Singing the national anthem can be a titanic task
Posted: Friday September 28, 2007 2:57PM; Updated: Monday October 1, 2007 1:00PM
If you're looking for music and sports connections, country music star Faith Hill can hold her own. She's married to Tim McGraw, son of former major leaguer Tug McGraw and a pretty fair athlete himself. (He once scored 48 points in a high school basketball game in Monroe, Louisiana.) Faith ran track (she was a 220 and 440 runner) and played basketball and volleyball at McLaurin High in tiny Star, Mississippi. She and Tim are close friends with fellow Mississippian Brett Favre.
The Hill - McGraw duo are fervent Tennessee Titans fans and can often be found at LP Field. Hill sag the National Anthem before Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta -- a thrilling 23-16 Rams win over the Titans. On Aug. 27, 1999, she sang it to open the then Adelphia Coliseum as the new home of the Titans. This year NBC hired her to sing Waiting All Day For Sunday Night, the opening theme to its Sunday Night Football broadcast. SI.com caught up with the 40-year-old artist and got her take on singing a tough song on a huge stage:
Now, this is all as I am walking out. They've introduced me already. She goes, "No, I don't, I'm sorry." I was like: "Oh, my God, I cannot remember the first words of the National Anthem!"
I was just panicking because it was nowhere in my mind. I thought: "I'm going to have to sing Amazing Grace." But as soon they stopped applauding, I finally got it. Oh, say can you see. I was like, "Good gracious alive."
Now for the Super Bowl, because the Tennessee Titans were there, it took all the pressure off of me. I was so psyched up for them. I was facing their sidelines when I was singing the national anthem and I just remember looking at them and they never ever looked at me. Not one single player looked at me. I was like: This is awesome. They are ready for this game and I know it." I was excited. Seeing that sideline just fired me up.
Faith Hill's latest album "The Hits" will be in stories Oct. 2