Blogging Like I've Never Blogged Before

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The Kobe Bryant story was named the AP Sports Story of the Year. There should be a separate section for actual sports.

Anyway, my favorite story of the year that has something to do with sports is this one, where the 13-year-old girl lost her place while singing the National Anthem. Mo Cheeks (coach of the Blazers) came over to whisper the words in her ear and then sang the rest of the song with her. It gave me chills just reading about it.

I like when the National Anthem can give me chills. I think every time I heard it for a month after September 11th, I was in a constant state of chills. But that of course, wore off after a while, especially when it (along with all things patriotic) was actually getting overplayed. There was a baseball game (I think it was the Red Sox) which was being played on the 7 month anniversary of 9/11. They actually stopped the game at 9:11 PM for a moment of silence. OK. That's a little over the top. I understand doing something like that on the anniversary. I'm all for remembrances, but not when it gets to that point of ridiculousness.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Derek Jeter has gone 9 for 11 over his last three games. Please rise and respect the singing of God Bless America."

My favorite National Anthem was at game 2 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals at Madison Square Garden. John Amirante, who always sang the Anthem, came out and started singing. Normally at Ranger games, the crowd begins to cheer after "... and the rockets' red glare ...", building to a crescendo and an all-out cheer by the end. This one was just insanely loud from beginning to end. The best part about it was looking out at center ice, seeing John Amirante singing his heart out, and you couldn't even hear him. But you knew what part he was on, just by the way he was moving. Cue the chills. Even though there was all this cheering during the song, it wasn't disrespectful. I don't know... hard to explain.

Granted, it didn't really have much to do with patriotism. It was more that the Rangers were in the finals and were about to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 54 years.

And in case you were wondering, the Rangers won that game and I went home a happy boy. About a week later they won the Cup and I was an extremely happy boy.
All material © Mike Toole; 2003 - 2006