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Canadiens fans boo the national anthem


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Some Montreal fans apparently booed and whistled during the U.S. anthem Monday night. It starts right around the 3:00 in the above clip, though the noise is hardly overwhelming. This is something Montreal fans have done during the playoffs before -- to much greater effect -- and it's something they've been chided about before.

"I feel like there's a confusion there with our fans," former Montreal coach and GM Gainey said during last year's playoffs. "They feel like booing the anthem is supporting our team, in that the anthem represents the Boston team. And I think if they could separate those two things, then we could respect the anthem of the United States of America and they could still participate loudly in whatever way they want to disrupt the Bruins."

As for Monday night's performance, it hardly seems overwhelming in this clip, but I've been told it sounded louder on the radio feed. "These dopes are booing our anthem," Tracee Hamilton tweeted. "Scattered boos; Let's go Habs was louder," Caps PR man Nate Ewell reported.

"I have to say, I was embarrassed to be a Canadian when I heard that booing, when they booed the American anthem," Comcast SportsNet's Lisa Hillary said a few hours later. "Very, very disappointed."

Historically, the best response to such booing came from Boston fans, who responded with a prolonged ovation for the Canadian anthem during their next home game. That seems to be the way to go.

Anyhow, as far as things to get mad about on the Internet, this is pretty far down my list. The Habs fans who boo are just role-playing at this point, like American fans at a WWE event. Clearly it has nothing to do with the actual hockey teams; the Canadiens have four Americans on their roster, including key contributors like Hal Gill, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta. The Caps have the exact same number of U.S. players, and actually have more Canadians than the Canadiens on their current roster.

Still, it's the kind of thing people love to talk about, so check out the clip if you're so inclined. Feel free to boo the booers.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 20, 2010; 9:13 AM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

They weren't booing they were saying Booo-dreau

Posted by: fushezzi | April 20, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, there was scattered (very scattered) booing of the Canadian anthem during Game 1. Most of those idiots got hushed down though.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | April 20, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

How about responding by singing along to both anthems?

Posted by: kittypawz | April 20, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

They should sing both anthems at the same time. Problem solved. And the game will start three minutes earlier.

Posted by: Section104 | April 20, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Oooh, 'whistling'. You are sooooo European, Quebecers

Posted by: Kev29 | April 20, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Booing anthems is classless, but just for some balance in the above post, anthem booing isn't restricted to north of the border and classy cheering isn't restricted to the noble Americans. In 2002, Islander fans famously booed the Canadian anthem before a game with the Toronto Maple Leafs on the very day that four Cdn. soldiers died in Afghanistan from US Air Force friendly fire. Toronto fans responded by loudly cheering the Star Spangled Banner at the next game.

Posted by: mjpool | April 20, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Jealousy combined with an inferiority complex. It will never stop. So be it.

Posted by: Qtac | April 20, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Postgame Thoughts:


--The Habs' fan base showed an ugly side of Canada that--before the Olympics--I had not known existed by actually booing the US National Anthem. Those who have read my previous posts on the subject on CI may know: While I sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" proudly, I also believe that "O Canada" serves that purpose better--if only by virtue of the fact that it was written as such from the beginning, rather than being a British drinking song with new lyrics.

That said, It was a no-class move on the part of the Bell Centre crowd and a disgrace to what is arguably the NHL's most storied franchise.

I propose that, when the series returns to Washington, we show OUR class by standing respectfully when "O Canada" is sung, either remaining silent or--if we know the words--singing along. THAT'LL show 'em!!.

--I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Habs are the NHL equivalent of the New York Yankees. I loved how the Caps silenced the building, then got the crowd to actually turn against "Les Glorieux"

--It was only a matter of time before the greater mass of the Caps' lines began to tell on the smaller Habs.

--This game (IMO) did perhaps more than any other (in the series so far) to prove the old adage: "Go to the net and good things will happen"

--I am pleased that Varly did so well. That said, I hope Theo gets another chance to shine. I know he has it in him.

--Also proved last night: Ovechkin's Law ("To solve any hockey problem, score more goals") is a universal constant.


Well done, gentlemen. Now rest up and put another nail in their coffins tomorrow night!

GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: Rhino40 | April 20, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Comcast SportsNet's Lisa Hillary said a few hours later. "Very, very disappointed."

Its how I feel every time I hear idiots yell "O" or "Red" during the Anthem. Sing along with the anthem, or don't sing along - but its just as classless to yell in the middle of it as it is to boo after.

