So, why have the national anthem at sporting events anyway?

These aren’t government sponsored or involved events. Why should the national anthem be a part of it in the first place.

“Because we’ve always done it.” is not a good reason.

There’s a good article on this topic in the Washington Post. I wish they would quit playing the anthem at ball games. It should be reserved for governmental functions.

As the article notes, past attempts by sports teams to not play it had been met with howls of protest. Up until now, I imagine that teams and leagues felt that there was no upside, but a not-insignificant downside, to not playing it.

I would like to think it is a way to remind everyone there that “we are all on the same side so let’s not turn into a bunch of tribal 'ooligan animals”. But in reality I think it just strengthens tribal 'ooliganism on a national level rather than local.

They play it so you know when its time to stop tailgating and get to your seat.

It’s a lot like being forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings, or the loyalty oath crusade in Catch-22. It’s part of super-patriotism that most people just go along with; some really want to; and those who don’t, are made to stand out. This provides an opportunity to say, “Look at those un-American traitors! Why don’t they go back where they came from?”

This makes the majority feel smug and superior.

The rule of thumb is that that IS a good reason, barring some specific circumstance to the contrary. Your way is change for the sake of change, which very often ends with things really messed up.

But what was the original reason? Doing just because without remembering the original reason makes it (any it) a pointless thing.

And God Bless America is not the gaddammed national anthem! You do not stand for it!

Because we’ve always done it AND WE ALWAYS WILL!!!

Ya Commie traitor! :rolleyes:

Sometimes at a game I forget what country I’m in. Hearing the national anthem is a good reminder.

That’s how you end up with the Pot Roast Story

I believe it started during WW I as a patriotic “rally-round-the-troops” gesture and then they were afraid to end it. I think it idiotic. They don’t start curling matches that way.

While I cannot truly say I dislike it, what I do dislike is singers who feel they have to “style” it. It is fine as it is.

I don’t know if a good reason, but it’s often the reason for lots of things. It’s also often eventually the reason why people who start out with ‘let’s change things’ eventually cling to the new things which they make the standard in place of the old ones.

The anthem protest thing is another chapter in the conflict between the ‘America bad’ and ‘America good’ factions in US society which have been battling since the '60’s. Without getting into the merits of either of those basic world views (they are each broad and diffuse enough neither could entirely lack merit nor entirely be right), the part that’s definitely bogus is the idea that the inheritors of the counter culture really demand better reasons for what they do then ‘that’s what we’ve always done’. At this point pissing on traditional sensibilities to make a point is also ‘what we’ve always done’ for several decades now.

OK, that was real, real good. Bravo!!

And in hockey its a nice reminder when the visiting team is one of those troublemakers from Canada. :slight_smile:

They have the kids line up and recite the pledge of allegiance at my kid’s little league games. I just sit through it because I think that’s idiotic.

I was asked by another parent if I was protesting something once and I told him I thought the pledge was a violation of the second commandment. He seemed to accept that as a good reason which is funny because I’m atheist while a lot of the parents actually are very religious.

I went to a school that was famously obsessed with hockey and whose team consisted mainly of Canadians. We of course played both anthems before home games and at road games, where we travelled well, we’d sing the Canadian anthem acapella after the US anthem was complete.

I mention this because in this case the Canadian anthem was being used not for any patriotic purpose, but solely to encourage our sports playing kids and intimidate their sports playing kids. It wasn’t even as noble a purpose as Jingoism if that’s possible.

Those games were also the first time I heard a fan base shouting one of the words of the anthem vigoroso that related to the school. This also obviously had nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with using the pregame ritual of the anthem as a tool to rile up the fans.

Don’t ever go to the Olympics, you’ll be confused for 2 solid weeks.

I’m all for discontinuing the National Anthem prior to sporting events, it makes no sense except as a way to announce “Hey, we’re fixin’ to start over here!”. What would be a good attention getter to put in the place of the anthem?

NHL & NBA they announce starting lineups, often with a light show, smoke, etc.
MLB They announce the home team as they run onto the field to take defensive positions
NFL Coin toss
Soccer - Not sure. Don’t they have a little kid deliver the game ball to the referee or something?