The 2019-2020 NFL football season is upon us. Though my interest in American football expeditiously faded after only receiving a portion of my entitled winnings from a fantasy championship win, due to a lack of performance in a dual-commissioned league (if I ever see your cousin again, I’ll break his fucking legs, Phil.), I still find myself adjacent to the cherished traditions practiced across the nation that tickle the senses; The smell of sweaty, encased meats on a Weber grill at a tailgate, the vivid cornucopia of colors of the vast variety of jerseys, and as of the last few Thanksgivings, the piercing squawk of a dipshit aunt spouting her thoughts on the National Anthem.
Whether you’re on the side of supporting one’s Constitutional right to peacefully protest without penalty or the wrong side, I’ve seen the argument reach the seedy underbelly of the internet, where trolls and hack comedians eagerly wait to feed. However, there is a consistent premise among the bottom-dwellers that sticks with me: We shouldn’t play the anthem at sporting events, simply because the Star-Spangled Banner is boring as shit.
It doesn’t “slap.”
It’s not a “banger.”
It “don’t make me want to pop my bussy” (according to my roommate and fellow FBC writer, Tim Nemec).
“There’s nothing saying we can’t replace the rockets and ramparts with something more recent and upbeat”
They’re right. The Star-Spangled Banner is an antique in the same way that a first-edition John Gochnaur rookie card with bird shit on it is an antique. From what I can see, there’s nothing saying we can’t replace the rockets and ramparts with something more recent and upbeat, and we simply lack the ambition to select a new song.
The lexicon of brilliant American compositions is vast and ripe for the picking of a new anthem to represent our triumphs, so I’ve taken the liberty of offering some alternatives that would not only bring some much-needed flair to our representation, but unite us in this time of great division:
1. Smooth – Santana (feat. Rob Thomas)
There’s a handful of things I remember about the summer of 1999. My family got its first dog, a rambunctious yellow lab named Sammy. Brandi Chastain secured America a championship win at the FIFA Women’s Cup with a clutch penalty kick. Families everywhere were forced to endure the introduction of Jar-Jar Binks into pop culture. Most importantly, though, it was a hot one; akin to seven inches from the midday sun, some might say.
On the 15th day of that sweltering June, we were given a gift. Birthed from the musical loins of Itann Shur, an entrancing melody was passed onto a young frontman, adorned with chunky earrings and a good run of Top 40 singles under his belt. That young man was Rob Thomas. From there, he crafted lyrics so sultry and divine, only one word echoed in Thomas’s mind to sum up this poetry delivered from on high: Smooth.
Though proud of his creation, there were higher forces at work here ; this was not a song for Matchbox Twenty. It needed something more. There was a spice unfamiliar to that band’s flavor profile. It needed an MC Skat Kat to his Paula Abdul. He found the kick he needed in spades through none other than Carlos Santana.
By their powers combined, Smooth caressed our ears and kept hips swaying for twelve weeks straight at the top of the charts, only to gently kiss our foreheads goodnight right around the time Larry Gene Ashbrook did all that murdering. Glory be to whatever Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa that song is about. She must’ve been the babe to end all babes. You know who else is a babe? Lady Liberty. Case closed.
2. Smooth – Santana (feat. Rob Thomas)
Oh, you’re still here? Was I not clear that Smooth should be the new National Anthem? Let’s break it down, chief: It is the second most successful song of all time by Billboard’s numbers. It took home three Grammys, Song of the Year included. It held a top ten spot on the charts in five other countries. Remember those twelve weeks when it was number one in the United States? Do you know how many more weeks it stayed in the Top 10 after that?
THIS CERTIFIED BOP FERRIED US INTO A NEW FUCKING MILLENNIUM.
As far as I’m concerned, this magnum opus of latin rock may be what prevented Y2K. I like to think that somewhere out there, someone at a New Years Eve party synced up that song so that the passionate cry of Carlos Santana’s custom PRS rang out at the stroke of midnight, resulting in a bunch of babies being born that following September.
Speaking of babies, it’s very well known that music is crucial to an infant’s development. Imagine having Smooth be part of your development as a human fucking being. You know who was a baby in 1999? Lil Nas X, and look how damn cool he turned out. Do I think that, without Smooth, we would not have the national treasure that is Old Town Road? I can’t say for sure (I can. I do think that). Actually now that I’ve said it, Old Town Road can be the third anthem after we get bored with Smooth.
3. Smooth – Santana (feat. Rob Thomas)
Holy fucking shit, how are you not fucking sold on this yet?! FROM THE MOUNTAINS, TO THE PRAIRIES, TO THE OCEANS UNDER THE MOON! WHAT BETTER WAY TO SALUTE THE STARS AND STRIPES WE HOLD SO DEAR THAN THE SEXY SAMBA ROCK THAT ONLY SANTANA CAN PROVIDE?
“You got the kind of loving that can be so smooth”Santana feat. Rob Thomas
RAUL REKOW’S OPENING CONGA HITS BEAT LIKE THE HEARTS OF OUR HARD WORKING BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THEIR PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. THEY THUNDER ACROSS THE THE SKIES JUST AS THE CANNONS BOOMED ACROSS THE CHESAPEAKE IN THE WAR OF 1812, ALL WHILE THAT LIMP-DICK NINNY, FRANCIS SCOTT KEY, SCRIBBLED OUT SOME BULLSHIT POEM THAT BECAME A SNOOZE OF A SONG THAT IDIOTS WOULD DIE ON A HILL FOR, JUST TO ENSURE THAT MODERN GLADIATORS STAND IN COMPLIANCE BEFORE MARCHING TO THEIR INEVITABLE BRAIN DAMAGE AND FUTURE JOINT COMPLICATIONS.
WHY SIMPLY STAND WHEN YOU CAN DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY TO A MASTERPIECE FORGED BY A PRIME EXAMPLE OF MEXICAN-AMERICAN EXCELLENCE AND A PARAGON OF POST-GRUNGE? OH BOY, MY MOUTH IS FOAMING NOW.
4. Smooth – Santana (feat. Rob Thomas)
5. Cheeseburger in Paradise – Jimmy Buffett
Fine. You want variety? There’s your fucking variety.
The next time you attend a sporting event and the lead of your city’s production of Hamilton takes to the field to oh-say-can-you-see you into ennui, remember that they could be belting the divine word of Rob Thomas and the country would be stronger for it.
Give me liberty, make it real, or else forget about it.