Music At Sporting Events

Baseball, specifically, as the Captains game last night brought this to mind.

First, one of the worst, maybe the worst, developments in sports over the last decade is music between innings or as each batter comes to the plate or for any and all other play stoppages. I understand the idea: Get the crowd excited. You know what, though? When it happens every fifteen seconds it kind of loses the effect. Then it just annoys everyone. If I played for the Captains (or any other team) I would refuse to tell them my favorite song, for fear of having to hear the same clip played before every one of my two hundred or so of my home at bats. So how about saving the music for BIG MOMENTS, and letting the two out, no one on in the eighth inning of a six run game at bats go silently by?

Second, the national anthem is the Star Spangled Banner, not God Bless America. The former is not only official, but awesome. The latter is a usurper and it sucks. God Bless America is just so vanilla. I hear it and I think things like “Ahh, isn’t life swell.” It’s an everybody get along and be happy type of song. Not really the attitude you want for a sporting event. The Star Spangled Banner, though, is all about the right sports attitude: It doesn’t matter how hard you try, we are going to win. In short, we have a kick ass national anthem in this country, use it.

Third, I don’t care if it is the 4th of July, the seventh inning stretch is for Take Me Out To The Ballgame. To play anything else would be sacrilege. Heck, because baseball is America’s pastime, it would even be unAmerican. Even if it is, like it was last night, America the Beautiful. Of course, last night’s offense was even worse because last night wasn’t even the 4th of July.

Fourth, during Independence Day firework celebrations, how about skipping Proud to be an American AND Born in the U.S.A.? Lee Greenwood’s super-cheesy anthem for sentimental rednecks is not only one of the most annoying songs ever written, but it also has an amazing ability to get stuck in a man’s head. I’m still humming it now. I don’t want to hear it or hum it ever again. As for the Boss, like anyone who actually listens to the song knows, it ain’t the most patriotic song in the world. There’s a serious disconnect between the unthinking celebration of fireworks and a song about a Vietnam Vet who returns to find his country has rejected him. It could be a real buzz killer.

I realize there’s a strong 4th of July theme to my advice here, but still, if implemented, I think these four suggestions would make all sporting events much more enjoyable.

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