Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The meaning of patriotism

I didn't see R. Kelly's performance of the national anthem before the Hopkins/Taylor fight, but after reading Scoop Jackson's account, I want to (HBO rebroadcast: 12/10, 10 PM).

Only in America …

When Michael Buffer said his name before the fight, the room I was in grew quiet. Then it immediately got loud. Most times national anthems don't generate this type of reaction -- the fights or sporting events that follow them do. But in the words of the lil' great Huey Freeman: "Never underestimate how much n----s love R. Kelly."

Then the beat came in. Then the the panic set in. Then the camera panned out. Then … the phones started ringing.

OK, so my man Kells took the opportunity before the second act of Hopkins/Taylor, the second-biggest fight of the year, to Marvin Gaye the national anthem.

Give it some flavor, show it some love. Cool.

Wrong.

When the cameras showed that he was not in the ring alone -- when it showed that he had "steppers" (classically trained urban dancers) in the ring with him, "steppin'" in the name of patriotism with all the finesse of Herb Kent at the 50 Yard Line steppin' lounge -- it was enough to make Jeff Kent turn black.

Or John Chaney turn white.

But that wasn't it. The Pied Piper didn't stop there.

As he JB Monorailed himself through the lyrics, he then paused. Rode the break in the track, and sang out to the stunned folks in the crowd: "Put your hands together …"

OK, this negro has turned the anthem into a concert.

The phones started ringing again!

When it was all over, a sea of boos could be heard following him out of the ring.

Personally, I think the Star Spangled Banner sucks. I'm in favor of going back to the original anthem, America the Beautiful. You can hardly blame anyone for trying to make Francis Scott Key's anthem a bit more palatable. If R. Kelly's version managed to be more entertaining, than I'm all for it. Of course, I haven't seen it yet. It may have been a ridiculous debacle, somehow worse than the original. In which case he deserved to get booed.

And here's the bigger picture …

Only in America can someone who's standing trial for child pornography be asked to sing the country's national anthem.

In a sport that Don King once ruled.

Only in America.

1 comment:

Jamey Lawton said...

Give my man a break! It's not like he drove with a suspended license in NH!
Funky, remind me to put the fight on when you are up here Saturday night.