Supporting another sort of team

20 Jan

Even as a Kansas State student, I have discovered common ground between me and Kansas basketball coach Bill Self. Our grievance? Fans drowning out the last word of the national anthem with “CHIEFS!”

It’s evidently happening at KU, and I’ve heard it at some KSU games as well. Quite frankly, I do not think it is appropriate even if you are in Arrowhead Stadium.

The Star-Spangled Banner is not about sports at all, much less about one team in particular, and it seems almost sacrilegious to try and make it that way.

Our sports teams and the athletes on them get recognition constantly. There is nothing wrong with that. Those individuals have unique skills and tremendous work ethic, and they endear themselves to us by what they can do on the gridiron or the hardwood.

That being said, our servicemen and women sacrifice much more – time with their families, possibly better-paying jobs, sometimes even their lives – and are in the spotlight much less.

One time those individuals are – should be – the focus is during that national anthem. During the two or three minutes of that song, people should reflect on how fortunate they are that there are others willing to dedicate themselves to protecting us and our way of life.

Many, many other people around the world do not have the freedoms with which we have been blessed, for which those who came before us fought, and for which thousands of Americans continue to fight every day.

Don’t misunderstand me; I have been a Chiefs fan since I was a kid. I’m all about cheering on the team, but the team will get cheered on for the next three hours.

As a measure of respect for our servicemen and women, I don’t think singing “home of the brave” instead of “home of the Chiefs” is too much to ask. I think it’s the least we can do.

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