That’s the second national anthem before a NASCAR race that I have been ashamed of. If you do not know the words, please see yourself to either the northern or southern border of this country.
The first anthem was by the lead singer of Three Doors Down, Brad Arnold and then tonight’s ‘performance’ was by Jessica Simpson. I really do not understand how these individuals do not a) know the correct words and b) respect the members of our military enough to learn and sing the correct words.
This summer during the Olympics, we got a glimpse of American at their best, both on the athletic field of play and in their displays of patriotism. Now, I am not saying that Jessica or Brad are unpatriotic, please do not take this that way. I am saying that seeing those athletes standing on the medal stand, listening to The Star Spangled Banner being played, watching them mouth the words or openly sing, sometimes with tears in their eyes is something very moving. I can not imagine what it feels like to be up there actually in that moment.
My opinion of a few athletes changed for the better because of the respect they showed their country and our national anthem. I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of Kobe Bryant. But when I saw him on the medal stand singing, along with his teammates, it impressed me. Not enough for me to become a big fan but enough to at least respect him more. That may be a direct result of Coach K taking the time to let this team explore who they are as Americans and understand who and what they were representing while in Beijing. The two most moving medal stand images to me were Natalie Coughlin (swimming) and Kerri Walsh (beach volleyball). Natalie stood there proudly, singing, being moved to tears and calmly wiped her eyes at the end of the anthem…it was simple yet moving. Kerri also stood there proudly with her partner Misty May- Treanor, but with Kerri, you could tell she wanted to sing, and even started to, but couldn’t get out but a few words before she needed a deep breath to collect the emotions which surely were overwhelming her at the time.
No one but those individuals knows how they were feeling or if this is what was really going on, but that is how I saw it from home.
I think many people in this country need to watch this video and then see if they will sing the words correctly or with a different type of emotion next time. As for Brad and Jessica, I hope there isn’t a next time that I have to be subjected to that.