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

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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