October 26, 2017

ROCKET'S 'ROID GLARE?:

The murky origins of the anthem's marriage with sports -- with a Red Sox twist (Eric Moskowitz, OCTOBER 25, 2017, Boston Globe)

The Fenway crowd arrived early for the fifth game of the 1918 World Series, but by mid-afternoon the only thing moving on the field was the clock. The players were on strike beneath the stands, protesting deep cuts to postseason pay.

To frustrated fans who had shelled out good money -- $3 plus a 30-cent war tax for box seats -- the merits of the argument mattered little. When the Sox and Cubs relented and took the field, some fans stung them with catcalls about socialism and shirked duty.

Then a small band on the first base side struck up "The Star-Spangled Banner," without amplification. A hush fell over Fenway, as thousands of men removed their hats and stood solemnly, openly moved.

While that assertion is not entirely accurate, the playing of the anthem multiple times in the 1918 World Series -- better remembered here for producing the third Red Sox championship in four years, before an 86-year drought -- generated national headlines and helped cement the relationship between the song and spectator sports.

And it's a moment worth examining amid the charged climate today, with a national debate -- fanned by the president and persisting through each week of the NFL season -- over the propriety of protest while the anthem is being played before games.

Posted by at October 26, 2017 6:40 PM

  

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