Singing at sports events

I enjoyed Chicago Tribune’s Steve Johnson’ somewhat tongue-in-cheek piece on those singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Cub games and what they could do to present a more melodious experience.  Johnson humorously lambasted Denise Richards whose performance left something to be desired:

The syllables — we won’t call them "notes" — lurched out of the stadium, stopping old ladies and scaring small children. An ambulance siren was shocked into silence at hearing a noise more annoying than itself.

A passing legislator vowed to restore full funding to public-school music education.

But after reading the article, I was reminded of a similar subject that troubles me when I attend local sporting events. 

Other fans don’t like it when I sing the words to the Star Spangled Banner before a game. 

Ok, some of my friends who know me well might be a bit surprised but unlike most fans, I DO find it important to sing our national anthem for my personal reasons.

I know I don’t sing well so I don’t sing especially loud.  But judging by the looks of the fans sitting ahead of me at a women’s basketball game earlier this year, you would have thought I was invading their personal space.  Other times, I just get weird looks.

Maybe it’s a Midwestern thing.  Or a small town thing.  Sometimes I get lucky and I’m sitting next to an grizzled old veteran who has no problem belting out the song that represents our country in his raspy voice.  I just try to keep up. 

To me, the Star Spangled Banner should not be a song that is performed for the crowd, it should be sung and the meaning should be savored.

So the next time you attend a ballgame, consider singing the National Anthem and I won’t feel alone.

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