Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Get Your Red On


This topic never seems to go away and it reared its ugly head again over the weekend at New Nationals Park. The shouting out of "O!" during the singing of The National Anthem--"O Say Can You See!!" A Baltimore Oriole Tradition going back many years. I don't ever recall hearing this yelled at any other ballpark in America--outside of Baltimore--other than RFK Stadium and now New Nationals Park. Proximity has much to do with the practice.

Would I love to see this bellow end? Sure.

But, when Baltimore's been entrenched in this area for so long as the "HOME TEAM"--its probably not going to go away for a while--especially when The Orioles are scheduled to visit New Nationals Park each and every season for years to come. You have to expect their fans to do whatever they can to put The O's in our faces.

Personally, I would just enjoy hearing whomever is singing to complete their rendition.

But--you know--there is a way to fight back--by starting Our Own National Anthem Tradition.

Get Your Red On.


Two years ago--while covering The Stanley Cup Finals in Raleigh, North Carolina, I took notice how The Fans of The Carolina Hurricanes shouted out "RED!!" during "Rockets Red Glare" of the National Anthem. Red is The Hurricane's predominant uniform color. In a packed arena--it was not only effective--but chilling. I am telling you--everyone in this filled to the rafters building was WAITING for this exact moment. And Hurricane Game Management responded by Instantly Shining RED Lights throughout RBC Center--at the precise time.

A Great Effect--without taking away from the importance of the song.


Since the very first days The Lerner's took over Our Washington Nationals--they have stated--"Get Your Red On!!" as a slogan for Fan Support.

Why not take this phrase a bit farther--to a new level.

At each and every Home Game of Our Washington Nationals--Our Fans shout out "RED!!" during the "Rockets Red Glare" portion of The National Anthem. No disrespect intended to this great song. But, if it catches on--you can rest assured "Red!!" will replace "O!" as a common practice at New Nationals Park.

Just a thought.

And I just know--so many of you would love to turn the tables on Baltimore Fans at Camden Yards--by shouting out "Rockets RED Glare!". Turnabout is fair play--when it comes to baseball.

The Carolina Hurricanes Cam Ward Raising Sir Stanley's Cup Photo--(AP) Steve Chiasson

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think we should rise above it all and show respect for the national anthem. The Orioles fans with their "O" and the Braves fans with their "Braves!" at the end of the song merely show their ignorance. I did have an idea about this - hand out little 3x2 cards to everyone coming in saying that this is the nation's capital, and we respect the anthem, so please do not yell "O!". That will isolate the yahoos, cut down on the problem considerably, and enable us to feel superior, which we are.

Robert said...

Great idea.

Anonymous said...

I do not like the idea of shouting "Red" during the anthem, for the following reasons:

1) The whole concept of yelling something during the national anthem is tacky and rude. By yelling something else, we would be sinking to the Orioles fans' level.

2) It would be stealing a tradition from another team, something the Nats need to stop doing.

Anonymous said...

Hate to pile on, but put me in the "no" column.

VT Mikey said...

I vote for the cards expressing the "No" on the "O".

Anonymous said...

I think cards might also be a bad idea. It might make more people do it because they were told not to or make more people aware of it. I remember my first game when I heard and I had no idea what was going on. I think it is up to us to chastise those around us who do it.

BRothbart

Anonymous said...

Umm... how about no.

Anonymous said...

As an Oriole fan, I think that this is a bad idea for your team and your fans. I respect the Nationals and their fanbase, and I certainly root for them when they're not playing the Orioles. That said, you need to start your own traditions, and not even use something that's based on or an echo of another team's traditions. As much as I love the song "Sweet Caroline," that's a tradition that belongs to another team. You may think it's desecrating the anthem to yelling "O!," but we don't. I'm sorry, but it's something that you're going to have to deal with. Again, I have respect for the Nationals, but I guarantee you that if you publish 3X2 cards instructing people not to do it, myself along with the thousands of other Oriole fans (at Nats park during the series in June) will yell it louder than ever.

Mike Bowers said...

I'm willing to give "Red" a try. It is better than the current situation , which is the Nats fans booing the fans that yelled "O", even further detracting from the song.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, while we're getting angry...I really hate the playing of "Sweet Caroline". I was so freaking angry when it was played at opening day. It is unoriginal and a bad song as well.

And what the hell was up with the songs they played? The fans voted for certain songs to be played and they played the ones that lost and suck.

Let Teddy Win the Presidents Race said...

