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Edmonton, AB • Canada •
I must tread lightly when speaking on this subject, but, what I offer is only my opinion. Count it for what you will, as it is based on my experiences, as they relate to hockey and to life. The reasons not in any particular order;

1. Politics, it may seem stupid and completely unrelated but it is what it is. The United States have disobeyed treaties (Nafta) , putting many out, they have provided little or no or poor reasoning in making foreign relation decisions, again it may seem stupid but every day, people's lives are being affected by these decisions. Our loved ones, home and abroad to name a few. There are other politcial reasons, these are generally, and vaguely, describing just a few and I want to get on to the important stuff.

2. Do unto others.... in '96 and '97 The Oilers played 2 of many first round battles against the Dallas stars. The fans in Dallas booed our national anthem without discretion or recourse. This would happen again in other rounds in the future, but this was the first time I remember it. AND I know that Oiler fans during "The Run" did the same. Fact is, as childish as it sounds, you started it.

3. Who else matters? Sweden, Russia and Czech coud be ranked 1,2 and 3 respectively and they still wouldn't matter to us. As far as we are concerned the threat regardless of skill-set is the U.S period. They are our big brother, if they finish 8th, we'd better finish 7th, if the U.S wins Silver we'd damn well better win gold. And by goodness we will do everything in our power to prevent the U.S from besting us.

Is the booing necessary? Honestly, does it matter? There are nights the Oilers are booed right out of Rexall. Has anyone stopped being a fan? No, has the love left? No, Has anyone stopped being an Oilers fan?....... Look at season ticket sales, nuff said. Canadians are passionate about hockey, not to say we are more so or less so than anyone else.. But we are uniquely so. How? You ask, continue;

We are a very new Country, our history is nearly modern we are very much in the infancy of confederation and for as long as I can remember Canada and Canadians have had an identity crisis. In Elementary school I wrote papers on What it meant to be Canadian, What defines me as a Canadian, what defines the Dominion of Canada as a soveriegn nation etc etc. As a result many Canadians Identify with hockey and hockey players vigorously. We are passionate about this because we constantly feel enfringement (intentional or otherwise is not the issue) on our identities and it almost always results in viceral retaliation.

This is neither a validation or justification for the behavior, I do not like my boys booed and consequently never will I boo a competitor simply because of the place he calls home. Hockey is our game, not our life, sometimes passion blurs these lines and it is easy to lose sight of this.

Thank you for your time,

Filed Under:   Hockey   Canada   U.S   United States  
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