In 1976, the Philadelphia Eagles held open tryouts for anyone in the city to make the team. As the movie Invincible taught us, it served as a colorful montage of first-act humor before the real meat of Mark Wahlberg’s performance heated up.
In 2011, the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs saw the success of the Eagles’ experiment, and attempted to replicate in their own way; a way without football, without Mark Wahlberg, and in many cases, without success.
I’m usually too busy trying to remember if I’m supposed to put my hand over my heart during the National Anthem, even if I’m not wearing a hat. Is that just for the Pledge of Allegiance? I can never remember, and by the time I figure it out, the song has come to an end and a nearby veteran is usually staring me down as his eyes fill with tears.
Some people don’t make a habit of shattering the reasons a soldier fought for this country just before a baseball game. Because they’re singing the National Anthem, they’re really doing the exact opposite. Show-offs.
Hundreds of show-offs came in off the street to warble for a chance to sing America’s lullaby before Ironpigs games in 2011.
The comically awful and massively overqualified (Most notable was the Gospel trio “The Dogs of Falkner Swamp,” which isn’t even a Harry Potter reference like I thought) all got a chance, in a contest that probably would have been very entertaining in the form of a video montage. But now we will never know. Which is okay, because the National Anthem has really been kicked around like a sick dog that nobody loves in the past few years by a conga line of unrespectable celebrities.