Harper Gruzins, the 11-year-old girl behind what our own Tim Burke called the worst national anthem rendition ever in July, reached out to Deadspin earlier this month in November. Here's what she had to say:
From: Harper Gruzins
To: Tim Burke
I've had a little time to reflect on all that happened since July 28 and my performance of the National Anthem at the FC Dallas vs LA Galaxy game which admittedly was not one of my best performances. I'm sure you have heard my explaination of the technical issues I was dealing with like stadium reverb and sound delay but it probably doesn't matter to you. Just as I walked on to the field i tuned to the low blowing horns which also threw me (the horns stopped once i was on the field). I don't know why I feel like reaching out to you now but that's not important either. I don't know why they invited me for such a big game but it wasn't my first Anthem performance for a minor or major sporting event and hasn't been my last.. It was my first time in an open stadium and they didn't let me do a second sound rehearsal earlier that day nor did they let me use a sound wedge or ear piece which made it very difficult for me but I didn't want to stop out of respect for the song and the people who give their lives for its meaning, that definately backfired huh?! Well, it wasn't nice all the things you said about me on the Internet and as you know you weren't the only one. I also don't know why you felt like shredding an 11 year old girl (me) that day. People still say mean things at school and on line . They also think I was somehow disrespecting our anthem purposefully and we even get death threats. I am passionate about singing and only 11 and still have a lot of growing and practicing to do. Maybe I can do it when I grow up some day but I don't sing and play for that reason, it just brings me joy and happiness to do it. My parents are missionaries and travel to Sudan Africa alot so I get lessons and practice as much as I can. We definately don't have the money so I appreciate all that I get to do and take every opportunity seriously and prepare. That was one that just lined up do go all wrong :( I noticed you have a guitar collection so maybe you were being judgmental because you may have some talent in that area so I just want to let you know I have forgiven you and wish you well in your career. I don't think people should be hurt like I was. I also don't think we should use social media to tear people down, but to lift them up. Well that's all.