I knew going into tonight’s Blackhawks/Canucks that it was going to be an interesting night on Twitter. My timeline was filled partly withÂ Hawks fans cheering for their team, partly with Blues fans cheering against the Hawks on principle, and partly with Cardinals fans still lamenting yet another blown save by our closer.
One of the things that I love so much about playoff hockey besides the games themselves is that television broadcasts a lot of the time cut away from the intermission commentators in order to allow the singing of the national anthems to be shown. OnceÂ O, Canada was finished, the traditional applause, cheering, etc started for the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Immediately, my timeline exploded with people ranting about just how disrespectful and classless cheering during the national anthem is. It was yet another reason for plenty of the Blues fans on my timeline to hate Chicago.
I recognize that I have a different perspective than almost all Blues fans when it comes to the Hawks, but I honestly don’t get why there’s such hostility towards this practice, which has gone on since 1985, nearly as long as I’ve been alive. At the end of every Charles Glenn rendition of the anthem, Blues fans sing, “…land of the free and home of the BLUES!” Stars fans in the American Airlines Center shout out “STARS!” every time the word is sung. Capitals fans yell “RED” during the “…rockets red glare…” line.
So what makes Chicago’s cheers more disrespectful than anything any other set of fans does? I am honestly curious why so many people are so against this.
Back in January, I went to a Hawks/Predators game at the United Center with a good friend of mine. I got there early enough for the national anthem, and guys? The energy in that building was absolutely undeniable. It was electric. I was covered in goosebumps and brought to the verge of tears. It moved me. It didn’t matter what team any person there was cheering for, it was evident that the people there were into this tradition, that it brought them all together to prepare them to cheer for their team.
In other words, it was ESSENTIALLY THE SAME THING as cheering “….home of the BLUES” for any Charles Glenn rendition.
Maybe I’m just a sucker for the Star-Spangled Banner. It’s entirely possible. There may be other songs more worthy of being the national anthem, as I saw a few times in my timeline today, but there are few things that move me like that song. Few songs that give me goosebumps nearly every time. And at certain times, such as the Blues final home game this year, where the entire Scottrade Center sang a capella at the top of their lungs, that I am overcome with legitimate tears. And you know what? There was cheering in the middle of the song in St Louis too.
I think hating the way Chicago celebrates their rendition is yet another way of saying to another fan base, “You’re doing it wrong” when honestly? Who cares?
Stand by your traditions, no matter what team you cheer for.