Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Why I Love Hockey: The Canadian Version

Why I Love Hockey #24 - O, Canada
Fans from other cities occasionally ask me why we sing the Canadian National anthem before every game even though Buffalo is in the U.S. The truth is, I have no idea. Maybe because we're so close to the border that we're practically in Canada. Maybe because we know hockey is, at its heart, Canadian. Maybe because we know a lot of our favorite players are Canadian. I don't know. All I know is, I'm really glad we do it. First of all, it's fun to sing. I'm an alto - I can't sing our National Anthem. I try but I'm sure the people around me aren't very pleased at the excruciating sounds they're being subjected to. But O, Canada? Totally in my wheel house. I can sing that sucker all day long and sound halfway decent doing so. I also think it's just a lovely melody. I often find myself humming or singing it under my breath. A couple of years ago I was doing this on vacation and one of my brothers expressed surprise that one, I was singing O, Canada and two, I knew all the words. But that's what hockey has done to me. And while I can't explain why we do it, I do love that Buffalo is, as far as I know, the only American city where both anthems are sung before every game regardless of the opponent. Just one more thing that makes us special.

On a slightly different note, I've never really gotten into the Bills or football in general. I watch a few games a year, I want the team to do well, but I don't go out of my way for them. However... I might be a little bit in love with Paul Posluszny. I grew up in Alabama so I do know college football fairly well - enough to know that linebackers who come out of Penn State are usually pretty darn good. He's smart (15th in his class in high school, Academic All-American in college), he goes to church every week, he seems like a nice guy, and he probably won't dance around the field after a sack when the Bills are down 31-17. And while I'm not sure I'd say he's handsome, he's kind of cute though he could smile more. I really think it's the Time Warner commercial with him and all the kids trying to pronounce his name that pushed me over the edge though. It's adorable. Also, I could be in that commercial. Every once in a while I say to Mark, "Okay, say Poz's last name again." When I'm looking at it, it's no problem. When I'm not looking at it I seem to want to put a "ski" at the end.

So yeah. I'm adopting Paul for the season. We'll see if it sticks.


Meg said...

I love that they do both anthems! I've always been under the impression that it's because the team has so many Canadian fans so they sing both as a sign of respect to the Canadian fans. I could be making that up though. :)

Kate said...

Heather, you can have Hank all to yourself, but you're going to have to share Paul! Those cable commercials are deadly.

brian s. said...

I have always been under the same impression that meg has - that it's due to the amount of Canadian fans who are at the game. I'm not really surprised at you humming it around town - I always tell people that I knew O Canada before the National Anthem and it was all due to hockey. And it's a better song.

Mark B said...

I always thought that when there was a Canadian team as the opposition in an American Arena that they sing both anthems. But at some point, I remember that theory proven wrong. And it has been proven wrong at HSBC when both teams are American. But I think you're right - Buffalo's proximity to Canada is probably the reason.

Poz is awesome. If ever the Bills have drafted a true, blue Buffalo-type guy, Paul is it. I like Marshawn a lot too. He seems very genuine and the fans will love his enthusiasm. Kudos on this year's draft, Marv!

Steph said...

I LOVE that you guys sing O, Canada. I am always surprised that we DON'T, being just as close to Canada as you, and instead just sing it when we have a Canadian team visiting. Which is sad, because compared to the blah anthem we have, O, Canada is so much more awesome.

And wow, coincidence, but just as I started typing this comment FSN started showing a little clip of a special on Andy Van Slyke - and a shot of him tripping over himself trying to catch a ball :P Oh, Andy.

Gambler said...

The Canadian anthem is so awesome!

Damn, I'm out on cute cable commercials by being in Minnesota? They better still be around once hockey season starts. I commend you on your choice of Adopted Bill. I think Poz is totally cute! Personally, I think I'll be adopting (from afar of course, I can't be bothered to actually watch football) Marshawn "Money" Lynch for the season. He really won me over when I saw this video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=t-iel089cEE
Sure, I started out laughing at him, but there's something totally genuine and charming about his dopeyness.

Heather B. said...

Kate, I suppose I can share Paul. I don't have enough real knowledge to claim any right to him,

Steph, a special on Andy?! I'm so jealous! There are no words! I need that on YouTube!

Gambler, Marshawn Lynch came through my line at the grocery store late one night and he was super friendly and outgoing (and yes, a little dopey). I didn't recognize him until I ID'd him and even then I didn't really make any signs of recognition so it didn't have anything to do with me fawning all over him. He was a just a nice guy.

Steph said...

Heather, if I would have noticed it happening sooner, I would have tried to tape it and stick it on youtube (albeit with poor quality) myself for you. Unfortunately I was too busy typing about O Canada to realize until they said his last name that they were running a reel of him humiliating himself :P (And you know, making some good plays, too, but the somersaulting after an obviously foul ball was more fun.)

I'll check and see if FSN Detroit is showing it again any time soon!