You Will Honor "God Bless America," Or The Yankees Will Have You Shot

We want to make this absolutely clear: We love America. We love it. We love the freedom to speak our mind, we love we are allowed to wear American flag underpants, we love that we can super size any combo meal, regardless of which sandwich we choose. We love it here.

That said, we kind of can't stand the song "God Bless America." Putting aside the church-vs.-state discussions, it's just a poorly written and constructed song, sugarly, stupidly sentimental, not Irving Berlin's happiest moment as a songwriter. (He even admitted this late in his life.) All told, "America The Beautiful" is a decidedly superior song. And we really can't stand how Yankee Stadium still plays the song every seventh inning stretch; the pomp reeks of "We Are More Patriotic Than You Are" self-congratulation.

Oh, and also, you're not allowed to leave your seat while the song's on. Some people aren't happy about that either.

Steinbrenner agreed to a plan to restrict movement. By mid-October 2001, he said, the Yankees' implemented a system using off-duty uniformed police officers, ushers, stadium security personnel and the aisle chains to restrict movement. The Yankees pay the city to use police officers as part of the security detail.

Trost said the ushers were instructed to allow fans with emergencies to move through the stands. Because one end of each chain is held by a person, instead of secured in place, the system is not considered a fire hazard, a spokeswoman for the New York Fire Department said.

We always stand at attention and take off our hat for "The Star Spangled Banner." We consider it an honor, and respectful. We do not feel the same way about "God Bless America" — which is not our national anthem, after all — and, sorry, George, we don't think the Yankees are more patriotic than any of the other teams in baseball for commanding that we do so.

Well, OK, maybe the Blue Jays.

Patriotism, Defined And Enforced [New York Times]