clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Five national anthems you might hear tonight before USA vs. Costa Rica

When it comes to boorish, American-made cultural ignorance, why stop now?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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of their showdown with Argentina at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the song was cut off prematurely, superseded by a Pitbull track.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")
If the goal really is to make our nation great again, we ought to start with the excessively patriotic anthem of the fascist-tastic nation of Panem, of The Hunger Games infamy. Given the increasingly apocalyptic political climate of our tenuously united States, "The Horn of Plenty" packs the kind of verbiage we need to get us in the right mood to watch the increasingly apocalyptic U.S. Men's National Team: "O, Capitol / Your glorious diamond shine / A tribute to / The darkest days behind / One Horn of Plenty for us all!" Gosh! Feels like home.

  • The Grand Duchy of Robonia
As a predictive model for global culture, Matt Groening's Futurama is second to none. Let's make this happen.

"Hail, hail, Robonia! A land I didn't make up...."

Really, this begs a pertinent question-- why aren't there more robots on the USMNT? Wouldn't you rather have, say, a talking toaster oven or a snarky photocopier in goal instead of Brad Guzan?
  • Chile ("Himno Nacional de Chile")
Why not keep this thing going and see where it takes us?

  • Kazakhstan (Borat version)
It's simply infectious, and germane to boot:

"Kazakhstan, greatest country in the world / All other countries are run by little girls / Kazakhstan, number one exporter of potassium / Other countries have inferior potassium."

There's something to this potassium thing, because watching the USMNT generally makes me go bananas.

  • United States of America ("The Star-Spangled Banner" -- Carl Lewis version)
No offense to Francis Scott Key or any of the warriors that fell at Fort McHenry in 1814, but the actual tune of the American anthem was plucked straight from a British drinking song. Seriously! Look it up-- the original melody is called "To Anacreon in Heaven," and it's about boozing.

With that in mind, it makes sense that the occasional enterprising singer might want to spice things up a bit. R. Kelly brought the sexy like only he could. Roseanne went ham with a shameless rendition that was impossible to ignore. And of course, we'll always have Steven Tyler's humble reminder that America is, in fact, the land of the free and the home of the Indianapolis 500.

But, in the context off the USMNT's spectacular penchant for crashing and burning, we don't just want to hear our anthem as such. No... we need it straight from arguably the greatest American international in any sport. We need it from Carl Lewis.

After all, who misses more high notes than the U.S. Men?

*          *          *
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a work of satire. Thus, the opinions reflected above are probably not the actual opinions of the writer, as far as we know.