Saturday, July 17, 2010
Jimmy Small, ND Class of 2008, joined NASCAR's Series Operations group just a couple of weeks after his Graduation from Notre Dame. ( That's him pictured at a recent NASCAR race with Kevin James and Adam Sandler). Well, last night Jimmy was at Gateway International Raceway -- five miles outside of St. Louis, MO. -- working the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. One of his "pre-race" duties for NASCAR is to ensure that the Driver Introductions, Invocation, National Anthem and the "Drivers Start Your Engine" command are performed on time for the television broadcast. Last night, the National Anthem was to be performed on an electric guitar (sans the singing) by a well known lead singer of a rock band. The rock star is standing on stage, with his guitar, awaiting the signal from Jimmy to start. It's three minutes and counting until the National Anthem is to be performed -- AND THE POWER GOES OUT. The rock star can't play his electric guitar! Jimmy runs up to him -- and tells him "You're going to have to sing the National Anthem!" The response; "Dude, I can't -- I don't know all of the words." Well, Jimmy immediately yells into his headset "WE NEED A NATIONAL ANTHEM SINGER NOW!" Within seconds a Gateway International Raceway representative says "We have an ex-cheerleader on staff who can sing, we'll find her." Looks like the crisis has been avoided -- until he hears over the headset: "She can't sing -- she doesn't know all the words." It's now less than two minutes before the National Anthem is to be performed on live television and Jimmy makes the snap decision; I KNOW ALL THE WORDS -- I'LL SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM! Mind you, his only singing experience, since his third-grade choir's Christmas concert at St. Patrick Elementary, is with his buddies on GUITAR HERO -- trust me, he can't sing! So, he informs everyone that he'll sing the National Anthem. He jumps up on stage and grabs a portable battery powered microphone -- and gets ready to sing. As he tells it; "I am shaking like you can't believe -- yet, I'm thinking this is going to be a story that will be told for years and years..." He's literally FIVE SECONDS away from becoming YOUTUBE legend for the worst rendition of the National Anthem in the history of this great country -- when the POWER COMES BACK ON! However, it's already been announced "and now, singing the National Anthem, from NASCAR, Jimmy Small..." Thankfully, Jimmy gets a signal that the power is back and he immediately waves for the "rock star" to jump back on stage to take Jimmy's place -- and he plays the National Anthem on his electric guitar without a problem. CRISIS AVOIDED! For those of you watching the race live on the SPEED CHANNEL last night - you never saw this, because they run the live broadcast on a slight delay. It allows them to edit language and other things they don't want to air on live television. If you were watching the race, you also know that the power went back out -- right after the National Anthem and never came back on -- forcing NASCAR to reschedule the race to this afternoon at 1:30 PM EST. Here's hoping the "rock star" will come back and perform the National Anthem again today - keeping Jimmy away from the microphone! I guess the lesson here is we need to teach the National Anthem in all of our schools in America! FYI: In the spirit of "full disclosure" -- Jimmy is the oldest son of this blogger!
Posted by Jim Small at 7:15 AM