The singing of the national anthem is an important part of any hockey game. Have you ever wondered why?
I did a little bit, so I did a little research. It all goes back to World War I, when the Star-Spangled Banner was played at a baseball game between the Cubs and Red Sox in 1918. It got such a huge patriotic reaction that it was played at the rest of the Red Sox games that season. After the war, it would be occasionally played on special occasions, but it wasn’t until WWII, when baseball games again became places for patriotic displays, that it began being played at the start of each game. The advancement of PA equipment made this possible too, since a band was no longer required to play. After the war, the singing of the national anthem had become a staple at baseball games, and soon spread to other sports as well. If you want to learn more about that, give this Mental Floss article a read.
So the national anthem at hockey games has been a staple for quite some time. Usually the person singing it is standing stationary on a rolled out carpet. Even then, it’s easy to screw up by forgetting the words or something like that. There’s plenty of videos of that floating around the internet, but that’s not what we’re talking about.
What we are talking about today is Mark Donnelly, who you may recognize as the tuxedo-wearing singer who does the national anthem at Vancouver Canucks games.
[Via The Vancouver Sun]
He’s known for his spirited renditions of the anthem, but after Friday night, there’s a decent chance that he’ll become better known for the spill he took.
He was invited by the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League to sing the anthem. I don’t know if he was bored with standing and singing or what, but he decided to up the ante a bit by lacing up some skates and making his way around the ice surface while belting out O Canada.
He must not have seen the carpets laid out on the ice.
It’s understandable – the arena was dark, save for the spotlight on Donnelly, which likely made it even tougher for him to see his surroundings. Sometimes, it’s not how you screw up, but how you recover that’s more important… And he didn’t miss a beat, even as he was struggling to get back to his feet.
I’m curious to see now if he’ll try this again anytime soon. It’s not the first time he’d done the ol’ skate and sing (and last time went a little bit smoother).
You know, I can’t blame the guy for wanting to change it up. Just four years ago, he probably would not have been so graceful after a fall. Between 2010 and 2012, he took on a weight loss program which helped him lose about half his body weight.
He may just want to make sure he knows where the carpets are next time he laces ’em up.