Forget the fact that I’m a non-believer and just don’t like the song. What about tradition?
Here I am, watching the World Series, and the Giants score 3 in the top of the seventh, moving themselves closer to beating the Texas Rangers. And what comes before the bottom of the inning? The Stretch.
The Seventh Inning Stretch is a long-standing baseball tradition that used to have an almost as long-standing song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
But just as I’m savoring the 3 run homer hit by Edgar Renteria, I hear the announcement for the new song, which has been a feature at many ballparks since after the attacks of September 11, 2001. And yes, it is a truly bad song.
Don’t agree? I’m sorry. I like Lady Gaga and Mumford and Sons, you might disagree. But I don’t ask to afflict you with them during a baseball game. It’s a sporting event, not a nationalism rally. The time for “God Bless America” has come and gone.
I am ex-military, and I find the militarization of sporting events troubling. I’m sure that will get me comments from those railing about “supporting the troops,” and I have to wonder, how many of them will vote tomorrow for conservatives who wish to water down veteran benefits?
But politics aside, what purpose is served by having “God Bless America” as the song for the Seventh Inning Stretch? Why turn what used to just be a fun-loving get up and sing time into a pseudo patriotic exercise in jingoism?
Maybe I’m reacting to strongly, but I don’t think so. What’s next, can’t get in unless you have a flag pin?