SBF, I love the idea. Count on me to begin shouting "RED" at Nationals Park.

I am not a fan of stealing traditions from other teams, but I don't put this in the same category as "Sweet Caroline." It only applies if your team wears the right colors. Red is a theme at the new park, with Get Your Red On, the Red Loft, the Red Porch, etc.

If there were a baseball team called the Stars, I wouldn't accuse them of stealing the cheer from the Dallas hockey team (unless I was a real sourpuss). Excellent idea.

Best of all, it comes before "O" in the song, which will get the point across. We heard so many "Os" on Sunday night because the park was filled with locals who didn't know better. I guarantee you the "Os" will disappear as the season progresses, and soon we'll be hearing it only when the Orioles are in town.

Gardener Gary said...

And then why not suggest the Redskin fans adopt a pose suggesting a bow and arrow pulled and shot? Not quite a stolen idea but most certainly as full of bad taste as is this idea. I'm all for the enthusiasm but there is no need to rush such an idea ill conceived and a bit early. Let the team mature a while like some fine wine before we put a label on it.

Mike Bowers said...

Hmm.. a bow and arrow pulled and shot? I am not sure we are talking about the same thing.

"O" during the song has been around for sometime, and while growing up in DC I would also yell "O" in support of the Orioles, Now that we have a team in DC (and a ball park!), I take the yelling of "O" on the Nats home turf as O's fans throwing down the competitive gauntlet.

I think Nats fans need a way to respond Especially after O's owner Angelos was quoted back a few years ago as saying "there are no TRUE baseball fans in DC".

Let Teddy Win the Presidents Race said...

AMEN MIKE!

Edward J. Cunningham said...

I like this idea. Although the yelling of "O" was not as loud as it was during regular season O's/Nats games, it was still noticable. As a Nats' fan, I feel the urge to respond, and my reaction up to now has been to immediately boo after the "O".

This will be better. Even if only one fan yells it, it will be more noticable than simply a boo. And just as the "O" started with one fan---the late "Wild" Bill Hagy---I think this tradition will grow. This will immediately let local O's fans know that as much as they may feel the Orioles are as much a "home" team as the Redskins and Capitals, they are outnumbered and they are on enemy turf.

But better yet, imagine the reaction when the cry of "RED!" is heard at OPACY!

P.S. Anny, "Sweet Caroline" is a beautiful song, but it is already associated with the Boston Red Sox. THAT'S why it shouldn't be played here. It's like playing "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" outside of Bal'mer.

Anonymous said...

Jeff,

How about something that would both be unique to Nationals Park and show respect for the National Anthem at the same time? We should all sing along with the artist -- 41,888 voices singing the National Anthem. Now that would be something.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

We should all sing along with the artist -- 41,888 voices singing the National Anthem. Now that would be something.

Nope. Too many people will remain silent and the "O" will still be heard. If they will not refrain from yelling "O!", I will not be silent, either. This is a way to make clear to all local Oriole fans---even nice ones like you---that the Orioles are NOT a "home team" and Oriole fans are officially in enemy territory.

Finally, is it really asking too much to select a username? I am sick to death of "Anomynous." You don't have to use your real name, and you don't have to get a Google account. Just click "Name/URL" and fill in the blanks...

Anonymous said...

Dumb idea. Sounds like the guy is trying way too hard to create a tradition that he can take credit for later.

Old Nats Guy said...

Through the years, Baltimore fans have had no problem expressing their contempt toward ANYTHING Washington. They gloated when their "Birds" beat up on our hapless Senators. After their beloved Colts left town, all you heard from Baltimore fans was, "I'll never root for the Redskins. No way!" Attending games at Camden Yards, I put up with unbelievable abuse from Baltimorons ("Go back where you belong, you %%&#*") for simply having Virginia license plates on my car. And then the owner of their baseball team insults us by saying that there are no real baseball fans in Washington. They don't like us and don't care if we find their lack of respect for our National Anthem offensive. In response to their childish attitude, I say: For the fourth year in a row, our baseball team is going to win more games than your baseball team. Nah-nah-na-nah-nah.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cunningham,

Not everyone who uses the moniker "Anonyomus" is the same person. The sing along was my idea. If the fact that I didn't (as a somewhat frequent reader but first-time replier) choose not to select a user name upsets you, I'm sorry. But, let me assure you, I'm not the Orioles fan who posted earlier (in fact, I detest that team for its efforts to keep baseball out of Washington for all those years). I just think singing the anthem is alot better than shouting out one word, which (as, I, and many others I've spoken with, feel when we hear "O") smacks of disrespect. I don't see how "red" is any better. Yeah, maybe alot of people wouldn't sing along at first, but I'll bet that 30,000 people didn't all shout "O" that first time in Memorial Stadium either.

