Rene Rancourt: I love this guy
BOSTON – There. I’ve said it. Watch the start of Tuesday’s Canadiens-Bruins game on CBC, at least until the end of the national anthems as I’m not certain that RDS shows them (they don’t during the regular season, but they might during the playoffs), because the legendary Rene Rancourt does the most fabulous job of anyone, since or perhaps including the late Roger Doucet, whom I loved.
Think of the Wizard of Oz’s Cowardly Lion as you listen to the anthems, and imagine Rene warbling, "If I Were the King of the Forest…"
In Ottawa, they’ve got some jackass traffic cop who should be directing shoppers at the Rideau Centre – no, farther out of town, at Bayshore – who salutes and winks and is so hokey and cheesy and such a bad knockoff that I want to join the Parti Québécois, almost, out of protest. The "Sens" deserve to be out of the playoffs simply because of this guy’s act – and let’s not even discuss Jason Spezza’s smirk.
At the Bell Centre, we’ve got Charles Prévost-Linton, who does a fine, no-nonsense job. (Though why did Chas. do the anthems almost every regular-season home game in Montreal, and hasn’t been heard in the playoffs?)
But in Boston, Rene Rancourt is my Pavarotti. My Caruso. He’s classic, an original. I absolutely love this guy. No cheering in the pressbox? I cheered Rene on Sunday, and I’ll cheer him Tuesday night.
I’m asking Inside/Out readers a favour: please, someone record Rene on video on Tuesday and email a QuickTime of his anthems to me at firstname.lastname@example.org