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Oh Canada, III May 17, 2006

Posted by randomshme in Politics, Sports.
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Talk about the game within the game. I was more excited to tear myself away from work early today to see what would happen during the national anthems than I was about the actual hockey game!

As it turns out, like is so common in international incidents, it was nothing more than a big misunderstanding. The folks north of "the world's friendliest border" really are our friends, and meant nothing by the ruckus the last time the Sharks andOilers met in Edmonton.

You see, the first time it seemed as if the Star Spangled Banner was intentionally booed. I thought it was a political statement — was Edmonton was the Berkeley of Canada? No, the jeering merely coincided with a poorly timed display of an image of one of the Sharks' best players, Joe Thornton.

Well, the San Jose fans took affront, and soundly booed "O Canada". It was a purposeful boo — both at the offense taken during the anthem and the offense taken on the ice, with Edmonton employing a strategy of beating up the Sharks hottest scorers (the Marleau line) while containing Big Joe Thornton.

So now… with the Tivo pausing the game (time-shifting so I can skip over the commercials), I felt a need to inform the blogosphere immediately. People need to know that the Edmonton fans stood and cheered during the entire Star Spangled Banner, and then in unison, sung "O Canada" proudly and loudly… glorious, and free!

Meanwhile, I drank a beer to our own anthem. But that story deserves it's own post… after the game. Go Sharks!!


Oh Canada, II May 15, 2006

Posted by randomshme in Politics, Sports.

Well, I doubt my post below had anything to do with it, but apparently the Sharks fans showed their lack of class and rudeness with their own brand of national anthem jeering. The rendition of "O Canada" was roundly booed by Sharks fans prior Game 5 in San Jose.

San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales apologized.

Apparently the Canadian booing had more to do with the ill-timed display of a picture of Joe Thornton, the Sharks' star center, during the Star Spangled Banner.

I guess we all jump to conclusions. Here I thought it had more to do with our foreign policy. But I would never boo "O Canada" — it's a cool anthem, I know the words, and my brother taught my neices to sing it in French (he's eccentric in that way).

We'll see what happens in Game 6. Will the Sharks get their power play going? Can they match they physical play of the Oilers? And most importantly… will Canadian fans boo the Star Spangled Banner, yet again?

Oh Canada! May 12, 2006

Posted by randomshme in Politics, Sports.
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You know the joke about "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out" ? Well… I think I watched a hockey game and some sort of political statement broke out before the game.

Sports mixed with politics is nothing new: the Black Power Salute in the Mexico City 1968 Olympics, Jesse Owens' performance in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the infamous "blood in the pool" water polo match between Hungary and the USSR in the 1956 Olympics. I'm just not use to seeing a Stanley Cup playoff game used as a political barometer, so maybe I'm reading into it.

During tonight's Sharks-Oilers game…. there was all sorts of booing and random shouting and jeering during the Star Spangled Banner. The game was up in Edmonton… and then with all the European players in the NHL… there were probably very few 'mericans in attendance.

But still, I've never heard the Star Spangled Banner booed like this unless it was watching some History channel documentary on some specific item. Once the guy started singing "Oh Canada" it was cool to hear 16,000+ fans sing along.

Is this yet another barometer of world opinion, disapproving of our current involvement in what Madeleine Albright calls "the biggest disaster in American foreign policy because of its unintended consequences" ? Or did the Sharks fans do something stupid when they played "Oh Canada" in San Jose?