In this 100th iteration of the famous old tournament, the host United States have gone to daring lengths in order to make the Copa America great again.
Yes, the western world's preeminent leader in cultural erosion -- well-dressed white men on television like to call this "globalization" -- placed another feather in its exquisite cap just before the start of Sunday's Mexico-Uruguay tilt in Glendale, Arizona. When it came time to play the Uruguayan national anthem, the paragons of gumption and industriousness manning the soundboard at University of Phoenix Stadium played Chile's anthem instead.
Chile is not scheduled to play any games in Glendale.
"This evening during the pre-match ceremony, due to human error, we inadvertently played the incorrect National Anthem. We sincerely apologize to the Uruguayan Federation, the Uruguay National Team, the people of Uruguay and to the fans for this mistake. We will work with all parties involved to ensure such an error does not occur again."
What a way to foster togetherness, mutual understanding, and the laudable notion that "we're all Americans" at the end of the day!
(To be fair, though, I want to stress the fact that Uruguay's actual national anthem clocks in at a downright monstrous six minutes. That's one hundred and five bars, or the equivalent of one Daveed Diggs verse. What the hell is this, Atlas Shrugged? Who has time for that???)
But freedom's march did not end with Sunday's transgression. On Monday evening, when it was time to play Chile's anthem for real in advance of their showdown with Argentina at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the song was cut off prematurely, superseded by a Pitbull track. Pitbull!
The players stood, proud and unbowed, and sang the rest of the song without the proper backing track. But musically speaking, Chile is off to a terrible start-- after the Glendale flub, Uruguay fell to Mexico, 3-1. In Santa Clara, Argentina handled the Chileans, 2-1.
One gets the feeling, however, that the musical hijinks have only begun.
With that in mind, let's consider all of the possible anthemic disasters that might take place in the run up to tonight's Soldier Field slobberknocker between the United States and Costa Rica.
- Panem ("The Horn of Plenty")
- The Grand Duchy of Robonia
- Chile ("Himno Nacional de Chile")
- Kazakhstan (Borat version)
- United States of America ("The Star-Spangled Banner" -- Carl Lewis version)