Living in America, it's only once in a blue moon that a Canadian team makes their way to our arena or stadium, resulting in the playing of two anthems. But at least "O Canada" is sung in English, and the words are almost always sung without incident. But try singing another anthem in a completely different language? Yeah, that's bound to bring trouble every so often.
Enter British opera singer Tony Henry, who had the honor of singing the Croatian national anthem before the England/Croatia showdown on Wednesday. One little slip-up resulted in one big joke.
The ditty is "written in the old Croat style", the Telegraph explains, and instead of singing Mila kuda si planina - "You know my dear how we love your mountains" - Henry thundered Mila kura si planina, or "My dear, my penis is a mountain".While some countries and their people might be insulted and mortified by such a thing, calling for apologies and resignations. But that's not what happened here. The good people of Croatia loved it! In fact, Henry has quickly become somewhat of a national hero.
Come on, Tony Henry! Get your agent on the line! You've now got possible tour dates in places you never thought imaginable. Live, from Dubrovnik, it's Tony Henry!
Accordingly, Croatians are now calling for Henry to be awarded with a medal and appointed their team's official mascot for Euro 2008. Mate Prlic, of Croatian footie mag Torcida, suggested: "He obviously relaxed the players so why not invite him to Euro 2008 to keep the winning streak going?"Henry's agent, Douglas Gillespie, said: "Tony had a great reception from the Croatian fans and already feels part of their campaign for Euro 2008."