Woe, Canada

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David W. Smith/ Daily News
Players from London Christian, a high school basketball team from Canada listen to an abbreviated version of their national anthem before a tournament game against Edmonson County Tuesday.

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David<br /> W. SmithI got to cover an international assignment of sorts Tuesday.

It wasn’t overseas, but I had to travel to Edmonson County to get there and figured I crossed over a couple rivers on the way.

At the Rafferty’s Caveland Classic Basketball Tournament in Brownsville Tuesday there was a team from north of the border. And they were even generating some excitement before the game.

“I heard they are in their off-season, like summertime,” one local speculated of the high school hoopsters from London, Canada.

“I heard they are really fast, ” was overhead from another in a restroom conversation.

Even though they came from the homeland of two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and even with the inventor of the game Dr. James Naismith hailing from there, little is known about basketball in Canada.

London Christian, a small private school from the Western part of the province of Ontario, was set take on the hosts of the tournament, the Edmonson County high school squad.

The gym was abuzz with excitement before the match and a good-sized crowd started to fill the bleachers.

The scorers table looked confused and struggled with the pronunciation of the players names but with help of a team manager eventually figured it all out.

In a very friendly gesture, the organizers announced they would play the national anthem of Canada followed by the Star Spangled banner.

As the music started to play the Canadian players seemed surprised and pleased.

Some of them even started to sing…..

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

The Canadian players watching the bleachers of American fans across from them, put their hands over their hearts, though awkwardly and some held closed hands to their chests.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

I started to croon a bit myself, being Canadian and not having the chance to sing my national anthem often in Kentucky, let alone in Edmonson County. It was a nice warm feeling….

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

and on to the final verse both players and photographer sang……

O Canada, we ……

What the heck? It stopped…..the music stopped before the final verse…..the crowd applauded…I don’t think they knew it

wasn’t finished yet. (I hope they weren’t applauding because the lack of music had stopped my singing) I wondered if they downloaded the song from Napster or something and didn’t get the full version.

The players looked at each other, a little confused maybe. And then they did what any red-blooded, patriotic Canuck would do when someone messed up their national anthem. They laughed. A lot.

It was a honest mistake. No harm, no foul.

After the full version of the American national anthem it was on to the game.

The visitors from the Great White North staked an early lead against their Bluegrass hosts but it didn’t last long and the Christians from London were fed to the lions or in this case the Wildcats and lost by a huge margin. It wasn’t a physically rough game and players from both countries shook hands after it was over and there was Peace on Earth. Well at least in Brownsville.

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One Response to Woe, Canada

  1. Ashley Fowlkes says:

    I told you on Thursday (at the branch) that I hadn’t read your blog before, but I was wrong. I recently read this blog posting – and I really like this pic! It captures the variety of responses described in the narrative. Nicely done!

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