Something I was thinking about the other day —the National Anthem is performed at each and every baseball game played,yet as I can recall it’s rarely televised,nor is it played in any form on the TV or radio before those same games.
The simple thing that comes to mind is that it’s not a money-maker. A television network couldn’t really sell a sponsorship of the anthem –not without a fairly large outcry from viewers. I’ve seen it done once in the Cactus League,where the national anthem was presented by a credit union of one of the branches of the military,and it certainly didn’t sit well with me.
But you’d think the impact would be much greater if the anthem was included as part of the broadcast,wouldn’t you?
That begs the question –the impact of what? Which I will respond with both an answer and a question –why do we even need the national anthem to be played before a baseball game or any sporting event? There is no inherent connection between the two –certainly not one that I can see or think about when I ponder the subject.
Rather,it seems that it’s a way to drum up a sense of patriotism among a sizable group of people who are effectively held captive and can’t turn off the programming. Which could also answer the first question –people could simply flip the channel or disengage from the television,further weakening its merit for airing. Television is a fairly simple business –it’s there to accumulate as large of an audience as possible and then sell –or rent –those people’s attention to paying advertisers. Maybe the anthem just doesn’t do that on an everyday basis?
And why do we need to drum up patriotism? So the government is trusted and can do things that may not ultimately be in the best interests of their constituents. The anthem is an old drinking song,and more-or-less a feel good song. It also gives us the feeling of belonging to a large group with shared interests –something that reinforces our social nature as animals. Put all that together and you can see why the government would want the anthem played before sporting events.
But why not on TV?