Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Not A Single "O"

At the conclusion of The Inauguration Ceremony for The 44th President Of The United States, The National Anthem was sung by The U.S Navy Band "Sea Chanters". With well over 1 million or more folks sitting and standing along The National Mall (depending on which crowd estimate you believe)--not a single "O" was heard when the 'O Say Does That Star Spangled Banner' portion of the presentation was recited. No one disrespected Our Nation's Song during the swearing in ceremony of President Barack Obama.

That moment almost brought as big of a smile to my face as to watching history being made in person. Well, maybe not that much, but still it's worth reporting. What's the chances of that ever happening at Nationals Park? The African Queen and I did notice that 'O' is wildly yelled at, seemingly, all Washington Capitals Hockey Games when The National Anthem is sung. We've attended two different Caps games so far this year at Verizon Center. A place where Sohna and I found 'O' being recited there even stranger than hearing it at home games of Our Washington Nationals.

But at least for one cherished moment, everyone at The U.S. Capitol and National Mall yesterday, respected Our Nation Anthem.


PS--We both read about the distinct possibility of Don Sutton leaving the MASN Broadcast Booth and returning to Atlanta for The Braves. The African Queen and I would miss him tremendously if his remaining contract is dismissed. For us, Don is the best part of The TV Crew, always delightful to speak with and insightful in his game analyst. And besides, Don loves The African Queen. So, he's always OK in my book. What's not to like about someone like that?

But seriously, Don Sutton is a terrific baseball broadcaster that you can learn the game from. Something which you don't get from many TV broadcasters. We wish he would stay--if he believes that's the best move for him and his family.

PSS--Still recovering from being up for nearly three straight days, much of it outside in FREEZING WEATHER. But worth it. Although at nearly 50 years of age, it's tougher to bounce back quickly.


Kenny G said...

As a member of the press covering the Washington Capitals, I am getting very disgusted with people chanting "O" at the Washington Capitals games. It's rude and disrespectful.

It really warms my heart that everyone respected President Obama and the United States of America by keeping the Star-Spangled Banner clean of any chants! Great post!

Edward J. Cunningham said...

On the subject of "O", I remember attending a Delmarva Shorebirds game two years ago in Salisbury, MD while I was vacationing in nearby Ocean City, MD. I was struck with the fact that although the Shorebirds are an Orioles affiliate and proudly wear black and orange colors, nobody yelled "O" during the National anthem.

I'm guessing that I was the only tourist in attendance and everybody else were local baseball fans.

Anonymous said...

Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe the "O" at Capital games is not for "Orioles" but for "O-VECHKIN"?

Tom said...

Fick for color commentator!

Anonymous said...

At Capitals games, they also shout "RED!" in the phrase " and the rockets red glare"

Anonymous said...

It's probably best to ignore this issue as those who rudely shout "O" will likely do it more often if they know it annoys people.

Other college and pro teams including Baltimore's do this, but it is rude, disrespectful and cliched now. No one in Washington should do it -- ever.

I think Baltimore fans at Nationals games do it because they want to remind us fans who love the Nats (and hold on to their past memories of their 33-year monopoly on baseball in this area) that we went without a team for a long time. Those days are over now.

Even so, it remains true that there's been major league baseball in Washington (75 years) much longer than up north a bit (55 years). So, we are the old kids on the block and we respect our anthem and the country it celebrates. (Baltimore folks should stop the "O" chant since it also disrespects its author, Francis Scott Key, who wrote the song in that very city!).

An Briosca Mor said...

I think Baltimore fans at Nationals games do it because they want to remind us fans who love the Nats (and hold on to their past memories of their 33-year monopoly on baseball in this area) that we went without a team for a long time.

So Orioles fans are coming from Baltimore to go to Nationals games even when they're not playing the O's? Because it's a rare game at Nationals Park when you don't hear at least some bozo yelling "O" during the anthem. That's what they are, bozos. I bet a lot of them have never even been to OPCY.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 8:41:

I can well remember going to Caps' games at the Capital Centre in the 1980's and early 1990's, long before Ovechkin or Ollie Kolzig, and hearing the "O" chant. It never really made sense to me. Maybe some Caps fans at that time who had also visited Memorial Stadium ignorantly thought of it as a "regional" thing. It made me cringe even then.

Anonymous said...

I Agree. It is totally disrepectful. I have a feeling however the Caps fans are doing so in honor of Ovechkin. No matter whom they are honoring, I believe the National Anthem is best with hand over heart, standing reverently. I am a veteran, an do not like the disrespect to my country.
My sons and I(rarebird NY area Nat Fans- although natives of DC) are heading down for fan fest at Nats Park, and are excited for 2009!

Anonymous said...

Here is the deal - Before the Caps were good and had sellout games, there were a good number of people from the Baltimore area that traveled to the hockey games and would yell "O!" for the Orioles because that is what they were used to doing in Baltimore. And unfortunately it caught on. I have seen interviews with players that thought "that is just what people do here in DC."

NOW.....People yell "RED!" during "rockets red glare" for "Rock the Red" AND they yell "O" for Ovechin. Some actually yell "Ovi" instead of "O" which is even worse.

Other places do it too. At Dallas Stars games they yell "STARS!" to "Whose broad stripe and bright stars." Awful.

It has driven me crazy for years. I don't understand why people cannot respect the National Anthem and then cheer afterwards.

There have been many articles written in the Sun and Post about these topics over the years too.

Anonymous said...

Funny because I thought the same thing - no "O" in the National Anthem!

Story that game out about a year ago about this topic.

Jeremy said...

By the way... I'm told that the "O" at Caps games is not for the Orioles, but rather for Ovechkin. In fact, lots of fans say "vechkin" after the "O." I don't necessarily support it, just explaining.

Jeremy said...

Also, unrelated, but Centerplate is out as the Nats ballpark food provider, as per WTOP. Something many of us are interested in.

Anonymous said...

My personal way of countering the "O" is to start singing (loudly) with "say can you see...". It kind of drowns it out, and makes it sound like we are all just finishing the anthem with patriotic enthusiasm (maybe that is just me).