realistically, kicked in the back o the head).

There is no debating this.

Posted by: AJ | December 15, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Ian: Agreed...

And I am on the same boat with C.Stone. However, again, if the O's vs (Insert team) at (insert team's stadium) it would be a lot louder than under my breath. I figure since Cincinnati doesn't like me, why stop there...

but just


Posted by: Guy | December 15, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

As previously mentioned, there are LOTS of sports fans in the area between DC and Baltimore (I'd say a good 90% of the fans at any event in the DC/Baltimore area are from the 'burbs) So there are lots of us who like the Nats and Orioles (since the O's were "all" we had for years) the Skins, the Caps, Les Bullez, the Terps, and United.

If you feel that it's disrespectful to ANYTHING, ANYONE, or ANYPLACE, you take life WAAAAAAAY too seriously.

Posted by: AlecW81 | December 15, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and anyone who wants to threaten bodily harm to anyone enjoying themselves at an event can start right here.
Hopefully I'll be at the next "Euro-Stle Supporters Night" for the Caps in January, and I'll belt out the "O!" as loud as I can, I won't be hard to find.

Posted by: AlecW81 | December 15, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

What starts in Baltimore should stay in Baltimore. It has no place north of Timonium or south of Catonsville.

Posted by: Steve | December 15, 2006 4:59 PM | Report abuse

When the National Anthem is played, the right thing to do is stand up, take off your hat, and be quiet. It's respect for the country, and those who have provided for that to date.

If O's fans want to 'O', that's their business, but it shouldn't propagate beyond Camden Yards.

Posted by: Kim | December 15, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

you're either with us or against us. steadfast! jingo stooges all of you.

Posted by: VP cheney | December 15, 2006 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Alex said: "I'll belt out the "O!" as loud as I can, I won't be hard to find."

So it seems that Alec has not only lost the bet, but missed the point as well. Perhaps I'll start the "Hail to the Redskins" song during the anthem while wearing my Nationals jersey and bouncing a basketball so I can fit in. :-P

Just ignore the fools who are implying bodily harm to "O" shouters, because that is even more ridiculous than the shout. As much as I hate the "O" there's no call for violence against it. Still, let's hope Capitals fans will, as Guy put it, "STOP THE INTERSPORT CHANTING" as well as stop shouting over the anthem. Show some class people.

Posted by: OrderedChaos | December 15, 2006 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I converted to a Nats fan once they arrived. Especially since I hate Angelos. I don't like when people yell for a Baltimore team at a DC sports event, so to combat that, I yell "Nats" when everyone yells "Oh." Probably disrespectful to the anthem, but it's my way of saying "that's not our team anymore. It's the Nationals."

Posted by: Duffman | December 15, 2006 7:46 PM | Report abuse

I agree. It's a Baltimore thing. We're not Baltimorons.

Keep it out of DC United games, too.



Posted by: JayRockers! | December 15, 2006 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Scrap the Star Spangled Banner completely and play America the Beautiful instead. Problem solved.

Posted by: Rack DC United! | December 15, 2006 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I knew a Dookie at Virginia Tech who is a Yankees fan and Notre Dame football fan.... Long story short, he is from North Carolina and has never been near Maryland or watched an Orioles game. He shouts "O" during the National Anthem. He didn't know where it came from until I explained it to him. He heard a small group of kids who have no attachments to Maryland or the Os shouting it. I normally ignore those people. Sometimes I will give them a look afterwards. I punched the Dookie.

Posted by: sitruc | December 15, 2006 11:05 PM | Report abuse

No OH (that almost sounds Japanese)

If Baltimore wants to screw around with the National Anthem, fine. But don't mess with it outside of Camden Yards, thanks.

And don't bring it to other than a baseball game. Not to DC United games. Not to Caps games. Not to Redskins games. Not to the Wizards. Just keep it out of those places.

Don't even bring it to Nats games. Wrong league.

It's basically a classless way to mess up our nation's anthem. Fits in Baltimore, no doubt. But that's Baltimore's problem. Let's keep it there.

Posted by: seahawkdad | December 16, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Merle: "grew up with the Nats"??? Are you a child prodigy or something? Amazing ability at 2!

I think one of the problems is that after attending a few Orioles games, the "O" chant becomes automatic. I know that I do it unintentionally at non-Orioles games -- it just comes out. :P

Posted by: la la la | December 16, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

My wish is that every "O" yeller could have been at the Caps/Stars game last month, to hear how completely idiotic it sounded for the Dallas fans to yell every "STAR" during the "Star-Spangled Banner".

But hey, O's fans are only idjuts during the anthem _once_. I guess that's better.

Posted by: JW | December 16, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Tell the Baltimorons who yell "O" at Capitals game to build a halfway decent arena in their hometown, instead of that joke building with a stage that used to be known as the Baltimore Civic Center, and get their own hockey team. (The irony is supposedly that Baltimore was a candidate for the NHL's first expansion in 1967, but since the arena had a stage -- something built at the behest of a local politico who wanted the place to be used for school commencements and such -- the NHL spurned it.)

Fortunately, the cheer is now virtually extinct at Nationals games, as anyone who tried it got a cold stare and even worse.

