I suspect the author has a hidden agenda - a beef with war in general. He almost betrays his true feelings when he writes, "[S]ports framed by the politics of militarism has nothing to do with football, baseball or a NASCAR race." The politics of militarism? What happened to his original, simpler point that we should abandon the song because a cute pop icon didn't know the words?
Now the National Anthem is offensive because it smacks of militarism, whatever that means? There's an immense difference between singing a song that recalls the unlikely victory of our upstart nation against a powerful oppressor, and promoting "militarism." It's the same difference between a man who enjoys a romantic wedding anniversary with his beloved spouse, and another man who heads to a bar to "romance" the women he finds there. Can't Mr. Blackistone see the distinction?
Our National Anthem is sung and remembered at most major events because it is the preeminent song of our country. Just as we have a national bird, a national banner (Old Glory), a national tree and other reminders of what makes us distinctly American.
When you begin to tear down one of these symbols, in the name of practicality, you devalue the thing it represents: Freedom. Sure, we can shave three extra minutes off of the World Series and get to the action, but at what cost? Why would you rob a father of the moment when his son asks why dad took off his hat "during that song?"
These are the teachable moments of life - the living history of our nation as we hand down tradition not through an iPod, but person to person, to be set in stone through repetition and example. Why cheat us of that, simply because someone thinks it's political militarism. We're a nation with a proud story of overcoming great odds to win our own freedom. Shouldn't we celebrate that in some way when we gather together?
All gave some. Some gave all. We honor those soldiers, sailors and airmen who sacrificed what they had in the name of freedom. Because they fought and died for liberty, we don't have to. Instead, we get to enjoy a Sunday afternoon game, watching the boys of fall on the gridiron. I think I can hum a few bars and think of Old Glory in exchange for such a privilege.
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