Oh You Were Done? Well Allow Me To Retort...

By now, you've probably all seen it.  It's Rob Otto's piece from Michigan Live (mlive.com) about how our Anthem Tradition must go.  I debated long and hard about writing anything about it at all (Michigan Tradition dictates you burn down everything on Oct. 30th, so are they even worth my time?), but I can't help it.  This is my favorite Hawk tradition, and I'm not going to let some mouth-breather besmirch it without having a say.  Time for the Fire Joe Morgan Model:

Listening to the Red Wings-Blackhawks pregame on Sunday reminded me of one of the most awful traditions in sports.

I'm guessing either you were in the office, Rob, or like half the people in Michigan, you've had your TV stolen.

Jim Cornelison belted out his wonderful, booming rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner.

That is true.

The crowd yelled, screamed and clapped through the entire thing. It's something the fans started doing because they were so pumped up before a 1985 Campbell Conference playoff game against the Edmonton Oilers, and have continued it ever since.

And it makes my skin crawl every time I hear it.

While I'm sure you have no problem with Wings fans running down the aisles to throw octopi on the ice during the Anthem.  I bet they listen to every word down the stairs, though.

I grew up in a military family.  My father was a Commander in the United States Coast Guard and he taught me a deep love of our country, and respect for our flag.  That includes standing during the National Anthem with my right hand over my heart and singing the words.

This is the line that gets me.  It's not that I don't respect greatly every man and woman who has served this country.  But being the descendant of one doesn't mean you are more patriotic than I am or appreciate being American more than I do (For the record, my father served in the Army, and two separate Generals called him the worst soldier in the history of the US Armed Forces.  So I guess I'm Russian, right?)  In fact, if your parents are off the boat immigrants who made a better life for themselves here, you could claim to appreciate America more than I do.

I understand it is a very difficult song, and many Americans feel embarrassed to sing it in public.  However, if you're not singing you should at least stand in silent reverence until it is completed.

The Chicago fans are doing the exact opposite.

Has this dimwad ever seen video of the 1991 All-Star game? During the 1st Iraq War? We didn't get as loud as we ever have because we were so excited to see the All-Stars. We did it because we knew the troops were watching in Iraq and maybe, just maybe, they could have used the boost.

Their argument is that they are being more patriotic -- that yelling and screaming makes them a part of the anthem instead of just being a silent bystander.  I am not buying it.

You're not buying anything, you live in Michigan.

Now, before you think is a "Detroiter hates Chicagoan" piece,

Too late.

let me remind you that fans of plenty of other sports teams disrespect the Anthem as well.  Right here in Detroit, there is always some idiot who yells "Red Wings" over "the rockets' red glare."  At NHL games in Dallas they yell "Stars" every time that word appears in the song.

In my opinion, it is all disrespectful to the song and what it represents -- the men and women who fought valiantly to make this country what it is today.

Let's be honest here.  You don't need a fucking song to make you feel proud of the men and women who fight for this country, and if this doofus had seen the standing ovation we give a member of the military EVERY GAME, he'd know that.

I understand that the screaming at the United Center is tradition, but not all traditions are right.

*cough* Octopus *cough*

Remember what the fans used to yell at Yost Ice Arena?  Obscenities abounded in the chants, especially when an opposing player was sent to the penalty box.

Ah, so cheering during the anthem is now on par with telling an opposing player to...um...put his mouth where it would please a donkey most?

It was tradition.  It was just the fans getting into the game. But for the parents who brought their kids to the game, it was awful.  Complaints abounded and the higher-ups at U-M heard them.


The athletic department finally eliminated that particular tradition.  Somehow the world kept rotating.  Fans kept coming and enjoying themselves.  Yost is still a difficult place to play for any opposing team.

From what I've heard, not this year.

It's the same thing that has to happen in Chicago and every other city where our National Anthem is being disrespected.

I have never met a person who didn't think the Anthem was one of the most exhilarating things they've ever experienced.  We don't do it to drown out the singer.  It's our tribute.  Would Otto object to the tradition in Mexican soccer games, where instead of a moment of silence to honor a recently deceased figure they give him an ovation for a minute?  That's essentially what we're doing.  What if I'm in the can during the Anthem?  Am I essentially pissing on the flag, sir?

America is far too full of this bullshit.  You don't need a song, or a flag-pin, or a tattoo on your forehead to love this country.  It's empty symbolism.  In all honesty, I think our National Anthem is half the song that America The Beautiful is or God Bless America.  Fuck, I almost agree with Joe Walsh who thinks "Wooly-Bully" should be our national anthem.  The best part is I'm sure Otto wrote this simply to appeal to the rednecks of his state (which are basically everywhere outside of Detroit and Ann Arbor).  Nothing lather them up but good like pointing out how "liberal, tree-hugging Chicago don't love Uncle Sam".

Your piece is utterly ridiculous, and we Hawks fans take it as an insult.  But that's probably what you meant anyway, wasn't it?