ESPN panelist: Why are we playing a war anthem like “The Star-Spangled Banner” before sporting events?

posted at 6:41 pm on November 8, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via the Blaze, a possible sneak preview of the left’s next sports-related cause celebre once they’re done making “Redskins” unfit for polite conversation among the enlightened. To be clear, it’s not all pre-game patriotic music that this guy objects to, just the national anthem, and not because it’s the national anthem but because it’s a “war anthem.” The theory, I gather, is that the glory of victory in sports reflects on the song, which in turn reflects on the subject of the song, which in turn conditions people to think that war is awesome and a big game. But all of that depends on the unlikely assumption that most people have the slightest idea what “The Star-Spangled Banner” is about. Here’s an idea for Jimmy Kimmel’s next man-on-the-street feature: Ask people to explain the meaning of the SSB in their own words. There’s something in there about rockets and bombs bursting in the air, and … that’s about as far as the average Frank Drebin can take you, I’d bet. In which case, how much of an ad for militarism is it really? Blackistone seems to think that it persists as a pre-game tradition because it’s about war when obviously it persists because it’s the national anthem, irrespective of its subject. This argument would make more sense as a critique of using sports to instill national loyalty than it does as a critique of militarism.

Fair point, though, in noting the occasional Air Force flyovers at football games. As a young Robert Downey Jr once warned us, football is a cryptofascist metaphor for nuclear war. Exit question: How come we don’t sing the national anthem before movies and concerts too?


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Over

Bmore on November 10, 2013 at 6:00 PM

We should sing the third verse every 9/11–and mean it!

njcommuter on November 9, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Not me. I’ll never sing the third verse. Never.

It’s an anthem to black slavery built right into the middle of our national anthem.

Once you understand whom Frances Scott Key was castigating with that verse (and it wasn’t the British), you won’t sing it either.

I’d replace it with this — written by Oliver Wendell Holmes:

When our land is illumined with liberty’s smile,
If a foe from within strikes a blow at her glory,
Down, down with the traitor that tries to defile
The flag of the stars, and the page of her story!
By the millions unchained,
Who their birthright have gained
We will keep her bright blazon forever unstained;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave,
While the land of the free is the home of the brave.

At least that verse defames people who really did act as traitors against the Union — rather than unrepresented people trying to obtain their own freedom from others who had shackled them.

[Note: The British did not treat the slaves that had aided them kindly overall, even though they had promised them freedom. The kindest treatment was for those sent to Nova Scotia -- they remained free. The British took many others to Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean -- as slaves. It would not be until 1833 that the British would abolish slavery in the Empire.]

unclesmrgol on November 10, 2013 at 6:06 PM

So fed up with sports announcers interjecting politics into a game. Totally inappropriate and annoying.

francesca on November 10, 2013 at 6:53 PM

That jackass should listen to some other national anthems….the racist, jingoistic and militant Oh, Canada, for one. Or God Save the Queen….

HBowmanMD on November 10, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Why do I have to put up with these sourpuss busybodies in every freakin’ part of my life?

Go away!

Meremortal on November 10, 2013 at 10:34 PM

That guy looks miserable.

Mimzey on November 10, 2013 at 10:47 PM

That “war anthem” is what allows you to participate in your games.
Moron!

Another Drew on November 11, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Not me. I’ll never sing the third verse. Never.

It’s an anthem to black slavery built right into the middle of our national anthem.

unclesmrgol on November 10, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Were you aware that prisoners (white) from England were sold as slaves by the shipping companies prior to the revolution. Quite profitable for them. For certain crimes you could be hung or sent to the Colonies to be sold. This is not only about blacks and may not be at all in fact.

CW20 on November 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

This person is a Racist and a Traitor!

Here’s the Third AND Fourth Verses of Our National Anthem:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

williamg on November 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Leftist trash like these scum won’t be happy until we are forced to sing :

Be glorious, our free motherland,
A reliable stronghold of the peoples’ friendship!
Banner of the Soviets, Banner of the people,
May it lead from victory to victory!

May they all rot.

Kuffar on November 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Blackistone’s opinion on the SSB does not matter. Neither does his sports commentaries. He is a vial little man who is not capable of serving this country nor can he play in any atheltic game. The best he will ever be in life is aloud-mouth….and like I said earlier, his opinion does not matter.

Cherokee on November 11, 2013 at 11:12 AM

That guy looks miserable. Mimzey on November 10, 2013 at 10:47 PM

It’s the liberalism exuding from every pore.

Akzed on November 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM

“No refuge could save the hireling and slave”

The professional soldiers and sailors on the British ships besieging Baltimore are here contrasted with the defendive force composed mostly of militia, i.e., civilians defending their homes.

Akzed on November 11, 2013 at 12:55 PM

I could care less about the “war anthem” nature of the song as complained about by this guy. I think the Banner is just a stupid song to have for our national anthem. Musically, it’s clunky and all over the place, the range is absurd for singing by the general populace, and there’s not really any room for variation, as you’ll notice from guest singers basically playing with stretching out phrases or ridiculous runs and not much else.

America the Beautiful is short, clean, memorable, and not subject to jokers like this guy. Let’s give America the anthem it deserves.

The Schaef on November 11, 2013 at 1:12 PM

These people who denigrate our military. I wonder how many of them ever served in the military. Zero, maybe? No guts, no glory they say.

HiJack on November 11, 2013 at 1:48 PM

America the Beautiful is short, clean, memorable, and not subject to jokers like this guy. Let’s give America the anthem it deserves.

The Schaef on November 11, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Hey, Jacka$$:

YOU weren’t there to do the work of FOUNDING this Country, like the author of the SSB was….

YOU have never done, or gone through ONE SCINTILLA of the work or hardship the Founders of This Country went through to GIVE YOU the freedom YOU have today……

SO – YOU don’t get to pick what our “National Anthem” is – YOU’RE Not Qualified!!

williamg on November 11, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Welcome to the BOZOne.

Marcola on November 11, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Love that song, especially the lyrics; I was aboard an aircraft carrier while in the Navy and when we were in port at morning muster each country that had a warship in port our band played their National Anthem and ours was played as the last.

mixplix on November 11, 2013 at 6:19 PM

YOU weren’t there to do the work of FOUNDING this Country, like the author of the SSB was….

YOU have never done, or gone through ONE SCINTILLA of the work or hardship the Founders of This Country went through to GIVE YOU the freedom YOU have today……

SO – YOU don’t get to pick what our “National Anthem” is – YOU’RE Not Qualified!!

williamg on November 11, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Um… this is tongue-in-cheek, right?

Cause if it’s not… um, what?

The Schaef on November 12, 2013 at 8:53 AM

That guy looks miserable. Mimzey on November 10, 2013 at 10:47 PM

It’s the liberalism exuding from every pore.

Akzed on November 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Liberals/leftists/progressives are profoundly unhappy people.

And they cannot stand the idea that someone, somewhere is enjoying life.

Joy must be crushed!

Solaratov on November 12, 2013 at 12:24 PM

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