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Hatorade: The National Anthem is Played Out and Blake Griffin Can’t Commit an Offensive Foul

By / 04.05.12

Perhaps more offensive than Roseanne Barr grabbing her crotch. Perhaps more tone-deaf than Carl Lewis’ laugh-inducing butchering. Christ, it was awful.


So, it’s the perfect time to revisit my long-held opinion that the tradition of trotting out “The Star-Spangled Banner” before each and every sporting event should be retired.


I know, I know. I must be an un-American bastard who hates freedom. Must be.


No, that’s not it. The pregame ritual has become so diluted, so meaningless that the continuation detracts from the meaning behind it.


Think about it. Does playing this song before each and every regular-season baseball game instill some sort of national pride in fans or is it something to wait through so the action can begin? For a couple years, I covered baseball, going to each and every game. From the writers, to the players, to the vendors, to the drunks in section 349, people who are asked daily to stand for the National Anthem completely tune it out.


They don’t do so out of disrespect. They do so because it’s human nature. Overdoing something makes it mundane, less special. Less would be more. I’m fine with the occasional American tribute. It’d be more meaningful if it wasn’t an everyday event.


But personally, I’m of the mindset that standing to pay civic tribute before a sporting event is just weird. Sports aren’t civic gatherings. They are recreation. They are business. Besides the fact the games are being played in the United States, what’s the connection?


Again, I don’t mean to offend anyone. I have the utmost respect for the people who fought to maintain our freedom. I love this country. But there’s something patriotic about assessing why you’re doing something patriotic.


And perhaps I am missing the point. Perhaps I should shut up, stand for 90 seconds and silence before games like the rest of people do.


Anytime I’ve brought my opinion up to people, they recoil in terror. But maybe, just maybe, there are some people out there that agree with me.
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Blake Griffin turned in another pair of highlight reel dunks last night in the Battle of Los Angeles. We posted about them and everyone was excited.


Well, not everyone.


I can’t get amped about his second one—and really, a couple of his most famous jams – because they are blatant offensive fouls. Last night, he literally threw an intentional elbow to Pau Gasol’s temple, used him for leverage, and ran him over. And all of it is ignored for the sake of hyping the game.


The NBA has long afforded its superstars a different set of rules than the ones the rest of the league operates under. I can’t respect that. It’s stupid.


If Gasol had made even a small amount of contact with Griffin as he went up, a foul would have been called. They’ve long sold out the integrity of the game in exchange to insure its financial success.


Another thing that the endless Griffin dunks do is reinforce this insane notion that playing defense isn’t “cool.” Defenders would rather get out of the way, allowing the other teams free points than risk being posterized. I can’t tell you how mad this makes me. There are other options: a hard foul, taking a charge, etc. Giving up somehow became the way to keep your credibility. That’s the least masculine thing I can think of.


But nothing’s going to change. Griffin’s dunks are the shiny object and we’re the fish taking it hook, line, and sinker. They’re the NBA’s version of sex and hey, sex sells.


TAGSBlake GriffinhatoradeNational Anthem
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