Posted by: colerwilson | April 20, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

While this is pretty classless, we have been guilty of the same offense time and time again. Nobody should be doing it, but I don't think we have a self-righteous leg to stand on here...

Posted by: KyminDC | April 20, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Comcast SportsNet's Lisa Hillary said a few hours later. "Very, very disappointed."

Its how I feel every time I hear idiots yell "O" or "Red" during the Anthem. Sing along with the anthem, or don't sing along - but its just as classless to yell in the middle of it as it is to boo after.

Posted by: colerwilson | April 20, 2010 10:30 AM
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Well said. The "O" and "Red" thing is childish. I have always enjoyed Washington area fans for better sportsmanship than other teams. Patriotism gets a slap in the face with this "O" and "Red" during the National Anthem.

Of course the good ole "O" thing started in Bal'more, surprise surpise....

Maybe Leonsis should ask the Caps fanbase to respect the National Anthem, and save the O and Red for game time!

Posted by: dmacman88 | April 20, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't it just yesterday that this blog displayed a photo of a couple of classy guys at Saturday's game wearing "Canada Sucks" t-shirts?

Posted by: sfs88 | April 20, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

This is all a media hyped thing. The fact remains this: Who Cares? There are no laws against booing. It's not about class either, I'm sure most of those people have many of the same morals and values as any of us, their emotions are just flowing for their team. There are only 8 Americans in this series, out of 40+. If anything their fans aren't not classy, they're just flat out dumb.

The media always blows these things out of proportion, otherwise all they would have to write about is the game! Oh no! Electronic news is ruining everything that is great with sports.

Posted by: smfoster3 | April 20, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Who cares, they are French Canadian. I am surprised they didn't boo Canada's National Anthem...

Posted by: BT23 | April 20, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Canada on Strike!

Posted by: jonthefisherman | April 20, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

ColerWilson's post is right on. Caps fans at Verizon have no basis to whine about what the Canadian fans did. Not when many of them feel the need to routinely disrespect the National Anthem by yelling O or Red during the song. Only arena I know where the PA announcer has to beg the fans to be respectful during the Anthem. Pretty disgraceful.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 20, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The Habs fans are the best in the league. They have 100 years of history. To run down some 8 million fans in Quebec alone, based on the actions of maybe 100 is a cheap shot.

The Bell Centre is the loudest rink in the world. Every hockey fan should take in a game there before they die. Even a meaningless mid-week game vs Nashville is an event.

And what I like is they all don't have to dress the same way a cult would to know they game. Something very creepy about 18,000 people dressed in the same way. BTW.

Posted by: GrooveMctwang | April 20, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

--Its how I feel every time I hear idiots yell "O" or "Red" during the Anthem. Sing along with the anthem, or don't sing along - but its just as classless to yell in the middle of it as it is to boo after.

Posted by: colerwilson | April 20, 2010 10:30 AM
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Well said. The "O" and "Red" thing is childish. I have always enjoyed Washington area fans for better sportsmanship than other teams. Patriotism gets a slap in the face with this "O" and "Red" during the National Anthem.

Of course the good ole "O" thing started in Bal'more, surprise surpise....

Maybe Leonsis should ask the Caps fanbase to respect the National Anthem, and save the O and Red for game time!--

You two should drink a large glass of shut up juice every morning.

Go Caps.

Posted by: uhwutwuzthat | April 20, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse


They weren't booing they were saying Booo-dreau

Posted by: fushezzi | April 20, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Stop stealing my material Fusheez!

Posted by: Barno1 | April 20, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Spot on, colerwilson.

Everyone just needs to shut up during the anthem(s) unless they're singing along.

It's not just the "O" and "Red" thing, it's also making noise before the anthem even ends. I've been in many arenas, and in most, fans sing along or keep completely quiet until the end.

What's more disgraceful is that this is the nation's capital. Think about that.

Posted by: paperboy76 | April 20, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

They weren't booing the USA national anthem. They're not, after all, teachers of singing. Habs fans and Quebecois are well known to be a sober, temperate lot of abstemious blue-collar workers, so what they were actually booing was the drinking song "Anacreon in Heaven," because drink is the curse of the working class.

off-topic: what is the name for a round-heeled female Habs fan? "Canookie"

Posted by: FanaticalReader | April 20, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

so they boo the US national anthem but have a mcdonalds logo on their ice?

