The National Anthem before Sporting Events

National Anthem

The Dallas Mavericks haven’t been playing the National Anthem at the start of their games this season and apparently no one even noticed until recently but now, of course, it’s a big deal. The question I ask is why do we play the song in the first place? What sort of failed patriots are we that we need to play it to affirm our patriotism?

I’ve always thought it was pretty silly to play the awful song anyway. Not horrible in its symbology but in the actual song. It’s awful. Singing it is difficult. It’s all over the place without a chorus. I mean, seriously, listen to Oh, Canada sometime to hear a decent anthem. I digress.

When did we start playing the National Anthem before sporting events? Why did we start doing it? What does it have to do with my beloved St. Louis Cardinal playing the hated Chicago Cubs?

The Star-Spangled Banner didn’t even become our National Anthem until 1931. It all started back in 1918 when it was played at the World Series and people seemed to like it. Keep in mind, it was just a song then, not any national symbol of pride.

It didn’t really start as a tradition before games until after World War II when the NFL commissioner ordered it played at the start of games and other sports soon followed.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If team ownership wants to play the National Anthem before a game, more power to them. Go right ahead. It’s your team, play whatever song you want as far as I’m concerned. If you don’t want to go to games because they aren’t playing the anthem, that’s your business. You know you don’t listen to the song when you’re at home watching, you take a pee break.

Of course, Texas legislators want to remove tax breaks to American Airlines, owned by Mark Cuban who also owns the Mavericks. They think they get to tell private companies how to run their business all the way down to the song played before games. If that’s not government involvement in private business then I don’t know what is. Don’t get me started on government overreach.

The willingness of government and the average person to force their traditions onto others is growing ever more disturbing in this country supposedly founded on freedom.

I digress again. Personally, I’d like to see a song relevant to the team in question if anything at all. I just don’t think a sporting venue a particularly pertinent place to play patriotic songs. I’m sure many disagree.

Tom Liberman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.