Sorry about “God Bless America” at the seventh-inning stretch, but it needs to go. It was a fine idea after 9/11. But it has served its purpose. And it wastes two minutes.
I don’t know how much time it really wastes, especially since they don’t play it at every game, but I didn’t think it was that fine an idea after 9/11.
I’m not out to ever make this blog about politics, so forgive me if I tread a little close to the line here.
I get why parks started playing the song when they did. It was an emotional time, and one when everyone felt the need to do something — anything — to somehow pay homage to the horrifying things that had happened.
But the song itself always seemed like a strange choice. One of the big selling points on the ol’ U.S. of A. is freedom of religion, and “God Bless America,” coming on the heels of attacks closely tied to religious fundamentalism, felt like a reactive and potentially alienating choice.
Plus it’s just not that good of a song. “America the Beautiful” is like 100 times better, especially if it’s being performed by Ray Charles on video.
Also, I’m not sure there’s a more patriotic song than “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
And today, for better or worse, the playing of “God Bless America” at baseball games only serves to remind us of an awful thing that happened eight years ago, and to create situations like this one. If the pursuit of brevity forces its league-wide elimination, then so be it.