Last night at the Bearden Bulldogs vs Farragut Admirals football game, as the crowd stood respectfully as color guard brought in the American flag (and 3 others), Rocky Top blared from the speakers instead of the national anthem. Whoops! The crowd chuckled through the beginning of the actual national anthem. Why did they use a recording instead of having the two high school bands play? I wonder if they could have done it in sync.
Of course, the playing of the national anthem is not unique to sports events in the United States. Countries all around the world play their national anthem, and often a singer belts out the words. Croatia invited UK opera singer Tony Henry to perform their national anthem at the beginning of the Euro 2008 soccer tournament with Croatia vs England. He mispronounced a Croatian word (see the video) when trying to sing "we love your mountains" and instead announced to the crowd "my penis is a mountain." The Croatians believe the mistake relaxed the team enough to knock England out of the tournament with a 3-2 win for Croatia. They have since adopted Tony Henry, and his mountainous member, as their mascot.
(This post should pull in some interesting spam… )