Baseball On My Brain

He’s going after the anthem? What’s wrong with this guy?
September 9, 2008, 3:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Part of my thing is just asking why we do things, and how we could make them better. It’s just who I am. It’s what I do.

So here I sit before the Mariners-Yankees game at Safeco Field, and as the National Anthem rolls around, the question comes to mind: why doesn’t the crowd sing the anthem before the game instead of having an individual or group do it?

Part of my issue with anthem singers – not all of them mind you, just some – is that it becomes a performance for them, when in my mind it should be anything but. It should be sung as it was intended, without the singer adding a bunch of notes that weren’t there when it was written. I also know aspiring singers who do the “anthem circuit” as a way to boost their resume.

Now before you stop me and say “but what about Jimi Hendrix?!?” I’ve already thought about that one. What Hendrix did was pretty cool, and it’s an iconic performance for a lot of people who were there and saw it when it happened, for even more who were alive and saw it in the context of America and Woodstock in 1969, and for more still who have seen video footage of it. But how few and far between are performances like that? Name every performance of the National Anthem that is really memorable. Sadly, a lot of folks would name Roseanne Barr’s atrocity before they could name some really good ones.

So anyway, back to my initial question. With the presidential campaign in full swing and the election just two months away, there is so much forced patriotism floating about that I just don’t see on an everyday basis. Candidates talking about being the force of change in America, flag graphics added to almost every news broadcast – you know what I mean. But here’s an opportunity on an almost daily basis for folks to really show their patriotism and love of country.

It’s a simple thing to arrange – the words are already on the screen, and you could throw a light instrumental version on as accompaniment. Besides – we all know the words by heart, right?

I’ve heard some good anthems in my time, but I would take hearing a sincere crowd sing it over most folks that get handed the mic.

What do you think? Crazy? Or a good idea?


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