Before I dive into this post, I'm going to confess a bias -- I love Canada. Though I've not spent a lot of time in that country, I admire its natural beauty and its people.
Because of my bias, the occasional stupid behavior of Americans toward the Canadian national anthem especially angers me.
On Monday, that idiocy was on display in Philadelphia, where "O' Canada" was booed before the NHL's Winter Classic.
There's never an excuse for such rudeness.
Spare me the comments that include "oh, come on, the folks in Philly boo everybody." Those words don't wash with me. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.
I'll ask you to remember the 1992 World Series between Toronto and Atlanta. Prior to Game 2 in Atlanta, a U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard inadvertently flew the Canadian flag upside down during the national anthems. It requested to be allowed to travel to Canada for Game 3 and to correct its error. That is how to properly handle a bad situation.
The people in Philadelphia who opted to show their immaturity would be wise to remember what a group of Marines did almost 20 years ago.
2nd UPDATE: 5:20 p.m. EST: Let's go to the video, in an attempt to get an answer.
After watching the singing of the Canadian national anthem four different times, I am revising my post.
I am confident you will hear booing from at least one person (a male voice, in my opinion) at the beginning of the anthem. I could use that immature display to boast that I am correct and that my blog post should stay as is.
But that would be a mistake, and serve to indicate that I am interested only in proving my point. The initial boo was not at the root of the did-they-or-didn't-they boo. It was what took place about 1:00 into the anthem. The possible longest and loudest "boo" coincides with Claude Giroux (number 28 for the Flyers), who appears on television and on the stadium's video board at about :58. I think the primary noise was in fact a "ROO" and not a "boo." For those people reading this who are not hockey fans, Giroux's last name is pronounced "Guh-ROO."
To the man/woman who made that assertion, therefore, I think you are correct. My blanket criticism above in hindsight appears to have been based on my emotional attachment to Canada, my belief that all people should always display respect for every nation's anthem and Philadelphia's reputation for booing.
Yes, everyone needs to be reminded from time to time to practice what they preach. In this case, that lesson is to always be careful about jumping to conclusions. And to listen. Carefully.
1st UPDATE: 4:57 p.m. EST: In the comments section, you will note there is at least one reader of this post saying that I made a big mistake in creating it. He/she suggests that the fans inside the stadium were responding to Claude Giroux on the video board by saying "ROOOOOOOO."
You'll also see my response -- indicating that I believed it was booing, but that I would definitely retract the post if I was wrong.
So, I need some additional and reasonable opinions here. What did you hear? (Or, more specifically, what do you believe you heard?)