Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Edmonton gets anthem right

If you attend as many minor league baseball games as I do, it's hard not to become a bit disillusioned with the presentation of our National Anthem.

It’s not a very good song to begin with. America the Beautiful is much better. But that likely won't change anytime soon. So we’re stuck with it.

Nowadays the Star Spangled Banner is most memorable when a star mangles the Banner. Think Carl Lewis and, no, he never really made it up to us. Around the minors, the moments before the game tend to turn into second-rate American Idol wannabe's trying out for stardom. Note to all of you: the song was never meant to take five minutes.

Given all that, there was a fantastic rendition of the National Anthem preformed last night in, of all places, Canada. Paul Lorieau sang our anthem – many in Edmonton join in – then started Oh Canada.

Instead of making himself the star attraction, he let the fans take over the song. The result is passionate, far more moving than any anthem I've heard over the past five years. It's worth tuning in early to a hockey telecast just to hear it. Unfortunately, there is only one more possible game in Edmonton and that won't even happen if Edmonton can't win the next game in Carolina.

I hope it happens. MinorLeagueDugout.com salutes the fans of Edmonton and hopes that minor league ballparks take Edmonton's lead and realize that simple is often the most beautiful.

If you'd like to see the performance, copy this link into your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meLpuF9UMvk

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