Monday, October 03, 2005

Jose, can you see?

As we sat in the Gerst Haus before the thrashing of the Titans by the Colts, someone brought up the fact that Big & Rich were going to sing the National Anthem. Our simultaneous prediction was that Big would drone a pedal baritone note while Rich sang an octave and a half above him, which is their standard MO. That is exactly what happened. It was as bad as we expected. What we didn't expect was Cowboy Troy rapping patriotic snippets in between verses. It was truly horrendous.

I have nothing but kudos for anyone who actually "makes it" in the music business. Yanni, Slayer, Burt Bacharach, Stevie Wonder, Nashville Pussy, Rush, Boxcar Willy, Pat Boone, Van Halen, Neal McCoy, Seether, and yes, Big & Rich -- way to go, all of you. Congrats on the College Football intro on on ABC or ESPN or where ever it is. But, c'mon guys, you were trying to get a writing deal, not an artist deal. Singing really hard songs just isn't your bag, you nutty, crazy, country-without-prejudice cats.

Ever since Whitney Houston gave her diva performance of the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl about 15 years ago, people think that being asked to sing the Anthem at a sporting event is an invitation to impress everyone with your unique and jaw-dropping interpretation. And to outdo every version that has come before you. It is not. We came to see the game. If you are asked to sing Mr. Key's greatest hit, go buy the sheet music, learn the real melody and please, please, please, please SING THE FUCKING SONG. Do not sing every note in your range on each word. Do not change the tune. And, for God's sake, don't have your ultra-hip country rap buddy recite lines from the Pledge of Allegience and the Preamble to the Constitution in between verses.

Look, it is a really, really hard song to sing. Rehearse it. Start it way lower than you think, because it goes into the stratosphere on "rocket's red glare." Record yourself. If you can't sing it, do us all a favor and decline the invitation. If you determine that you can pull it off, when the time comes, sing it twice as fast as you think you should. It will still be too slow. And when you hold out the last note on "land of the freeeeeeeeee....", remember, that huge cheer isn't for your amazing vocal ability and super-human lung capacity. We are cheering because you are almost finished. We are not there to hear you sing. We're there for the game.

Play Ball!


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