Blog 4 – Event Blogger Power Up
No two things go together like sports and the National Anthem. The words were first originally written by Francis Scott key in 1814 who had been inspired by the sight of the American Flag over Fort McHenry after a heavy night of bombardment. Jump forward into todays society there is not a sporting event where the Star Spangled Banner is sung. Rather it be at a gymnastics meet or at a football game, the games are not played until you remove your cap and put your hand over your heart.
The tradition to play the Star Spangled Banner before every baseball game began during World War II. First off, on July 27, 1889 Benjamin F. Tracy signed general order #374 making the Star Spangled Banner the official tune to be played while the flag was being raised. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered that it be played at military and other appropriate occasions. Two years later we hear the first rendition of the song at a baseball game. It was during the seventh-inning stretch, when the military band got up and started playing. In every game during the 1918 World Series the band played the Star Spangled Banner. Today we see our National Anthem played before every major sporting event in America including in hockey where they play both the Canadian Anthem and the Star Spangled Banner.
Through the years there have been many different interpretation of the way the song should be sung. Many people believe there is only one way to sing the song, the original way, but people like Jimmy Hendrix and Whitney Houston have other opinions. To this day Whitney Houston’s rendition before Super Bowl XXV has been a top-20 hit not once but twice, first in 1991 before the Gulf War and second after 9/11. In 1969, Jimmy Hendrix put on one of the most recognizable renditions of the Star Spangled Banner in its history at Woodstock. Hendrix played the whole song on his guitar adding little riffs to it to honor his fallen friends in the Vietnam War. Many People lashed out at Hendrix saying he can’t play the National Anthem like that, but Jimmy Hendrix was playing it for a bigger reason then to piss people off. The Star Spangled Banner will always be apart of sports. It will always be sign of freedom because without freedom we would not be here today.
I recently watched the movie Miracle (my favorite movie) and every time I see it it gets better and better. For those of you who do not know about the movie Miracle I will enlighten you. The story is about the 1980 US Mens Hockey Team. Minnesota Hockey coach Herb Brooks (played by Kurt Russell) takes over the team and the movie documents the life of these 20 hockey players as they ready themselves to take on the best hockey team in the world, The Soviet Union. This movie is all about the hard work and wanting it more than the team your facing because the US team knew they weren’t physically as strong as the Soviets but they know that if they could hold them out long enough they might have a chance.
Before playing the Soviets, the US had to go through a tough schedule. Some say the first game against Sweden was the toughest. Down 2-1 going into half, Herb Brooks walks into the locker room and calls out everyone who isn’t playing up to his standards and before he leaves he flips the water table getting everyone riled up and ready for the second half. The US score one goal and the dramatic game ends in a 2-2 tie. The US then went on to win 7-2 against the heavily favored Czechs. They also beat Norway, Romania, and West Germany to earn a spot in the medal round.
The United States vs. Soviet Union was one of the most watched programs on television. The US pulls off one the most dramatic comeback wins in sport history. During this game is the first time we hear the chant “USA! USA! USA!” There are many themes that play in this movie. A major one is Family, Herb Brooks has the tough task of bringing together 20 kids who have never played before and make them into a family so they could beat the Soviets. Herb Brooks also displays a man who cares for his family but also shows a dedication for winning.
I picked these two events to write about because I believe they tie together. Without the National Anthem there is no movie. This movie symbolizes the unity of a nation coming together to support a hockey team. A true feel good story.