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National Insult

I'm glad the NFL season is finally over. Now I won't have to sit through any more wretched renditions of the National Anthem until at least next September.

Almost every week during the Bills season, I cringed as another young female singer overdid the anthem. It became a sad cliche after awhile. Who could do the best job of lingering on the words "baaaannneer yeeettt waaayyyaayyyaaayyyyayyyvvvve"? Couldn't they just give us a simple version and be done with it?

Well, Christina Aguilera outdid them all Sunday night. Her version might have been the worst I've ever heard. She overdid it (look, I have a great voice, America!). She forgot the words. She inserted her own to cover up the mistake. And of course, she began it "Whoa say can you see ... "

It's "Oh say," damn it! Not "Whoa say"! Is it too much to ask for a singer to actually read the thing and, you know, practice a little bit ahead of time?

I mean, if they insist on hammering us over the head with patriotism at the Bowl and acting as if the NFL rules were included in the Bill of Rights, they might want to back it up by making sure the anthem singer shows some respect for the song. It's repulsive when singers make it about their oh-so-golden voices, rather than belting it out with modesty and class and maybe even the correct notes.

If it's about patriotism and America, how about having a serviceman do it? They always seem to perform the most noble and dignified versions. Or a college a cappella group. Anything but a single, self-absorbed entertainer trying to measure up to the incredible hype of a Super Bowl. The National Anthem should rise about the crassness, not contribute to it.

Aguilera reportedly left Texas soon after her performance, she was so upset. But not after she issued a statement expressing the hope that everyone could "feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through."

Actually, Chris, it didn't. If you wanted people to feel your love for the nation, you should have tried to get it right, instead of butchering it. You're a big-time entertainer. I can't believe it was nerves. 

This will probably ensure that we never have a live anthem again at a Super Bowl. It's sad, but if that's what it takes to make sure we never have to suffer through another of these, so be it. Maybe they can use pre-recorded anthems for the Bills' games, too.

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