Posted by: dan_gerboy | April 20, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I worry that all the reporting on this incident will encourage Caps fans to boo the Canadian anthem in response. Hope not.

Posted by: fuzzbass | April 20, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

They're just ticked off that our Nats (their old Expos) have finally got a winning record, something they didn't have in Montreal since 2003. It had nothing to do with the National Anthems.

Posted by: luv2bikva | April 20, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"so they boo the US national anthem but have a mcdonalds logo on their ice?

Posted by: dan_gerboy | April 20, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse "

God I hope America and McDonald's aren't that closely linked. That if you boo the American national anthem you're booing Ronald McDonald or vice versa.

If I refuse to eat Big Mac's does that make me anti-America?

Now there's a slow news day story.

Posted by: GrooveMctwang | April 20, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Play the Star Spangled Banner only for games on American soil and the Canadian National Anthem only for games in Canada. Problem solved!

In Quebec province it would not be suprise me if the Canadian anthem got booed since they consider themselves French nationals?

Posted by: sbf845 | April 20, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@ Groove: Interesting how you would relate the Caps loyalists wearing their red as cultish. Sadly, if you've failed to notice, it doesn't matter what we wear. It's the results on the ice. Point in fact: The Canadiens lost the past two games. Hopefully, you'll find a way to deal with that. C'est la vie, stupide.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | April 20, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The comment above about the Nats' "winning record" was pretty amusing. Seriously, you gotta come up with something more substantial than that ;-)

Seems like no one commenting or writing about this was actually THERE to see what was going on.

They booed Ovechkin every time he took the ice.
Maybe those few fans saw him picking his nose during the anthem and decided to boo him, and it had nothing to do with the anthem, per se ;-)))

Posted by: exposbabe | April 20, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I listened on satellite radio (XM gives the home feed, so it was the Canadiens local broadcast) and the boos came through loud and clear, particularly at the beginning of the anthem.

I'm no flag-draped jingoist, but I found it to be totally tasteless. I agree with others on here-- the best retort would be a loud cheer for the Canadian anthem at Verizon Center.

Posted by: drischord | April 20, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

The best antidote is to kick their behind.

Posted by: sircornflakes | April 20, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

You got the quote wrong, "Work is the curse of the drinking class".

Posted by: alecw81 | April 20, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

uhwutwuzthat

You should practice what you preach and drink a large glass of shut up juice every morning. Are you going to respect the flag of the country most of our team comes from as well as our own flag, or are you a cretin who defends a moronic 'tradition."

Posted by: rbluesw | April 21, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

@LeftCoastCapsFan

When the caps win a Cup, let alone 26, give Montreal a shout. I'm simply amazed that in 30 years, it's the first time that the Caps have been to Montreal for the play-offs.

Has your team been that bad? And I ask, if the caps start losing again, will the rink become empty again? Most likely.

As for TV number, Washington media is bragging about 37,000 people watching the game on the boob tube.

So wear the matching 125 dollar official merchandise you're told to wear, good teams come and go. And in non hockey markets, full rnks come and go.

The Habs sell 21,000 tickets no matter what. 2 million people in Quebec alone will tune in tonight to watch the game.

Cause they're fans who live and breath the game.

BOO that.

Posted by: GrooveMctwang | April 21, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The Canadiens should stay on their side of the border-period. Most of the nation's citizens blame the U.S. for everything, but they will drive their sorry butts down here, buy homes and other property, enjoy OUR WAY OF LIFE but look down their noses at us. We didn't insult their national anthem "Oh Canada" during the 2010 Winter Games.

Posted by: raleighnative | April 21, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Leonsis has asked fans to stop the O and the Red during the US Anthem but a bunch of fans just continue doing it. It is why Wes now does his announcement of asking us to sing loudly, proudly, and respectfully along with the anthem singer. The most priceless quote so far is that "Canadiens should stay on their side of the border-period." I guess that means that the vast majority of the Caps players should just leave and go home now as 16 of the 25 players on the Capitals were born in Canada. LOL

Posted by: NovaCath1 | April 21, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans-

Understand that this low-rent garbage is the sole dominion of Quebec-based mouth-breathers and isn't the mentality of folks in the other provinces.

So please don't do what San Jose fans did a couple years ago in the playoffs and boo O'Canada. Follow Boston's lead, and ideally their lead from last year's playoffs in wiping the floor with the Habs.

Posted by: jcurrin | April 21, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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