Friday, September 08, 2006

National anthem

I was frantically running late trying to get to the stadium for the soccer game. (In case you don't know, I'm the team doc for our boys high school soccer team.) Trying to find a parking spot is usually crazy as game time gets closer. Fortunately, things weren't too hectic because the junior varsity game draws a smaller crowd. So, the parking lot was not that bad.

I got out of my car, put on my cap, grabbed my "doctor bag", and rushed into the stadium. Actually, it's not your stereotypical looking doctor bag (like my profile picture). It's just a gym bag with tape, ace wraps, and other items for injuries.

Fortunately, the junior varsity was still warming up. A couple of our players asked me to tape up their ankles prior to the game. I also talked with some players who were managing injuries, and they seemed fine.

You can definitely feel the electricity in the air before a game - particularly before a varsity game. We play at the (gridiron) football stadium. And, before the varsity warm up session, the stadium lights are turned on. This definitely adds to the excitement.

Before each game, the referrees bring both teams to the center of the field and review items of sportsmanship - for example, being careful of overly rough play, intolerance of profanity during the game, etc. Following this, the team captains remain with the referees to determine who will get the ball first. The rest of the team has a final pre-game conference with the coaches.

After the captains return from the center of the field, the drama and the excitement continue to build as each player is announced over the loud speakers. Now, the crowd really starts to get into it. No one can wait any longer for the game to get started. Just when things are about to reach a fever pitch, the loud speakers blare with this announcement: "And now please stand for the playing of our national anthem as we honor America...."

Time pauses at that point. I believe that this is the most beautiful moment in sport. Even if it's our arch-rival high school, who usually brings a loud crowd and a good team with them, at this moment, we are unified and we are one. The crowd goes from a roar to absolute silence as all of us look to at the farthest point of the stadium where the flag is seen in the night sky. For a moment, all of us forget about soccer, forget about sports, and focus on what's really important...

Oh, say can you see,
By the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed
At the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched
Were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night
That our flag was still there.
O, say, does that
Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave?

According to Blogger, this is my 100th post. I'm on call this weekend, so I'll see you next week, sometime. Remember Monday. God Bless America.

Update 1: Thanks to all of you who put tributes up on your blogs over the weekend. I've been reading a lot of them and they are so moving. None of us will ever forget.

Update 2: I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I've been named the Bestest Blog of the Day by Morgen from It's a Blog Eat Blog World. Morgen is of the newest members of Blogaholics Anonymous. Thanks Morgen for the selecting me today, and thanks to Bobby Griffin from Bestest Blog for the opportunity to be a member of your blog list.

32 comments:

Julie said...

Hi! I found you through Morgen's Blog Eat Blog World. Fun stuff! I'm a blogaholic too!

cathy said...

Have a good weekend Dr. A...I doubt anyone can forgot Monday....

Sarebear said...

Martina McBride sang a really good performance of it tonight at the NFL season opener on NBC.

ipanema said...

My turn to congratulate you on your 100! Have a nice weekend Dr. A.

kt said...

i love sporing events, love the atmosphere, the drama, the excitement..everything. it always sets the mode with the anthem starting. great post.

ladybug said...

thanks for the beautiful post, doc!
i love the energy from hearing our National Anthem in public...

and wowie - i am sorry i missed Martina singing it for the NFL season opener. hers is my most favourite rendition.

Dr. A said...

Independence Day by Martina: Great song (Let freedom ring...)

Wrkinprogress said...

Woohooo! Happy 100, Doc. :) This is one of the many blogs Cathy led me to that I read daily, and I want to thank you for making my day regularly.

Rock on, Doctor A. :)

Jenny said...

Congrats on your 100th! :) I love this post. You really do bring the atmosphere into an almost palpable state. I love to see my kids play under the big lights. And that moment with the National Anthem soars out, it really is a moment when time stops. Beautiful. God bless America, indeed.

wolfbaby said...

congrats on the 100th post... great post!!!

TheCleaningWoman said...

A 100? I'll organise a telegram from the Queen! :)

thethinker said...

Congratulations on reaching 100!

Moof said...

Gratz on #100! Looking forward to #1000!

PARLANCHEQ said...

Brings back memories of lots and lots of high school games I have attended.

Congrats on #100.

difficultpt said...

Wow, you really are a blogaholic! ;o)

JR's Thumbprints said...

Very patriotic indeed; unfortunately, I keep thinking of the parent/assistant football coach who ran onto the field to knock a kid over. Patriotism first, then Woody Hayes-ism.

Michael C said...

Congrats on 100!! I was at a NASCAR race out here last weekend and the Anthem still gets everyone roused up. The 4 F-18s that did the flyover only heightened the experience.

The Little Student said...

Great post Doctor A, I noticed you stopped by my blog a few days ago and thought I would check out your musings. Isn't it great how simple things can bring such a large group of people together, even if it is only briefly. That is what patriotism is all about. Again, great post and great blog.

type1emt said...

A very appropriate post for #100..
I'm glad to see patriotism alive + active,even at a high school soccer game.

Flashtrigger said...

Have a good one, Dr. A...my husband's on-call too (but of a different sort) so I can empathise in the smallest off-hand sense. Monday won't be forgotten, no worries.

Michael C said...

Congrats on your bestest blog pick!!! Well deserved by blogaholic friend!

ian said...

Congratulations on being named Bestest Blog. And on your 100th post too! That's quite an accomplishment. I always liked the national anthem myself - the fellow who sings it here before Colorado Avalanche games really nails it. My father in law belongs to a barbershop quartet that sings it three or four times a season at a local short track (auto racing), and they're always very popular with the fans.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Ian
Stop by and say hello

NeoNurseChic said...

I liked this post so much that I recorded myself singing the National Anthem a capella today! (haha...I know, I'm a geek for doing that, but it was fun!) If anyone wants to hear my recording, here is the link: National Anthem I said in my blog post about it that it is largely based on the Martina McBride version, which is also my favorite - but I have at least 5 different versions on a cd I made after 9/11, so my own version may have bits and pieces of all of them! I also really really like the Boyz II Men version! :) At any rate, you inspired me! haha

Congrats on getting to #100 and for being named best blog of the day! ;) When I read that you were at 100, I had to go back and check mine....I did hit 100 awhile ago, and I'm surprised by that!! I wouldn't have thought that I've written 100 posts already! My how time flies! ;)

Hugz,
Carrie :)

Cathy said...

Congratulations for being chosen for having "Bestest Blog of the Day"

You deserve it!

Morgen said...

Yay Dr. A! Congrats on Bestest Blog for Monday 9/11!
Trust me, I read thru hundreds of blogs, and yours stuck in my mind as Bestest for today! Congrats!
In the eternal words of Martina McBride: Let Freedom Ring!
~morgen

Julia said...

Congrats on your 100th post - nice blog.

INAMINI said...

Congrats on your 100th post, and your "Bestest" award. Your entry about the modesty gowns and future possible cultural gowns was intersting, as was were your artificial heart thoughts.

PARLANCHEQ said...

Hey, Dr. A, just stopped by to say congrats on being Bestest Blog. I am beginning to think I must travel in good blog circles b/c recently several of the Bestest Blogs have been ones I had somehow found already and also thought were great (like yours). :)

Woozie said...

Congratulations on the Bestest Blog win.

healthpsych said...

Congratulations on the award. Dr, A. Of course, we knew that already!

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Congratulations.

ipanema said...

Another congrats, for the bestest blog of the day!