I really thought I wouldn’t have to write about this again.
Then, on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022, just one day after the New Year holiday, something happened which literally stunned me … Shocked me … and, deeply saddened me.
For most of New England, the schedule for this afternoon was all set:
After two consecutive losses, the New England Patriots would be playing … the Jacksonville Jaguars … Yes, 2 straight losses for the Patriots … you have to understand how rare that is … It reminded me of, back in “the day,” when the UCONN Huskies Women’s basketball team would lose just one game … people would just “freak out” over just one loss … Well … Welcome to New England … where, frankly, we don’t know how to act after 2 straight defeats because, well … we just don’t get to practice it that much …
Man, were we waiting for this one … needing a victory so bad … Remember that here, you are talking from the Canadian border to who knows how far South, people refer to the team as “We.” As in “we’ve got a tough one coming up,” or “they can’t beat us.” You know how it is … People refer to their team as if they themselves, were part of the team …
Anyway … we’d been preparing, planning all week for this one. We heard the beloved coach (at that time …) speak of the upcoming contest …
“They’re a good football team. They’re well coached. Have a lot of really good players, especially at the skill positions. They play hard. It’s a home game for them, so they’ll play with a lot of energy. It should really be a challenge for us.
We’ll have to play better, we’ll have to coach better, we’ll have to execute better. It should really be a challenge for us.”
So … there we were, getting set for the start of the “big game.”
I had tuned in the pregame show at around 12:45, in preparation for the 1:00 kick-off … the TV was set … the volume was set … my rocker-recliner was set …
Here we go …
As I “kicked back” to watch the beginning of the broadcast, the network broadcaster stated that he was now going to turn things over to the public address announcer …
I suddenly stopped rocking …
Could it be???
They were actually going to broadcast our National Anthem?
Could this really be happening?
I leaned forward in my rocker:
The public address announcer addressed the crowd, and, those like me, “the millions and millions watching around the globe,” requesting that, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we ask that you please stand, and remove your hats …”
I suddenly did two things simultaneously … I grabbed the lever to my rocker which brings the foot rest down and brings the back up, and I leapt to my feet while, literally, screaming, “They’re going to do it!” “They’re going to do it!”
As difficult as it was to believe, I heard it … right there, in front of me on my television …
Then, the public address announcer stated the reason for the “request to rise:”
It was to honor John Madden.
I felt this was most appropriate.
Again, this was entirely appropriate, and I participated in the “moment of silence to honor his life and his memory.”
Then came the moment which literally jarred my entire being. The reason for this writing. I mean … there I was, already standing … could it be? The NFL (No Flag Loyalty) was actually going to do it???
On “pins and needles,” there I was, standing, knowing that I was joining, uniting with my fellow Americans … I was already reverently standing … my right hand moving toward my heart … when I hear the public address announcer clearly state, “And, now ladies and gentlemen, we ask that you remain standing … to honor America” …
And then, suddenly, deliberately, shockingly, and without warning … they went to a commercial. A commercial.
A commercial. It was like “it was there one second, and then gone the next.”
Our National Anthem was deliberately, on purpose, literally ripped, torn from, our television screens.
I couldn’t believe it. We were so close …
These things just don’t happen without planning. Careful planning.
I couldn’t believe it. Understand, that, as an American, I would be somewhere between surprised and offended. I’m not sure … don’t know how to explain how I felt. But, I felt that something … something really important … had been taken away, literally ripped away from me …
It sounds like I still haven’t gotten over it.
I hope I never do.
I realize how important selling alcohol is.
I realize how important promoting gambling is.
Let me make sure I get this right:
We can promote alcohol and gambling.
We can’t broadcast our National Anthem.
I realize how important selling trucks is.
I realize how important selling insurance is.
(Don’t get me started on why a major sponsor is “Military-Only” insurance, yet it’s ok to not broadcast our National Anthem).
For years, and I’ll be honest, I have enjoyed, even looked forward to, watching Sunday Night Football-America’s Game of the Week.
This same day, I watched the pre-game highlights, and looked forward to the Sunday Night Game. For some reason, on this night, I noticed something:
The “Introduction” Song to the game, the “I’ve been waiting all day for Sunday Night” is known as “The Sunday Night Anthem.”
Maybe it’s always been called that, but for some reason, I really noticed the “Introduction” to the “Introduction.” I heard it … clearly … The “Sunday Night Anthem” has a sponsor … Yes, I clearly heard the announcer say that “The Sunday Night Anthem is sponsored by/brought to you by.” I know I heard correctly. There is a sponsor for the Sunday Night Anthem. It is “brought to you by” …
That’s it! Maybe that’s why the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) doesn’t broadcast our National Anthem!
It’s not sponsored!
That must be it!
The Sunday Night Anthem is broadcast, for all to see and hear … because it is sponsored … “brought to us by” …
And there I was, thinking that the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) must have some other reason for refusing to broadcast our National Anthem.
I mean … what other reason could they possibly have?
So I have a solution:
Let’s have our National Anthem sponsored!
Why didn’t I think of this before?
I mean … the “Sunday Night Anthem” is sponsored, and it is broadcast-without fail, before every Sunday Night broadcast.
Why didn’t I think of this before?
Let’s just have our National Anthem sponsored!
I’ve got it!!!
How about this:
“Our National Anthem is sponsored by the brave men and women who have given their lives, have died to ensure our freedom, for our country, so that we can enjoy the freedoms we so richly enjoy.”
“Our National Anthem is sponsored by our brave men and women who are serving our country, and protecting our freedoms, around the globe at this very moment.”
Why didn’t I think of that before?
Remember, to make the decision to broadcast, or not broadcast our National Anthem, is a decision which has to be make.
Why would a decision be made to not broadcast our National Anthem?
Unless of course … that is the issue … A United America …
There must be some reason we are knowingly and deliberately deprived of this opportunity to “stand, and honor America.”
They may attempt to rip our National Anthem away from our ears …
They may attempt to rip our National Anthem away from our eyes …
They may attempt to rip our National Anthem away from our televisions …
But they will never be able to rip our National Anthem away from our hearts …
Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.