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Despite the spectacle we make of it, the song remains sacred -- for better or worse. Whitney Houston's rendition before Super Bowl XXV in 1991 has been a top-20 single not once but twice: first in 1991 during the Gulf War and again in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks.Sing it poorly, as Christina Aguilera can attest, and you're a national punch line.All [I] had to do was play baseball." So after the Red Sox went through nine third basemen during the season, they took a shot and asked the Navy whether he could join them as they took on the Cubs.The military said yes, and Thomas stood at his usual position on the diamond during Game 1's seventh-inning stretch, present at the creation of a tradition.As a result, the 1918 Series was the lone October Classic played entirely in September.World War I wasn't the only issue weighing heavily on fans. 4, the day before the first game, a bomb ripped through the Chicago Federal Building, killing four people and injuring 30.
THE FIRST THING to remember is that it's a battle song.
Spit and grab your crotch at the ending, as Roseanne Barr did in 1990, and the president himself will declare your performance "disgraceful." Others have protested the idea of the song itself.
Goshen College in Indiana, a Mennonite school that competes in the NAIA, recently decided that the violent lyrics clashed with its mission, which it sums up in the slogan "Healing the world, peace by peace." Goshen will not play the anthem before athletic competitions this academic year, substituting "America the Beautiful."As the good people of Goshen have noted, the song's wartime roots are unmistakable.
Not even the Cubs Claws, the forerunners to Wrigley's Bleacher Bums, could gin up enthusiasm.
"For a baseball game in a world's Championship series," the Chicago Tribune wrote, "yesterday's combat between the Cubs and Red Sox was perhaps the quietest on record."With one exception: the seventh-inning stretch.