Hadn't heard about the "Stars" yell with Dallas, but it makes sense. I know at Cornell hockey games, the fans yell "red" during the anthem.

I understand the "O" cheer at Terp games (though I don't like it), but as an alumnus I despite the "you suck" mentality at Comcast, and I hope whomever succeeds Gary Williams as coach puts his foot down and tells the students to can it (I sense he's thrown up his hands). Terps fans complain their men's basketball program doesn't get the same respect as North Carolina or Duke; well, maybe if many of the fans stopped acting like working-class lunkheads, the perception might change.

Posted by: Vincent | December 16, 2006 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Vincent, the Cameron Crazies and Carolina's fans aren't exactly paragons of virtue either. Would you have them all sit politely in their seats and clap softly?
This argument has a N.I.M.B.Y. feel to it, the funny thing is, most of those arguing against the "O!" aren't even from DC. I know that as current or former residents of Montgomery, PG, Howard, Fairfax, Loudon, etc we all claim "DC" as our home, but you really look quite silly when you say "Oh, let them keep that in Baltimore, because I'm not from Baltimore." In reality, I'm willing to bet a majority of you are actually from the state of Maryland, so Baltimore has more of a claim to you than DC does. If it offends you that much to hear a few fans shout "O!" I implore you to once again, stay home and sit in the dark. Wouldn't want you to see or hear anything offensive on television, or the radio, or the internet, or in a book or magazine...

Posted by: AlecW81 | December 16, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

As an American citizen and 5th grade spelling bee runner-up, I think you're missing the point of many posters, AlecW81. The problem is more with people not knowing what the 'O' is and yelling it anyways. If you're not an Orioles supporter, you should remain quite during the National Anthem out of respect at the very least. While some Maryland natives use the O as a way to identify where they are from and show pride in Baltimore, the issue has little to do with where the person is from. It doesn't matter if the supporter is from Willamina, Oregon. I think it should be reserved for Baltimore/Maryland events. If Willamina, OR native, Jim Smyth, wants to yell O when he's at an Os game...good for him. If he does it at a University of Utah football game...he's in the wrong. Also, not liking shouting during the National Anthem does not mean a person is any less a vocal fan before, during or after the athletic event.

//Did you get the whole DC suburbs in Maryland being Baltimore territory thing from Peter Angelos?

Posted by: sitruc | December 17, 2006 1:34 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not wagging my finger at other people and saying OH YEAH NATIONAL FANS, SUCK IT HARD."

To each his own. That's the main reason I do it at United games :D

Posted by: Goose | December 18, 2006 12:24 AM | Report abuse

It isn't appropriate ANYWHERE. It is disrespectful to the anthem, the flag and the country. And anyone who does it is a low class moron.

Posted by: JPD | December 18, 2006 10:35 AM | Report abuse

It's a joke hearing it at United games. But to each their own I guess. Where I come from you'd get pummeled for disrespecting the anthem.

Posted by: Chico | December 18, 2006 1:05 PM | Report abuse

From Wikipedia:
Since the 1970s, it has been a tradition at Orioles games for fans to accent the line of "Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave" in the "The Star Spangled Banner" by yelling "O!" This tradition carries on to this day. "O" is not only short for "Oriole," but the vowel is also the most stand-out aspect of the Baltimorean accent. Some consider the yell to be disrespectful to the national anthem. However, since Francis Scott Key wrote the National Anthem in Baltimore harbor during the War of 1812, some Baltimoreans feel they have the right to sing the song however they please. This tradition is even carried out during the Orioles' spring training home games in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 2:54 PM | Report abuse

You don't hear a single person yell out 'O' in Annapolis at a Navy game, despite the proximity to Baltimore.

Posted by: PenguinSix | December 18, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big believer in the "Oh." (given that whole freedom of speech amendment). Being a O's fan I LOVE doing it at RFK Stadium whether it before DC United or Nats games. Kinda like sticking it to the Nats or atleast the Nats home stadium! You people who "hate it" or whatever need to find better things to complain about. Complaining about this one is just pathetic.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | December 18, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"I'd actually take more issue with people trying to shout back, as some posters have said. If you think yelling "OH!" is classless, doesn't it stand to reason that shouting a full phrase (especially with obscenities) is even worse?"

This is the part I love. During the O's/Nat's games when, after O's fans yell out the "Oh" the Nats fans yell out their "Boo" and it sounds like they're booing the National Anthem. Makes the Nats fans look like the actual idiots. Oh is it fantastic. Good job Nats fans

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | December 18, 2006 4:32 PM | Report abuse

It isn't appropriate ANYWHERE. It is disrespectful to the anthem, the flag and the country. And anyone who does it is a low class moron.

Posted by: JPD | December 18, 2006 10:35 AM

This is a completely wrong statement, plain and simple, and I'm sure the founding fathers would disagree with it in its entirety.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | December 18, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I'll say OH as loud as I damn well please at whatever stadium I feel I should. Man, we have too much time on our hands if we argue this. Regardless I love the O!....I go to Syracuse University and there are alot of people from the maryland area that will shout "O" at a basketball game. It's a regional thing.

Posted by: merfyman | January 5, 2007 7:40 AM | Report abuse

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