If you don't like my idea, fine. But, my choice to not select a user name for my one isolated comment has no bearing on the merits of my views. Get over yourself.

Natzzzzzz said...

How about we respect the National Anthem?

Edward J. Cunningham said...

One more thing I'd like to clarify. Redskins fans are annoyed by local area Cowboys, but they are just a rival team. The Cowboys are a threat to the Redskins only in the standings. (Indeed, NFL history buffs know the Cowboys have a bigger gripe against the 'Skins. George Preston Marshall considered the entire South to be Redskins territory and fiercly opposed a franchise in Dallas. It finally took competition from the AFL to force the NFL to go against Marshall.) The Orioles have done so much more to anger Washington Nationals fans and we still have a chip on our shoulders. As far as I'm concerned, this isn't disrespecting the national anthem---it's fighting back.

P.S. I'm surprised that nobody has commented on the OTHER national anthem tradition the Nats have already started and I believe no other franchise has imitated. I am of course referring to launching fireworks at "rockets bursting in air" and aerial salutes at "bombs bursting in air"....

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Annie, the very fact that you have to assure me you aren't the Orioles fan who posted earlier is EXACTLY the reason why you should choose a username instead of posting under "Anomynous."

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Dumb idea. Sounds like the guy is trying way too hard to create a tradition that he can take credit for later.

No, a brilliant idea. And if this idea catches on, SBF can deservedly take credit for it.

And please...click on "Name/URL." It's not that hard and you won't be confused with other posters.

Anonymous said...

How about showing some respect for our National Anthem for once? I like SBF and the blog, but this is simply a dumb idea. There will be plenty of time and opportunities to show our "true colors" for our team once the freakin' game starts!

greg said...

sorry, i have to go with no on this one.

i think the "Oh" is lame and disrespectful. so not only a no for copying the Os, but a no for messing w/the national anthem. it may take a few more years for the Oh to die out, but it will fade. let's not replace it with something just as lame.

if you want to start a tradition, come up with something original and interesting.

snd i was tempted to log out and be anonymous, but i'll leave my moniker because it's more effort than it's worth.

JD said...

I have to vote no as well. Unfortunately I think we'd will have a "RED!" call AND an "OH!" call after too long.

I think a lot of folks don't even know that the O come from Balmer. (granted lots do) I think they just do it cuz they think it's cool or something, or it's something that is always done.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

I think a lot of folks don't even know that the O come from Balmer. (granted lots do) I think they just do it cuz they think it's cool or something, or it's something that is always done.

With the notable exception of the troll Zimmm, Washingtonians aren't that stupid. They know EXACTLY what "O" stands for. I have never heard "O!" yelled at a Nationals game except when the Orioles are the road team. If it is shouted at Cap and Redskins games, it isn't done because the fans there just think it's the "thing to do" or "it's always been done." It's yelled at by Orioles fans who continue the custom at Baltimore in other sports venues.

I don't mind if this leads to a series of "RED!" and "OH!" series of calls. It will mean that we are getting underneath their skin. Keep this in mind---THEY STARTED IT FIRST. I will not remain silent if they yell "O!" at our games, and as far as I am concerned it is less disrespectful to yell "RED!" than it is to boo after "O!"

Edward J. Cunningham said...

It's quite simple, Anomynous. I will not remain silent while hundreds of Orioles fans yell "O!" in my backyard. And some of these Orioles fans are locals who cheer "Right on!" when Peter Angelos says there are no baseball fans in Washington. Some of those fans ridicule me for rooting for a local team proud to use the initial of their home city as their emblem instead of a team in a city over 40 miles away which is terrified of even mentioning their home town in team merchandise, let alone their road jerseys.

I will not stay silent while they yell "O". Singing along is not enough---too many Americans are ingrained to keeping quiet during the national anthem and the "O" will still be heard. Yelling "Red!" is a way to let them know I'm a Nationals fan and give them a taste of their own medicine.

If hearing "O!" or "Red!" is as unbearable as clicking "Name/URL" and selecting a username, then please do not attend any Nats/Orioles games.

Anonymous said...

