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Poll: Should the Philadelphia Flyers retire Kate Smith’s ‘God Bless America’ video?

May 3, 2011, 7:40 PM EDT

Postage Stamp Kate Smith AP

Being that it was the first NHL game played since the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death, last night’s rendition of “God Bless America” took on extra meaning. In case you’re not acquainted with the Philadelphia Flyers’ pre-game ceremonies, the team combines the live vocals of Lauren Hart with video tape footage of historic good luck charm Kate Smith for its patriotic pledge.

It’s one of the many traditions that make Philadelphia sports fans unique, but to outsiders, the practice seems a bit … quirky. Smith died on June 17, 1986, yet the team still honors her with that “God Bless America” mash-up. As you can see from this post’s main image, they also erected a statue in her honor.

You have to hand it to the Flyers organization for being so loyal, but at least one Flyers blogger wonders if it’s time to put that tradition to bed. Ryan of Flyers Goal Scored By writes that the team should simply go with current singer Lauren Hart, at least on most nights.

Lauren Hart is perfectly capable of honoring our country, troops, citizens, and the people that protect and make this country run every day on her own. She’s actually very good too. So why not let her take the lead and go the distance?

God Bless America is already unique in and of itself. The organization should stop watering down a legend’s legacy by wheeling her out for every post season contest.

Maybe after a year our two off surprise everyone in a game seven. That would be cool. That would be worth talking about.

So there’s the opinion of one Flyers blogger, but how do you feel about it? Some might think that the team should shelve “God Bless America” for “The Star Spangled Banner” but that could be another poll for another day. Should the Flyers continue combining video of Smith with Hart’s live vocals or just let Hart handle the duty alone? Let us know in the poll below.

  1. crosbyhasgonorrhea - May 3, 2011 at 8:05 PM

    Considering the Flyers have as many Stanley Cups as I do (since 1986), maybe they should look for another good luck charm

  2. tommytd - May 3, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    My opinion…I think it’s a bit weird. Kate Smith has been dead for 25 years and I think they ought to sing THE NATIONAL ANTHEM and sing it with a live human being, whoever that may be!

  3. sasquash20 - May 3, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    Kate Smith is a Philly Flyer Icon. The way they do it is beautiful. Lauren Hart is awesome but stick with it. The combo is by far the best in sports, nothing is even close to it.

    • snoboarder92201 - May 4, 2011 at 9:03 AM

      I agree, it is an awesome sight. but it is a different era. Let Kate Smith go. This team does not need to be looking up at here and have the weight of the 1970’s teams on their shoulders because Kate Smith is singing. I am a huge Flyers fan but it is time to let it go.

  4. cptman - May 3, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    I am no flag waving patriotic citizen, however, whenever I hear Kate Smith sing God Bless America, I always get a tear in my eye. While Lauren Hart does a good job, sometimes new and improved is not better than the original. To drop Kate Smith would be unAmerican.

  5. kellyb9 - May 4, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Hockey is all about tradition. The Flyers have theirs… leave them alone.

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