God Bless America

I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly miss 2002:

In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Newark, three Millburn High School students contend Newark Bears president and co-owner Thomas Cetnar berated them, cursed at them and then booted them from the ballpark after they failed to stand for the song during the seventh-inning stretch.

“Nobody sits during the singing of ‘God Bless America’ in my stadium,'” Cetnar bellowed during the June 29 incident, according to the suit. “Now the get the (expletive) out of here.”

One of the kids’ dad is a lawyer. Oops. Looks like it’s time to deploy the Gooden P.R. Machine!

(thanks to Pete Toms for the link)

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  1. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    At what point are people going to realize that “God Bless America” isn’t all that patriotic, never mind IT’S A SHITTY SONG?!

  2. Aarcraft said...

    To me, there is nothing more patriotic than singing “Take me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. Just another reason to hate the Yankees, for giving us this stupid “tradition.”

  3. The Rabbit said...

    I don’t miss 2002 a bit….What is more absurd is that the same people who wrap themselves in the flag and demand that everyone else do it (otherwise, you are unpatriotic and a traitor to America) are exactly the same people who condemned the former Soviet Union for requiring that same behavior from its citizens.  Boggles the mind.

  4. Greg Simons said...

    Obviously tastes vary, because while it’s not my favorite tune in the world, I think it’s far from A SHITTY SONG.

  5. MarkH said...

    And as Neil deMause pointed out in his site this morning, it’s not “his” stadium. The stadium was built and is owned by Newark and Essex County.

  6. Ross said...

    God Bless America is not The Star Spangled Banner.  It’s a song.  It’s not on the same level as the officially recognized national anthem.

    You stand for The Star Spangled Banner (which you still don’t technically *have* to do).  Any other “patriotic” song is just a song as far as the Rules of Etiquette go.

  7. Bill B. said...

    Count me among those who do not stand for the national anthem. In terms of wealth and military might, this country is great, but in many other ways it has always been and will always be frail. I may live here but I don’t respect this country’s past or present, and as far as I can tell, its future either.

    By the way, reading the comments on the NJ.com article is wont to make one’s head asplode. Don’t do it.

    (You’ll do it.)

  8. Bob Tufts said...

    Perhaps the court order should force the Bears tp play Teddy Pendergrass’ “Get Up Get Down Get Funky Get Loose” and also ban “YMCA”?

  9. YankeesfanLen said...

      You crack me up, only because I understand the reference.  And I would still rather stand and not go to the restroom during a Kate Smith rendition than see the Philly Phanatic or Harry Carry fall out of the broadcast booth during the inane and artificial “seventh-inning stretch”

  10. sansho1 said...

    I’ve been berated at Turner Field for not standing up for “God Bless America”.  I was engaged in conversation with friends, and didn’t realize I was making some sort of political statement until the guy behind me made a remark (which I also ignored).

    Then last week I went to a performance of some Irving Berlin tunes, and the conductor asked us to stand for the playing of the tune, so I did.

    That’s really all it would take at the ballpark.  If the PA announcer asked us to please rise, I would do it.  It’s not that hard to retain one’s principles and still comply with a polite request.

  11. Bunting said...

    I’ve attended a couple Bears games this year, and I’m surprised there were three whole fans there to eject.  The new ownership doesn’t seem to have any more of a clue about how to run the team or the physical plant than the last group.  (see also: zero Newark Eagles-related merch in the gift shop; discontinuation of the foam bear claws)

    I’m with the “SHITTY SONG” guy.  I’m all for honoring veterans, but Kate Smith is gargling with pickled herring and I’m so over it, I’m under it.

  12. Jason B said...

    For the “I don’t respect this country’s past, present, and/or future” crowd…

    I know it’s fashionable to act like our country is the worst place on the planet earth these days, and I’ll readily admit it’s *far* from perfect, but (1) you’re free to leave at any time and go anywhere else in this great big wide world of ours, and (2) I think most reasonable minds would recognize the tremendous freedoms and advantages afforded to those who live here.

    There is plenty to dislike about the current state of affairs, regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, but a whole lot to like, too.  We’re still tremendously fortunate and privileged in the grand scheme of things.  In fact, it’s because we’ve got the great big issues well in hand – stable government of our own choosing, safe drinking water, roofs over our heads, electricity and phone lines running everywhere, three hots a day – we can nitpick truly minor things like standing during songs, traffic cameras catching me running that red light, McDonald’s taking the Extra Large size off their menu, the Cubs signing Milton Bradley, and the like. 

    That’s all I’m sayin’.  smile

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