For years now I've thought there has to be a better way to select who sings the National Anthem at major sporting events then just selecting who's popular at that time. This idea became even more important to me after the NBA All Star game where Fergie did a terrible job singing the National Anthem.

Here's the deal, Fergie is super talented and I enjoy some of her music but does that mean she should be left unsupervised to destroy the National Anthem? I say no! I would like to see the country adopt a specific group or individual to cover the Anthem at all major sporting events for a full calendar year. Possibly an up and coming artist, maybe a school band or just a big name act that's sick of these versions of the anthem that become more about the artist than the country it represents. By doing this the band would agree to provide a tastefully done anthem we can all enjoy.

I realize that here in the Capital region we'd need to adopt another way to protect the anthem and then I got this email for the Tri-City Valley Cats.

                                   National Anthem auditions to take place at

Crossgates Mall on Saturday, April 14
8th Annual event is open to all, with the opportunity to perform prior
to a premier ValleyCats game during the 2018 season!
 
TROY, NY – The Tri-City ValleyCats will host their 2018 National Anthem tryouts at Crossgates Mall on Saturday, April 14, where participants will have the opportunity to earn themselves a performance prior to one of the ValleyCats biggest games of the season!
 
The auditions will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. and run until 12:30 p.m.
Registration for the 8th Annual event will begin at 9:30 a.m. on the lower level outside of Lord & Taylor.
 
A panel of judges will score the performances based on sound quality, stage presence, and song accuracy. The top five finalists will have their performances taped and placed online for a fan vote.
 
The top vote recipient will receive the opportunity to perform on one of the biggest nights of the year at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium such as Opening Night or the 4th of July, in front of an average crowd of 5,000+ fans! The rest of the finalists will be awarded the chance to sing at another night during the season.
 
Auditions will be conducted on a first-come, first-perform basis, can be done individually or as a group, and must either be acapella or performed with a musical instrument that does not require power.
 
This is how it should be done moving forward. EARN THE RIGHT TO PERFORM THE NATIONAL ANTHEM! Well done Valley Cats!