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On Habs fans and the booing of the anthem

Apr 20, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

Last night, watching the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens, I
was overwhelmingly impressed with the atmosphere created by the home
crowd. I’ve been to a game in Montreal before, and I was completely
blown away by how much their fans are into the game. There are no video
prompts, no music calling for noise or “defense” or anything like that.
The Habs fans are just simply LOUD.

Yet there are some downsides
to this amazing corner of fandom. The Canadiens fans are notorious for
instantly turning on their own team and frankly it makes it hard to
watch sometimes. The way Carey Price looked ready to just collapse at
home last summer under the pressure of the crowd and how various players
have itched to move on. It’s a tough place to place as a visitor; it
might be even harder if you’re a member of the team.

Last night, the
discussion around the game wasn’t just on the in-game atmosphere; no,
many were harping on how (some) Habs fans were booing during the United
States anthem pregame.

If you know anything about Habs fans, this
shouldn’t surprise you. If fact, it should be expected. Nonetheless,
it’s still a bit shocking when you hear it and it’s a conversation that
should never take place during a hockey game. But it does.

Steinberg of DC Sports Blog
makes a great point, though, saying we
shouldn’t really get that worked up over it.

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.

The booing of the national anthem was quickly forgotten as the
Canadiens collapsed and the crowd became increasingly quiet and
agitated. I won’t speak specifically on the overall state of Canadiens
fans, since some of best hockey friends are Habs fans, but I will say
that it’s increasingly embarrassing for hockey overall when these sorts
of fan reactions get the most attention.

  1. Michael B - Apr 27, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    Go Habs Go, Its about sports and not against the Country. Ask anyone why is Montreal a top tourist destination, the great Resataurants,fantastic City and its safe to walk anywhere, and are biggest tourists numbers are from The U..S.A. Montreal has great fans, and proof of that is the game played last night 26th of April 2010 in Montreal. The Caps could not even hear each other on the Ice. As for you SQUARE HEADS from the rest of Canada” Vas Chier! “

  2. fred - Apr 28, 2010 at 3:29 AM

    Frankly, it’s a little embarrassing that this sort of thing should happen. As a Habs fan I’m not proud of what a couple hundred are doing. It’s impossible to note how many of the actual booing fans are of Franco or Anglo origin. To try and dissect that would be stupid. I just think it comes down to frustration of not winning a cup in over 16 years. I also don’t think they are actually booing America but more so the Capitals. It’s a little immature on ‘those’ habs fans to be booing at all. All in all, I’m at a loss. If anything, boo your own anthem in frustration. What this does is it gets our neighbors down South a little annoyed and then they start peppering message boards about how the Canadian navy sucks and this and that. It’s all quite irrelevant… and for all the Americans out there – don’t wast your time worrying about a few obnoxious fans. Let’s just sit back with a beer and watch what should be a crazy game 7! Go habs Go!!

  3. Hahaha - Apr 29, 2010 at 7:42 AM

    “Caps fans will do the same thing the Bruins fans did, when the classless Hab fans did the same thing last year. Give the Canadian anthem a standing OVation and send those Habs home for the offseason in game 5. How is that great goal tending Mr Jagr was talking about before the series working out? ”
    See my name.

  4. CanadiAn - Apr 29, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Interesting that we are talking about Canadians booing the American national anthem. Was there an article or discussion about Americans booing the Canadian national anthem before game three in Los Angeles? Probably not. It’s wrong in any situation, but you American’s shouldn’t think that you are blameless.
    All the talk about hating Canada and jokes about my country and my people…makes you wonder why your anthem gets booed and your teenagers walk around Europe with Canadian flags on their backpacks.

  5. english quebecer - Apr 30, 2010 at 5:52 AM

    while i don’t agree with the booing of anthems i have to say americans are quite the sensitive bunch a news ariticle and hundreds of whining internet tough guys because a couple hundred people booed your song wipe your tears already

  6. sdfghjukil - Apr 30, 2010 at 6:04 AM

    we do have an air force and i think your stupid regardless of what you believe
    by the way it’s spelled “Hockey” idiot

  7. PensFan extraordinaire - May 1, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Don’t worry folks, the Penguins will eliminate the Canadiens in short order so the booing will be for their own players not our anthem.
    I didn’t realize the Canadian Air Force had F18s, who designed that aircraft and from whom did they buy them? Where were these awesome Canadian pilots trained?
    I don’t hate on Canada, but I’m sick of America being hated on. I feel we should stop all foreign aid for 1 year just so the world can see how much better off they are without us.
    And by the way, I also believe that Canada should have more NHL teams and Weaselface Bettman needs to get teams out of the southern states. I would support a team in Winnepeg and Hamilton!

  8. WalterCe - May 2, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    The Canadiens Hockey is a hotbed of Quebec patriotism (which, should you remember, is a French province that has long fought for recognition as a separate nation).
    Most of the Canadiens Hockey fans are Quebec nationalists who for years of political correctness should sing the national anthem (which is not really theirs) and pretend to believe in its significance.
    The meaning and importance given to a national anthem is therefore not the same for us Quebecer. It is more of a playful artifice associated with athletic performance and not a demonstration of respect and belonging to a nation.
    Nothing to take offense!

  9. Jay - May 2, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    Hey American…I’m Quebecois…so I come from Canada…do you know??? Your first financial partnership $$$ Here we are able to speak anglish, french and spanish…and you ??? I don’t think so… I was in Washington for the game 7 and the people say about me : ”return in France” Wow !!!
    We don’t boo the American anthem….we boo the team…that’s it !!!
    It’s just a sport…have fun and enjoy !!!
    And just like that : Dollar US = Dollar Canadian they have the same value !!!there is another world outside the U.S. You are not alone !!!

