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What does booing Justin Bieber say about us?

Justin Bieber performs during the half-time show at the 100th CFL Grey Cup game between the Toronto Argonauts and teh Calgary Stampeders Sunday November 25, 2012 in Toronto.

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

If you watched the Grey Cup on Sunday, you probably had an opinion about teen sensation Justin Bieber playing half-time – and getting mercilessly booed.

There were fans of all ages primed to root for the Canadian superstar as much as for their teams of choice.

Peter Mansbridge, for one, tweeted: "Let's Go Biebs – Stratford pride buddy."

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And in the moment, hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser tweeted: "Best thing about this grey cup....@justinbieber #goriders"

But most others at the game booed the Biebster from the minute his mug was flashed on a jumbo-screen, reflecting perhaps a demographic misstep on the part of organizers.

"Not a real big fan of Justin Bieber, sorry," 52-year-old Johanna Ellis of Kitchener, Ont., told Canadian Press reporter Nick Patch. "It's not a very good choice in a stadium full of football fans."

Instead, Gordon Lightfoot's appearance seemed more palatable that either Bieber's or fellow pop star Carly Rae Jepson.

"J-Biebs doesn't scream football, you know? Neither does Carly Rae Jepsen," agreed Calgary's Ryan Prisque, 22. "Gordon Lightfoot – that'll be the time I turn back from the beer gardens and watch."

While Bieber reportedly handled the situation with grace, it has been a week of deflecting jabs for the 19-year-old.

There was the gleeful announcement Sunday that the video sensation Gangnam Style has overtaken Bieber's Baby as the most-watched video of all time on YouTube.

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And on Friday, a universal groan greeted Bieber's choice of sloppy one-shouldered overalls to meet Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who presented him with a Diamond Jubilee medal.

Outlets like Gawker called him a "White Trash Prince," leading him to defend himself, explaining that the photo had been taken in an arena where he was about to perform.

Stephen Harper ‏himself stepped in to defend Bieber, tweeting: "In fairness to @justinbieber, I told him I would be wearing my overalls too. #cdnpoli #beliebers"

But many observers – even those who aren't fans of Bieber's music – are saying it's all starting to feel like a bad case of Canadians hating the next big thing. Some tweeters even used the hashtag #crabbucket, referring to the phenomenon that crabs in a bucket will yank down any crab who claws his way to the top to escape their shared fate as, well, dinner.

Using another shorthand for the tendency to begrudge others' successes, Adam Goldberg tweeted it this way: "Behold Bieber. He made it big, came home, and got crapped on. Cdn tweeters have no time for tall poppies."

Should Justin Bieber have been booed at the Grey Cup? Or should football fans have been more respectful of the singer?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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