Every once in a while music and sports and patriotism and whatever makes something special collide and have “a moment”.  You know what I mean. A goose bump moment.

You may have no vested interest in whatever is happening but even you get caught up in the moment.

It happened friday night.

The stanley cup game five in Vancouver.

First some background (because I am not a habitual ice hockey tv viewer).

I have a buddy who works in Maine.  A truly talented ice hockey player when young (and indestructible) he is an ice hockey aficionado and this is his favorite time of the year. We were talking this past week and I mentioned I couldn’t get into watching the nba finals. That got him going. And he got into his stride talking about the Stanley Cup and the Bruins and the Canucks and ice hockey strategy and all that great sports stuff.

And he got me into it.

And on Friday night I switched over to game 5 just to check it out.


What a treat.

The arena in Vancouver was packed to the rafters with maybe 13000 British Colombians and 500 Bruins fans.

The place was nuts.

First they play the American national anthem.  Ah.  And then the moment.

This wacky looking guy steps up to the mike at center rink (In fact he is an opera guy kinda famous for his passionate singing of the canadian national anthem but I will get back to him at the end).

And he begins the Canadian national anthem.

Now. Let’s be clear.  Oh Canada is one of the most beautiful sweepingly patriotic national anthems in the world (kind of what america the beautiful would have been if we had chosen that as our national anthem).

But this guy really delivers the goods. I mean he not only does Canada proud he has the entire arena singing along.

And then?

He stops. Right in the middle of the frickin’ anthem.

And the entire arena sings maybe the next 30 seconds alone.

The camera sweeps the arena and the Canuck players and … dammit … you wanted to be Canadian right then and there.

And then opera guy steps back in and brings the national anthem to a brilliant close.  I think people in Mexico could hear as every frickin’ Canadian household was standing and screaming at their tv.

Shit.  I would have if I had been a Canadian.

Awesome goose bumps moment.

And then the players delivered to top it all off.

The first period should be bottled up and shared with everyone and ice hockey ratings would go thru the roof.  Brilliant ice hockey.  Bruins had three power plays.  Vancouver turned them away each time. The skating was frenetically brilliant and the hitting was all over the place.  The Canuck goalie, Luongo, was simply spectacular.


That national anthem moment.


Frickin’ goose bumps.

A great moment for ice hockey and canada.

Here it is: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=117674


The funky looking opera guy singer. Mark Donnelly.  Often called “Mr. Oh Canada.”

I found out through a little research that although this guy has performed in recital, opera, oratorio and musical theatre in both Canada and the United States, he is most recognized for his immensely popular appearances singing the national anthem for the Vancouver Canucks.  I think what makes him special is his unabashedly patriotic passionate version of the Canadian anthem.

Written by Bruce