National Anthem should be sung respectfully

February 17, 2014

I was somewhat heartened that this year's Super Bowl National Anthem was sung by renowned operatic soprano Renee Fleming, backed by the combined Armed Forces Choir. It was a welcome pause past years' Super Bowls. Because, for the most part they have featured screeching, gyrating, barely intelligible, inappropriately attired, no talent, so called super stars desecrating the Star Spangled Banner.

But the Super Bowl committee is not the only one guilty of giving these no talents a national stage. It is epidemic across all sporting events these days. The National Anthem shouldn't and doesn't need to be "stylized" by every vocalist, each seemingly attempting to out do their predecessors. All they really succeed in doing is mangling it, to accommodate their sleazy and inappropriate interpretation.

What is most galling about most super star performances is that it becomes all about them...not our National Anthem. Some of the best past presentations have come from little known everyday Americans. The New York City policeman who came forward after 911 particularly comes to mind. So, from now on, I would implore those responsible for pregame activities... make it mandatory that the vocalists sing our National Anthem right...or not at all.

Steve Hyle


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