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Hockey

Let's Go Oilers Let's Go!

I have been referred to as a hooligan on several occasions in Canada. Not because I am (everyone knows that hooligans are Irish) but because I am English, and that's the stereotype.

Talking of hooligans, I shot this video last night down Whyte Av.

There's a moment when the crowd disperses, backing away from the fire, booing and throwing bottles. The object of their contempt was the guy up the lampost. Not sure what he did, but I don't think he'll be doing it again.

Pictures to follow.

Can English fans ever sing like this?

I'm not a hockey fan (ice hockey, for all those outside Canada, is called just 'hockey' here) but watching the Edmonton Oilers take on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks has been quite an emotional thing. You don't even have to be a Canadian to be moved by a scene such as this.

Remember, this is a club game, and not the Canadian national team that is arousing these passions. Remember too that this is Canada; a nation, though proud, not renowned for overtly patriotic fervour; a nation, it also has to be said, not renowned for the quality of its national anthem. Yet here we see the lusty fans of the Edmonton Oilers belting out O'Canada for all they are worth. Imagine the same happening in England, imagine the barotone in the middle holding the mike up to the FA Cup crowd for them to sing God Save the Queen. Difficult isn't it?

I don't think Canadians are any more patriotic about their country than we are. If anything they probably have more of the healthy cynicism towards overt displays of patriotism than we do in England (it comes from living next door to the dewey-eyed star-spangled Americans). The difference is that they get to sing about their country and display the pride that they have for it, whilst we in England sing in dreary monotone about God and the Queen, not England.

Let us know what you think we should be singing in the anthems poll.

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