  10. Dlo - May 3, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    Ive never seen so many racist comments on a sports blog…. I am Canadian, from Montreal, Quebec, and a proud Habs fan and FRENCH CANADIAN….. I thought people booing the U.S anthem was just stupid, and I have told a lot of them to shut the h*ll up, as it was being sung….. I can understand americans being upset….honestly…. And as for the So-Called English Canadians, who call us Frogs or assholes, why dont you attend a game in Toronto, and see are dumb people are acting during hockey games…. Oh yeah…..

  11. Randy - May 5, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    The french people of Quebec hate everything about the world around them. They even hate themselves. Their booing our anthem has no credibility coming from these whining buffoons. Croak Frogs! Croak!

  12. Kevin - May 5, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    The bottom line is this: This would never happen in any Canadian NHL city but Montreal – no matter how much the fans hated the visiting team in question. Therefore, Canadiens fans should be embarrassed at their lack of class and tact.

  13. Andre - May 6, 2010 at 1:33 AM

    It is said that the majority of Quebecois suffer from an inferiority complex. If they continue behaving like this, maybe they really ARE inferior, eh?

  14. Dan - May 7, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    It’s funny when you americans where trying to separate from Britain it was patriotism, when us french Canadians try separating from Canada it’s Nasty separatism (Although we are trying it democraticaly. Folks get a life it’s got nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with Hockey, it’s role playing to get in the mood. It’s war and today the enemy is american (Washignton, Pittsburgh) tomorrow it might be a Canadian city and we’ll find a way to get under their skin. That’s why we boo Ovechkin when he touches the puck or Crosby when he steps on the ice. I can’t believe the amount of racism I am reading on this board. I am French Canadian and not ashamed of it. We are no better or no worst than any other people. We just love Hockey.

  15. Kayleigh - May 10, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    Wow you people should all be ashamed of yourselves american or canadian its a hockey game for christ sakes so what yeah they booed your precious anthem who cares get over it its hockey its competitive theyre just trying to up their chances of winning by throwing them off their game from the beginning and suddenly all you idiots go and make this oh look at me im better than you GET OVER YOURSELVES we all live on the same continent yeah thats right TOGETHER we make up north america or did you guys forget that yeah we have our differences but this is hockey its a GAME get that through your little heads ps GO HABS GO!

  16. David - May 11, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    MP-You got a helluva nerve trahing Philly fans when your from that center of thugishness and ignorance, “Bas-ton”!

  17. Ryan - May 13, 2010 at 4:57 AM

    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.
    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!
    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    GO HABS GO!!!!!

  18. Maple Laughing - May 14, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    The only thing dumber than booing any national anthem is posting idiotic comments…Lotsa dumb shit going on here……time for a collective head shake, America.

  19. Simon - May 14, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    C’Est bon ça JAY!

  20. onsencrissstu - May 14, 2010 at 10:27 PM

    We don’t care… it’s juste a songggggg….wake up USA, it’s only a song??? are you stupid??? it’s a songgg !!! S-O-N-G!!!!!
    Oh Canadaaaa, terre de nos aïeuxxxxxx
    tonnn front est saint, de flerons glorieuxxxx
    car ton bras sait porter l’épéeeee
    il sait porter la croix!
    ton histoireeee, est une épopéééée
    des plus brillants exploitsss
    etttt ta VALeuuuurrrrr
    deee foi trempéééé
    prooootégera nos foyers et nos droittttttttts
    Proooootégera nos foyers et nos droits!!!
    don’t CRY, IT’S JUST A F. SONG!!! so stupid

  21. Tjb - May 16, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Evan:Canada sucks! Lets just leave it at that. We all know its true and that they wish they were the United States.
    This shows how brainless you are.A Canadian wanting to be a an American that will never ever happen.You need us way more than we need you.:We supply 20 percent of your oil and 100 percent of your brains.Educate yourself.Did you know that Canada wiped your asses in the war of 1812 with about five percent of the population.What you people is an eduction system for all your people not only the rich.By the way the us is hated all over the world,haven’t you noticed?

  22. Frank Rizzo - May 16, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    Hey Canadiens, Canadians, and all you other stinky fishes up north of our border – go blow it out your keisters before we come up there and take all your oil from you. Ha ha ha ha Hey, somebody has to be the bully of the world. Would you rather it be someone else? At least we’re kinda nice bullies.

  23. sharks win - May 16, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Sing all you want. Habs are going down. Today was just the beginning…they’re eating Cheese Steaks on the heads of Habs players tonight.

  24. Courtnall6 - May 18, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    Just like I’m sure Fleury, Letang, Talbot from the Penguins and Briere, Giroux and Gagne from the Flyers would appreciate all the crap about French Canadians being spewed. Think about something before you say it.

  25. Courtnall6 - May 18, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    You set a fantastic example….

  26. metalpro11 - Oct 12, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    who cares if they booed our anthem—stop being so dumb -they booed the team not our country—-its Hockey not a baby game for people to cry about—-im a sabers fan and boo every team but them -so what—i mean no harm to the Canadians as its a fine country and a great Hockey country–without them we wouldnt know what hockey even is——LETS GO BUFFALO

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  28. concretefluff - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Here’s the thing – Quebec fans of any sport boo national anthems. This, IMO, isn’t about dissing the USA. It comes from their lack of respect for their own country. I was a cheerleader for the Montreal Machine (World League of Football) and in the 90s they used to boo the Canadian National Anthem on a regular basis. Some would even throw their beer on the field when it was playing.
    As a born and bred Montrealer I completely appreciate and share their intensity when it comes to sports, but that should not be confused with their lack of respect for countries. It’s two different beasts. I booed Carey Price last year too, because he sucked. But I would never boo a national anthem.

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