I've been listening to NPR on the web this morning while I putter around the house. Most of the time the time difference is a pain in the ass with respect to WBUR's programming (in the morning here I get the middle-of-the-night BBC programming on NPR, which is the last thing I need here). Today however was nice in that I got to listen to Only a Game, the weekly sports program which airs at 7AM on Saturday in Boston.
The last piece on today's program started with a news bit about a Canadian woman who was scheduled to sing the US and Canadian national anthems before an exhibition hockey game in Quebec last week. She started The Star Spangled Banner, forgot the words halfway through, apologized and started again, forgot the words again, left the ice to get a lyric sheet, then fell on her ass when she hurried back onto the ice. Evidently she gave up at this point and the game was played without either anthem.
The piece carried on with excerpts from other instances of people forgetting the words in mid-anthem at sporting events, concluding with one where a 13 year old girl was singing the anthem before an NBA game. She lost her way amidst FSK's obscenely complex syntax and faltered, then tried to continue but couldn't remember the words. Then the Trailblazers' head coach, Mo Cheeks (I'm not joking), walked over and started singing along where she left off in a horrendously off-key voice. As it turned out, he didn't quite have the words right either, so the 20,000 basketball fans all started singing (something which happens all to infrequently at sporting events these days). The little girl found her place again and finished with a flourish.
It was a classy thing to do by Mo (who recently got fired because the 'Blazers suck), and combined with the fact that I'm living here among the heathens, hearing it left me a little teary-eyed.