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Bears/Packers National Anthem Causes Senseless Protests.....

Rock Mamola

Producer/Host on WSCR 670AM The Score.

If you locked into the world of social networking and are signed up on Twitter with more than a billion people around the world, you know some of the shorthand lingo that people use to fit a complete thought into the 140 character limit.  Much of the lingo is derived from text messaging since the use of your phone is very similar to the use of Twitter.  For instance:
LOL - "laugh out loud"
TMB - "tweet me back"
F2F - "face to face"
These are just a few of what seems to be an endless second language shared with "tweeps" online on a daily basis.  
Yesterday I got into a heated discussion with some of my followers on Twitter about the decision to scrap local artist and American Idol winner from season nine (I do not know that from heart, promise!) Lee Dewyze (@LeeDewyze) from performing the National Anthem at Solider Field instead to bring back Jim Cornelison to perform the song before the Bears/Packers game on Sunday.  The conversation and some responses from my followers simply left me SMFH. 


While the National Anthem is performed at every single sporting event from high school to the pros, I have never heard such outrage from any fan base about something so insignificant in my entire lifetime.  From blogs to message boards to online petitions, the NFL and FOX Television caved into the outlandish demands of Bears fans and quite frankly this makes me ill.  To me it does not matter exactly who sings the National Anthem as long as it is performed to where the focus of the moment is not about the person performing it.  What Bears fans demanded since news of DeWyze's scheduled appearance to sing the anthem (as a cross promotion of American Idol's season starting up on Monday) is simply childish.  And they got their way.
As a Bears fan myself I feel embarrassed by the actions of my fellow brethren.  While Cornelison has become a well known figure around the city since he started performing the anthem at Blackhawks games in 1996, the fact that a fandom can simply choose who leads their rendition of our country's hit single is preposterous. 

This is no different than putting a dollar in the jukebox or going to your "on the go" mix on your Ipod.  When did the NFL and FOX turn into Total Request Live?  This is not a story about how the local public stood up to big business, this is a story about a fan base that cares too much about things that are totally insignificant.
Where was the uproar this season when the Bears had Colbie Caillat sing before the Bears played the Packers in week three at Soldier Field?  Where was the uproar about Chris Daughtry (former American Idol contestant) belting out a rendition of the anthem before the Bears went on to defeat the New Orleans Saints in the 2006 NFC Championship?  The fact is there was no uproar.  There were no petitions.  There was no discussion.
So why now?
If Bears fans are truly concerned with how the National Anthem is performed at Soldier Field this coming Sunday than worry about this.  Complain about seeing your fellow Bears fan who forget or choose not to remove their hats in the blistering wind and falling snow during the anthem itself.  Complain if someone next to you is texting/tweeting/etc during the performance of our country's greatest song.  Complain if someone in your general area cannot shut their chatter box while the anthem is being sung to honor our fallen soldiers in their building.  If indeed the anthem is of that importance (all of a sudden) to Bears fans, then worry about what truly matters and not who is performing it.
No matter how much some national types may complain that the city of Chicago applauds during the anthem, the recent protests and complaining that Jim Cornelison was not scheduled to perform it is much worse.  Although this is a very small aspect of the great atmosphere that will surround Solider Field this coming Sunday, the complaints of Bears fans create a new layer of the much mocked "meatball" fan stereotype that I have always despised.  This is not the '85 Bears, McMahon is selling sex pills and Ditka wears Uggs in his restaurant.  We need to move on as a fan base.
The one thing I hope Bears fans do after this magical ride ends whether it be with a loss or hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Dallas is look back at how we acted during the whole playoff run.  I hope we can educate ourselves by reflecting on the stupidity of our comments/actions of this month long period.  The kickoff cannot come soon enough.
John "Rock" Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and Host of The Rock Report on WSCR 670AM The Score
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Alex Quigley said:


the fact that a fandom can simply choose who leads their rendition of our country's hit single is preposterous.

I'd much rather the fandom decided than a corporate suit at FOX HQ.

Rock Mamola said:


Then Jimmy would never run out of work.

Nothing like playing a song by the same artist over and over and over and over.......and over.

Sorta like listening to Neon Trees on Q101. HA!

Alex Quigley said:


Um...I agree?

