Let's face it: the Atlanta Hawks are going to lose Game 1 to the Chicago Bulls. Derrick Rose is being guarded by Jeff Teague, the Bulls dominated two-and-a-half out of three games in the season series and, oh yeah, the United Center is going to be jacked beyond belief. Jim Cornelison, perhaps the single best singer of the U.S. national anthem, will rock the mic before tipoff, live on TNT at 8 pm ET.
Here's a video of Cornelison's work before a Chicago Bears playoff game this January:
Standard fan decorum during "The Star-Spangled Banner" is to coo along with the words that you know*, then to really let 'er rip during the last couple lines. But when Cornelison is holding court, Chicagoans just go entirely deep-dish-ham-pizza ham for the entire thing. Not a good sign for either the Hawks.
His standard duty has been performing the anthem at Chicago Blackhawks games, but he's starting to become the go-to for all Chicago events of major import. And I, for one, really wish Atlanta was hosting this game, the first major American sporting event** to begin after the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death. Oh, you think Janelle Monae couldn't put together a captivating anthem performance that would terrify and astound any terr'ists within earshot?
* - [Christina Aguilera joke]
** - I said American, hockey fan***.
*** - Oh, lighten up, and please don't take our hockey team.