(Originally Posted:May, 2006 – Re-posted in honor of today’s Red Sox season opener against the Phillies)
take me out to the ballgame… take me out to the crowd… is there anything more american than america’s pastime- baseball? love it or hate it, baseball defines eras of history. it sets points of reference for discussion. it brings people together for hot dogs, cracker jacks, beer and conversation.
oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light… is there anything more american than the star spangled banner written in 1814 by francis scott key and adopted by congress as the national anthem in 1931? everyone loves it, no one can sing it. it summarizes who we are as a collective body of people. it sets a foundation of inspiration for us to live by. it brings us together for song in the name of patriotism, freedom, courage.
recently, i like most others have been personally offended by the direct assault on the heritage of this, the greatest nation on earth; the united states of america. the national anthem is an expression of passion for this land, its people, culture, history and meaning. it is a beautiful summary of the american dream- opportunity, personal liberty and religious freedom no matter how badly it is sung, as long as it is sung in english.
you don’t buy a friend your favorite food for his birthday, you buy him his favorite food. you don’t sing an american song in spanish as a way of saying “i’m glad i’m here illegally, thank you for giving me a birthday present every day of my life, you ignorant pandering politicians.” if you want to honor your friend (that is a metaphor for america) you spend time learning to speak english and then, with great pride, you join others in singing a song of patriotism while paying homage to the awe-inspiring 50 stars and 13 stripes that are joined together to make the greatest flag on earth.
more recently, i like very few others have been personally offended by the direct assault on the heritage of the greatest game on earth, america’s pastime; baseball. gatorade, the company peddling sports drinks decided to market its wears to a feeble-minded audience of soccer fanatics by tying the greatest sports song to a sport, though marginally noble on its own, that has no right to be placed on the same playing field as baseball. gatorade has adopted “take me out to the ball game” and perverted it by placing it along side images of soccer.
“for it’s one, two, three strikes your out, at the old ball game,” is classic baseball. what about that says football… i mean soccer.
then, after all the images fade away, the screen cries out “it’s a whole new ballgame” as if to say, america, thank you for finally joining the rest of the world – you are no longer able to use your hands. there is no more blatant disregard than this – the only ballgame is that of the red sox, yankees, dodgers and cubs. its the game of ruth, williams, maris, cobb, dimaggio, ryan, bonds, clemens, maddux and wagner (honus not billy). its a 56 game hitting streak, 191 rbi’s, perfect games and extra innings, the smell of fine leather, pine tar and fresh cut grass. there is no ballgame other than america’s pastime.
i would like to suggest that all fans of baseball band together in protest of all gatorade products, except that they are pretty darn good, so if you want to keep drinking the classic lemon-lime taste of gatorade, do so as you wish, just please don’t do it while ballroom dancing. i don’t care what the olympics committee says, it is not a sport.