For every member of the Chicago Bears organization, as well as for every Bears fan, there is but one goal to be accomplished at the moment: Beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. As such, nothing can be left to chance -- not even the singing of the National Anthem. This weekend's scheduled singer is one Lee DeWyze, 2010 American Idol winner and former resident of Chicago suburb Mount Prospect. He seems like a fairly likable guy and all the kids go crazy for him (er, or at least they did six months or so ago), but he's no Jim Cornelison.
For those of you emerging from beneath rocks, driven out by the freezing cold no doubt, Cornelison delivered a breathtaking, stunning rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before last weekend's 35-24 Bears win over the Seattle Seahawks. Fireworks went off, jet planes rocketed overhead -- in our heads, well before they actually did in real life. In short, Cornelison rocked the house, creating an electric atmosphere of pure Chicago football magic. Can you imagine DeWyze doing the same? Neither can we.
Let's compare. First, Cornelison:
And now, DeWyze:
It's not even close, is it? Look, I understand, DeWyze brings in the younger audience and perhaps there are contract issues involved here. But if Lee wants to be a true hometown hero, he should take one for the team (both the football one and his PR squad) and step aside.
Football fans (sports fans in general, really) are a superstitious sort, and Cornelison brought forth a kind of magic we haven't seen
at before a Bears game in a long, long time. Sure, the Bears beat the Seahawks because, well, Seattle really wasn't all that good. But doing everything we can to assure a winning outcome in this particular match-up is paramount. No one wants to go into the off-season -- not to the mention the rest of our respective lives as Bears fans -- having suffered defeat and the loss of a Super Bowl berth at the hands of the Pack.
So let's not silly legalities or the musical preferences of the pre-teen crowd get in the way of doing the right thing here. Put Cornelison on the mic, load up the fireworks cannons, scramble the F-14s and LET'S DO THIS!