Tongiht is one of my favorite nights of the year. The All-Star Game is in Pittsburgh (pity, that), but it is being played at PNC park. It's home to the most awkward minute and half of television of the year. Specifically, the playing of the Canadian National Anthem before the game. After all, as a TV network, what do you show while they're singing it?
Consider: Some pop star who is somewhat Canadian (i.e., Avril Lavigne, Bryan Adams) gets trotted out to sing the song, and oh so coincidentally, plug their new album. The only reason that they sing it is because Toronto just happens to have a team in baseball, and Toronto continues to insist that they are not really part of the U.S. Anyone who's ever been there knows different. So, they sing the song. It's really a pretty song, I have to say. Much better than the U.S. anthem, which takes its melody from an English drinking song. And really, you have to be pretty wasted to even attempt that melody. Carrie Underwood will do so tonight for the U.S. No word on whether Wayne Gretzky was available for the Canadians.
Now, as a TV network director, your options for camera shots are:
1) One of the players from Toronto, who is from the Dominican Republic anyway, and doesn't know the song. And may not speak English, much less French.
2) A random Pittsburgher (Pittsburghian? Pitiable chap?) in the stands whose sitting there wondering when we got invaded.
3) Jason Bay, oddly enough playing for the Pirates, as the only actual Canadian in the game
4) The Canadian flag in center field, dragged out of storage from when the Expos were in the league, and put back up for this one night.
5) Mark Redman who's just standing there acting polite
6) A World-Cup style cutaway to Ottawa where the fans are going crazy?
7) Bud Selig... why not?
Now that you've filled roughly 45 seconds of air time, what do you do with the next 30?
After the U.S. anthem, there's a scheduled fly-by of some military jets. After the Canadian anthem, what? A couple of guys on yaks will run the bases.
On to the News:
Speaking of things that could only happen in Canada.
(a fellow blogspotter!)
Ever wonder why they lost the Cold War?
(I'm going there next week.)
And now for something completely wrong:
A rap video featuring Bob Saget.
(Umm, are you at work right now?)
Runaway grizzly bear finally caught.
(Is this not the typical male?)
Keeping it short today. Stay tuned for the Mostly-Stars (and Mark Redman) Game tonight at 8:00/7:00 Central.