Atlanta United should go ahead and book the supporters for national anthem duties for the foreseeable future. And by foreseeable, I mean forever.
When Chinua Hawk realized his microphone was malfunctioning, in all likelihood due to the lightning that occurred earlier that day, panic and frustration surely set in for both singer and front office. What happened next was incredible - the supporter section began singing the national anthem. Major props to the capo who surely saw the issue and took advantage of the opportunity.
Atlanta United supporters haven’t had many chances to witness and execute organic traditions. The club is brand new with no history before this year. We’ve all seen great ideas on message boards and Facebook threads, but none have really been executed to perfection. Last nights national anthem was the definition of organic perfection, and the club and city need to grab hold of this and make it a regular tradition.
Fans singing the national anthem isn’t a unheard of throughout sports. The Portland Timbers on occasion call for their fans to sing before matches. There is examples of fans doing exactly what Atlanta United did before hockey games. But for Atlanta United, this is the first opportunity they’ve had to take an organic thing started by the fans and make it a regular tradition.
I got chills when it started. It was beautiful. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. I’ve been a proponent of waiting for organic traditions to spring up and now it has happened. Because of this, the Atlanta United front office should allow fans to sing the national anthem before every home match. It’s not something any other team does on a consistent basis and could be one of the main staples of attending an Atlanta United match.
Teams don’t select singers the day before or week of a given match. These things are typically done many games and sometimes months in advance. With that in mind, starting the national anthem itself should be the honor. Much like the honor of carrying the golden spike, notable fans could be involved in the tradition of starting the anthem for the supporters to finish.
Ultimately, it’ll be on the supporters to ensure the singing of the national anthem continues. Sing your hearts out before every match. Continue what hopefully becomes a full-fledged tradition for years to come. Make the national anthem just one example of why Atlanta United supporters are the best fans in MLS.