Most of you, if not all, have heard that Christina Aguilera botched the lyrics for the National Anthem. According to Fanhouse’s Kevin Blackistone, this should the catalyst for the discontinuation of the The Star-Spangled Banner as a pre game ritual.
On Capitol Hill one June day in 1955, moments after what was dubbed as a premiere of The Pledge of Allegiance set to music, House members in attendance and gallery spectators looking on engaged in a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
It wasn’t planned for our national lawmakers to sing the United States’ anthem that day. It never is.
Sports, however, have and continue to ritualize it with barely a shred of relevance.
It was, no doubt, Christina Aguilera’s fault that she flubbed the National Anthem’s lyrics at the Super Bowl on Sunday. But if our lawmakers don’t sing it every day to begin the country’s business, spectators of a mere sporting event shouldn’t be forced to sit through it, either, especially during the time we are living through right now.
There are, after all, a lot of people out there who argue that they don’t want politics to have anything to do with sports. They accuse coaches, athletes and media of disrespecting service men and women in battle by using war metaphors to describe how touchdowns are scored, come-from-behind victories are achieved and adversity is fought through to win a game.
Yet, those same people don’t see a contradiction at rising to their feet at every sporting event to mouth (a 2004 Harris Interactive poll showed most U.S. citizens don’t know the National Anthem’s lyrics) words that came to Francis Scott Key as he watched U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raise a huge American flag to celebrate surviving bombardment from British forces during the War of 1812. Instead, they hoot and holler, sometimes with an American banner turned into a bandana on their heads, when military jets swoop overhead as the color guard prepares to relinquish the field of play to the opposing sports teams.
That is sports framed by the politics of militarism that has nothing to do with football, baseball or a NASCAR race.
You can check out the rest of the article here.
While he makes some valid points, this caveman is on the fence about releasing that tradition. Maybe it is just a tradition for the sake of being a tradition. But I do not mind the pre-game reminder that while these teams are competing, they are united under the same nation. While I have never served, I do not feel like the song disrespects the Soldiers who have fought and died for the country, but more honors the memory of them, and how the United States came to be.
What do you think Rock Heads? Should we banish the Banner, or keep the tradition alive?