Edward J. Cunningham, you seem to be as much of a Nats320 fanboy as SBF is a Screech fanboy. A "brilliant" idea? Good grief.

Anonymous said...

Eddie,

How old are you??? As being a DC team we should respect the national anthem... that means hats off and stay quiet. "They did it first" sounds like a 5 year old getting in trouble. We are suppose to learn when we were younger, it doesnt matter who does it first, you just stop.

I am a Nats fan but the national anthem is not part of a game. After the anthem is over is when we should root for out team.

ANONYMOUS

An Briosca Mor said...

"I have never heard "O!" yelled at a Nationals game except when the Orioles are the road team."

Then you haven't been listening hard enough (or you only go to O's-Nats games) because I heard at least one bozo yelling it at each of the 20+ games I went to last year, no matter who the opponent was. The bigger the crowd, the more bozos there were yelling it, and of course the Orioles games were the worst. I could never figure out why it was being yelled at random games. I can't believe that Orioles fans would come to games just to yell "O". And if they're folks who call themselves fans of both teams, then they ought to be respectful enough not to be yelling it when they have their "root for the Nats" hats on. Save it 'til you're at OPCY or the O's are in the Nats' house. Really, I think most of the yellers are just drunks who are yelling for the sake of yelling. If it wasn't "O", it would be something else.

paul said...

This just shows how being in first place can get us to stop worrying about the actual baseball being played on the field!

This Open House is a great idea. As in the past, though, I wish I had more notice. . . .

Janet said...

I was at a Caps vs. Canes hockey game this evening, and heard both "O" and "red" yelled during the Star Spangled Banner. I don't like hearing "O" yelled during our National Anthem, and hearing something else (in this case "red") yelled made it even worse.

As far as I'm concerned, either the National Anthem is treated respectfully or it isn't. I would define respectfully as standing at attention, caps off, and either singing along with it, or remaining quiet until the singer has finished.

Or maybe we shouldn't have someone singing the National Anthem at all -- the only game where I didn't notice "O" was the Nationals 2007 opener, when the Star Spangled Banner was PLAYED by a military ensemble.

Jim H said...

I've gotta say I'm in the camp of listen to or sing along with the National Anthem...as originally intended.

Ignore the "O". Adding some kind of hometown flavor to the anthem is, in my opinion, unnecessary and just let's those shouting "O" know they're getting to you.

Hats off (including Screech!!!), listen silently, or sing along. It's our National Anthem, not a challenge as to who can be most disrespectful.

Just my opinion.

an on ymous said...

i guess anyone who disagrees with Edward J. Cunningham is just an idiot. especially if they're anonymous idiots.

Edward, you seem like an angry man. Perhaps you should learn to relax and enjoy the game instead of getting all worked up like this. I sure hope you're not one of those people who does the wave.

Chuck B. said...

Put me down for a "No" on shouting "Red".

In my opinion, nothing should be yelled during the National Anthem.

People who shout during the Anthem are probably the same pin heads who booed the President.

Respect for others and Our Country seems to be hard to come by in this day and age and that is a damn shame.

k said...

I'm voting no for several reasons.

(1) No need for us to copy Baltimore. We're the big brother, and big brother ignores the attwntion-seeking antics of little brother instead of copying them for his own.

(2) This starts opening the door for additional antics. As a Dallas native who had season tickets for the Stars in the late 90s, I gladly joined in the yelling of "Stars" twice in the anthem with as much pride as an Orioles fan has yelling old. But some fans started taking it a step too far: when the Red Wings came to town, the "red" in the Anthem became "Red Wings suck!". No need for that, and I fear forcing a new tradition like an additional yell during the Anthem only opens the door for less respectful hijinks.

(3) Years ago, when coaching the Cincinnati Bengals, Sam Wyche successfully got an unruly crowd to shut up by grabbing a microphone and telling the crowd "We're not in Cleveland!". Maybe the Nats could have a similar message or two on the HD before the Anthem is played. Maybe a bit more tactful, since I'm sure the Nats would like those Baltimore fans to spend money in the park, but something that gets across the message that "we're better than that".

Jeremy said...

There's an obvious alternative that does not disrupt the anthem itself. Just prior to the anthem, picture the stadium announcer slowly calling out: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, please rise for our..."

...at which point, the crowd yells "National(s)" and the announcer completes the sentence "anthem."

The tune itself is performed undisturbed.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy's idea is great!!! It is still something unique to the Nationals, yet it pleases the people who don't want to disruprt the actual song. Well done.

