By Arturo R. García
Dear Mr. Groban:
Congratulations on being picked to sing the U.S. national anthem at next Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.
Just remember, though, that you’ve got your work cut out for you. You’ll have competition both on the court, and from the echoes of history.
First, as you know, you won’t be the only singer doing something nationalisticpatriotic that day: a fella named Aion Clarke will be singing the Canadian national anthem. You’ve got a slight advantage here, since the name might not ring a bell with most of your potential viewership this Sunday. But, based off of this track, the guy doesn’t sound bad.
Unfortunately for you, though, by accepting your assignment, you have all but assuredly chosen to step into the shadow of the man who managed to make “The Star Spangled Banner” … seductive. In Los Angeles, no less. Whatever longtime fans are watching, either at the Staples Center or at home, will no doubt compare you – for better or worse – to Marvin Gaye. Here’s why:
So, no pressure. Good luck – and, uh, try not to mess up the words, k?