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Virginia Tech and the National Anthem
Old 12-06-2015, 02:58 PM   #1
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Virginia Tech and the National Anthem

Coach Buzz Williams takes time out of basketball practice to teach his team a new lesson.

This could be shown to those "professional" teams as well. I often see them, when I watch a game, swaying back and forth, fidgeting with their hands, looking around. Perhaps fans could also be asked to hold their applause until AFTER the anthem is played.

http://coachbuzzwilliams.com/2015/11/techtalk-honoring-our-veterans-every-time-we-hear-our-national-anthem/




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Old 12-06-2015, 03:35 PM   #2
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It would also be nice if the people singing the anthem would just sing it straight instead of trying to show off.


That said, you must admit that singing the national anthem prior to sporting events is a very peculiar tradition. It would be interesting to know how that all got started.
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:00 PM   #3
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It would be interesting to know how that all got started.
I believe it started during WWII @ baseball games and has not stopped. During the 80's I recall the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) promoted "God Bless America" sung by Kate Smith (?) to be different from the rest.
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:03 PM   #4
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That's a great lesson for those players. It's one I'm sure they will never forget!

Here's a The National Anthem at Harding University. They play in a WWII era airplane hanger. The acoustics are amazing. Players, students, and fans sing together.
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:13 PM   #5
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WWI, actually. It was first played at the 7th inning stretch of a world series game. It got a very favorable reaction, so later in the series a band was brought in and played it before the game. For awhile it was only played at special events, but became a regular thing during WWII and it stayed on and spread to other sporting events.

I may get blasted for this, but I sympathize with the players. It gets played a lot before running races. For a competitive runner, you have a way to get ready for races, which usually includes getting your heart rate up so that when the race starts you aren't going from resting to high. Standing still for two minutes does not work well with that plan. I admit that I'm a swayer, to try to stay loose and keep my heart rate up a bit. I've also got a mindset for the race, and I'm not going to interrupt that to think about what the star spangled banner means to me, especially as it gets played so often I'm kind of immune to it. And I'm nowhere near a pro or college level athlete. These athletes have an even more structured approach and a lot, lot more on the line than my little races. And baseball players hear it 162 times or more during the season.

Put it this way, suppose you're about to go into a huge sales pitch to a customer, or about to give a major presentation. You're all set and keyed up, but then everything stops for 2 minutes to sing the anthem. Are you really focusing on the anthem, or thinking ahead for the major task you are about to do?

I'm not going to go as far as say it shouldn't be played anymore. Nobody is going to take on the bad PR for being so unpatriotic as to stop playing the anthem. But I'm cutting the players some slack. A lot of slack. I'd see nothing wrong with playing it while the players are in the locker room.
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:26 PM   #6
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It would also be nice if the people singing the anthem would just sing it straight instead of trying to show off.
+1. Hello singing star/starlet: Wrap your head around this--the performance is not about YOU.

I thought I recalled some sort of code/guidance that covered the performance of the national anthem (including the cadence/length), but wasn't able to find it. I suppose guidance would be nice, but this is the type of thing that should depend on public/social pressure for keeping things in line.
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:44 PM   #7
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+2 on the performer trying to put his/her mark on it and overdoing the song.

I grew up in Nebraska where everyone sang during the football games. I was kind of surprised when I went elsewhere and very few people sang, at least before 9/11.
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:12 PM   #8
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Bum, if everyone pays attention and respect during the National Anthem, everyone starts the competition with a resting heart rate and no one has an advantage. Bums like you that don't pay respect gives sports participants a reputation for beings BUMS.
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:15 PM   #9
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O Canada, IMO is the most beautiful of all national anthems (full disclosure - my family is Canadian!). And there's nothing quite like Canadian hockey fans singing in full throat!

https://youtu.be/meLpuF9UMvk
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:48 PM   #10
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And baseball players hear it 162 times or more during the season.
What a country.

You get multimillions annually for playing a sport that you loved playing as a kid. Seems like standing up for a couple of minutes w/o moving 162 times per year is a small price to pay for what you have been given or have earned.
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:59 PM   #11
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162 times per year? Heck, I was active duty for 23 years and still work on a military base. Reveille, morning colors, evening colors and TAPS every day. My 20 yr old DD thinks I'm weird when I always sing the national anthem at sporting events.
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:03 PM   #12
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Probably not a real popular position, but I think they should deep-six the whole tradition. If I come to see a sporting event, I really don't care to delve into the whole nationalistic thing every time. I'm split on how I feel about the usual reason. The vets that got hurt or died, yep, the rich white guys that put them in harm's way, not so much. The playing of the anthem won't end, though...too many "more patriotic than thou" people out there.
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:31 PM   #13
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Gumby, the performance of the National Anthem 99% of the time makes me feel a bit sick. He needs to give the same speech to all those pop singers: not about you. The best one I have heard for a long time was an NYPD cop at a Mets game this last season. Simple and dignified.


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Old 12-07-2015, 06:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Probably not a real popular position, but I think they should deep-six the whole tradition. If I come to see a sporting event, I really don't care to delve into the whole nationalistic thing every time. I'm split on how I feel about the usual reason. The vets that got hurt or died, yep, the rich white guys that put them in harm's way, not so much. The playing of the anthem won't end, though...too many "more patriotic than thou" people out there.
So patriotism in your world has become about race, gender, and class?

Was Bob Dole some other color when he was wounded in WW2? News to me if he was.

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Old 12-07-2015, 06:58 PM   #15
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Im about to throw up at a couple of these responses. I'll keep my thoughts to myself so I dont get banned.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:11 PM   #16
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[Mod hat on] We can all have our opinions. Let's respect each other and avoid a fight. Thanks. [Hat off]

I would be happy enough to drop the whole thing, but if they are going to do it, they should do it right.



Edit to clarify -- I don't have strong feelings as to whether it should be sung at sporting events or not. I don't go to many live sporting events, but when I do, I always stand at attention and sing along. If my fellow citizens want to continue doing it, that's fine with me. If they want to stop, that's also fine with me.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:25 PM   #17
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DH worked for a company headquartered in Europe for many years, and when we took European visitors to US sporting events, they always found 2 things odd: 1) how much we wave our flag around and 2) the fact that grown men say: "Hi" to their moms on camera. Every culture has its own particular customs.


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Old 12-07-2015, 07:39 PM   #18
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The other, additional verses of the Star Spangled Banner are even a bit more interesting (IMO) than the first verse that we all know. The later verses are rarely sung, but they are still part of the anthem. Isaac Asimov was a big fan of the entire poem, and did his usual terrific job of bringing life to a subject with his short article "All Four Stanzas". It's available online, but I'm a bit suspicious of the legitimacy of the copyright use at the spots I saw, so no links here. Anyway, I recommend it highly if bought or borrowed.

(Apologies in advance to our British friends about the third stanza --hey, it was a long time ago, and, well, somebody was burning our capitol. All's well now, we've patched things up completely, nothing to see here . . . .)
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:53 PM   #19
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Of all days? The anniversary of Pearl Harbor and people are talking about doing away with the Star Spangled Banner at sporting events? Amazing!

We already did away with the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. Might as well do away with as much National pride as possible, right?
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:15 PM   #20
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We already did away with the Pledge of Allegiance in schools.
I just checked with the young wife, who is a public high school teacher. They still say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning during homeroom. As an aside, she teaches child development and early childhood education, which means that, among other things, she and her high school students run a preschool for 3 and 4 year old children. It is considered a major honor to be the 3 or 4 year old "leader of the day" who gets to hold the flag up during the pledge.
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