Screech's Best Friend: I think you should promote this option wholeheartedly.

Mike Bowers said...

Another option, I like your creativity...

Screech's Best Friend said...

Sohna and I enjoy The National Anthem, and as the original post states--we would be pleased in hearing it unobstructed at each and every game. It even bothers us when other's Boo!! after hearing "O". This post was merely suggesting an option--in order to find a means to the end of the Baltimore Shout. There is nothing wrong with that.

After watching this spirited debate in the comment area over the past day--it's important to note that Sohna sings The National Anthem each and every time the song is sung at a Nationals Game. And, you would be amazed at the number of people who stare--strangely at her--for making that effort.

We were pleased to read commenter Jeremy's suggestion of another possibility: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, please rise for our..."

...at which point, the crowd yells "National(s)" and the announcer completes the sentence "anthem."

Its a fresh idea and moves the conversation forward in new direction. The point is that many are upset with hearing "O" during The National Anthem.

If that can be stopped--without any disrepect to The Anthem--this issue ends--happily for all Nats Fans.
We believe that is our collective goal.

Thanks for this great debate--it's always encouraged. But, The African Queen would appreciate everyone holding back the personal insults directed at others. That is not what The Nats320 Blog is all about. We always want to hear varying opinions--but please keep your thoughts and remarks family oriented. We've discovered that many young fans also are reading these comments and everyone should be mindful of that. Sohna and I would appreciate your restraint.

Mike Bowers said...

Well said SBF.

Any chance of running Jeremy's "National(s)" Anthem idea by the announcer? It might help to catch on if he makes a small pause... Or also to know if they/he/she was supportive/against/indifferent to the idea.

Anonymous said...

What can we do to make Jeremy's idea happen???

6th and D said...

Let us quit stealing stuff from other teams. Sweet Caroline is cute, but it is Boston's. If Carolina shouts RED, we should not. I heard a guy the other night blow his horn three times and those familiar with the CAPS shouted LET'S GO NATS! while others missed the point and still shouted LET'S GO CAPS! Again, that should remain a tradition with the Caps, not the Nats.

We have such a rich and diverse musical history in DC I'm sure someone more clever than I can come up with something. Do you know that Washingtonian John Philip Sousa wrote a march called "National Game"? I'm not kidding, you an look it up.

Sean said...

Loved Jeremy's idea. Make It Happen!

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Jeremy's idea is brilliant. Aside from the fact that it does not do anything to the song itself, it is completely unique. We would not be ripping off anything from the Carolina Hurricanes, and it isn't something that the Cincinnati Reds or the St. Louis Cardinals could co-opt. (Do not be surprised if they do, however.)

One more thing I should say. I honestly don't notice the "O" that much when the Nats are not playing Baltimore, but if the O's aren't at Nationals Park and we do hear the "O!"---why should we assume that that person is rooting for the visitors?

If it is possible that an Orioles or former Orioles fan has come simply to watch the game, let's not go out of our way to alienate them. In an earlier post, SBF mentioned Philadelphia's reputation for being rude and obnoxious fans. Not all fans from the Philly area are like that (I remember some nice Hooters girls talking to me about the Nats/Phillies series in Delaware), but they have earned their reputation. In our rivalry against the Orioles, we should take care that we do not emulate them.

Anonymous said...

I vote "No" too. There are plenty of ways to support our team at the game, but let's leave the National Anthem alone.

Anonymous said...

Sort of knew EJ Cunningham would recognize the brilliance of Jeremy's idea . . . once SBF noted his assent.

Anonymous said...

And so we have the dumbest of dumb ideas being posted by a dumbass. I would rather none of the fans in the new ballpark do not sink to the same level of stupidity as the Bl-O'e fans do.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather people not shout anything.

But Shouting "O" is terrible for MLB teams other than the Orioles because there is actually a team (The Orioles) that is nicknamed the "O's." People said "O" at a capitals game, which I thought to be weird, especially since I don't see the fun in yelling a random word because it has no second meaning to the team.

But I also think it is disrespectful to just shout out a word of the anthem.

I like the guy's idea about handing out 3x2 cards to everyone saying to respect the anthem.

Anonymous said...

As much I like these traditions, at times I can see that it's rude and disrespectful when sayed during the anthem.

WHAT I would like is what the Canadians do...actually sing the anthem like a big chorus. Now that would be something to hear and give chills down your back!