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More "God Bless America" litigation

Sep 15, 2009, 9:25 AM EDT

Someone tell me, because I always get this mixed up: are you supposed to stand during George Gershwin songs too, or only Irving Berlin songs?  And what if a ballpark starts playing Neil Diamond’s “America” during the stretch?  Does that require standing?  So confusing . . .

In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Newark, three Millburn High School students contend Newark Bears president and co-owner Thomas Cetnar berated them, cursed at them and then booted them from the ballpark after they failed to stand for the song during the seventh-inning stretch.

“Nobody sits during the singing of ‘God Bless America’ in my stadium,'” Cetnar bellowed during the June 29 incident, according to the suit. “Now the get the (expletive) out of here.”

The problem, bunk, is that it’s not your stadium. It was built and is owned by Newark and Essex County, New Jersey.  I can kick people out of my house if they don’t stand during “Coward of the County” by Kenny Rogers, because that’s the kind of thing that pisses me off.  However, when governmental entities are involved, well, that’s a big problem, what with that First Amendment and all.  Just ask the Yankees.

How about this: Let’s play “Take me out to the ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch, thereby avoiding all of these arguments.

  1. -z- - Sep 15, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    At least they play “Take me out …” at the new Shea – and that’s the only positive thing I can say about the place.

  2. Grant - Sep 15, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    I want Peter Angelos to try to kick people out during “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.” That would be hilarious.

  3. Grant - Sep 15, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    er, that would be for not standing. Got a little ahead of myself there.

  4. CG Hudson - Sep 15, 2009 at 11:53 AM

    They play “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” at BALTIMORE Orioles games? What IS this world coming to?!

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 17, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      It has been a Baltimore Orioles tradition since the 1975 to play “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” after “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. Apparently, according to Wikipedia; in one of his last public appearances, Denver himself danced on top of the dugout during a nationally televised Orioles game in 1997.

      Read about some history here.

  5. shelbydawkins - Sep 15, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    God bless America is a lame song… please dont play that hoary old chestnut anymore

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