Mar 13, 2010, 5:29 PM EDT
This past week there’s been some
heated debate raging over fans’ traditions during the national
anthem. It all started with one person’s dislike with Chicago’s
tradition of the fans cheering during the anthem, citing it as
unpatriotic and offensive to those that have served.
others have been pulled into the debate as well. Brad Gardner from
Defending Big D gives his take on the Dallas tradition of yelling
“Stars!!” during the anthem.
A very old friend of mine, college roommate, best-man in my wedding,
etc is in the Navy. I have brought him to Stars games in the past, as
recently as December. He yells “Stars” during the anthem. He didn’t seem
I wasn’t born in Texas, and I certainly didn’t “get here as soon as I
could,” but having lived here for quite a while now I feel quite
confident in saying that Texans are the kind of people who have a great
respect for their military and their country. I don’t want to interject
politics into this discussion, but I think everyone knows where I am
going with this.
And if you don’t believe me, come to a Stars game. About 20 minutes
after the crowd yells “Stars!” twice during the anthem, we do something
else. We stand. All of us. All 18,532 on a good night. We stand at the
first commercial break and we honor a particular man or woman in the
armed services, and ALL servicemen in the arena. Brad Richards currently donates tickets for
this very purpose, and the the first commercial break of the evening has
been used for years in this manner.
What’s interesting about Brad’s opinion is that he does not yell
“Stars” during the anthem, even though he is about as big a fan I know
of and purchases season tickets every year. But he doesn’t feel there’s
anything wrong with the tradition and certainly isn’t offended by it.
Is yelling out during the anthem any worse than cheering throughout?
How is that any different than cheering during the final bars, which is
what happens in every single game. Is cheering any less patriotic than
the people who skip the anthem, are in line for beers or snacks, or who
just barely pay attention anyways?
As I’ve stated before, as a military veteran myself I have absolutely
no problem with it.
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