At the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby the other night, we viewers were treated to a wondrous version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by American Idol winner Iam Tongi. When he was done, T-Mobile Stadium in Seattle resounded with cheers.
And that was it. There was no “O Canada” sung by Tongi or anyone else despite the fact that the Toronto Blue Jays had the third-highest number of players in the game after the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers. Tongi later apologized for not taking off his hat during his warbling but Canadians got no acknowledgement for our anthem going missing. And this after I have stood in Rogers Stadium I don’t know how many times listening patiently to the U.S. anthem.
What gives? Have we not apologized enough for the smoky air in the U.S. because of our forest fires? We’re good at that. Apologizing, I mean.
And the atrocities continued in the Derby as a bunch of batters tried to hit as many homers as they could in a designated period of time. When it was all over, the winner was Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays. Vlady made the win even more heartfelt because it was the first time a father-and-son duo had ever won the Derby. His father won fifteen years ago. Then Canada got sideswiped all over again when they announced Vlady’s victory and said he was born in Cuba. What the blazes? He’s a Canadian, born in Montreal.
I’m afraid that such atrocities are not limited to baseball. During the program aired on the occasion of the 4th of July celebrations in Washington, the only two singers who performed were both female: Alanis Morissette and Shania Twain. You might recognize both as Canadians but there was no announcement of their nationality. They appeared on the U.S. network Independence Day show just like they hailed from Cheyenne and Chicago respectively. What do we have to do to get a little respect around here?
Here’s an idea. Let’s stop apologizing for everything, all rise in our places and sing “O Canada” as loudly as we can. That’ll really smoke them, eh?