Rock Mamola said:


I was being sarcastic AQ...

Jimmy Greenfield said:


Which was better: Harry Caray singing the 7th inning stretch every game or bringing in D-list celebs to fill out the 81-game schedule?

Rock Mamola said:


To me there is a difference between the national anthem and the 7th inning stretch. One is respected and one is not. One is considered honoring your country and one is just a filler song to get up out of your seat to stretch.

Did the fans choose harry to do it? Do the fans currently choose who gets to do it?

My point is Bears fans argue and complain about the dumbest stuff and it only feeds into the whole "meatball" fan complex.

I have no problem with the anthem or anyone who sings it, as long as it's done in the right context and respect to the song itself.

It should never matter who is better....

Jimmy Greenfield said:


You can't both argue that the anthem is something to be respected and then say that this is dumb stuff. Chicago fans love the National Anthem sung right. You see how that's contradictory, right?

They were inspired by Jim Cornelison and when it became clear this reality TV singer (nice guy, sure) was going to get the nod for the most important Bears game ever outside of the Super Bowl they were bothered and they spoke up. That's the power of social media.

And in my opinion it does matter who is better. Not who sounds better, but who is better suited for the moment. That's why the Super Bowl gets true stars and Miss Teen Illinois sings the anthem before Cubs-Padres in mid-July.

This is a huge game. Lee DeWyze wasn't suitable. Jim Cornelison so clearly was. And is.

Rock Mamola said:


It is dumb to complain about who is singing the anthem all together. That I will agree with and that's what I was trying to convey. The fact that Bear fans forced the hand of FOX and the NFL to make a change simply because the fan base wanted it is sad.

The National Anthem should be inspiring no matter who sings it. Were they inspired when the he sang the anthem before the Redskins game. btw Bears lost that one.

How is Lee DeWyze not suitable now when no one complained about Chris Daughtry in 2006?

How do you disrespect the anthem by having DeWyze sing it? That's basically what you are getting at, right? The only reason why Bears fans didn't want him is because of his association with Idol.

Rock Mamola said:


And yes....

The power of social media drives change.

Jimmy Greenfield said:


No, there was no suggestion by me or anyone else that this was disrespecting the Anthem by having DeWyze sing it. That is a straw man argument.

The reason this happened was because Cornelison truly moved people last week. It was not about DeWyze or Idol, it was about wanting Cornelison.

The reason why your argument doesn't hold weight is because Bears fans DON'T routinely demand who sings the anthem. This was an unusual confluence of events (Cornelison's tremendous rendition; HUGE game; DeWyze's ill-timed tweet) that resulted in a call for a change.

That's it.

Rock Mamola said:


I'm sure it has nothing to do with his association to Idol.

Nothing at all.

Jimmy Greenfield said:


You're the one who pointed out nobody cared about Chris Daughtry. Why did Bears fans not care about an Idol singer then but they do now?

Rock Mamola said:


that's why I titled this senseless protests. The fact that they didn't before yet now do makes Bear fans hypocrites.

They brought a little of the Blackhawks flavor to a Bears game now Bears fan wanna be greedy when they shouldn't be.

The fact that a fan base complains about who sings the anthem is ridiculous to begin with. I believe their complaints are simply based on the fact it's FOX broadcast while pushing the Idol factor into their broadcast when Bears fans want something else.

The fan base shouldn't be allowed to pick who sings an anthem in any sport. I just want it done in the proper fashion and not have the moment all about who is performing it. That's sorta what Bears fans pushed for, and got.

That's my issue with it.

Derek Moore said:

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I think that you're not giving Bears fans enough credit here when you assume it's only because he's associated with Idol.

Yes, many people did share that sentiment but I think it has more to do with the atmosphere that Jim's version provided in Soldier Field.

You state you "believe their complaints are simply based on the fact it's FOX broadcast while pushing the Idol factor into their broadcast when Bears fans want something else." Yeah, that's kind of the point of protesting something. You want something other than what is planned.

If it were our sole reason for protesting (demanding that FOX stop forcing it down our throats about the new season of Idol) we as Bears fans would protest every injection of the upcoming season of Idol, Family Guy and Animation Domination by the announcers in the little bit of downtime between plays. All. Game. Long.

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