Regardless of one’s feelings respecting the national anthem and its potential place in sports, everyone appreciate John Amirante. He goes out onto the Garden ice and does what he loves; he sings the song for 90 seconds in an efficient manner. But he doesn’t water it down, either. He doesn’t turn it into a huge demo reel like so many anthem singers desperately embracing their 15 minutes of fame, but he adds his own minor flavor of character to the rendition. Sometimes, during the playoffs, he’ll wear a blue suit and add a bit of extra emphasis. Even if his voice is not what it used to be, everybody respects and adores John Amirante. It’s impossible to have a negative opinion of such a simple, humble, and cheerful man.
You see, Mr. Mushnick – who by the way recently claimed that maligned Clippers owner Donald Sterling is being “lynched” by the NBA – is NOT a fan of John Amirante. At all. Because he shows no respect for the Star Spangled Banner. Let’s be fair, though, and give Mushnick a chance to explain himself. Surely there’s something to his argument. Let’s start with the lede.
“It was Gilbert, Beaver Cleaver’s buddy, who regularly provided perspective: ‘Gee, Beav, if I did that, my dad would clobber me!'”
Well GOLLY GOSH I can already tell where this is going. No better way to inform your audience that you’re about to offer a thought provoking critique of ethics and manners in 2014 than by starting your article off with a reference to an idealistic TV show from the 1950s. While we’re here, does anyone even know why ESPN New York’s Katie Strang is allowed in the press box at MSG? Shouldn’t she be at home cooking and cleaning just like June Cleaver instead of gallivanting around like a HARLOT? I’m pretty sure I saw her expose an ankle in the Rangers’ locker room the other night. Those damn commie bastards have totally ruined the American Dream. Where was I?
“Mine, too, Gilbert. If for example, he took me to a ballgame and I spent the national anthem waving a towel over my head or even fidgeting rather than respectfully standing and singing, he would have shot me one of those looks, the kind far more effective than lectures.
Put it this way: I never would have done anything like it, again. Either that, or he never would have taken me to another game, the greatest punishment of all.”
Phil Mushnick is basically describing himself as a parody of old people. “Back in my day, my teacher would beat me with a ruler for showing up to school only 15 minutes early after walking four miles in the snow. AND I LIKED IT THAT WAY!” When Lou Gehrig was in school he would get the same “look” and “lectures” from his teachers for daring to write with his left hand. And I bet Mushnick attended that hypothetical game with his father right around the time where blacks were being forced to use a separate water fountain. Just because people did something one way a long time ago doesn’t mean that it’s the superior method. Times change. You’re doing a really poor job of hiding your phobia of the metamorphosis of society under the ridiculous guise of your nostalgic methods being superior, Mushnick.
“Therein lies the problem. Those parents who recognize and encourage class in their kids — values likely inherited from their parents — have fewer and fewer working examples from which to choose.”
You, a parent, just dragged your kid to a Rangers game on the Long Island Rail Road, where he probably saw a drunk hobo puking his guts out. Then you sat him in an arena with 18,000 people chanting the “F word” at anyone and everyone. There’s a good chance your kid is going to see those same 18,000 people loudly applaud two guys stopping at center-ice in the middle of a shift to beat the crap out of each other. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that John Amirante waving a towel above his head while singing a song is the moment that your child is going to irreparably lose sight of the concept of “class.”
“Sure, it’s no big deal that with the Rangers’ exciting climb to the Stanley Cup finals that the Garden has allowed anthem-singer John Amirante to present our national anthem as if it were a mix of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and the Rangers’ Fan Club song.
And I suppose it’s no big deal that Amirante has chosen to exploit our anthem to showboat by waving a towel overhead while singing it.”
Let’s take some time here to pause and bask in the fact that John Amirante – who is almost 80 years old and probably doesn’t know the difference between Facebook and Starbucks – is being painted as some sort of rebellious anarchist in the anthem singing world. Jimi Hendrix’ game-changing rendition of the national anthem, which would probably give Mushnick an epileptic fit, was 45 years ago. Amirante, by daring to wave a towel over his head, is bringing less ingenuity to the table than a Taco Bell franchise in the middle of Guadalajara.
“Still, why must classlessness be systematized? If spectators choose to wave towels over their heads during our anthem — as if these people wouldn’t otherwise have been as pumped — that should be their unilateral business, not something encouraged by Amirante and the Garden.”
Mushnick is deeply concerned about systematization, free will, propaganda, and how this particular event plays into such meaningful topics which are integral to human existence.Again, I’m going to remind you that “this particular event” is some guy waving a towel while singing a song prior to a few dozen people skating around and hitting rubber with a stick.
“But I’m way behind on such matters. That ship sailed long ago. Public classlessness is now requisite, and it seems those kids raised on such sports-delivered messages are stuck with it, as will be their kids. You can’t return to a place you never have been.”
Did you guys know that child obesity has grown by 47 percent globally? But enough of such trivial topics. That kind of pales in comparison when you start looking at the real poisons infiltrating our children, like John Amirante and his towel waving. And you heard the man. “Classlessness” is now REQUISITE. It’s no longer simply that our society is classless. It’s that WE DEMAND that all act in a classless manner or else run the risk of being ostracized. Pick up your towels and wave them like some stupid Francophone surrendering to the fascists in 1940, everybody! That’s what our children are being inconsolably brainwashed to accept into their lives. It’s all downhill from here. We’ve doomed our youth permanently.
Anyway, the rest of the article devolves into calling Boomer and Carton “The Pee Pee And Doo Doo Show” as well as bringing Adolf Hitler into the Redskins’ name discussion. It’s a truly powerful and enlightening read if you’re a masochist.
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